Monday, September 25, 2017

Zone Conference, Cattle Statue Pics and more

Subject: I cant believe this didnt send!
Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 21:19:36 -0500
From: Brett Hogg 

Not much this week. This Tuesday we had Zone conference, which was cool. We talked about the power of 1, how Jesus Christ worked one on one with people to perform miracles, and stuff like that. Pres Dalton's great great grandfather was a little Irish boy, the only baptism for those missionaries, but now there are generations of members of the church because of that one baptism. And a bunch of other stuff about missionary work and stuff. 

But afterwards we drove by the cattle drive memorial/statue thing and took pictures, partially in an effort to out do Elder Pattee and Elder Coca's horse statue picture haha.

Here is a link to Elder Pattee's photo.

We also had 2 different exchanges this week, one to Grand Prairie! Unfortunately I didn't get to really visit anyone or anything, we were on bikes and the one bike broke and our ride for the night canceled. Then we had exchanges with Elder Fafita and Elder Busch, who serve in the bordering area. Elder Fafita is the Tongan elder I was telling about. Hes 6'8" or something and like 400 lbs or something. Here's  a picture of me sitting on him, playing ukulele. He made us fried chicken one night. Elder Busch is cool, he's quiet. 

Investigator wise, not a whole ton of progress. We did meet a Nigerian man who seems really cool. 

I really thought this email would be longer and I'm really sorry its short. 
Love, Elder Hogg

Monday, September 18, 2017

[Technically] Half Way There!

Subject: [Technically] Half Way There!
Date: Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:08:09 -0500
From: Brett Hogg 

Well as of right now my go-home date is for September 13th, 2018. So I've technically reached my half-way point this week! However I'm pretty sure that Sept. 18th isnt even a transfer day. I did the math though at some point and I think that's wrong and that it should be for sometime in October or November. But then I did the math again recently, and figured that by the end of this transfer I will have 6 months here, 3 months in Plano, and 3 months from my time out before, and that would make 12 months, meaning I'll actually hit my half-way mark at the end of this transfer Oct. 3rd [2018], but that's not a transfer day either I don't think. So, not sure when i'm coming home, but we have about a year to figure it out haha.

This week I got to try some weird food. First off, our branch mission leader took us out to vietnamese food. First he ordered everyone shrimp spring rolls, and pot stickers as an appetizer, but the spring rolls were the size of small burritos, so we were already starting to get full by the time they came around and asked for our order, so I asked our ward mission leader what he recommended and he recommended the egg-noodle Pho. It's a soup with noodles, quail eggs, shrimp, pork, squid, and imitation crab, and who knows what else. I'm not a big fan of sea food but when in Rome, you know? And then Elder Rodriguez ordered some chicken thing, and the ward missionary sister, and the ward mission leader's wife didn't order anything else, and our ward mission leader just ordered 2 more spring rolls! So we felt weird eating a ton of food in front of them, but they were full, so we ate. And my Pho actually wasn't that bad, it was just huge! I took the rest home lol. 

[Note from Mom: Brett hates seafood!  Had shrimp once and never would eat it (much less even a good ol' Wisconsin fish-fry!  I was shocked... haha]

I also got try menudo for the first time! Menudo is a soup made with cow stomach. Hispanics love it and usually make it for special events. I've always heard white missionaries say it's nasty, and hispanic missionaries say its really good. Well there's a restaurant that one of our hispanic members owns, and they serve menudo on the weekends, and they said we could come in and try it. So we stopped by (we usually stop by anyway, not even to eat just to check up on them, they're a really cool family) and tried it, and its honestly wasn't that bad. The meat of course was weird texture, definitely what you think a stomach would feel like. But the broth (or consumé, or caldon) is actually really good. It's basically pasole, another Mexican soup, just with weirder meat.

And then Bang! Friday we got into a car accident. We were driving north on Hampton and I was going to turn on Jefferson so I slowed to a bit, but changed my mind .02 seconds later, so I started to get back up to normal speed. Well in that .02 seconds a guy in a beige Chevy Avalanche thought he could turn on Jefferson and tried to make it before we got there, well it didn't work out, so he hit us on the front drivers side. What the heck?? I feel like he had plenty of time to stop, but I guess not? 

Anyway it pushed us a little bit and made the airbags go off, which made it seem like a way bigger crash than it really was, because it made it way louder and now there's smoke everywhere. Well then the other guy backs ups, hops the curb, and drives off! The nerve of some people. I guess the thing is that here there's a lot of people who don't actually have licenses, insurance, or legal status for that matter. 

Anyway the ambulance and fire truck get there to make sure everyone's good, and help us push it out of the street. Then the police came and took our info. We figured out that the car was still drivable so they said we could drive it to the shop where it needs to go. The only problem was there was a bunch of metal and stuff rubbing against the tire, so the officer guy takes out this giant crowbar he has and gets to work bending it all out so we could drive it. We got the airbags out of the way (using an extra tie we just so happened to have in the back), and drove it to Addison, TX. Elder Wilson, so super cool and awesome vehicle coordinator here in the mission met us there and gave a ride to the Mission Office where he let us borrow another car they happened to have, while this one is in the shop. Anyway not that bad of a crash, just airbags went off and crunched the corner of the car, but most importantly, it wasn't our fault!

They accepted a Book of Mormon 

fixed airbags with a tie!  All set!

We ended the weekend however on a high note and I got to interview someone else for baptism, and It was in Spanish! It was actually the mother of the three kids I got to baptize a couple of weeks ago, so that was cool. Then one of our other investigators got married this week at the chapel so that was neat. The wife is a member already and they've been together for a long time anyway, getting married was just kind of a formality haha. Originally she was waiting for devorce papers from Mexico (a usual thing out here actually, when someone gets married in Mexico then moves up here its some kind of process to get the documentation you need from over there to get remarried). It was a small thing, mostly just the Branch President marrying them and then someone made them a small cake and the Relief Society made a bunch of food. Hispanics love any excuse to cook a bunch of food/have a party.

Anyway, I was worried this wouldnt be that exciting of a week to report on lol
Elder Hogg

Monday, September 11, 2017

Exchanges and the Temple

Subject: Exchanges and the Temple
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2017 15:58:22 -0500
From: Brett Hogg 

Hola Compadres!

Its been a pretty good week.

On Friday we had exchanges, and I spent the day with Elder Goff, while Elder Rodriguez went to Irving. Elder Goff is English speaking, and just got done serving in the DeSoto area (basically covers the parts of south Dallas that we don't cover, as well as some of its rougher suburbs) for 6 months. Pretty much all of our appointments canceled, but it was a good day nonetheless. We found these two cool hispanic ladies in the park. I had to talk to them by myself, and usually I can kind of lean on my companions when I forget how to say something, as pretty much all of my companions have spoken better spanish than me (they've all been pretty much either out way longer than me, or hispanic lol). But we got through it haha. We got to end the night by talking to our multitude of 3 kids. We taught them about the preexistence, and you can tell they were really into it, and it gave them some more perspective on life (Idk if you want to add this to the blog but it's super funny teaching them because they'll say things like "that's pretty bad a**" lol). 

Then on Saturday we got to visit the temple. The spanish branch primary does a thing twice a year where they go to the temple and walk around the outside and sing childrens hymns in the lobby (the lobby here is a little bigger than Chicago's haha). We turned into a missionary opportunity and invited a couple part-member families. Unfortunately none of them came, but the coolest part was that that one inactive family that we have been reactivating came. They were a little late so they missed the part inside the lobby, so we went inside with them with Hno. G (The the Italian guy) after everyone left and sat down and chatted for a little bit. The husband has been having a lot of health problems lately and just a bunch of stuff going on, and you could tell they could feel the peace and the spirit in the temple, he said "No me quiero ir" (he didn't want to leave). We talked to them about making getting sealed a goal for them, and told them we want to come back for when they do get sealed. It was a cool experience being with them there, and feeling the spirit with them. 

After the temple Bro. Gloria took us out to Gelato, and the place was run by actual Italian people. So they were speaking italian to each other and we got to kind of explain mormonism to them, it was pretty cool.

Otherwise nothing else really noteworthy. Just trying to talk to everyone, and finding those that are ready!

Elder Hogg

Ill send more of the temple next week when i get them from all the people that were there. 

Elder pattee found this can of tuna at the food pantry they help out at! They think it looks just like me haha. (They added the "Hogg" on the picture)  And notice the Brett on the hat.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Not much new... and Hurricane update

-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date: Mon, 4 Sep 2017 16:30:47 -0500
From: Brett Hogg 

Hola Fam,

Not a whole lot new this week. This family we've been working with (the one where they own a restaurant and the dad has little drinking temptation, if I've written about them before), well the dad was in the hospital and hes out now and we stopped in and visited and had a spiritual little moment with them and their inactive son was there with his non-member girlfriend. They all felt the spirit and the mom and dad were tearing up. Then the son asked us where God came from (we told him to read Abraham, and Genesis) lol, and his girlfriend asked about temples. We gave her a Book of Mormon and it was a pretty cool experience. 

As far as the Hurricane, it just rained here a little more than usual, but other than that nothing crazy. When it rains here it starts and goes really hard, the  suddenly stops and starts again. Then there was a huge gas panic which was NUTS. People parked around the block at every gas station. Then by the end of the night, and into the next two days, nearly all gastations where out of gas. So that was crazy, all the car missionaries where worried we would have to be on bikes lol. A lot of stations are still out right now. I assumed it was like that everywhere but I guess just north Texas/DFW. You can probably find the news on it, everyone was freaking out. 

Other than all that, not much. We haven't been able to get back with our micro multitude, and the other lady that we taught with Elder Rodriguez his first day pretty much dropped us. We did help our Branch Mission Leader paint some on his house today, and his wife fed us tacos. Otherwise not a whole lot new. 

Sorry this letter is super short!
Elder Hogg