Monday, September 30, 2013

Went to the Houston Temple- Beautiful like a castle

I thought I might tell you a little bit about how every week seems to go.  Every morning I have toast with peanut butter and either a banana or yogurt.  Not the most exciting, but then again I usually have a snack during studies anyway.  

For exercise, we do a couple of different things.  My companion will run around the retention pond while I walk, we will ride our bikes, or just do some exercises indoors.  It is usually not too bad outside, just a little humid.  Though one time it was raining a bit and we came home dripping wet.  It is all good though!  We love biking in the rain! (Only half joking)  We study, eat lunch, and usually leave the house around one.  If it is raining a lot, or threatens to rain, we try to visit people. We have to plan very carefully.  Rain can come suddenly and hard!  

We have dinner at five usually and we always have a dinner appointment.  We get some pretty great food!  Afterwards we usually street contact until dark and then visit people if we don't have an appointment.  And that is how my day usually goes!  It sometimes varies if we decide to go contacting or tracting, but there aren't many places to go! Our area is pretty small.

Houston Temple
I went on exchanges this week.  So I traded places with another sister and went to the Magnolia area.   My temporary companion was Sis. Folsum and it was quite a different experience!  Magnolia is a lot more country and they have a car.  They live with a member and one of the girls that lives there leaves on a mission in December so she goes out with them all the time.  It was very different, being in a car and with a different companion.  I discovered that I don't like the car because I feel like a lazy bum because all I do is snack and sit there.  Though I did enjoy the music.  Can’t really get that on a bike.  Sis. Seymour got the iPod her mom sent her this week, so we have had music in our room, and it is crazy the difference it makes.  It just makes me happy and excited listening to the Disney, musicals, soundtracks, and hymns she has on there.

We took a less active family to the temple this week and had a lesson with them.  It was such a great experience to be there on temple grounds and to be able to feel the spirit.  It was their first time there and mine too! The Houston temple is beautiful.  It looks like a castle.  The family really felt the spirit and wanted to come back. It was a great night.

We had a lesson at the Houston Temple Grounds

Holly at Houston Temple

Afterwards they took us to get some McDonalds Ice cream and it made me think of dad and his u-turns.

I have been in Texas a whole month now and it is super exciting!!! And to make that day extra special we were able to contact a referral and he decided to come to church.  He loved it, even though it was a really weird Sunday since it was fast and testimony meeting and a 5th Sunday.  He loved the music though and even wanted to go bear his testimony, but thought he had better wait a few months so he would sound more educated and less like a black man.  He was hilarious!  I was just glad he didn't hear anything weird during testimony meeting.  Did you know that fast Sunday is a missionary’s worst fear for a new investigator?  It is, it is very nerve racking because you don’t know if someone is going to get up and say something crazy or bring something that sounds really weird.  So be nice to the missionaries and give a really nice testimony on fast Sunday.

The Relief Society broadcast was amazing and I hope that you were able to see it.  I loved learning more about how to keep our covenants and what they are more exactly.  It will really help me teach others how to do so.  I especially like President Monson's talk, it was amazing.  I can’t wait for General Conference and we already have people set up to watch conference with and then have dinner afterwards.  I can't wait for General Conference and I hope you all are looking forward to it too!

Love Sister Hudgens  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Zombie Tag?

You asked about how my days go?  We'll here goes!!!  Last week for P-day we played zombie tag.  There was a "zombie" and that person would tag everyone else and then they would drop the glowstick they were wearing and become zombies too.  It was a lot of fun and kind of exhausting. I am learning to how to shoot hoops better so that I don't look to awful playing with everyone else. I practice before everyone gets there and we start the activities.  I throw like a water polo player though, with one hand and everyone looks at me funny, but it works for me!  

We went to a member’s house after dinner and taught their niece the restoration.  She is staying with them for the school year and one of the conditions is that she has to go to church and seminary.  They are studying the Book of Mormon in seminary this year and with her coming to church every week, they are practically doing half the work for us!! Getting investigators to come to church is always the hardest part.  We taught her again on Saturday when we went over there for dinner and I think it is going well.  She is quiet and doesn't say much so it is hard to know.

On Tuesdays, we usually go to a less active member's house for lunch and talk to her a little bit. Her son is some sort of soccer super star, so that is their priority right now instead of church.  She wasn't there though and we were confused because she runs a day care and she doesn't usually leave.  When
Biking off into the Sunset
we stopped by later we saw her and she told us that some friends had come unexpectedly and were now staying with her.   We were able to see another one of our less active sisters on Tuesday and really help her out.  She said she was having a hard time that day and that she knew that God had sent us to her to help her and comfort her.  We invited her to the Relief Society activity that night and she came and it seemed like she had a wonderful time.

Wednesday was kind of rough.  We finished priming a member's chairs so she could paint them.  This was the third time we had gone over to help her.  We didn't mind at all because then she will make us lunch.  Afterward we rode our bikes across the train tracks into another neighborhood and tried to visit some people, and it seemed like no one was home.  We did end up being able to see someone, Sister Brown.  She is a great woman and a fabulous painter.  She does great portraits!  After visiting, we went to an appointment with an investigator.  As soon as she walked in, she said that she was going to be her church.  We were really bummed and tried to get her to at least come to our church once so she could see the difference, but she wasn't feeling it.   I was completely dumbfounded and didn't know what to say.  It is a good thing that Sister Seymour and the member we brought with us found some words because I had no idea what to say. We also saw a potential investigator that we had really hoped would be great, but he said his wife didn't want to learn more so he didn't want to go against her.  

Our teaching pool really shrunk this week with another investigator in Louisiana helping her mom and another in the hospital (again).  We were really bummed, but we took a step back and tried to see if we were doing anything that might be keeping us from being fully obedient.  We then decided that we would have to have the faith that the Lord would help us find people to teach and that all we had to do was keep being obedient and have faith that the Lord would help us.

Thursday completely made up for the day before, it was fantastic!!!  As we knelt down to pray before we began our weekly planning session, we asked that we would find people to teach.  Like 30 seconds after our prayer, we got a referral from the church referral hotline.  I was so happy I started literally jumping for joy.  We contacted the referral and set up an appointment for the next day.  The referral came with contact information for the person who submitted the referral so we decided to call her up to see if she would come with us.  We went to call her and realized that the last digit of her phone number was missing.  We started to get a little sad when I had a great idea: call the number and had the last digit, one at a time starting with 0. So we did and at the number 7, we got a winner!!  We told her we had an appointment and she said she would love to come.  In the afternoon, we went out to visit members again.  As it was coming closer to the time for us to be picked up for dinner, we started walking to a member's house to wait for our ride. As we were walking, it started to rain and we were terrified.  When it starts to rain here, it can turn into a downpour an in the snap of your fingers.  So we started running for the front porch of a member to get undercover before then.  We got there and they weren't home, but they had a nice front porch with chairs so we just waited for our dinner appointment to pick us up.  It was a good thing we got undercover because it did start pouring.  After dinner, we had an appointment with a couple we had been trying to see for a while.  We read 3 Nephi 11 with them and at the part where Christ descends from heaven and appears to the Nephites, the spirit was so strong it was just hammering in my chest and I knew they had to feel it too.  They did and the wife was like, you guys have a case.  We committed them to a soft baptism, which means that if they come to know these things are true, they will be baptized.  It was so exciting and made us so happy!!!!  

On Friday, it was pretty gloomy outside.  There was a tropical storm that passed over that day so the threat of rain was scary.  Sister Canfield, the lady we live with left for a trip that morning and we were sad to see her go.  It is so great living with her, and just having someone home when you get there is great.  We had a district meeting with the missionaries that serve in our area (three companionships), and then went home to have lunch after.  It was pouring when we were done so we called Sister McQuay and she took us to her house and we watched bible videos and Mormon messages for the hour of time we get each week.  

When time was up, we went home and since it wasn't raining too bad we put on our jackets and biked to a member that didn't live too far away.  We had a great visit, challenged her to share a mormon message with her friend and then biked home.  It was really raining by that time, but not quite pouring yet.  I am pretty sure the thunder we kept hearing and the threat of a downpour spurred me on to bike harder and faster than I ever have before!!!  It was kind of crazy, and we were laughing the whole way home because we were biking, in the rain, in skirts.  We were super excited to have that lesson with our referral guy, but half an hour before the lesson the member we were going to go with canceled because her parents wouldn't let her drive the hour to get there in  the pouring rain and it was raining hard.  So we scrambled for like 20 minutes, calling almost the entire ward directory looking for someone to go with us to the lesson.  Finally, someone picked up the phone and we were able to go.  The lesson was quite interesting.  He is a 22 year old guy for starters, we don't seem to teach anybody but old women.  The second interesting thing was the coffee table full of weed.  He said he forgot we were coming over, but he let us in any way.  It went really well and he seemed very open to what we said, so that was great.

On Saturday, it didn't rain at all like we thought it would.  But we were in a lot anyway because we had to prepare our Relief Society lesson.  Every fourth Sunday we teach Relief Society and the Laurels come in.  I guess it i
Sword Play
s their way of getting the YW used to going to Relief Society so they aren't freaked out.  I guess they also think it is better that they come when we teach because we aren't as scary or something.  I don't know.  The lesson was from a couple of talks from last conference, one of which talked about putting on the armor of God.  We thought it would be fun if we had a laurel model the armor for us, and so we scurried around the house trying to find
things to use.  We used an apron for the breastplate and the girdle, a bike helmet, and some sandals, a box for a shield, and a sword one of the other sister missionaries had.  Before you freak out, she collects medieval weapons so the Elders thought it would be funny to buy her a sword they found at a garage sale.  

After all of our studies were done, we once again decided to cross the tracks in an adventure into to the other neighborhoods.  Because of the rain though, there was a stream of water, just wide enough that you couldn't jump over it.  Again, I was hit with inspiration.  Use the bike pedal as a stepping stone.  Sister Seymour preformed it beautifully, but I lost my balance and stepped in the stream with one foot.  So with one wet foot we continued on. Sunday was great as always and it just makes me so happy to have this gospel.  Our lesson went great, or so everyone tells us and we had a delicious dinner.  I love being a missionary :)

Sister Hudgens

Sunday, September 22, 2013


A nice Sunday surprise-- a sister from Holly's ward sent me this in a text---

The cute Sisters taught RS today and we brought in the Laurels for it. They taught about putting on the whole armor of God and obeying the commandments and being obedient. They did a great job! They used my daughter Megan as a model as they dressed her in the 'armor'.  Megan has on her scary warrior face.  :-)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Check out the Countryside!

Walking around in the middle of nowhere!!  Just kidding.  
Just taking a shortcut between neighborhoods

A lot happened this week I guess-  All the birthdays, illnesses and surgeries.  Jamie really does look like her brothers with all her hair in a cap.  I had to do a double take.  I can't believe Grandma got an iPhone too, and the picture with her shirt wouldn't load!!  I bet she loves it though.  It was nice to see the picture of my friends.  I miss them and all of you guys when I actually have time to think about something other than missionary work, usually at night.  But I will just pull out our family picture and it will cheer me right up!!  

Tell Grace I really liked her card and the picture she drew in it.  It was my first letter I received while I have been in Texas and it felt really good.  I love the emails, but it feels nice to get that surprise in the mail.  I got a letter from Phil this week too and that was a great surprise too!

This is right around the corner from where I live.  
I guess when it rains a lot it fills with water.  
But this is what my area looks like.  Houses and drainage bogs

This week has been a little slow.  One of our investigators seemed to disappear.  She didn't show up to the baptism we were going to take her to so she could see one before her baptism, her phone would go straight to voicemail, and she wouldn't answer her door.  We visited her house and called her every day for a week and still nothing.  We finally got to see her on Friday and it turns out she had been so sick that it was the first time she had gotten out of bed all week.  She didn't even go to see her son at college so we know that she wasn't blowing us off.  We hope she will get better this week so we can go and visit her, teach her all the lessons, and she can get baptized in October!

I read a really great article in this month’s Ensign that I think everyone should read.  It is called "Rescued by the Gospel".  It uses the poem about the old violin and it was just so amazing.  You got to check it out.

This cat followed us around a whole block that we tracted.  
We named her Pumpkin.  I miss her
One of the sisters in our ward rode up to a RS board meeting in this sweet bike. 
 Sister Seymour and I are jealous.  We need to got us a bike like this

Last week at P-Day we had a Nerf war/capture the flag game and it was awesome.  They had got PVC pipes that were just big enough to fit a nerf dart in them and then we used them like blow guns.  It was super fun!  It was funny because at first all the elders wouldn't shoot me because I'm a sister.  After I repeatedly shot them (one elder in the part of his head sticking out from the barricade/table) they got over that.  It was fun though and I highly recommend it for any activity. 

I love you all and hope you are having missionary experiences each day.  It doesn't have to be big.  Just exposing someone to the gospel helps out a lot.  By small and simple things are great things come to pass!!

Sister Hudgens

P.S If you are going to send me anything I love M&M

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week of Miracles!

Shout outs-- thanks for the letter in the  MTC Elizabeth Betts  and the emails from Phil, Heidi, Grandma, and even Cashman!  I think I'll start writing letters to some of you to save on email time though. 

Mom, I'm happy that you still get to see my friends. Tell them to send me pictures of them doing stuff!!

I am so happy that the ward is getting sisters!!!  With all the new missionaries it is not surprising and I think the goal is to have elders and sisters in every ward. Sisters are awesome anyway.  Love the elders, but sisters are better!!

For P-day we went to the stake center to play basketball and dodge ball.  My companion made it
P-Day basket and dodge balls with elders
sound like all the sisters played, but it was just her! She is super sporty and even played on the men's club hockey team at BYU.  So after a while I started to play with them too and it is super fun.  Today there is supposedly going to be a Nerf war and I am super excited about that!  

Bikes aren't that bad, I am getting used to it and getting to enjoy it!  I might need a few more looser skirts though, because biking in a pencil skirt is really
Exploring other ways around a busy street like this RR
hard!  But it is good exercise because the members
feed us well every night and always have dessert!  I'm going to gain weight even on the bike at this rate!!! The members all almost fight over who gets to feed us and the calender is full the first week.  We try to challenge them to bring their non-members to
Adventure Time!
dinner and we are having one tomorrow night!  He is even excited that we are going to be there so I am happy.

This week was a week of miracles!!

Miracle #1 In the middle of the week we were out contacting in Cottage Gardens, all of the people we wanted to visit not being home. We were a little disappointed and decided to go visit one more less active, not really thinking they would be home. We were almost there when I saw a boy on his porch and waved, just trying to be friendly. Then to our surprise he said, "You the Mormons?" Startled we replied yes and immediately turned around and walked up to talk to him. Turns out this 17 year old boy had been baptized a few years ago, but moved or something and didn't want to go back by himself. We didn't even have his records in our ward! No one would ever had known he was there if we hadn't been led to try and go visit someone we hadn't even really believed would be there.

Miracle #2 After finding Drekell (the 17 year old), we were feeling giddy off the spirit. We went to visit a member, but they weren't home. Then it started to pour, and I had forgotten the wise words of Sister Seymour to always carry an umbrella, so I was
Refreshingly wet from rain and not sweat!
quickly soaked. Kind of enjoyed it, it was better than the sweat that was soaking me before. Anyway, we decided to visit a sister who was getting ready to go to the temple that lived relatively close and get out of the rain. Turns out she wasn't home, so we talked to her husband on the front porch for an hour. He has struggled with activity and his faith for a long time and being able to help him and just talk to him was a blessing.

Miracle #3 Two guys just walked into church!! The members are great and a few immediately walked over and started talking with them and got to know them and exchanged information. One was given a blessing and both were given copies of the Book of Mormon. One even asked is he could come back next week and bring his friends. It was so exciting!

Miracle #4 We found a family! We were out contacting in our normal dinner to dark hours. There was two women talking outside and we started a conversation. I didn't think it was going to go anywhere and then the husband came out. He told us to tell him what we believed and we prepared ourselves for what we thought was going to be a bible bash. But he really wanted to know! So we taught him and his family for like forty minutes, handed out some copies of the Book of Mormon and made an appointment for a return visit. Afterward we were so happy and excited that we had been able to experience so many miracles!!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Sister Hudgens