Friday, February 28, 2014

Bike Wannabe and Smurfs

I really want to ride a bike again and this is the best that I can do!

Sounds like you had a busy week like always.  I can understand how being out and about and interacting with lots of people is hard and exhausting.  It is one of the hardest parts about being on a mission for me. I am not the most sociable of people and it is hard for me to keep conversations going and especially to start it.  We had a couple of P-Days in a row where we didn't have time to just relax and we were with members the whole time and I felt physically spent. Sometimes I just need a little time off from being a missionary.  To not be Sister Hudgens for a moment and be Holly for a little while.  It isn't usually long, but I do get it every once in a while!  

I love being a missionary but it is hard!!  I don't know what I thought of missionaries before, but it was something like they were spiritual giants and these amazing people, but now that I am a missionary I realize that putting on a name tag doesn't make you all those things.  Being a missionary is lots of preparation, prayer, a little bit of winging it and lot of reliance on the Lord! 

I know not everyone is able to focus on the Lord as much as we are able to everyday because this is our full time job right now.  I do know though that there are ways to bring the Lord into our lives everyday.  I know you and many others are busy.  Lots of members listen to the scriptures or conference talks on their way to work.  Did you know your phone will play them directly from the gospel library app?  

Life is stressful, but Heavenly Father knows.  I encourage you to read Mosiah 24.  The Lord won't take our burdens away, but he will make our backs stronger.  

Has Kari asked for a priesthood blessing?  I know you say she is on the mend but I know that it will help her not only physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  The gospel is such a blessing in all of our lives.  It is a way to focus on things that matter most.  

We had stake conference this weekend and one of the counselors gave a great talk about focusing our lives on the things that matter most.  The Savior made time to suffer the children to come unto Him when the apostles said he was too busy.  He tarried a little longer after appearing to the Nephites to heal their sick and bless their little ones.  We have to take time for the little things that will make a big difference in our lives. I can't promise that your schedule or your situation will resolve itself with a wave of a magic wand, but I can promise you that as you offer up your heart to our Father in Heaven and express what is weighing you down, he will invite you to take His yoke upon you. "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30).  I hope you don't find this preachy or that I am telling you what to do.  I just know that it works.  I love you and want you to be happy.  That is why I am on a mission, to share this great plan of happiness that a kind and loving Heavenly Father has prepared for His children.

I guess I will end that and let you know how I am doing.  This week has been long and busy, yet fast.  We did a lot of walking this week to conserve miles.  We knew we would be driving to the church a lot since it was stake conference.  Stake conference was so great!  This Saturday session was all about 
Sis Davis matches the smurf themed fire hydrant
hastening the work of salvation and we had many great speakers.  They had converts and the ones who had introduced them to the gospel tell their stories, a recently returned missionary who was authorized to use the internet for proselyting tell us how its done and what the members can do to help, and President Pingree spoke as well.  They all spoke about the power of the everyday missionary and how we can bring others unto Christ through small and simple means.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.   The Sunday session was similar and these two nine year old girls spoke.  I was very impressed!  They didn't seem nervous at all and they did an excellent job.  You are never to young to share the gospel!


I hope the next week is better and that you will be able to find rest unto your soul even though life is running crazy around you.


Sister Hudgens

Pine Mill ranch is now in my area- the windmill is cool!


Monday, February 17, 2014

First Transfer!

New Companion Sister Davis

Sounds like a busy, busy week!!! I am glad you are learning to delegate.  I don't want you to collapse or have something else happen to you because you have no time for yourself.  

Transfer Day
I am now in the Katy 4th ward! It is at the very bottom part of our mission. If we cross on of the roads we aren't in our mission anymore.  My new companion is Sister Davis from Logan, Utah and we are in a car.  I am so sad!!!  I am going to miss riding my bike all the time.  I tried to convince Sister Davis we could ride here, but she doesn't like bikes so no biking for me.  I have let Sister Carling, my replacement in Parkway, borrow my bike until she can get one, so it feels very final that I will not be riding for a while.  Oh well, I guess it will give my knees and my ankle a rest.  
So this is a very different area than I am used to.  It is a very affluent area, and we can't tract otherwise they call the cops on us for soliciting their time.  It is kind of lame.  So the sisters here have been working with the soon to be 8 year olds and teaching them. That means we have lots of baptisms!  

Lemonade Stand
My first day here we went to go help at the mutual activity.  They did a Carnival of Life thing like we did for youth conference a few times.  It was fun.  We went around and were telling the kids to go play the spiritual games. This ward is huge!!!  Lots of people, kids, and youth. Very different from little Parkway full of children under 12, and with no youth.  I am learning to love it here though.  We live in an apartment and I have double the closet space!!!  It is all good.

Oh and cookies.  I like the Caramel de Lites, Thin Mints, and those new orange cranberry ones.  Thank you!!


Love Sister Hudgens






Tuesday, February 11, 2014


6 Month Anniversary
Sounds like you are having quite the busy time!  I am sure it will all come together.  The Lord will not let you fail.  He called you to be the YW President and besides wanting you to succeed, it would make Him look bad if you failed!  The Lord Qualifies whom He calls.  I think President Monson said that.  I know how you feel though.  This last week in zone meeting (when all the missionaries in the stake gather for training) the missionaries all shared the dates that they were having baptisms and the miracles happening in their areas.  I felt like I was about to cry because I felt so inadequate.  There hasn't been a baptism in this area for over a year, we have no progressing investigators, we haven't found a new investigator in weeks, and the investigators we do have we can hardly manage to get appointments with.  We have been looking at what we were doing that might be impairing the Spirit and were striving to be exactly obedient.  We are developing our faith and putting everything we have into the area, but we still weren't having much success.  I had to step back and remind myself that other people have their agency and that I can't make anyone do anything.  I do know that the Lord has helped me, is helping me, and will continue to help me as long as I am relying on Him and exercising my faith everyday by studying my scriptures, praying, and opening my mouth so He can fill it with the words He would have me say.  
Anyways, on a more positive note, this week was great!  It snowed this week, well as close as it gets to snow in this part of Texas.  I had to take pictures because it may not happen again.  It was gone by the afternoon anyway.  But it has been really cold here lately, which has caused the garage door keypad to not work. If Sister Canfield is home she will open it for us, but when she isn't we have to go to the back door.  One time we went and we had forgotten about the alarm.  So we open the door and this loud, piercing sound goes off!  I had to hurry and run to the alarm and shut it off before it called the police.  Luckily it didn't, or that would have been awkward.  We did a lot of service this week.  We took some family history stories that Sister Canfield had gotten from somewhere and typed them up and put them on her computer.  They were written in this fancy cursive script that was kind of hard to decipher, but it was fun.  I deciphered the handwriting since I write in cursive and Sister Wahlen typed.  We went to the quilting bee on Saturday too.  We got there late though, so we missed all the quilting.  We were able to enjoy the speakers though and the luncheon!  



We had a miracle this week.  We were going to Cottage Gardens via the secret path we discovered last week and on the way we saw Mark, one of our investigators, out walking his dog.  It was a miracle because we hadn't been able to see them for a while and then we just run into him (not literally, we were on our bikes, that might have hurt).  We were able to touch base with him and it was a really neat experience.  We didn't end up having time to go to Cottage Gardens, but I think we accomplished what the Lord wanted us to do.

I am being transferred tomorrow.  I can't believe it!  Well I can, I have been here for 6 months.  I have had such a great experience here in Parkway and with Sister Wahlen though, I am sad to leave.  I don't know where I am going, but I know that I am going where the Lord needs me.  It should be exciting what is going to happen in the next few weeks!  I just hope I am still able to ride my bicycle.  I love being on a bike!!  I hope y'all have a great week and I am sending home a box today.  It mostly contains all the letters I have received over the last 6 months, but it also has my stocking and something for Heidi.  So look for it!


Sister Hudgens

Monday, February 3, 2014

Toe Warmers!

Sis Hudgens & Wahlen

That is a long busy week!!  Too bad Heidi isn't aloud to drive by herself yet or you would have a handy extra driver.  I am sorry to see that Dad isn't feeling well, but I am glad that Grandpa has been a help.  
(After my bike accident) I just walked when I had a cane, but now I can walk unassisted and it is actually easier to ride my bike.  Crazy huh?  
By the way, I got someone to make pepper steak for me.  Wasn't as good.  She said she didn't follow the directions and in my head I was like, "Why would you do that!?!"  It was good, but not like it is supposed to be.  I will just have to make it myself one of these days.  

I also made pancakes last Sunday from scratch because I really just wanted a pancake Sunday.  Members have given us breakfast for dinner, but pancakes on Sunday morning is just tradition.  We didn't have any Bisquick, so we got a recipe to make them from scratch.  We used wheat flour instead of regular (ok), applesauce instead of eggs (ok), and Sister Wahlen wouldn't let us use some of Sister Canfield's huge gallon of milk so we used water instead (not ok).  They were really bland because she also wouldn't put the butter in the batter.  She likes to cook healthy if you didn't notice. I am just glad that I put chocolate chips in mine, otherwise they would have had absolutely no flavor and would not have been worth eating.  I will just have to plan ahead next time.

This has been a long crazy week for me too.  On Monday we went to Walmart as usual and we were just looking at the clearance stuff when an employee asked us for the time.  I think she saw our name tags because she then asked us to pray for her.  naturally this peaked our interest and after talking with her for a bit we exchanged contact information.  Our mission president has said that Walmart in the Celestial kingdom for finding investigators, so this was exciting.  She even texted us this morning saying she had changed her number and to give us the new number.  We are looking forward to making an appointment with her.

Tuesday was the cold day. For the first time in my life I used hand and toe warmers. I didn't even know they made toe warmers!  You just stick them to the bottom of our socks for toasty warm toes!  They are great! It didn't actually snow, but they closed the schools, ice fell from the sky and created a thin layer of ice, and it was really cold all day.  No one told me about that when I got called to Houston!  But I survived and it was fine.  Still have all my fingers and toes anyway.

Toes and hand warmers

We made treats for one of the member's neighbors on Wednesday.  They are potential investigators and Sister Farnsworth told us that they love sweets, so we figured that would be a good way to introduce ourselves.  We also stopped by mutual to talk to the Young Women about doing missionary work.  They were too busy playing basketball to talk though so we went home.  The big interfaith quilting bee is coming up here so we went to a members house to work on binding some quilts.  I got the hang of it, but Sister Wahlen just gave up.  I did manage to break one of the needles though!

On Friday we helped a member set up for a stake activity days activity before district meeting.  We were put to the task of using the air compressor to blow up something like 260 balloons.  Sister Wahlen literally tied balloons til her fingers bled.  I had to tell her that we should switch and she was like, "Yeah, maybe we should", so I tied the rest while she blew them up.
Hidden pathway to Cottage Gardens

On Saturday we managed to trek through some bushes and find/forge a new path to one of the neighborhoods we had previously been unable to get to on out bikes. Now we can get to all of our neighborhoods except for one.  For now.  Eventually we hope to find another secret path as we like to call them.  Only thing is that it takes us 45 minutes to get there, but at least we don't have to have to worry about getting a ride now!  
We went to a member's house for dinner that night and I mentioned that I like to put stickers on my letters and she gave us a bunch that she doesn't use. So if my letters have a bunch of random Lisa Frank stickers on them, that's why.  

I hope y'all are having a great week and that you can keep your busy lives from totally wearing you down!

Love, Sister Hudgens