Monday, August 25, 2014

Rucker Got Baptized!

Don't Stop Believing!

I hope you are able to do all of the things you have planned with the Young Women.  Doing the Coastal Clean Up and the Mormon Battalion would be fun! Even better if you go to camp.  Also, I might not be able to email next week since it is Labor Day and the library will be closed.  So feel free to send me a letter :)

This week was awesome.  Monday we didn't really do anything.  I am going to try and fix that though.  This week is Sister Wahlen's last full week before she goes home, so we are determined to make it the best.  We had dinner with Chon, a recent convert, that night and had delicious pizza.  We also tried by a few potentials, but they weren't home, so we will try again.

Tuesday was amazing!  We went out to tract and the first door that opened let us right in.  I thought that was a little strange and as she left to go get us some water, I turned to Sister Wahlen and said "What are we going to teach?"  I am not used to people just letting us in! Turns out she is an inactive member and all of her brothers served missions so she was being nice to us.  She talked to us for an hour and she is really nice.  I think she still believes a lot of the same principles that are taught in the church, but just calls them something different.  

The same afternoon we went to see another less active that we tracted into, Will.  We brought a member with us and it was great.  Will is very open and freely asks questions, which is great.  We were able to resolve some of his concerns and discover new ones which was good.  We also invited him to the ice cream social the ward was having on Saturday and he said he would think about it.  It wasn't a no, awesome!  

Zone Conference:  Me, Sis Davis, Elders Elder Petersen, Kuila and Fa'a 
On Wednesday we had Zone Conference.  It was really cool because I was able to see Sister Davis and that was fun.  It is always nice to see your past companions and talk to them.  We got really good training by President.  He taught on the Restoration, the super detailed, mixed with history, version that we will probably never teach to anyone. I really liked it though because I love history.  It was really neat to see how the great apostasy correlated with history.  I think I will be looking at history with a much more gospel tint now.  I got a little lost on the way home and our dinner canceled, but it was all good.  We had lots of fun together anyway, got a Frosty, and had some fun tracting.

Thursday was weekly planning as usual, and for once it didn't take forever.  Would of been done sooner if we were better at focusing. I should rephrase, if I were better at focusing.  We got it done though, that is what matters.  We were able to see two investigators.  We were only able to stop by Dolly's long enough to drop off a French Book of Mormon and chat a little before she had to leave.  Then we went to see Virginia.  Unfortunately, she doesn't want anymore visits once Sister Wahlen leaves because she will be too busy and might be moving.  Oh well. Maybe another time.

On Friday we did a lot of walking, but for once it wasn't super humid.  It was just hot.  But the work must go on and so we went tracting!  We also tried to stop by a couple of people that had previously shown interest with one of our ward missionaries, but they weren't home.  Sister Belbin is super awesome though and it was nice just to walk with her a bit and listen to her stories.  We  had a fun dinner with a family and they only gave me slightly a hard time for going to BYU.  They both went to the University of Utah and are very proud of it. For those similar to I was before my mission, BYU and U of U  have a very large and intense rivalry.  We had an appointment to teach one of the new member lessons with Chon that evening, and it turned into more of a discussion, which is even better.  When the learner does more of the talking (on topic of course), it is much better than if we are just spouting doctrine.  You learn much better when you are talking and teaching than if someone else is doing it.

Rucker got baptized
Saturday was the best day ever!  Rucker got baptized!!!!!!!  It was a little sketchy for a while because we almost couldn't found a ride, but we found one. Then we were late because she missed the turn, we had to turn around, and there was a lot of traffic.  But we made it!!!!  I have never seen the Relief Society room so full for a  baptism, it was great!!  There were so many of his friends, ward members, missionaries (at least 6 sets), and even his mother and grandmother.  It was great!  His best friend was able to baptize him and it was a wonderful thing to watch.  I was just so happy!!  Not because he was baptized however, though that was part of it.  I was full of joy because he had made the decision to follow the example of the Savior to be baptized and covenant to follow in His ways.  It was great.  
Rucker, Me, and his best friend Batchlor -I just noticed that Rucker's eyes are closed! :(
After the service our ride took us to lunch (so nice of her), and brought us home.  We didn't have a dinner that night, and we weren't too hungry anyway.  We wanted to eat something before the ward ice cream social though, so we had the super random dinner of a peach and some lemonade for me, and a banana and yogurt for Sister Wahlen.  We went to the ward activity and Will came!!  We were so excited.  The Elders Quorum president came up and introduced himself and then introduced him to some other guys in the ward and they talked all night, it was great!  

We then went to go see another woman in the ward and it was the neatest experience.  I felt the Spirit working through me to help her.  She had a question about something and I thought of a scripture.  I couldn't find it and then another came into my head.  Just what she needed to hear.  I then had the thought pop into my head to ask her if she had dedicated her home.  She had never even heard of dedicating homes.  It was just the greatest thing to have words come out of my mouth that I knew were not from me, but from the Holy Ghost specifically for her.  It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

Sunday was good as always.  It is amazing how the same lesson topic, from the material, can be so different.  Each ward's Relief Society lesson was from the talk "If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments" from Elder Hales this last conference.  They were both really great though.  I feel so blessed to experience two wards!  We went to dinner and discovered another family there from the ward as well.  Always slightly awkward as a missionary who is new to the ward.  It was good though.  Afterwards we went to Autumn Leaves for our usual Sunday evening sing along.  Only, our pianist wasn't there.  She forgot to tell us she wouldn't be able to make it today.  We were all freaking out a little because none of us can play any hymns.  So we sang a little a capella.  Then the family that had signed up to come walked in and said that the kids had a few songs they were going to play and sing, I sent a prayer up to heaven.  That is exactly what we needed to save the day!  It turned out alright, but it would have been a lot of awkward, music-less, singing if it weren't for them! 

It was a pretty good week, but this week is only going to be better!

Sister Hudgens

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My One Year Mission Anniversary!

One Year Mission Anniversary!
With Sisters Brown and Possin and Sis Wahlen

Sounds like an eventful week.  I am glad your car is working and that everything is worked out.  I still don't know what I did to make such an impact on Brother Whittmore's granddaughter.  I just wouldn't try and force her to learn if she wasn't ready.  Let her figure out the consequences for herself.  Tell Heidi I expect to get my skirts back when I come home.  She has never wanted to wear my clothes before, I don't know why she wants to now!  Did I suddenly get more fashionable?

Monday was a good day.  I always love Mondays. What missionary or missionary family doesn't?  after all of our P-day fun (which involved us sitting in our apartment writing letters and catching up on house work,and spending forever trying to print pictures at Walmart), we had dinner with the Getschers.  We get there, knock on the door, and no one answers.  We go down the steps, put some letters in the mail box and try again.  Still no answer.  We decided to give them a few more minutes and we wait in our car with the air on.  Thank goodness for air conditioning.  I am sure it was inspired by God.  There are many days where you step outside and you become instantly sticky with sweat and you can just be standing there and feel it drip down your back.  Not very appealing.  

So, anyway, we waited in the car and it wasn't but a few minutes until the family arrived.  We had a lovely pizza dinner and then said our farewells since they are moving on Friday.  We then went walking around and met some really cool people.  One that was interested in a church tour and another that accepted a Book of Mormon and told us we could come back.  I think she let us come back because we passed the dog test. She said her dog only barks at bad people and that we must be good since she didn't bark at us.  We then went next door to the Guzman's and though Sister Guzman wasn't home, we sat on the porch with her daughter and some water while we waited for her to come home.  It started raining, but you couldn't tell because the water evaporated almost as soon as it hit the side walk.  It was an awesome day!

Tuesday was an adventure.  We had planned to do the lawn of one of our investigators.  Her lawn was a bit out of control and we were happy to help.  So we called up the elders and a guy in the ward who was working with Shirley before his mission and we set off! Only thing was, Shirley called us that morning and said that she didn't have any equipment.  So we called Alex, and he said he had some, but he couldn't transport it because he rides a motorcycle.  We then loaded an edger and some clippers in our little Ford Fusion, but we couldn't manage to get a lawn mower in there.  Note to all, you can fit a toddler's toy car in a Cruze, but you can't fit a lawn mower in a Fusion. We go to Shirley's dropped off the equipment, then we went to a near by member's house and asked if we could borrow their lawn mower.  She said yes and take two of her children too.  So she dropped of the lawn mower and her two oldest children, and we, the elders, and Alex all got to work!  The edger ran out of gas before we could finish, but it looks a lot better now.  We are going to get the young men to organize themselves and finish the front yard and start on the back.  

Our dinner canceled so we wen tot this super awesome sandwich pace called Which Wich and went about trying to find 25 people to talk to.  As we are walking around the park I get the most amazing and wonderful text ever from the elders back in Katy 4: Rucker has a baptismal date for Tuesday.  I seriously did the happy dance right in the middle of the park.  I could not stop smiling.  We also got 25 ITL's that day! We actually got at least 25 everyday this week except for Monday and Sunday.  It was amazing!  Rucker's date has been moved since then and it is now for Saturday.  Saturday will not come fast enough!

On Wednesday, we helped a lady in our wad clean her house.  Sister Wahlen cleaned windows while I dusted and got the cobwebs off the walls.  It was a fun way to spend the morning.  We were also able to see the really cool neighbor of one of our members. Her name is Dolly and she has and quite the interesting life. Last time we saw her we left some chapters from the Book of Mormon on forgiveness since she asked how it was possible when someone has hurt you so many times. When we went over she told us that she read over what we left her several times and each time something else stood out.  She just thanked us for the scriptures again and again. It was so sweet and it testified to me that the Book of Mormon really can help us solve our problems and live the doctrine of Christ.  It was just a super awesome day :)

Thursday!  Official year day.  We spent most of the day in the apartment doing weekly planning and updating our new map since the old one is now in three pieces.  After weekly planning we went to Sonic (which is right by our apartment) and got milkshakes for happy hour.  A much needed pick me up since we weren't having dinner until 7.  We then took a member from our ward tracting with us.  She leaves for her mission to Argentina in November, so this is great experience!  We did church tours at 6 since someone told us they would come, but they didn't. We were able to talk to lots of people though!  

One Year Anniversary Cake

We then went to dinner at the Parkers, our usual Thursday night place.  Sister Parker is recently reactivated, her husband isn't a member, and her daughter is a recent convert.  It is a pretty great household.  We had chicken watermelon salad for dinner.  It sounds really gross and I was worried at first, but it actually tastes really good.  We left dinner and we had to find just one more person to talk to. We were kind of freaking out and wondering where we could go.  Sister Wahlen said she felt like frozen yogurt, but didn't want frozen yogurt, so we went to the frozen yogurt place.  There was a trader Joe's right next to it, so we decided to go there instead and we got to talk to a really nice girl there and she seemed pretty interested, so we gave her a card. The Lord works in mysterious ways.  Never ignore a frozen yogurt prompting. Then we came home and saw the Oak Ridge sisters leaving the mailbox.  They live in our apartment complex and came out the same time I did.  They invited us to come to their apartment and celebrate our year day with cake, ice cream, and balloons which one of their mom's had sent them.  It was really fun!

One Year Anniversary Party

Friday was district meeting and President  Mortensen came to ours.  A little intimidating.  I think our district leader elder McKell was about to have a heart attack before the meeting started he was so nervous.  He did great though and we all learned a lot.  We then had some lunch and went to meet with the bishop of the first ward to talk about the work in the area.  We had an awesome meeting with Shirley and then tracting and dinner.  It was 8:30 at night and we still needed 4 more people to talk to and we were running around with our heads cut off again trying to find 4 more people.  After visiting the Kroger and the CVS, we managed it and felt relieved going home.

It's really HOT here!
Saturday we walked to the library and we thought we picked the right way, but we didn't.  There was not a path the whole way like we thought there was.  Luckily a member saw us walking along the grass on the side of the road and took mus to our destination.  We took the right way with a path on the way back.  We ate some lunch and then went out and tried by potentials and some members and then went to dinner at IHOP with a member (be jealous Heidi).  While there she brought the community magazine to help us find community event to go to so we could talk to 25 people.  We asked her who told her that we had to talk to 25 people and she said she had accidentally stumbled across my blog.  That was hilarious and I really hope I wrote nice things.  

This squirrel was just laying there.  It was creepy.  Another one charged us. 
(Tamra- I posted that for you to remind you of those squirrels in Idaho)

Sunday was awesome as usual.  The second ward had ward conference so that was cool.  No time for lunch this week though, that was kind of a bummer, but that just means I had extra room for dinner!  We had a great dinner and then went to Autumn Leaves and sang.  A less active member of our ward brought a guitar and mixed things up a bit, it was really neat.  We then stopped by a super awesome part member family and she fed us second dinner.  It was too good not to eat.

I hope life is good and all is all, that y'all are reading your scriptures and praying everyday!

Sister Hudgens

Bow Ties are Cool-- from my One Year Anniversary Party

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Loving 6 hours of Church every Sunday

Zone Pic

Sounds like a pretty nice week.  Speaking of Heidi and Grace starting school again brings back to my mind the fact that I went into the MTC the same day they started school last year.  So I guess it is official, this week I have been out a year!  It is super crazy to think like that.  It makes me feel old.  I am not usually around missionaries that have been out more than a transfer less than me, so when I do see those younger missionaries it makes me feel so old!  I know you don't like to hear it, but I don't want to go home! This is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life, but it has been the best thing for me. I love being a missionary!

This week wasn't too exciting. I feel like I have done a lot of driving though!  I am the designated driver since Sister Wahlen has seizures.  Something I found out once I got here!  She never told me when we were in Parkway.  We went on an adventure to find a new map for us to use since the one we have has torn along the folds and is now in two, almost three pieces.  Whenever we do new things or have no idea what we are doing, I call it adventuring.  Makes things sound a little more fun and exciting.  Since we did a lot of driving this week, we also had to do a lot of walking, so we spent most of our afternoons walking around the paths that are everywhere around The Woodlands.

I was able to meet a family that the sisters have been working with for a while.  The mom, Candace, and her children were doing most of the investigating.  Candace is not receiving any support from her husband, family, and friends, so it has been hard for her and she has decided to stop learning more.  She is still super friendly and loves us, but it is too hard without any support.  She loves the Bible and talks about Christ and religion all the time. Hopefully we will get to teach her more when the time is right.

On Wednesday we had a miracle! We were going tracting before dinner and we decided to knock on a few more doors before we went to another area.  The last door we knock on a man answers and tells us he was actually baptized a member when he was 20 living in California.  It was awesome!  We were able to answer a couple of his questions and have a good discussion with him on the porch for about 40 minutes.  We got his contact info and invited him to church.  He didn't come, but we will get him there!  We also went walking along the paths that night (no surprise, we do that almost every evening) and there were two kids coming by on bike.  Sister Wahlen held out some pass along cards with the Salt Lake temple on them and they took them as they rode by.  We then hear behind us, "I got a picture!  What did you get?"  "I don't know, but it looks cool!"  It was so great! We just got to laugh a little bit at their enthusiasm.  Tender mercy of the Lord.

On Friday we had zone meeting and it was awesome!  First they announced a new thing that President Mortensen is trying.  It is called a zone competition.  It is basically like the House Cup tournament in Harry Potter.  We get points based on if we turn in our vehicle reports on time, stay within our miles, obey the rules, have clean apartments, stuff like that.  The zone will be able to see who got how many points, so they will be able to see who is bringing us down, and help each other.  It is to teach us that what we do effects others or something like that.  So basically, I have in my mind the whole time, 50 points for the Woodlands sisters for staying within their miles!  And the Spring Zone wins the house cup!  Not super missionary minded, but really fun!  On Friday we had dinner with a family that knew Brother Rascon growing up.  That was pretty cool.

Sunday was great!  You said you love going to church, well I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to go to 6 hours of church!!!  I love it!  I am just amazed at the spirit I can feel, and even though some of the same lessons are given, how different they all are.  There was a missionary homecoming in the 1st ward and a farewell in the 2nd ward.  The one that came home went 30 minutes over, I have never seen a bishop have to stop someone before and I thought it would be done a lot sooner.  But it was a good talk.  Our investigator came to church in 2nd ward, Shirley.  She is great. She has been investigating for  a long time, but she is finally making progress I think.  What was really cool though was that a family in the ward just came up and invited her over for dinner, it was great.  I just love Sunday!!  And I love being a missionary!

Sister Hudgens

Monday, August 4, 2014

Reunited with Sister Wahlen!

Reunited with Sister Wahlen

Talking about getting my school stuff figured out kind of felt like someone stabbed me in the heart.   

I am now in The Woodlands!  I cover two wards, the 1st and 2nd ward.  The super crazy news of the week.....Sister Wahlen is my companion again!  It is kind of poetic.  She became my companion when I had been out 6 weeks, and now we are companions again for her last 6 weeks.  I will be sad to see her go, but I am happy to be with her again.  We email at a library here and I only have an hour, so if my email is rushed, that's why!   

Moving Day
So my week in review.  Monday was a sad day for Sister Goodrich and I.  We both had to pack and clean out the apartment.  We were pretty sure elders were coming in (they did), so we had to make it look like we took care of our apartment and our car.  We spent the day cleaning and saying goodbye to our favorite people, then Camille came home with us to help Sister Goodrich pack.  She had a lot of stuff.  I wrote a note for the new set of missionaries so they would know the basics of the Katy 4th ward.  

Sisters who served in Parkway
Tuesday was transfer day.  We made the long trek to the mission office and waited to find out where we were going.  I was able to see Sister Davis, and that    was pretty nice.  When I saw I was being transferred to Sister Whalen's area, I did a little freak out happy dance.  Sister Goodrich got transferred to my district, so I was really happy that I would still be able to see her often.  I also saw Sister Canfield and all the sisters who served in Parkway were there, so we took a big group picture.  It was pretty awesome.  

Missionaries in The Woodlands
The Woodlands is great.  As the name suggests, it has lots of trees.  Tons of trees.  All of the buildings are hidden by trees!!!  It is crazy!  There are actually hills too.  It is not flat and houses everywhere I look.  There are shopping centers and hills and houses and trees everywhere!  It is very different from the other areas I have served.  There are also elders serving in the same wards I am, Elder Steed and Elder Fa'amusili.  Elder Fa'a served in my district in Katy, so it was nice to see him again.

The rest of the week we saw investigators (we have investigators) and every other evening or so we sit outside our church building with a sign and ask people if they want to take a tour of our church.  It is pretty fun and we get to talk to lots of people!  I have been bit by more bugs this week than my entire mission. I have now started using bug spray. 

 Since we cover two wards, we go to both wards for church, so six hours of church, plus another hour in between, and another hour for meetings in the morning.  So we were at church for about 8 hours yesterday, and I loved it!!  I love going to two church blocks!  It is awesome!  And since  it was fast Sunday, none of the lessons overlapped, even better.  

Oh, and Tuesday as I was leaving Katy, I caught a cold.  I thought it was allergies at first, but it is still here, so I have had a cold.  I am much better now though, just a little congested and a cough.  

I am so happy to be here!  I love it already!  I am looking forward to my time here in The Woodlands!

Sister Hudgens

P.S.- mom asked me what chicken foot was-- it's basically BINGO with cards