Sunday, November 30, 2014

Zone Conference

Zone Conference

So this week went by in a big blur.  I can't believe all that is packed into just 7 days!!!  I feel like we are always running from appointment to appointment (not always true, but when we are, we are running!)

Me with Sis Monterith
On Monday we drove to the Spring sisters' apartment so Sister Monterith and I could practice for Friday.  They have a little electric keyboard in their apartment.  We then went and taught a lesson to our  10 year old. it was the best lesson we ever had with him.  It was a short 20 minute appointment (just like we wanted) and we answered our questions well and remembered things that we had previously taught.  Then we went to dinner at the Vance's.  I always love going to their house because their family is similar to mine.  The sibling banter and all around humor is very home like :)  We went tracting for a bit and then we were able to stop by the home of a family we don't usually get in with and share a message, it was great.

Tuesday was a little crazy.  We stopped by to see some former investigators and potentials most of the day and then the evening is when it got busy.  We went to the home of our Russian investigator with two men from the ward so they could give her a blessing.  She is going to New York for two weeks and she was in a lot of pain from her back.  She also wanted her home blessed (which does not require the priesthood by the way, learned this on my mission).  It was a good experience and then after we were able to teach her a little bit.  It was actually more like seeing where she is at, because she has already read all of the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon a couple times.  So we set a date for her baptism and told her what she needed to do to prepare.  She said she would go to church in New York and tell us all about it.  

We then rushed to an appointment with someone we met tracting.  A member met us there and when the appointment fell through we brought her to see a couple that stopped investigating when I got here.  They let us right in and talked with us.  They shared a lot and Doug said that he had been reading lots of church books. He seems so interested in this gospel, but his wife is content where she is at and that is holding him back from pursuing this further.  It was a wonderful experience though and the Spirit was there.  The member that came with us loved it.  She a wonderful experience and even wrote them a thank you note for letting us come visit.  She is awesome.

On Wednesday we went to work at the Ranch in the morning and then went on exchanges in the afternoon.  I went to Spring with Sister Monterith and Sister Heaps stayed in our area with Sister Larsen.  After switching, we went to the family history center with a less active member to do some work on her line.  Since they had it taken care of, I worked on my stuff.  I found a lot of names to take to the temple when we go on Saturday.  There is lots of work to be done on our line family!!!  Lots!!  Y'all should do it and start taking names to the temple!!!  GO!!!  

Anyways....afterwards we went to teach their investigator who is getting baptized on Saturday.  Satan was hitting him hard all week so they go over everyday to help him stay strong. Things that weren't even a temptation before were tempting him.  He said, "Man, I was so tempted to get coffee today"  Sister Monterith, "You don't even like coffee!"  Just stay strong and hold on!!!  We then had dinner and it was delicious and we were able to share a great message with a less active family whose daughter is preparing for a mission.  It was a good day.

Thursday morning was Peter's interview, so we went to the church.  Sister Monterith and I were able to practice on a real piano for tomorrow.  I just kept praying that I would do well on the actual day, I was so nervous!!  The interview went really long, a hour and a half.  Usually they are no more than a hour, and that is considered long.  But he had some concerns that the district leader was able to take care of.  We then went to help this lady clean her house, and she was kind enough to take us to lunch afterwards.  We then switched back and Sister Heaps and I went home to do weekly planning.  

We were able to go to a less active/part member family's house for dinner and it was awesome.  I had never met them before, and she was really nice.  He isn't a member, but is hilarious.  We got along really well and I got a fist bump from him.  The family is really great and the son was asking us lots of questions about missions.  We will get him on one soon enough!  After dinner we went with a member to try by a few people that we had seen before.  There is a principle in missionary work that is true without exception if the missionaries are properly prepared with sufficient and good back up plans.  The principle is this: there are miracles when you bring members with you.  This evening was no exception.  We tried by one person and they weren't home, so we tried by another in the same neighborhood, just a lady that said we could come back.  She opened the door and was very shocked that we came back.  Said we were very persistent.  She then said she wasn't interested.  She mentioned she had just moved-in in May, and with a new baby didn't know anyone.  The member asked where she was from and found out that they had lived in the same area.  They instantly bonded and she invited her to a baby work out class she goes to and said she would be willing to walk around the neighborhood with her.  They exchanged information and became instant friends.  It was a wonderful experience and made us just so happy to see it happen.

On Friday we had zone conference.  We had it at the building I went to when I was in Parkway.  Made me very nostalgic.  It was a good conference and we received awesome training on the Plan of Salvation.  Our mission president likes to go over the lessons telling us a lot of detail that you don't actually share with people, but makes you understand/appreciate it a whole lot more.  It ran a hour late though and that pushed all of our appointments back, we had a lot that night!  They were all back to back and we were rushing around all night.  

We took a Laurel out with us to two appointments.  She was awesome, already such a great missionary and teacher.  She was so excited to go out with us too.  It was great.  We were able to teach our Korean investigator and also our little boy.  When we told him he has to go to church he pushed back a little though.  He has to come on a regular basis before he can be baptized, so we are kind of worried.  He didn't come this week, so we have to move his date. We are having family Home Evening with him tonight, so we will figure something out.  

Sis Liu sent me home with dumplings!
We then dropped off our Laurel and went to go teach our Chinese investigator at the home of the Chinese family in our ward.  I am glad that they were still eating and had lots of food, because we hadn't had an opportunity to eat yet.  Sister Liu made Chinese dumplings.  Those are my favorite and she is a great cook.  My tummy was very happy.  We had a lesson afterwards and it went great.  The Lius are also from China and grew up atheist as well, so it was very helpful to have them there to share how they gained their testimonies.  It was a wonderful evening.

On Saturday we drove to the temple because one of Sister Heaps' recent converts was going to do baptisms for the first time.  When we pulled up, we saw another of Sister Heaps' converts that she didn't know was going to be there.  She was so happy.  I was able to bring the names I had found earlier in the week, but then someone told me that as missionaries, we couldn't preform the baptism. I was devastated!!!!  I so badly wanted to do the work for them myself, and was so sad when I wasn't able to. I was able to give them to someone else to do, but I was still sad I couldn't do it myself.  I know that who does it doesn't matter, that what is important is that they get done.  Still a bit sad though.

Anyways, we then came home and had some lunch before going out to visit some people.  We decided to walk because we had driven way too much this week.  We were able to teach some one  before going out again, and then it started to rain.  We were kind of wet by the time we got into our car, but that's alright. We then went with one of our investigators to a baptismal service.  I think she really liked it.  We were able to have good conversation with her and I think she is starting to feel the Spirit work on her.  Just will have to keep inviting her to make changes and she will eventually realize she wants to change and be on the path that will ultimately bring her closer to our Father in Heaven.  We then came home and had dinner and finished our weekly planning since we didn't have the opportunity to on Thursday.

On Sunday we finally got our new ward mission leader.  He is going to be awesome and we look forward to working with him.  We decided to send our dinner calendar around Primary and in the doorway was Ru, getting her son to Primary.  It was a little tender mercy because we didn't even know she was there.  She had come late and sat in the foyer.  We were able to take her to gospel principles and it was amazing.  We had a lesson on the Atonement, and then had another lesson on the Atonement from Elder Bednar's talk "Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease".  It was perfect!  Just what she needed.  She even felt comfortable enough to ask questions and share experiences. It was amazing.  We then had dinner, visited an awesome family, tracted, and went home very happy missionaries.

I am so happy to be a missionary!!!  It is the best thing ever!!!  And I know as you grow in love and understanding of the gospel, that you will naturally want to share it too (1 Nephi 8:12).

Have a blessed week and a very happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Hudgens

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Week of Seawood (not a fan) and Sweet Tamales (yummy)

I can be at peace with President Shumway releasing me.  As long as it is not some total stranger!  It sounds like a really good stake presidency, and I am sure that they are all going to do an awesome job.

This week was crazy.  Lots of ups and downs.  It was good though.  On Monday a member took us to dinner and she was awesome.  She invited everyone to read the Book of Mormon and to come to church.  She was great.  We had to stop at an ice cream shop and pick up the ice cream she promised her kids on the way home.  She started talking to the cashier and it turns out he is a less active recent convert we have been trying to find for months!  It was a miracle!  Moral of the story, talking to everyone works.

It's cold!
Tuesday was a cold day.  Well it was just cold in general this week and I have had to break out the tights, boots, and layers.  At least I am in a car this winter with a heater.  I used the toe warmers and sweatshirt dad sent me this week too.  Anyways, it was a good day.  We did some service at an old people home, tracted, and we found a new investigator.  We were about to leave a street when we met someone who said that we could come back in half an hour.  So we kept tracting and we saw this woman.  She was just siting in her garage so we started talking to her.  She started talking about how her dad had died a few years ago and then we talked about the Plan of Salvation a little and set up an appointment for this week!  It was awesome!  We had dinner with a new couple that just moved into our ward, tracted and then went home.  That night we planned in different languages.  I spoke Spanish while Sister Heaps spoke Portuguese.  They are similar enough that you understand each other.  We had to use English a couple times, but it was fun!

Wednesday was a great day!  We went to the horse ranch in the morning and did a little cleaning.  We then went home and did some studying before going out.  We tracted and tried less actives, but not many people were home.  We heart attacked one of our investigators because we know they are feeling some stress.  It was fun.  We then had dinner with a family and she came with us afterwards to see some people.  The first person fell through, so we decided to try by another former investigator.  A woman answers the door and we ask if she is Linda, she says no, so we invite her to learn more and she has been totally prepared!  She has had some Mormon friends and even had a Q&A with a bishop.  The member we brought with us was awesome and she invited her to the Primary Program this Sunday.  It was amazing!  When we looked back at our records later, we found Linda, the former investigator, and realized that she had moved months ago and it had her new address listed.  It was meant to be.

On Thursday we had an appointment in the morning, but she wasn't there.  The elders called us though and said that they needed help at the food bank, so we helped there for a while before heading home for lunch and planning.  I am glad that we didn't have to plan outside again, because it was cold!  We did a lot of good planning and then we went to dinner.  We tracted and visited potential investigators a bit before going to see a member family.  It was awesome because she worked with one of our investigators in cub scouts and she said she would come with us to the appointment the next day.  It was great!

Patty w/ Sis Heaps & me and my first sweet tamale.
Friday was packed.  We had a great district meeting in the morning about qualifying for the Spirit and family history training afterwards.  We then had a lesson with one of our investigators.  Something has changed in her, not sure what.  She seemed happier  and was more engaged in the lesson.  It was great! She is opening up a tamale restaurant so she gave us a sample.  I had my first sweet tamale ever.  It was strawberry flavored with beet for coloring. It was delicious!  We then went to go see a member and she is awesome!  She actually lived in the Canyon Springs ward until she was 12.  I have no idea what her maiden name is though.  She has been looking for ways to share the gospel and is looking for ways to get involved in the community.  She is being proactive and getting out there!  That is so great!  

We then had a little dinner before going to our appointment with our 10 year old investigator.  It is hard to teach him sometimes because he has a short attention span and his grandmother sometimes takes over the appointment.  We love them though, so much! They figured out it was us that heart attacked them.  She didn't even get out of the car before she knew it was us!  The hearts were still on their garage door when we came to the appointment. It really brightened their week.  It was a good appointment, the member we brought with us was perfect.  I feel like things are just fitting together so well recently, it is amazing :)  I love being a missionary!  

We then went to another appointment.  They weren't home yet, so we tracted around their apartment complex.  We tracted into the volunteer coordinator at the horse ranch we go to.  We aren't supposed to talk about the gospel when we are at service, but that rule doesn't apply when you happen to knock on their door.  We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and invite her to read it.  I pray she will.  We then went to our appointment and it was great.  It was with a less active woman and her son and her fiance who is taking the lessons.  She really opened up to us about how much she wants to come back, but doesn't know exactly how.  It was so spiritual there, it was a great discussion and even though we didn't get home until ten, it was great.

On Saturday we did companion study with the Spring sisters. That was nice.  We then came home, had some lunch, and then we went to an appointment that didn't show up.  We went tracting afterwards and tracted into a less active woman who let us and and we shared a message.  She wasn't ready to come back yet, but she let us in, so that was something!  We then went with a member to invite one of our investigators to the Primary Program.  Afterwards she told us where one of her friends lived and told us to stop by.  They weren't home, but it was awesome just the same!  She told us it is easy to share the gospel when you know it is true.  She is so amazing!!  She just radiates the Spirit and it is such a blessing to be around her.  I love it.  

We then stopped by another house of a less active we are working with.  He is so close to coming to church!!!!!  He is a math professor and I think he is thinking too much about this.  He already knows he needs to come, he just has to do it.  He will come around though, I am sure.  We then met a guy while tracting that is totally prepared!  He is a YSA though so we gave him their information and sent him in as a referral.  Those elders are going to be very happy!  We then taught a brief lesson to Chon.  She is so great, I love her.  We then had dinner with a member, dropped off an Ensign to an investigator and went home out of the cold.

Church was awesome this week.  I love ward council,  I love being in there.  I love seeing how everyone works together and how the ward is run. It is amazing!  It was the Primary Program today and it was great. We still don't have a ward mission leader, but we are promised that it is coming.  I love those little kids though.  I never appreciated the power of the Spirit that is in children until recently.  They are powerhouses!!!  It was a great program and for the last song they sang "I Am a Child of God" and they all came off the stand and stood in the aisles and sang. It was beautiful. 

Do you remember the lady that I told you about last week that wants to get baptized?  Well she came to church again this week with the family that introduced her to the gospel. The elders have been teaching her, but she wants to come to our ward and she wants us to teach her.  She said she is moving in with this family in a few months anyways.  We didn't know that!!  That changes everything!  We just called our mission president and got permission to teach her.  I am only a little afraid of her though.  She is this Russian lady that was a professor.  She has done a lot of research and knows a lot about the church. She read the Book of Mormon in 2 days.  She is super prepared, but a little scary.  I am excited to teach her though!  

After church we did a little tracting before dinner with a Chinese family in our ward.  I am pretty sure I ate seaweed.  It smelled like it anyway.  I love this family and usually the food is pretty good, but I am not a fan of seaweed.  Just so you know.  After dinner we went to try by less active families and picked up some music. I volunteered to do a special musical number on Friday at zone conference, so wish me luck!!! and pray for me too. I only really have today to practice with the sister that is accompanying me.  I am going to need lots of prayers!!  It was a good day though.

Well, I am doing great, as always, I love being a missionary!!!  Missionary work is the best.  Even though it is cold, damp and not everyone wants to hear the message, this is the best job ever!!!

Have a blessed week!

Sister Hudgens

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Houston Temple with Chon

Chon with Sisters Heaps & Hudgens at Houston Temple
It sounds like you had a very busy and eventful week!  I am glad that mutual went well.  One of my previous companion has my bike right now, but she is going home this transfer so it is going back to the barn.  Someone also put a basket on it, so that is cool.  Also, you should probably fix the countdown on my blog to reflect my actual going home date of February 25th.  Grandma is getting a little too happy about the fact that according to it I only have 99 days left.

Monday was great.  We had dinner with a recent convert and made plans to help her print out family names to go to the temple with.

On Tuesday we had a special zone conference with Elder Corbridge of the Seventy.  It was really neat.  We got to shake his hand.  I don't know what I was expecting from a general authority visiting our mission, but he felt like a normal guy.  We learned a lot though about focusing on our purpose, which is to teach people the most important thing: through Christ we can be cleansed from sin and have eternal life.  It really is the most important thing to know!!!!  We can change!  We are not stuck in the same old sins we have committed, we can move on!  

After zone conference we went on exchanges with the Montgomery sisters, Sister Sylvester coming with me to The Woodlands and Sister Heaps going with Sister Harrison to their area.  We tried by a referral, and when they weren't there, we went tracting.  We accidentally knocked on a member's door because I forgot they lived there, but it turned out really great.  We then went tracting some more and then off to dinner.  They member we had dinner with gave us two grocery bags full of fruits, vegetables, and some chicken. It was so nice of them!  We then went to mutual and we taught the Restoration to the Laurels, with two parents acting as investigators. It was a neat, spiritual experience.

Sisters Sylvester & Hudgens with Baskin Robins
Tuesday night it poured, so on Wednesday we were not able to go to the horse ranch for service.  So we went out tracting in the morning to utilize all the daylight hours since it gets dark so early.  We went out for almost 2 hours and not one door opened.  I noticed it first when it had been about an hour and I suddenly turned to Sister Sylvester and said, "No one has opened the door yet, have they?" We decided to leave that place and go some where else, with the same experience.  We decided that that wasn't working, so we broke for lunch.  At the bench where we had our lunch there was a Baskin Robins so we decided to get some ice cream. Grandma would be proud.  It then began to pour, and we decided based on our previous tracting experience we didn't want to do that, so we tried by some members, only finding one home, but it was just him home so we stood in the doorway and talked to him for a bit before going.  

We had an appointment though!! It was with our Korean investigator (I think out of the 5 people we are really teaching, only two are originally from the US) and we read from the scriptures and it was a great experience.  The member we took with us kept stopping as we read to say, "I love that!  isn't that amazing!?!" She was just so excited and astonished from the words on the page that she had to express it.  It was wonderful.  Then we switched back and Sister Heaps and I went tracting before going to a recent convert's house and helping her print out names for the temple on Saturday.  We had some dinner and then we went out and tried by some potential investigators.

Cold weekly planning at the park
On Thursday we went to Interfaith and helped out at the food bank.  They were behind so they asked if we could come back tomorrow and bring the elders with us. We said we would be back the following day with the elders.  We then went to go meet with our new Relief Society president to talk about some of the sisters in the ward we were concerned about or had questions, and to offer our help to her.  It was a really good experience and we were able to learn a lot.  We then went to a park to do our weekly planning.  Luckily, we happened to have some blankets in the car, because it was cold outside!! 

We were able to stay pretty warm while we planned and then we went to another member's house because she said she had somethings for us.  She had some more fruits and veggies for us, along with toilet paper, paper towels, and this thing called a Danish Kringle form Trader Joes.  She is so nice!!!!  With all this food members have given us this week, we don't have to go grocery shopping this week!  We then went to dinner at a members house and we had potato soup.  Reminded me of you Mom, and your potato soup.  I actually don't get a lot of potatoes out here, so it was nice.  We then went to go visit some members we didn't know and a former investigator which we were able to set up a return appointment with.  It was great!

Friday morning we saw a less active member we have been working with for a while and we got down to the heart of his concerns: the Book of Mormon.  Your testimony of this church and the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ rest on reading and praying about the truthfulness and divinity of the Book of Mormon and whether or not Joesph Smith was a true prophet of God.  If you don't have those things as the foundation of your testimony, it is shaky and uncertain, and it will fall with the first gust of wind that the Adversary will blow.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true because I have read it, prayed about it, and read and prayed again and again.  The Book of Mormon has cemented and confirmed the testimony of Christ that I have gained from reading the New Testament.  The Book of Mormon bears powerful witness of the divinity, mission, and power of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  I know that anyone can receive the same witness if you read and pray about the Book of Mormon with a sincere heart, truly wanting to know if it is true, with faith centered on Jesus Christ, believing you will receive an answer, and with real intent, intending to act upon the witness you receive (Moroni 10:3-5).  If you haven't done this lately, I challenge you to do so.  Even if you have received an answer before, you can receive an answer again and again, because you are promised one if you ask in faith. was a good appointment and we even made it to district meeting only 5 minutes late as opposed to the 10 that we usually are when we meet with him before hand.  We had a great district meeting on the power of the Holy Ghost and then we went to our family history class with Sister Prince.  We indexed obituaries, it was fun.  We then went to Interfaith with two sets of elders and we filled bags of food for seniors.  I made the mistake of showing leadership skills by telling them all what to do in front of the zone leaders.  I hope they don't tell President because I really don't want to be a Sister Training Leader; it seems like a lot of work. 

Afterwards we went to a members house to create a chart for member missionary work and then it was off to an appointment with our investigator who is supposed to be getting baptized next month.  We have a lot to cover still and he has a short attention span, so hopefully we can get it done.  We then went to dinner at the home of an investigator/less active family.  They started cooking when we got there, so we knew we were in for a long night.  It was good though because we were able to talk to them, get to know them, and we shared a brief, powerful lesson on the importance of the Book of Mormon.  They texted us yesterday and said they have committed to read the Book of Mormon everyday as a family.

Chon with the Sister Missionaries at the Houston Temple
On Saturday we went to the temple with Chon.  It was her first time doing baptisms for the dead, and she was able to take with her 5 names.  Almost all the missionaries that taught her were there too and it  was a really great experience.  The Spirit was so strong!!  We got some lunch afterwards and then we went out again. We were able to run into an investigator and teach her a little and tract some too.  We had a great dinner and lesson with a member and a friend they invited to hear the lessons.  She is from mainland China and only recently started to believe in God.  We talked about Him, and His nature and it was a really great discussion.  We are so excited for her!

Sunday was crazy!!  We got to church early and the elders from the ward that meets right before us motioned us over to where they were talking to someone.  They said, "Meet this wonderful new family that just moved into your ward and their friend who wants to be baptized!"  Sister Heaps and I were shocked.  We have always heard of this happening, but you never think it is going to happen to you!  She lives in the Glen Loch ward though, so we will have to see what will happen.  After church, two of our appointments canceled, but miracles happened again!  We went tracting before dinner and we knocked on a door and a guy named Venky answered. He works at an ice cream shop in our area and remembered us from when we stopped by a few weeks ago and got some ice cream. He said he wants to ask us lots of questions and we set up a return appointment!  It was awesome!  We have just had such a great week and we are so excited to keep it going!

Have a super special awesome amazing week!

Sister Hudgens

A necklace made from a quarter run over by a train in
Parkway stamped with the phrase "All is well'

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Missionaries Walk and Walked and Walked!

Thank you for the package!  It came Friday, but I didn't have time to get it until today.  I was so excited to see the butterscotch rice crispies.  I was thinking about them the other day and was tempted to make them, but then never got around to it.  I will be a very happy Sister Hudgens for the next few days/hours until they are gone.

Monday was a good day.  We found these chips at the store that taste just like churros.  They are cinnamon and agave flavored sweet potato chips.  Or as Sister Heaps and I now call them, churro chips.  We had a good dinner with a family whose daughter is also gluten intolerant.  We had chicken noodle soup, but with rice instead of noodles.  One of the kids complained that it tasted different and another said it was because of "that one" (pointing to her sister), and "that one" (pointing to Sister Heaps).  It was pretty funny.  We went to go deliver some invitations to the Halloween party to some investigators, and we saw a less active sister.  We shared a message with her and she said that she does not see herself coming back to church anytime soon.  She won't say never because "you never know what the Spirit will do", so we are not going to give up on her!

Sis Nielson & Me on exchanges
On Tuesday, it was Mission Leadership Council (MLC).  We drove the Spanish Sisters to MLC and there I switched with the other sister training leader's companion, Sister Nielson.  They are over a YSA ward, so that was different.  We did service at a thrift store in the morning and then we went to an appointment with one of their investigators.  Being in a YSA ward would be weird.  Everyone is the same age.  There are no old people and no children or youth.  I am used to big family wards on my mission, so I don't know how I would do there.  We then tried by a few of the members and then switched back with our companions.  

We were then off to the ward Halloween party!  It was so fun.  There were even a couple kids dressed up as missionaries, using their father's name tags. It was cute.  We had a chili-cook off and trunk or treat as well.  Lots of members brought friends, and we were able to meet a woman that our new Relief Society President had invited to take the discussions.  It was a really good night and I think every one had a lot of fun.

Wednesday was great.  We had family history training in the morning and we were able to work on a recent convert's line.  We were able to find a few names and then it just shot back, it was amazing!  We were so excited to show her all that had been done, including a lot of temple work.  Someone else in her line has also joined the church and has started bringing names to the temple.  She is going to be going to the the temple next Saturday, and we are so excited for her!  

After family history we parked our car and walked. We mis-calculated miles some how, and as of Wednesday, we had only 50 miles for 3 days, whereas we usually go 25-30 miles a day.  So we waked a lot.  I looked at the map and planned out a route.  It turned out to be a straight shot, but there was no paved path and it took a lot longer than expected.  We walked for about an hour on the grass part of the road on the side.  I felt perfectly safe, the cars were nowhere near us, it just took a long time!  We tried to visit 
The missionaries walked and walked and walked
some people, but they weren't home, and then we had to walk to dinner.  We went 15 minutes in the wrong direction and then we had only 20 minutes to get to dinner!!!  The good thing about The 
Woodlands, they have a lot of covered walking paths where you are hidden from the road.  So when we were hidden, we ran!  I am sure we looked absolutely ridiculous in our missionary apparel, holding our bags in our arms and running, then walking, then running.  We were only ten minutes late to dinner and I had really worked up an appetite!  Our dinner appointment then drove us to the next place we were going to go, we tracted and then we showed the recent convert all the people we found in her line. She was so excited!  She kept calling her husband in saying, "Look!  I got some Cajun in me!" and "We have to go back to London, I got some English in me!"  It was amazing.

Thursday was great.  We had a lesson with an investigator and though she didn't understand the 3 Kingdoms of Glory at first, after reading some scriptures and the member we brought with us bearing testimony, she got it.  It was awesome!  We still didn't have miles, so we parked close and began walking again.  As we were walking to an apartment complex, we saw this little old lady crossing the street with some groceries.  We sped up and offered to help her, and she was very nice.  Plus she let us into the complex, so everyone wins!  It felt nice to help her, and just brighten up her day a little.  We tracted a bit and then a miracle.  We stopped by where one of our investigators lives and he was actually home!!!  We haven't been able to contact him for like two months.  

We always have a miracle before dinner with the Larges, and today was no exception.  We then walked to the shopping center where the Larges were to pick us up and take us to dinner and we sat down on the bench out front to wait.  We started taking to the lady next to us and it was so fun!!  I like talking to nice strangers!.  It was neat to hear about what brought her hear form Albania.  We then had a great dinner and afterwards we were able to teach a lesson with another of our investigators.

Happy Halloween and the end of the month!!  We had saved a lot of miles so we had thirty.  Miracle!  That meant we could drive to seminary in the morning!  The seminary did this cool thing called Teach and Treat.  On the door of all the classrooms was a little tombstone with a scripture mastery.  The kids were then to do a door approach based on the scripture, and then we gave them a piece of candy.  It was lots of fun to see the kids do door approaches.  They are going to make great missionaries one day soon!  

Goodbye Kate!  Off to your mission.
We had a meeting at the church at 9, so we just stayed there.  I found a nice comfy couch and took a nap before doing personal study.  We had a good zone meeting, the first with the new zone.  It was kind of weird, and I miss the missionaries from the Spring zone, but it was good just the same!  We then tracted a bit before going to meet a member. She was so nice and made us little Halloween treat bags full of candy.  We tracted a bit, said good bye to a girl who goes into the MTC Wednesday and is flying out Saturday, then we went in.  We had to be in by 6 and do our weekly planning.  It was a good day, but we didn't even get any trick-or-treaters!

Saturday was cold!!  I walked out of the apartment and had to go right back in to grab a sweater! It was actually cold, like 54!  Don't know where that came from.  We had a couple appointments in the morning.  The first one fell through, but we were able to go over at noon to see our investigator from Angola.    We taught the Restoration and she seemed to understand it all and even related back to us what we said to make sure she understood. It was great.  At the end she prayed in her native language of Portuguese for Sister Heaps.  Sister Heaps was supposed to go to Brazil, but never got her visa, so she learned Portuguese in the MTC and likes to speak/listen to it on every occasion.  I understood bits and pieces of the prayer since Portuguese is similar to Spanish, but Sister Heaps understood most of it and said it was good.  

We then went tracting and met with a member family who is totally awesome.  They both served missions and already have a plan to do missionary work and a family they want to focus on.  We are so excited to hear how their invitation goes.  Then we went to try by some less active members, but our GPS took us the wrong way. We decided that we would just get out and tract since we had some time. The first door that opened was a woman named Roberta. She wasn't interested, she had had a hard week at work and just wanted to rest. We asked if there was anything we could do for her, and she said just pray. I asked her if we could pray for her right there, and she said yes. As we joined hands and I offered a prayer, I could feel her squeeze my hand at certain parts. After the prayer she opened up to us and expressed the concerns and frustrations of her heart. She had tears in her eyes and we asked if we could give her a hug. She needed it so much, you could just tell. She still wasn't interested in our message, but I felt like we had brought her closer to Christ, which is our whole purpose.  It was an amazing experience and one I will always treasure.  The Spirit was just there and testified to me that when we are careful to listen and to act, God can use us to fulfill the prayers of His other children.  We then had dinner with a great member, tracted in the cold, and then headed home for home to finish ward council preparations.

Sunday was crazy!!  We had an amazing ward correlation and ward council meeting, and then during church our ward mission leader was released, but no one was called to replace him.  So basically....we don't have a ward mission leader right now.  I just feel like there have been so many changes in this ward!!!!  It is hard for me to keep up!!!  I realize it is a reflection of the growth here, but it is hard.  One of our investigators came to church though and stayed for the gospel principles class, it was great!  Someone else came to the gospel principles class that never comes, so Sister Heaps and I suspect it is our new ward mission leader.  The Relief Society president taught the lesson today and invited her friend to come.  She is awesome.  A member then signed up to feed us at the last minute with her father that isn't a member of our church and we had a great discussion.  We saw a less active member, tracted in the cold again, and then we headed for the warmth of home.

In conclusion, being a missionary is the best, I love bringing people closer to Christ, and the Book of Mormon is the most powerful tool in conversion.

Have a blessed week!

Sister Hudgens

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Temporary Trio

Temporay Trio- Me & Sis Heaps & Sis Brown

This was a crazy week!  So much happened and we were so busy!  Probably won't seem like it, but we were.  Well, we weren't too busy on Monday.  We just did regular P-Day things.  We don't really do anything with the other missionaries, and that is kind of a bummer.  All of my other districts have, so this is new.  I could organize something, but just like you Mom, I find little motivation to do so when they won't contribute.  

Anyways, we had dinner with a recent convert, Chon, and her family.  Her husband made a delicious authentic Mexican meal that was delicious and then we worked on family history with Chon.  Her husband didn't stay for all of it, but he stayed long enough for me to share a scripture about why we do family history and testify!!  So that was awesome.  We worked on finding some names for Chon to take to the temple and set a date to go in two weeks.  We are so excited!

On Tuesday we gained an extra member of our companionship, Sister Brown.  It was only temporary though.  Her companions were both transferred and she was training so her trainee hadn't come in yet, so since she lives in our complex, she got to tag along with us for a few days!  She had gone to transfer meeting and then was dropped off where we were doing service afterwards.  We were pulling weeds at the horse ranch and she joined us in the weeding.  She didn't even get dirty in her dress, I was impressed.  We then had a little lunch, a little bit of studying and phone calls, and then we went out.  

While we were out tracting, a car drove by, and then reversed a little and a guy rolled down the window and asked if we were Mormons.  A little perplexed and hesitant, we said yes.  He said we had texted him a while back and that he used to meet with the missionaries.  I then recalled who he was, a former investigator we had contacted a few weeks ago.  We will have to get an appointment with him soon!  We didn't have a dinner appointment, but Sister Brown did, so we went to the Oak Ridge ward for dinner!  Conveniently enough, in order to go to Oak Ridge, you have to go by our apartment, so we were able to switch cars in order to have evenly distributed miles.  It worked out perfect!   We had a great dinner and then we went to try by a couple of investigators.  We found a guy who is a theology major and was very interested in learning about the Book of Mormon and coming to church.  We felt like terrible missionaries because between the three of us, we didn't have one Book of Mormon on us!  We just have a reason to go back I guess.  We then went back home, and since the Oak Ridge sisters' apartment had three beds, Sister Heaps and I packed up for a sleep over there!  Kind of weird and fun at the same time.

Wednesday was a great day.  We volunteered at a thrift shop in the morning.  Reminded my of working at a DI, we did almost exactly the same thing.  We then went home for lunch, and then we went to an appointment wit one of our investigators.  It was a good lesson.  We brought a convert with us and she really helped a lot.  Our investigator is from 
Strange food of the week: Rambuton
A delicious Asian fruit that tastes like a soft grape
Korea and the member is from China.  They were able to relate over learning about something new in a language other than their own and how to read and understand the Book of Mormon.  Also how at the time of her conversion, she didn't know or understand everything, but she could just feel that it was right.  It was great!  

We then went to help a lady in our ward move.  We packed the pickup truck.  It was kind of weird to be doing the work in a skirt, but it was fine.  I have become quite adept at packing on my mission.  I have helped a lot of people!  We then went to dinner with an awesomely missionary minded family.  We had to be quick though because after dinner we went on splits.  We had two appointments for 6, so I went with a member to one, and Sister heaps and Sister Brown went with another appointment with someone else.  This experience made me so grateful to have a companion!  I had to teach the lesson basically by myself.  The member offered excellent testimony and insight, but it was up to me to make sure the doctrine was taught and the commitments were extended.  It was scary!!!  And then one of the people we were teaching couldn't see how the great apostasy happened and the scriptures I shared weren't working. I was trying to not get in a scripture bash, but Sister Heaps is usually the one that keeps that from happening.  The member was awesome though and brought back the Spirit and totally saved me.  This is why we don't do this alone!  We then had to hurry and make it to an appointment in the Oak Ridge ward with a recent convert.  We made it, though we were a little late, but all was well.  

Thursday morning Sister Brown left our companionship to go get her trainee.  We were sad to see her go.  She wasn't there long, but it felt like she had become a part of our companionship. She also brought to us the news that there are no more designated drivers, so Sister Heaps and I switch off driving.  She takes the odd days and I drive on the even ones.  We volunteered at the food bank in the morning and then we did our weekly planning.  We went and dropped off the Book of Mormon to the guy we met on Tuesday.  He said that he had already downloaded it and started listening to it before bed.  Pretty neat.  We then picked up flyers for the ward Halloween party so we could pass them out to people.  

We then did some tracting before dinner.  After dinner we tried by a family that a member told us about that speaks Portuguese.  Sister Heaps was supposed to go to Brazil, so she loves every opportunity to speak Portuguese with people.  They weren't interested in the gospel, but they were nice and said they would come to church one time.  We then were able to meet a less active sister in the ward.  When we got home we got a text form the woman we had dinner with the day before.  She had taken her friend to see "Meet the Mormons" and after a great discussion she was prompted to invite her to take the missionary lessons, and she said yes! It was an awesome day!

On Friday we had an appointment with a less active that we have been working with.  He has finally decided that he just needs to come to church and then his questions and internal struggles will be resolved.  Yes!!!  He finally gets it!  He can't come this week because his in-laws will be here, but he is going to come next week!  We then rushed to district meeting and had a good training on baptism.  After the meeting we went through and gave all of our stuff that now belongs to the Glen Loch ward to the elders.  We then had a lesson with an investigator and the member was amazing and invited her to church and she is going to be attending next week as well!  We tracted after for a bit before having dinner with an investigator.  He is 10 and the best time to teach him is when he is eating.  It is weird, but I guess he is just a little bit more focused while he is eating, so it works.  We had received a few media referrals so we tried by them, though none of them were home.  We will just try by again.  We then went home to write thank you notes to all the members that have helped us out this last week.

We had a mission Saturday: stop by almost every member's home and give them a flyer to the ward Halloween party to give to a friend.  It was a big undertaking and we planned accordingly.  We were doing awesome before we saw a member of the bishopric and he burst our bubble on a couple of things.  It took us a little while to recover and replan.  It all turned out well in the end though and we were able to meet some amazing people!

Sunday was a busy day.  We visited a few people before church, had some lunch, then a meeting with the ward mission leader, and church.  We got a new Relief Society presidency and they are going to be awesome! We are excited to work with all of the great women.  After church we visited a lady and then went to dinner.  Their 9 year old daughter has decided to invite almost everyone she knows to the Primary program in a few weeks so that is super exciting.  We then went to Autumn Leaves to sing with the old people and found that Sister Belbin (our usual pianist) was having her students' piano recital that day there.  There was a lot of people, the elders were there, and we had an appointment right after, so we decided our time would be better used elsewhere.  So we went to the open house of a girl who is leaving on her mission next week.  We have taken her to a lot of appointments so we are super excited for her.  We then got to visit with a part member family and it was a good night!

All is well down here in Texas and the weather is so amazing we never want to be inside.

Happy fall y'all!

Sister Hudgens