Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 5- EEk time goes fast here!!



 

Hello hello:) crazy busy week!

We were all over the place this week. We had an awesome district
meeting and talked about involving members in the work. Overlook ward is SO awesome and willingly come work and serve with us!  We brought a member with us to almost all of our lessons this week! It really is such a blessing for the missionaries to have another member there to testify. And it's an even bigger blessing for those who are learning about the gospel because they get to see and hear from a REAL point of view the blessings of the church in ever day life. So if you haven't had a chance to go out with the missionaries in your area DO IT! Cause it's awesome.






This week Sister Adair and I went to help P ( an new member of our church) paint her house. We talked about  the "Mormon rules" as she calls them so we've been focusing a lot on the blessings (physically, mentally, spiritually, etc) that come from being obedient. God doesn't just give us "rules" to abide by just to make life harder for us to be obedient. He gives us guidelines that we use to us to help us stay on the right path and keep us safe. It is  completely out of love and we are SO beyond blessed to have His guidance.

We also got the chance to go help at the 5 stake youth conference.
They did a whole thing on missionary work and had Moroni (one of the YM leaders) ride out on a horse and raise the title of liberty. The
they all divided into stakes and each kid had a shield that they made with things they're fighting for (family, friends, religion, the
gospel, etc) and a sword. They had a huge battle till everyone died.
Then they played army of Hellman and U.S. Missionaries came out from the sides singing. The seniors took their top shirts off and had a "future missionary" shirt underneath. We helped the seniors up and they joined us in the center singing. The Spirit in that room was
incredible. It was such an awesome experience. It really was a
testimony to me of why I'm out here. We are here to lift one another and do the Lords work. I love this gospel so much and have seen how much light it brings into my life. And dang I sure do want share that light with others!

This week, we were going for our weekly appointment with N. We got there just in time to see EMTs going into his place.  We were glad his mini seizure passed quickly and he is doing better.I guess he got super dehydrated.  We met with him when he was feeling better and we talked about the word of Wisdom
Substances have a hold on so many these days.  Quitting addictions can be HARD no doubt. But I believe so much of it comes down to our will. How much do we want it and if we truly are willing to ask Christ for help. The atonement is there for us. Christ is there for us. We just need to make the choice to invite Him in.

This week we finally got to meet with Ni. She is AMAZING. She was in the marine corps with her husband but he was killed in action.  She and her 3 year old daughter E have been trying to find their way the past few years. The elders before us tracted into her but
hadn't gotten to set up a return appointment. 
 
We met with her and E on Thursday and taught the restoration. And holy cow.  The spirit was so strong.  Before we even got the chance to invite her, she asked about baptism. OKAY WHAT.
At the end of the lesson she told us that she had been praying to God for someone help her and her daughter find peace and what to do with her life. Then right after, we texted her. I know that God guides us, His children. If we are ready and willing, He will use us as instruments in His hands to help bring His other children, our brothers and sisters to the light of the gospel.

Wow I love this gospel. I love the people here in Montana and the new friends I am making.  I know that it's true. I pray every day  to have experiences to strengthen me to serve. I pray to be worthy for Christ to use me to help spread the gospel to those who are ready and waiting for it and to serve the people  here.

I love you all! So so much!! Keep reading the Scriptures  and praying. Christ is in the pages of the scriptures. Find him. Love you all!!

W/ <3
 Sister Hodgson







Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 4- Ether knows best and Faith gives us strength



Hello my family!

So business first.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY DADDY!!! And BIRTHDAY FROM THE 11th!!
AND HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOMMY AND DADDY!!!
AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY ON THE 25th!!
Did you get my package? I just love you both a whole lot and miss
you!! Just know I've been thinking about you lots on those days. Love
you so much and thank you for your amazing examples.
AHHH CONGRATS TO HER!!! She just got called to the best mission ever.
Haha ill keep an eye our for sister Frederickson!!


I enclosed a few more MTC pictures I will figure out Montana ones next week mom.









So my comp: sister Melissa Adair is from St George Utah .  Yes she does look a lot
My MTC comp you are right.  It's incredible how the Lord
places us with the right people at the right time to prepare us for
whatever we need to do. Such a blessing. Gosh dang He loves us and
wants us to be the best we can be!!

We live with the whitneys, an AMAZING family!! Brother
Whitney is in the stake presidency and they are awesome! They are so
Open and sharing with their beautiful home ( mommy has address if a friend needs
It but not posting on FB)

Yea we FINALLY got iPads!

Preparation day is busy! We wash the car, clean, email, visit people
, then we get free Dairy
Queen once a week so we might go try that...the the zone meets at the
church and plays pod ball! So that's fun! We have great zone leaders
elder Barney and elder Sumners.


Wow this preparation day came soooo fast! There really aren't enough
hours in a week!! I'll just jump right into things! We've been meeting
a lot of members and less actives trying to get to know the area.
AMAZING PEOPLE!! Really ! Wow we feel blessed. We met with
N again. He's doing AMAZING!! He got rid of all his electronics
to help with some of his battles. And he did it!! He moved out of his
awful living situation!! We talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ
and the importance of every step.
Oh gosh he's prepared!! And amazing. He's doing so good!! He has a goal for baptism in July and we're working toward that! He really
has felt a change. Now that he's out of the old living situation and
working on some stuff he says he can feel the Spirit so much stronger
in his life. God loves all his children no matter where we are in
life! It's completely our choice as to whether or not we let Him in.

Thursday we had mission leadership training. It was so good to see the
Mechams again. They really are incredible. We talked about the
importance of being representatives of Christ in all that we do. In
our actions, language, living quarters, every area of life. Our theme
for right now is to Be Believing.
We saw another example of faith in 2 little girls K and Ki
this week. On Friday we got a call from our Fort Benton branch
president saying that he was out of town and needed us to go visit a
family in the hospital. The Coles just went to the temple last week
and finally had the opportunity to be sealed as a family. On the way
home 2 of the girls got sick and ended up in the hospital with really
bad pneumonia in both lungs. We got our district leaders and went to
the hospital to meet them and give them a blessing. They were in
isolation so we had to put on the little masks and suit things before
we could go in. The girls were so sick and their poor mom was having
an awful time. The poor girls so so sick but they had such strong
faith that the blessings would help them. It was such a special
experience to be there with the family and see the power of the
priesthood….we were so blessed to bring some comfort to their family
and their faith and love was incredible to witness.

I know God watches over each and every one of His children. He loves
us. He is there, waiting for us to reach out and invite Him to help.
No matter what our trails are, whether we're guilty, sick, frustrated,
discouraged, or just having a hard week, Christ is right there with
us. He has felt every pain, every heart ache, every sickness, every
tear. We need to let Him in. Have faith.
 Remember Ether knows best. In Ether
12:12 we learn that Miracles come!! But only after the trial of our
faith.

I love you all! Until next week :)
W/<3 Sister Hodgson

Fun fact: We named our car Ether cause Ether knows best.

Fun fact: on the way home from mission leadership training the elders
hit a deer and wrecked their car. Our car was totally safe and missed
the deer. Ether knows best.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Week 3- Great falls, fire alarms and witches...I am in Montana





We were able to talk to Rebecca while she was at the airport getting ready to fly out of SLC . She  spoke  a lot about her AMAZING district and how much she loves them.  Her companion Sister Cox  and her whole district.....with a slogan about getting past Satan's  pocket knife...hahahaha  She knew saying good bye would be hard because all that growth together creates life long friends
 
June 15th , 2015   
 My lovely family!!!
Okay first off, business. YES I got the package! Thank you so much!! Everyone was like "that's HUGE! Obviously your family loves you" ahaha ;) So nice to be WARM though! That's gonna come in handy so thank you so much.( we mailed a large warm comforter) Carly and Sean's baby is SO CUTE! Kyra is Adorable!
SO...this week was CRAZY!! We all flew into Montana and got there around 12:30 and President and Sister Mecham were there to pick us up, along with the Assistants to President McGrath, Curtis and Nelson. We all went back to the mission home and had lunch, then went straight off to training!
 
 
Then we had dinner at the mission home and us sisters went to a hotel to sleep while the elders stayed at the mission home. The next morning we got to go to the Billings Temple. SO BEAUTIFUL! Holy cow….. really its gorgeous. We had an amazing meeting before and some time at the end to just pray and read scriptures and ponder why we are all here. President asked us specifically to pray to be re-committed to being a missionary. It was one of the coolest experiences I've had. The Spirit was so strong. You could really feel the commitment and the desire oozing(kinda a gross word but the only one that accurately describes it) from every missionary there it was incredible.


 Then we did some more training, and found out where were going to be sent off to! It was so fun to see where everyone was going! We're all pretty spread out! I got assigned to Great Falls with sister Adair as my trainer! Super exciting.
After dinner with everyone, things started to get exciting. We drove to downtown Billings (kinda like downtown Sac but way smaller. No tall buildings just lots of small shops) and they divided us into companionships and gave us all 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and a stack of pass along cards and said "Come back in an hour and a half empty handed!" haha we were all pretty wide eyed but we set to work! I was with Sister Granotos and we literally could not find ANYONE to talk to. We saw people walking around but never crossed paths with anyone for some reason. Finally we remembered we didn't pray yet. As soon as we prayed, we found people on every corner! And just started opening our mouths and sharing! It was so incredible.  We just shared what we believe to be true and people were super nice! At one point, there was a couple sitting on a bench. We got talking and shared a verse from the book of Mormon with them. Sister Granotos was great and really got them talking and thinking and they accepted the Book of Mormon! They are so sweet. While we were talking to them, another guy walked by and said "hey sisters!" in passing. Sister Granotos and I looked at each other and we were like "We need to talk to him." So she kept talking to the couple on the bench and I stopped the guy walking past. His name is S and turns out his family was Mormon but he hasn't gone to church since he was a kid. We talked for a while and I asked him if he wanted the missionaries to visit….he said "You know...yea I really would. I want my girlfriend, T, to meet with you guys again too, she and I both need this" It was SO AMAZING!  Sadly, Sister Granotos and I don't get to meet with him cause we were both leaving the next day, but the Billings missionaries will be able to meet with him and Tiffany and I can't wait to hear how things go. It really is incredible how, when you pray to have the Spirit with you, the Lord will guide you to where He needs you to be. We are here to help God's children come to Christ. If we really focus on that, we can be instruments in Christ's hands. It is such a blessing. Towards the end of our contacting it started POURING rain! It was insane, but it was so cool to just see a whole bunch of new missionaries and APs running around in the rain, sharing the gospel. I've never seen so many wet smiles. It was the best.
So the next morning we all climbed in a van and drove about 4 hours to Helena. There we all said bye and spilt up!( that was hard) We met our trainers and everyone went their separate ways!
 I'm with Sister Adair and she is AWESOME! Shes from St George and has been out about 4 months. We're in Great Falls, and we have a ward and 2 Branches. The missionaries before us, there were a set of elders and a set of sisters over these 3 congregations,  but now its just sister Adair and I! It’s a little crazy cause we got doubled in so neither of us know the area or the people. And we don't really have any records for the area so its going to be a learning curve! It takes about an hour to get from the ward  to the branc, so we REALLY have to plan our time and our miles good so we don't go over. Its gonna be a SUPER busy time but it will be incredible! We went to the ward this week and we will rotate each week. We say a lot of prayers and just hope that the wards and branches can continue to be patient with us as we do our best!
Well,  Everyone has to have an exciting first week right??  We were going to meet with a member from the ward who needed a visit. Her name is K. we got there to her apartment complex and the fire alarm was blaring and there were fire trucks coming. We got a little nervous so we just called her and waited outside cause we didn't think we could really go up to 4th floor to meet her. People were coming out of the building so we got talking with them. The more we looked around the more we realized what a sketchy part of town we were in. People would shout things that, I'm sure were meant to be a compliments, but didn't exactly come across as such...haha  Well we finally got ahold of K and her friend N  and  we had an incredible discussion with him. He’s having trouble with his living situation.  He is having trouble telling what good promptings are, and what are not so good. We read in Ether and talked about how to listen and follow the spirit!
After we were done with N, K said she needed us to meet her friend…. we come in and it smells like really special smoke. hahah  Its a really interesting living situation. After we got talking for a while, we find out that she is a Wicca. She is a practicing Witch and she was super interesting to talk to. haha she talked about her beliefs and we shared a bit of ours. After talking with her a while, it was getting late and we really needed to go. haha very interesting night.
 Sorry for the long email again…. haha God loves us, I love you and we love everyone!
Until next week!!
w/ <3
-Sister Hodgson








Thursday, June 4, 2015

Week 1- Satan's pocket knife



Hello my lovely Fam Bam!!

First off, thanks for your letters: I'm glad graduation and TNT went so well! Sounds so fun! and yea, I did get a chance to see Hailey before she left! We bumped into each other a few times and chatted, then she came by and told me about her Achilles tendon and how she was heading home. Glad she made it home safe! Carly and Sean's baby is SOOO CUTE!! Tell them congrats for me!

As for our travel itinerary, we leave the MTC Tuesday the 9th at 5:30am....we take a bus to the tracks then the tracks to the airport. out flight leaves at 11:10 or something from Salt LakeI'm excited to talk to you all!

So the questions:
My comp Sister Cox! Teddi Sue Rose Cox. She’s from St George! She is AWESOME! She’s such a strong girl and works super hard!! She's smart and spiritual and we talk really openly together! She’s the best!! 
Sister Fletcher is from Saratoga Springs UT and she is great! Super spiritual and we have SO MUCH FUN TOGETHER. She and I can't even look at each other without laughing. She said thats the only reason were not companions is cause we would be too crazy and get nothing done.  She the one where if were having a bad day, or a lesson she and I just make eye contact and say "Were hittin the struggle wall...LETS PRAY AND TRY HARDER!"
Sister Linney is her comp. Kyle texted me right before I left and said to keep my eye open for a Brook Linney and this is her. She is a spiritual GIANT! Shes the sweetest person ever! Shes a little like Dad in that shes a joke turtle. Shes pretty laid back and doesnt talk too too much but then she'll just say something and it literally brings us to the floor. She has a scripture for everything. During gym time, we run together a lot.
Sister Jenkins is GREAT! Shes almost 24 and shes from Albuquerque New Mexico. She had a pretty good career going so it was HUGE for her to stop that and come serve a mission! She is one of the bravest people I've met. I feel like she is one of the biggest reasons our district is as open as we are. Shes such a SWEETHEART!! She just cares so much about everyone and is ALWAYS willing to help. Such a great example for us!
Sister King is Sis. Jenkin's comp and shes from Alpine UT. I adore her.We just have the best time. were both a little crazy but we just feed off each other and have a blast!! She always has the best comments in class and is super sensitive to others.

So we got our callings last week! Sister Linney and Fletcher are Sister Training Leaders, Sister King and Jenkins are music leaders, Sis Cox is in charge of media and I was asked to be our District leader. So in short, thats our room!!
So don't hate me...but the computer wont let us send pictures...weve tried EVERYTHING but it wont read any of our stuff. I'll send some first pday out in the field though!! 

Sorry this is so long...so much to tell you!

Wow, so much to tell! So WE MADE IT! Here we are finally in the MTC! And it's totally everything everyone told me it would be and more. In our room we have 6 girls!! Its a tight squeeze! With 6 girls we have AT LEAST 18 suitcases/duffle bags in our tiny little MTC room. haha but it's SO much fun! Our room is our whole district too! so its just us 6 girls. We've gotten really close cause we do EVERYTHING together! Every morning we get up at 6:18 (yes, its a weird time but its a district goal haha), lay out or stuff for the day, have gym time from 6:40 to 7:30, time to shower and change, breakfast at 8, then straight to the classroom! Every day we have personal study, companion study, then classes! We seriously got blessed with the best teachers ever. Bro Hanson, Sis Millward and Sis Nielson. They are all SO guided by the Spirit and so aware of everyone's needs. The first week was a lot of meetings and orientations! and getting to know the branch presidency. So our district is Sis Fletcher, Sis Linney, Sis Jenkins, Sis King, Sis Cox and I. and our branch is our whole zone. We had 2 other sets for sisters and 1 trio of elders in the other district. They all just left on monday to the field! But they were so awesome! Super welcoming and nice. Our first meeting with the branch Presidency was awesome! Pres. Taylor and His wife are so sweet! They met with us all individually and then extended us all callings. It was so cool to see how after just meeting us all once, they were all guided by the Spirit and we all felt like they know us all so well.

Honestly, the first few days from Wednesday to Sunday felt never ending!! They were the BEST and we all learned so much!! Its insane, I've never felt so loved by my Savior but I've also never felt so completely humbled. haha We study preach my gospel non stop and its amazing!! We didn't waste ANY time! By the end of the first few days we already had our first investigators. Sis Cox and I are teaching Jean, Patty and Braden. Jean is in class and Patty and Braden are in TRC. Jean just moved here from England with her 3 kids and her husband. They are having some family problems and can't figure out how to fix things. Her neighbor referred her to us and we’ve been teaching her for the past week. She is SO incredibly strong. Right before our second lesson with her she told us her husband wants a divorce. Her kids are confused and stubborn and she’s just feeling like everything is her fault. We have had some of the most amazing times teaching her. She is so open to the gospel and just loves learning and growing through the Spirit. She is praying every day and night. She is very cautious because of how tender her family situation is right now, but I know the Spirit has been teaching her and she is so strong. Braden is investigating the church and we teach him during TRC time. He's dated/known mormons all of his growing up years but just doesn't have any interest in being a member. He’s very closed off and quiet. The last lesson we had with him we finally got him to open up a bit about why he is so hesitant with the church and why he is so against being a member. The Spirit was definitely there when we were talking, we are just working on helping him recognize the feelings and promptings that he receives. When we started teaching Patty, we were quite nervous because she has been completely atheist since she was a teenager and now shes in her late 60s. We didn't know how to even start, then we found out her 26 year old son just died in an accident. We got the opportunity to talk with her about the plan of salvation and how much God loves her. I think she has had the biggest turn around. She has really lightened up and is so much more accepting of different ideas. She is COMPLETELY logical so in order for her to believe something is has to make logical sense. She really wants to believe the things the Spirit teaches her but just wants proof.. I have complete faith that if she continues to listen to the Spirit then she will know what God needs her to do.

On Tuesday we had a devotional and Elder Christofferson spoke!! It was so incredible! They have a missionary choir that our district was participating in and they had practice right before . Sis Cox and I had a lesson with Braden right before choir practice and we got out late so we were rushing off to see if we could make it. We didn't have enough time to eat dinner AND do choir. we were starving but decided to make it to choir. On our way into the choir room we saw one of my FHE brothers from last semester. He works for BYU security and asked if we could help him. He said if we did, we wouldn't be able to do the choir but he promised it would be worth it. So we went for it. He needed us to stand at the doors where Elder Christofferson would enter and keep people out. Then he reserved us seats front and center to watch the devotional! On top of that, with the way the timing worked, we were blessed to have time for dinner!! haha It seems like such a small silly thing, but it was a huge blessing. It really showed Sister Cox and I that no matter how hungry, tired, stressed, late, etc we are, the Lord is watching out for us all. It was so incredible to be so physically and spiritually close to an apostle of the Lord. You can really feel the love that comes from him. The things that Elder and Sister Christofferson spoke about were such an answer to prayers.

So...Satan's pocket knife...On my way through security to head to the MTC I got held up and they had to unpack some of my bags..it took quite a while and I didn't even know what it could be! But it turns out a pocket knife got into my suitcase somehow...no clue how! but it just showed up. haha so when we were all telling stories as a district, I told them about the pocket knife in my bag and it got referred to as Satan's pocket knife because the sisters said it was trying to keep me from getting to the MTC. haha some of the Sisters turned it into a spiritual thought. the pocket knife was a "weakness" or a tool of satan's to try and keep us from doing good. but its something that we got past. We named our district Satan's Pocket knife because we all want to be people that get past Satan's attempts to tear us down. As silly as it sounds it really has brought us together as a district! We've all been learning so much and I'm so beyond grateful for this group of Sisters.

This past week has FLOWN by and I can't believe were already flying out to Montana on Tuesday. It’s been a whirl wind but its been incredible. I have honestly felt the love of my Heavenly Father here each and every day. No matter how hard it seems, or how discouraged I get, I know I can always count on my Savior. I love this gospel. It is true and I know that even more now than I ever have before. I have been seeing it touch and change peoples live's every day and I know that mine has been changed for sure just this past week. I love you all! Until next time!!

w/<3

Sister Hodgson