Wednesday, July 29, 2015

week 9- Family!!!

Hey family:)
This week was another amazing week here in the Beautiful MBM ( for those who do not speak BECCA,  Montana Billings mission )!

My testimony was really strengthened of one of most simple but important principles this week:
the gospel blesses families.
We have seen so many miracles in finding and we're currently teaching
lots of amazing individuals but FAMILIES are the "central unit in
society" right? So we LOVE to teach the whole family~!!

We've been working with a sweet woman named J. Her husband
is a member of the church that is not attending. They have 2 kids together and she has been
Meeting with missionaries for a long time, she likes it but….
We meet with her every week but her husband never meets with us.  We had been praying for him to join us and
then  we invited them to have family prayer each
night before bed.
The next  time when we invited her husband to
stay for the lesson he was like "yea actually I will!!" He ran and
grabbed his scriptures and came to sit with us. We had been praying
and praying to know what to teach that  and though it is not popular we came to the conclusion that the Word of Wisdom was the one.
So H  ( J’s husband) says~ "so I decided to quit smoking" WHAT?! WOOHO!

They both have been working hard to quit and their windows are open the room is lighter, the house is cleaner,  They are happier , the music has changed in the home and they are healthier and it all started with kneeling in family prayer.     It was incredible to see!.
H shared how the gospel blessed his family growing up
and how the things that they did as a family strengthened them and how
they can help us all.  Its beautiful to see him REMEMBER.  I LOVE working with this family!!

Mommy and Daddy I just have to say how much I really love and
appreciate you both. I have been blessed to grow up with the Gospel of Jesus Christ; Reading scriptures, praying, family time, late night talks
on the bed (when you could have been sleeping but instead, took the
time to help, laugh, teach et. all these
things and so much more have blessed and strengthened our family so
much. With everything going on right now it sometimes feels like the
emphasis and importance of family gets tossed out the window. But
FAMILY IS IMPORTANT! And I love you guys.

Also, on Saturday we did a zone "out of the box" finding activity. We did a free car wash! It was super fun. We waved signs and got to talk
to the people whose cars we washed. We handed out proclamations to the
family and talked about how families are ordained of God and a
blessing. We were able to bear our testimonies of the influence of the gospel on our families.

We had dinner at with the W family…The girls built a playhouse from Scratch they are so darling!


 Sorry it's scattered today! We spent preparation day at bro baileys
with Kirby making rings!  SO COOL!

 Love you!!! Sister Hodgson


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

week 8 - looking for those "God - slapped- us- in-the-face" moments

 Great Falls take 2

 Transfer calls last night!! Sister Adair and I are staying here in
Great Falls!! We're super happy cause the work is picking up even more
and we just LOVE the people were working with! Our district is the BEST!!

This is Sister Hickman from the Overlook Ward….all the missionaries take pictures with Freddie the Fox….its “Tradition”!!

Cool miracle this week! K (from 4th of July) just got baptized last month. He was meeting with the missionaries for 7 MONTHS before he finally decided he could take that step. He thinks things thru. So K comes to church every week but has never in his life stayed for priesthood. He is nervous about getting the priesthood so he doesn't want to go. We had a lesson with him about the priesthood and the spirit was Incredible. We really talked about what the priesthood is and how it's used to bless others. We talked about how we don't have to be PERFECT.. To be honest I don't even remember everything that was said, but I remember the Spirit that was there. And I think that's how we know that the spirit was the one doing the teaching.
We invited him to commit to staying the full 3 hours for priesthood. Then later in the week he texted and said he had a "God-slapped-me-in-the-face-story" to tell us.  He had decided the challenge was too hard. Then he was walking home from work and there were these 2 cars racing down the street. Right before they got to him a ball bounced from the day care he was walking past into the street and a little girl ran after it. He grabbed her right before
the cars flew past then he went out to get the ball. He looked at the
ball and saw what name was written on it and looked up and said to God
"Really?! Fine I'll go to priesthood!”
Kirby told me that the name on the ball was "Hodgson" and as soon as he saw that, he knew God was telling him the priesthood was important and something he needed to work toward. Something so simple but it really spoke to Kirby and that is exactly what he needed. Its incredible to see how God guides us. I think we've all had "God-slapped-us-in-the-face-stories" and it's just Incredible to know how much God knows each of us personally. He knows
us by name. He knows our strengths, our weaknesses, our fears, our hopes, what we need help with and when we need a kick to get us moving and becoming the person He needs us to be.

We had exchanges this week with the sister training leaders. I got to go to Helena with Sister Rasmussen for Friday and  spend the night. It was the best!! I've been feeling a little off because I KNOW we could be bearing testimony more! I learned so much about just putting EVERYTHING out there. We were able ask questions, talk with those we met and really testify of how the message of this gospel is unique!  When sister Adair and I were back together we went tracting. And man oh man it was the best ever!! Holy cow I love tracting.

Speaking of COWS…there are quite a lot of them here in MONTANA!

Some amazing blessings this week:
 We met with Sister U from Overlook Ward. Her 15 year old sister has been coming to church to so we will get to help her learn more about what we believe.
We got a phone call from an older man named S. He called and left
a message and said "Ahh it's the missionaries. IM SO EXCITED TO
FINALLY FIND YOUR NUMBER! Please call me back as soon as you get this and we can talk! I've read the Book of Mormon over and over and know it's
true! I need this in my life." He's amazing. R and DL are coming to church with their children now and Loving it!!

Wow. God is incredible
He puts us all where we need to be! My companion and I have had some GREAT talks and we both really are appreciating what we learning from each other. Our strengths and weaknesses complement each other.  Companions are a whole other blessing from the mission.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!! I miss you like crazy but I pray for you every morning and night.  Even through the crazy times we learn, stretch and grow! We take those times and do our best to become better missionaries, better people and better children of God. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us. It's so Incredible how much they trust us. Watch for those times where God "slaps you in the face" and learn from those. And watch for the miracles in life because I can promise you they are everywhere.

Sister Hodgson

Friday, July 17, 2015

Week 7- ask seek and knock

Well this certainly was a week of some of the highest highs and lowest lows! We've really been focusing a lot on noticing how much God's hand in EVERYTHING.
there were definitely both this week. I'd like to focus on a few in particular.
It all started with zone training that we had on Tuesday.  I have a great zone !!

We were really focusing on the Spirit.  How to recognize and rely on the Spirit.  I've never really had the best confidence or faith in my ability to receive direction or answers from the Spirit. Its something that I really wanted to strengthen coming out here and I’ve been praying a lot for help with it.  I've been using "if it's good then it's of God" and trying to act upon any promptings I might get.
They say the only way to get better at recognizing those things is to act on them.

I guess my ZLs noticed something was up. They asked if I was doing ok.  I did not want to seem like a whiner, but eventually they got it out of me.  A few days later, they called and asked sister Adair and I to give a discussion at zone training on "recognizing and Receiving guidance and promoting from the Spirit" and "praying in faith". At first I was like REALLY?!
 Haha but the more I started reading and studying up on it, the more I knew it was actually an answer to my prayers. I came to know how much the promptings we get depends on US.

In preach my gospel, it says that God will answer our prayers but "He asks that you remain worthy of His gift and that you ask, seek and knock". At first I took this to mean I wasn't worthy of His gift. But the more I reflected on myself, the more I realized I had stopped asking, seeking and knocking. Christ is always there, ready and willing but we need to humble ourselves and ask for his help.  During zone discussion there was lots said about how the areas had been difficult lately and many felt they were not reaching their potential.  We felt prompted to invite the zone to do what my district had done in the MTC . We all took 5 minutes in the middle of the meeting to kneel in personal prayer and sincerely ask God, point blank, what He needs us to learn and how we specifically can be better right now.  Wow. The spirit in that room was tangible. I know without a doubt that my testimony was strengthened and I felt closer to my Father in Heaven. I know without a doubt that He is there. He listens and He does answer, if we only ask, seek and knock.

That lesson really stuck with us all the whole week.  We finally got to meet with N again. She had a tough week. She got fired, kicked out of her apartment and she sent her daughter to live with her parents so she doesn't have to live in the car with her.  She is so sweet and is working hard with many people to change her situation.   But she recognized the feeling she felt when we visited her and while she needs to work on a few temporal things in her life right now she is craving the spiritual also.  It will be a long hard road for her but we believe she can do this!!

So…while TRYING to rely on the spirit… We were street visiting and sister Adair was like "okay tell me where to go" so I'd just say Left or Right until we got somewhere then I was like Okay pull over! So we got out of the car.  The second house we knocked on a guy named A. opened the door. He has a crazy past but was really looking to change! He said he really felt something when we visited with him and he wanted us to come back. Crazy right?? It gets better. Turns out he's N's brother! This is where it gets a different kind of crazy.

He is an ex-Satanist. He has a battle with drinking also and  as soon as we got there we felt the spirit start to leave. He was starting to get back into his old ways and said the only way to help him would be to cleanse him and get the demons out of him. We talked a bit about God's love for us and how there's no such thing as "too far gone" and how the things we give power to are the things that start to control our life. He wasn't exactly in a place where he could listen. He started muttering some things and talking about the anti Christ and we really knew we had to get out of there. We testified of Gods love and how there is always help, said a prayer with him and left. Hours later when he had sobered up he actually called us and apologized for the way he acted and said he really did want help. We're setting a time to meet with him again but we're bringing a brother from the ward with us.

Anyway, crazy times here in Montana! Lots of Casinos and people lost and wasted and confused...... But it's BEAUTIFUL as ever once you get out of the city.

 I am learning SOOOO much. Yes it's hard. Yes it's stressful. Yes it hurts when you see people struggling or just refusing God's love.  But something that I've REALLY been learning is He is always there. He helps us when we ASK, He answers us when we SEEK and He always opens when we KNOCK.

I love you all!!!!

Sister Hodgson