Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week 26- Just a few notes.....Happy Thanksgiving

  I get to stay here with Sister Rassumusen ....but  some of the zone is leaving and so we took a last official shot.

Zone picture!!
Back row: Elder Cobabe(our DL), McGrath(ZL), Brimley, Wells(ZL),
Smith, Landry(other DL), Blum, Rich, Story and Evans
Front row: me, Sister Rasmussen, Wankier, Embry, Henninger and Hallett

Keri:  How are the residules from the BEAR SPRAY?
Haha lots of people teasing! President Wadsworth is one of the worst!! Haha goodness gracious I love him and sister Wadsworth. They were very concerned! But once they found out we're okay it's been the biggest joke. I think I told you the billings temple president, and his wife, and elder Carden(the 70) teased us a lot too. Hahah it's a good story after the fact. I've been coughing up a little here and there and you can still smell it a TINY bit in the car...but nothing too bad! And I have a red/chapped/old lady section of my hand...looks like I have eczema or something...haha but it's getting better:)

LOTS of Exchanges and I LOVE  working with all the sisters in the ward!!

 Keri:  I tried to give her a pep talk about working out of her comfort zone and doing some instructing with the sisters in the mission:
Awh mommies always know just what to say....thanks mommy. I love you so much! I miss you!! But I also LOVE it here in Helena and know it's where I'm supposed to be. Trusting in the Lord has been a HUGE focus of mine. And sometimes I'm really good at it! Other times not so much....but I know that no matter how much we try in this life, were always going to have ups and downs! I don't think anyone just gets "perfect" at one thing for the rest of their life. Each day, we have the opportunity to choose and make choices and it's through making those little choices we BECOME better. I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the talk by elder Pearson "Stay By The Tree". I think he says it perfectly! He says "Brothers and sisters, enduring to the end is the great test of discipleship. Our daily discipleship will determine our eternal destiny. Awaken unto God, cling to truth, keep your sacred temple covenants, and stay by the tree!" And I love that! We choose daily what kind of disciple of the Lord we are going to be. And some days are better than others but as long as we're moving forward, enduring to the end, enjoying it and BECOMING more like our Savior, we are doing what the Lord asks of us.

So long story short, it's an every day thing! But I know that missions are meant for us. My mission is meant for me specifically to learn what the Lord needs me to learn and become who He needs me to be. Every day, every day, every day! Learn stretch grow right?:) and it's hard. Yes it's hard but I LOVE it.

I love you !  Happy Thanksgiving
Sister Hodgson

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 25- warning- watch out for BEARSpray

Holy cow.  How is it already almost thanksgiving?!  Wow.  #1- Eat lots for me!!!  And #2- Pray for Sister Rasmussen and I!!  We have a few different thanksgiving dinners we're going to....we'll have to work out how to fit all this in our tummies.  Gotta love missions though!

Because of Thanksgiving , transfers are next MONDAY!!  Eek.  This transfer went WAY too fast.  Keep in your prayers that Sister Rasmussen and I will stay together!!
Haha just kidding.  It's all the Lords work.  But really though;)

So this week was full of SOOO much! So many mixed emotions and so many questions asked and answered.  We had 2 more exchanges this week so that was fun.  We sometimes spend HOURS in the car each week; on exchanges and doing reports for president and in meetings and
everything and all this amazing stuff!  It's AWESOME and I'm learning
SOOO much!!  But I kinda feel like we literally don't have TIME to do
some of the things we want to do for the work in this area!  But we're
learning how to balance it all out between the technical stuff,and the service and teaching we love to do.

Two sisters that we have been working with came to church and it was neat to see how they loved what they felt and they testified of the joy of coming to worship.

We have been trying to get to meet with the S family but they are NEVER home (Sister Rasmussen has been trying for 5 months.)  Last night we had some finding time and were planning on visiting another family, but we were prompted to go visit the S family.  We went by and THEY WERE THERE!!!!!   And the LET US IN!!!!!  Sister S let us in and her daughter sat in for the lesson too!!!  Gahh it's was great.  We talked all about the Sacrament
and the Atonement and the Spirit was so strong.  The Lord definitely
guides His servants to where He needs them to be.  It was a good little miracle.
Well this weekend was crazy!  We had the BYU Young Ambassadors come in town!  It was a big thing, for MONTHS there have been fliers and things. Us missionaries were asked to be ushers.  We were planning on leaving as soon as the show started.  Then they said we could stay and watch the show!!  WHAT?!
Funny thing, the theme was “Heartstrings-Melodies of LOVE”.  Haha so yea. A bunch of missionaries sat and watched that.  Haha  It was really well done though!  They had Frankie Vallie songs, Michael Jackson, Michael Buble, radio songs, etc.  It was great!  To be completely honest it was a little weird to sit there and do NOTHING for an hour and a half and have wordly songs and all that lovey stuff;) Hahahaaha But we got to meet lots of great people so that was fun.

And to make things even more fun it was stake conference this week!!  So President and Sister Wadsworth were there!  And Elder Carden, a member of the 70.  Stake Conference was awesome!  It was focused on Councils-Ward and Family and all kinds.  It's so true.  The Lords
kingdom is run by councils.  From the very beginning we had examples of
councils in the pre-earth life and forever.  And that's exactly how we
do things now.  I'm so grateful to grow up in a family where we had
regular family councils!   We didn't always refer to them as "councils", but  we made decisions as a family.  We talked together, worked things out, learn and grew together.  This is the Lords way of doing things.  It was an awesome stake conference!!

OKAY!  But now for an explanation of the title.  Sooo....I think in order to fully appreciate what happened we need a quick story from last preparation day.  Sister Rasmussen and I went out exploring our little cabin area.  We went to go see the tracks that had been left
by the animals around our cabin.   While we were out there we snapped a few pictures. Sister Rasmussen had said a few times she heard something and thought it was a bear or something...I hadn't heard anything yet so we kept going.  The people whose home we
stay in- told us they see bears and stuff often so to carry bear spray.  So as I'm taking a picture of sister Rasmussen, we definitely hear a branch snap.  We look over just in time to hear this GROWL and to see a HUGE BROWNISH TAN ANIMAL RUN DOWN THE  MOUNTAIN!!  About 20 feet away from us!  Holy cow.  Sister Rasmussen with her lightning fast reflexes grabs the bear spray and BOOKS it into the house!  So I clued in and ran inside after her. Haha  Anyway, it was terrifying.  It was definitely a cougar or a bobcat or a mountain lion or some thing from what the people in our Ward have been saying.

So anyway.  We've been carrying bear spray really diligentlyl. Haha  So then this Friday was an eventful night!  We were on our way home from the Young Ambassadors performance as we pull into the garage, Sister Rasmussen is getting something out of the trunk and I reach to gab the bear spray before I get out of the car.  It was stuck in the door cubby so I pulled it hard to get it out.  Bad idea. The bear spray hits the car door and goes off!  It sprayed ALL OVER my hand and sprayed backward into my face, eyes and mouth.  It was paralyzing!  Oh gosh.  And burned like no other.  Poor Sister Rasmussen just hears me coughing and gagging and telling her to run!  We ran out of the garage away from the spray, it was seriously like a movie it was ridiculous.  By this point, Sister Rasmussen had gotten some her throat too and was coughing too.  We come barreling out of the garage and I just flung myself onto the snow cause it burned so bad. Let me tell you.  Longest night of my life.  I spent HOURS washing my hands and my face and trying to get it out of my eyes and mouth.  Not gonna lie I was a little panicked.  And we couldn't go anywhere in the car cause it was SOOO strongly bear sprayed.  So we called a few nurses or doctors from the ward and President and Sister Wadsworth but NO ONE answered. (well sweet Sister Rasmussen called, I was just shoving snow on my face and hands to make it not burn haha)  We finally didn't know who else to call so we called the zone leaders because they live with President Bingham and we couldn't get ahold of him.  To make things even better, Elder Carden, the General authority was staying at the Binghams so he heard the WHOLE STORY.  Oh gosh. Haha  Anyway, it was a long night. Haha  Sister Rasmussen said we need to go to the E.R. but we couldn't drive the car.  Haha  Yea it was rough.  President Bingham had an ER doctor from 5th Ward call us and he told us to soak it in milk.  So we did.  Yea didn't help! Haha  All in all, I was up till about 4:30 that night washing and soaking my hand and face.

ANYWAY sorry for the eternally long stories and email!  But it was definitely one for the books. Haha   Saturday and Sunday were better.  My hands and face were still a little swollen but lots better!  Still burned a bit and still coughing a bit up but doing lots better!  The zone leaders gave me a blessing yesterday.   Can I just say that it was a huge testimony that  blessings come from our Heavenly Father.  There were things said in the blessing that I haven't really told anyone I've been struggling with but that my Heavenly Father knew.  The Priesthood power is real and what a blessing that we have access to it in our lives.

All in all it was a crazy week.  I LOVE my mission.  I can't even describe how much I love serving the Lord in this work.  Don't get me wrong, it's tough!  But the tough times are completely overshadowed by the good times. I love it I love it!! 
I LOVE you family and I miss you every day!!  But I also love Helena and know it's where I need to be right now.   I love you soo much!!  Work hard, pray always and love much!

Sister Hodgson

Seeing Sister Crossland again was the BEST!!!  Some pics from our exchanges.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

WEEK 24 - The Best 2 Years/18 Months FOR Your Life


Oh my goodness!!   It's been SO insane lately.  With moving and hiking and exchanges and just plain going crazy...I'm sorry I haven't written in forever!  But today we're spending unpacking.  Things are busy, but they've been the best ever!!
I'm sorry if it's a little scattered...but it's just
been an awesome past few weeks! 

So the trailer was so sweet of sister S to share with us…we have now moved to the new place... And  it's a cabin in the woods!



And it SNOWS LIKE CRAZY!! We got a foot and a half just overnight. They gave us bear spray to use because their said there are sometimes bears on their porch…Yikes!, but it's BEAUTIFUL!!


We've been doing exchanges a LOT.  We have 8 sets of sisters to cover so it's been LOTS and lots of exchanges!--but oh my goodness exchanges are the BEST!! I learn so much each time!!  There are INCREDIBLE sisters here in MBM and I just feel SO blessed to be able to spend time with them and learn about the way we all do missionary work!

We do a lot of exchanges so I was worried the work would suffer her but somehow the Lord blesses us to fit it all in.   I even got to go back to Great Falls!  I got to go on an exchange with sister Crosland back to Overlook Ward and that was so great!  Her companion Sister Falemi came here to Helena with sister Rasmussen.  While in GF we got to teach D and R and that was SO GOOD TO SEE THEM AGAIN!  They are still on date to be baptized and they're getting married on the 19th probably!!  So excited for them!

Sooooo....the work here in Helena.   Previously, there has been a TON of Rescue work!
which is SO IMPORTANT!!  The savior has taught time and time again about going to find the one. --also, everyone go read the talk by L. Tom Perry "bring souls unto me".   It's so good.  When elder Martino came and talked to our mission, the entire focus was working with members to find who is prepared at this time to hear the gospel.  And holy cow.  When
the Lord gives us a new way to focus our teaching, boy does He provide a way!!

Just one of the stories, brother works with a woman named T who hasn't been to church in years and her boyfriend and son aren't members.  Bro. Cs family invited them to come, and All 3 of them CAME to church!!  People feel the spirit and want to understand it.

Another, a family we visited with with Ward members came and brought all of their children.
It was great to sit with a family and see their eyes as they remember why they used to come to church.

And, last night,  during Ward council we got a referral Sent from my iPad.

We're also working with another family that are Native American and have a large wonderful family.  Some attend our church and some don’t and we have great conversations!!.

It's an amazing area and the Lord is hastening His work.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I love this work!  Missions are seriously the best.  The hardest but the best.  President Wadsworth always says "missions don't always feel like the best 2 years/18 months of your life, but they're truly the best 2 years/18 months FOR your life."  Couldn't be more true.  It's so funny the mixed feelings.  I've never been so aware of my inadequacies!!  Sometimes they just get thrown in your face, it's a blast. Hah.

But I've also never felt so strengthened by the Lord.  So much love, hope and patience.

Well I love you!  I love Montana and I just dang love this work!!  So many amazing people in this world to help move the work along.  We truly are blessed to have the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives.

Sister Hodgson

A text I received from my Zone Leaders when it started snowing here. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

WEEK 23- really moving

Today has been  insane !! We went hiking for preparation day and Then we had to move to the new place. I will get you an address soon.

I'll take notes during the week to be able to send a full report next week.  I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!


Sister Hodgson


 Sister Training leaders Training Meeting

Hanging with the Companion and being silly...