Saturday, October 29, 2016

WEEK 74-" I feel it , I have felt I need to do it!"

Holy cow. What a week. I am really having trouble
grasping how so much
can happen in one week. 7 short days and everything happens. It's
kinda insane how time works. Haha but this week my heart is sooooo
full of gratitude for our Savior, my Heavenly Father and the miracles
that happen in this work. It truly is all in the Lord's hands. And my
goodness He loves His children!!!

First off - we bought our Companionship PJs!!

and we did some service at a really cool place- I am sending you some fun stuff mom!


 AND we got our mandatory flu shots :(

So to start off the week, Monday the Burlington Sisters came up here
for exchanges. Lots of things fell thru the day before but then on Tuesday exchanges we had a FULL day of appointments .I was
with Sister Taylor who has just been out about a month and it was such
an awesome time! Everyone was home,
so many people were receptive, people kept their commitments and some baptismal dates were set.
It was amazing to see the Lord provide. We have been praying and praying to

be able to find people and help them progress and the Lord definitely showed us that there are prepared people all over this town. Heanswers prayers!

So things just kept going from there. The sisters left Wednesday morning, and then we had our Fall Branch party out in Ranchester on Thursday night. Remember the D family?? Sister D texted us and said that T(their son)wanted to come and asked if we could take him. We can't take other people in our mission cars, but luckily we were driving to Lovell that
night for exchanges so we had our bikes on the truck. We grabbed our bikes and rode over to the D's where we joined up with T then all biked to the branch party. As soon as he got there, he saw
some of his friends from school. 
It was so sweet to see all the boys his age welcome him in,
introduce themselves and just become fast friends. Gosh I love kids.
They truly are elect. Then we pull up to church on Sunday and we see T's
bike parked on the side of the building a branch member gave him a ride home so we figured he left it there from Thursday and we're
trying to think about how to get it back to him. Then we walk in and see T sitting there in church!! He biked there all by himself and
was sitting with a family in the branch just beaming. We ran over and
said hi to him and he told us "yea, the rest of my family went hunting
today...but I'm the lucky one because I get to come to church!" It was
one of the most precious things ever. “ I am always gonna come”…My friend said it can get boring but even on the boring parts, its where I need to be!!”
Gosh I wish I always had that faith and that
attitude! How many times do we think "ehh, church is kinda boring, I
can probably just come late and miss part of the talks, that should be
fine...." Or "I can play on my phone and still listen, it's not that big of a deal" etc. What a lesson we can learn from this faithful little T. I pray and hope I
can always remember to have the attitude of T-"I know it's good to be here so I'm ALWAYS gona come!"

Another miracle of the week is he payed attention the whole time, even with the crazy speakers! so those crazy speakers were Sister Wong

and I. Haha Saturday afternoon, we got a text from one of the counselors in the branch asking if we could speak on Sunday. AKA in
like 17 hours. We didn't have any time the rest of that day, so we had about an hour on Sunday morning to write our talks before meetings
started. Haha but thank goodness it was a good topic! It was "Christ
visits the Nephites" 3 nephi is the best!!! Everyone should go read it and study it. There is SOOO much in those chapters!!!

Anyway, Thursday night after the branch party we drove to Lovell for
exchanges. It wasn't snowy again is time. It was a nice safe drive. The sisters were having a baptism the next day! It was an older woman they had taught forever and her family was all in town so
they decided to do it right then. The interesting thing is she had had a stroke, so the left side of her body was paralyzed. We went
to the high school pool and they used the lift to get her into the water. It was a baptism like I've never seen before! But it was beautiful and while different with the lift, it process was still the same. 

Exactly the
way Christ did it. Just another testimony to me that this is Christ's church on this earth. It's God's priesthood authority and it's beautiful.

Okay okay. Sorry this is so long..but now for the best part. So the Star Valley temple dedication is this Sunday, and we have just wanted L to be able to come
so badly and we knew she would make it!
Her baptismal date was set for
October 8th so we knew she would be baptized and be able to go, but it was heartbreaking when she said she wasn't quite ready to be baptized then.
She is so active and loves church and is just working on a few things…but we are ALL working on a few things. We have been discussing with her about faith. How pretty much all of the time, it doesn't logically make sense to pay tithing or to
take any of those steps in the dark...but that's why it requires faith! So she's been praying and reading conference talks and she's been just saying "ah I know I need to do it! I have faith! We have all been praying for her peace . But it definitely has to be HER choice, between her and the
Lord. So she's been pretty sick all week but came to church anyway The first speaker in church, his topic was conversion to the church vs. conversion to the gospel. It really rang true with her. Then the second speaker was Bishop. He stood up and pulled out
his iPad for his talk...then he stood there for a minute, then put it away. He said that the Spirit prompted him to take things in a
different direction. He bore beautiful testimony of his gospel, and He talked about what Elder Bednar talked about in conference; how we can't just believe IN Christ, but we have to believe Christ . She was
quite emotional. Afterward, we went to talk with her. She was sobbing and just saying how much she
knows this church is true. She bore her testimony to us about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. We sat there for about 20-30 minutes and
just listened to her talk. She talk about her fears, her joys, her testimony, what's holding her back, everything. It was amazing to see
the Spirit work on her. She was pretty much having a conversation with herself and with the Lord. She worked through frustrations of her family, of her situation, of her desires. And we listened. But what
was incredible was to see her change. Through this 30 minutes or so, she went from frustration and hurt, to calm and strength. Then she told us she needs to take her next step. And her next step is baptism.
Then she goes "okay. Okay I'm ready. I need to show The Lord I am converted to Him and His gospel. I feel it, I have felt it! Now I need
to do it. I need to be baptized as soon as possible" Then Leslie goes "okay let's go talk to bishop!" She
closes her car door and grabs us by the hand and starts marching back
into the church.

It was one of the most incredible experiences of my mission. All the
time, the Lord blessed us to see people become converted and changed and have their desire and conviction grow...but this was amazing to see
so much happen in a short span of time,Everything changed for Leslie.
We went and met with bishop right then and set a date for this Thursday. And then Bishop
Anderson goes "you know Leslie, it's funny that you're here having this experience today. Because just yesterday, I was in the temple and
was praying for you. I felt very prompted to put
Your name on the prayer roll in the Temple so I did." He then proceeded to explain to Leslie what the prayer roll was and Sister Wong and I
proceeded to start crying. I know without a doubt that that is the power of God.

I know that this work is true. The Spirit testified to me once again this week .This gospel is true. Heavenly Father loves each of us and
knows what we need, when we need it and when we will be ready for it.
I am so grateful to be serving here in Sheridan. I can't explain how grateful I am to be serving the Lord at this time in this place. I
know that each of us has things we can work on, things we can strengthen. That is the beauty of this life is there is ALWAYS progress. I know I have so much to work on. Sometimes it's scary. But
I also know without a doubt that Jesus Christ lives and loves us all. And He is waiting for each of us to take that next step out in the dark, whatever it is. Because it's then that He can lift us and light
the way for us.

I love you!! Have an amazing week.

Sister Hodgson

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