Monday, April 8, 2013

Sister Hudson week 6

I have SO much I want to share with you all! Didn't you all LOVE General Conference?! I thought it was incredible and I loved every talk! Also, the music was AMAZING!! My love for the Tabernacle Choir continues to grow and I still would love to be a part of that choir one day. The BYU choir was also incredible! I almost want to say that a couple of their songs were the best ones out of all of General Conference! Their voices blended so well and it was absolutely perfect! They all were spectacular!

This week has been so great for Sister Kurtz and I! We have seen the Gospel of Jesus Christ affect so many different people's lives. First off, I just want to add my testimony to those that were shared in General Conference. There are a lot of different churches here, but I have seen how The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is different from all other churches. Although we may have many of the same beliefs, the priesthood power has been restored to the earth and it was given to Joseph Smith. It has been passed down from him and we still have a living prophet on the Earth right now. I know that is Thomas S. Monson. I have seen what a blessing it is to have the Book of Mormon! I love the Book of Mormon and I am so grateful for it! The Book of Mormon and the Bible testify of each other and they both testify of Jesus Christ! I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior and Redeemer of the world! God is our Heavenly Father. He knows and loves us perfectly. What a blessing it is to know that! 

We have been teaching a part-member for a few weeks now. Err...well, they are not married yet, but they have a child together, Haley. Joseph is a member and Whitney is not. Joseph has a son from a previous marriage, Brenden, but Brenden considers Whitney his mom. Anyway, Whitney wants to be baptized and she has had a testimony of the church for a long time. We have been trying to set a wedding date for them so that she can be baptized. Yesterday, we finally set a date! I am praying so hard that everything will work out. They are so great and they have so much love in their family! I know that when Joseph and Whitney get married their family will be so blessed!! We would love for them to be sealed in the temple and I believe they want that as well. 

We are teaching another part-member family as well. Actually, we are teaching several part-member families/relationships. This one is so great! Bobby and Geraldine have been married for over 50 years, but they have never attended an LDS church together. Bobby stopped attending church when they got married. Anyway, Geraldine is gaining a testimony of her own and she is so excited about the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is so sweet and we love her!

Okay, I'm sending some pictures from our zone activity on Monday last week! We went to the Natural Science Center in Greensboro and I took a lot of pictures! Also, I wanted Dad to see some of the landscaping here! I feel like everyone here puts so much effort into their lawn care and there are so many BEAUTIFUL yards! I am in awe of the beautiful homes and lawns all over North Carolina! I haven't been able to take pictures of some of my favorite ones, but I have a few of some pretty ones. I also LOVE the homes here! Some of the homes are over 100 years old!! The people here have mastered the beauty of brickwork, that is for sure! I never liked brick buildings before, but my mind has been changed! Anyway, I need to go, but I love you all!! 

Love, Sister Hudson

Sister Hudson week 5

This week went by so fast! Sister Kurtz and I have been keeping super busy and I believe our hard work is paying off. We accomplished almost all of our goals and we are striving to do even better this week. We have found a couple new investigators, but we still haven't been able to get our investigators to attend church, even when they committed to be there. We are working hard to help them see how important attending church is. 
There is one experience I want to share with you. There is a Sister in the ward here that has been inactive for awhile. Her husband and four kids are not members of the Church. She recently had lower back surgery and is struggling with her recovery. She wants to recover much sooner than normal, but that isn't happening. She is a very independent person and she hates having people take care of her. Anyway, I shared parts of my story about my car accident and about the things I struggled with. I feel like it really helped her because she changed her perspective. I am so grateful that I was able to give her words of comfort because I know how badly she needed them.
I know I keep bragging about how incredible the ward members are here, but I will do it again! I am continually amazed at how much they give to help the missionaries. When I get home, one of the first things I will do is contact the missionaries and ask them if I can go visit investigators with them! I have seen how important it is for members to give referrals and then to work with the missionaries to teach investigators. There are very few members here in Rockingham County, but there is so much support!
There are a couple ward members here that started a tradition in the county. They call it a Day of Service, but it lasts for about a month. This is an annual thing they started 3 years ago. They do a food drive and a blood drive and the entire county is invited to participate. Several businesses, neighborhoods, etc participate. Anyway, yesterday was the Kick-off to start the "Day of Service." There were several people there from other churches, there was a mayor, two people from the Salvation Army, etc, and then there were a few people from the ward. Oh and Sister Kurtz and I were there too. Anyway, it was so touching to hear one of the Mayor's get up and talk about how much he appreciated the efforts of everyone involved. He said that when he visited the Bishop Storehouse in Greensboro, he was astounded by how much the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints gives to people. When he was talking to one of the workers there, the worker told him, "It doesn't matter what you believe. We are ALL children of God." I felt like it was a great opportunity for people in the community to see that the Church is not evil and the negative things that they may have read or heard about the Church are not true.
I want to encourage you to work a little harder to fellowship members of the ward that may be inactive or may need a friend. I have met way too many people that stopped attending church, but may still be if they felt more loved by the ward members. It is SO sad to be meet people that have been missing out on the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for 10, 20, 30, and even 40+ years. They often forget what those blessings are and just get comfortable living the lives they live. Anyway, I know you all are busy, because everyone is, but please try a little harder to do that. :)  Haha, I'm telling you, I think the people here are happier because they have so many friends! Most people know all their neighbors and spend time with a lot of them.
Okay, I need to get going, but I love you all and I am so grateful for all the emails I received this week! I love to hear how your families are doing, so please keep me updated! 
I know that I am right where I need to be! I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! I know that Jesus Christ truly did suffer for all of our sins along with our infirmities, pains, sorrow, etc. He understands everything that we go through. I know that He was resurrected and because of that, I know that we too will be resurrected. I know the Book of Mormon is true and I love it! I have been able to spend so much time studying it and I love it more every day! God is real, He loves us, He has a plan for us.
Okay everyone, have a wonderful day!
Love, Sister Hudson

Sister Hudson week 4

Hello hello everyone! I have had an incredible week, all over the state! We had a training meeting on Thursday, so Sister Kurtz and I drove down there on Wednesday night with the Summit sister missionaries and stayed in Concord, NC with the sister missionaries there. Then on our drive back, we did an exchange with the Summit Sisters. This means we traded companions for a day. I stayed in Greensboro (Summit area) with Sister Albertson, and Sister Kurtz when back to Eden with Sister Tanner. Greensboro is BEAUTIFUL! I loved the time I was able to spend there. We met so many good people! Sister Albertson and Sister Tanner actually opened the area, which means there were not sister missionaries there before, so they are trying to get to know all the ward members and the people in the neighborhoods. It was a great experience, but I think the greatest thing I learned was how amazing my companion is!!! My love for her has grown so much as I have seen how much she has taught me. Sister Albertson has only been out 5 weeks longer than me, so she is still learning too, but I feel like my trainer is probably the greatest trainer in the mission. I will definitely miss her when she goes home in 15 days. FIFTEEN DAYS! AAAHHH!! She is getting a little "trunky," but she is still doing such a great job!

Okay, I have a story for you. I've had a lot of great experiences this week, but I only have time for one story. Sorry! Anyway, this 20-year old guy called us on Thursday night. He didn't leave a message, but we called back since we missed the call. His mom and step-dad are in the ward here in Eden. When he was in high school, he was a great member of the church. He went to four years of EFY, graduated from seminary, baptized his step-dad, went on teams with the missionaries, etc. When he went to college, he said he decided to try out life away from the church. The funny thing is, all the friends he made were strong Christians and good people. He began attending other churches, went on a week-long service mission, studied The Bible like he never had before, etc. Well, he stopped reading The Book of Mormon and began telling people he was no longer a Mormon. Long story short, over the past few weeks, he has begun to question what he has been doing over the past few years, which is why he called us. We know his mom pretty well, so we know she's been a little concerned about him. She knows he is doing great things, but she knows that he can't find all the blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in these other churches. Anyway, we set up a time to meet with him on Saturday with his mom and step-dad. It was incredible!!! He just started talking and we just let him talk for about 40 minutes. He pretty much figured everything out on his own just by talking it out. We did talk to him and answer a lot of his questions afterwards, but really, I think he just needed to vocalize his thoughts before he could figure out what he needed to. We helped him realize that he definitely still has a strong testimony of the Gospel, he knows The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. We explained the Atonement of Jesus Christ to him and I think that was one of his biggest concerns about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He grew up believing that we thought that we were saved by works and not by grace. As he has studied these other religions, he no longer believes that. Some other churches believe that we are saved by grace alone, but he didn't believe that either. I believe he found a different church that believes we are saved by grace and works. We told him what our Church believes and helped him see that we ultimately are saved by grace, but that our works also play a part. I told him that I used to believe the same way he did (that the Church believes we are saved by works alone), but that I had come to find what our Church teaches; what the scriptures teach us. Do you remember when I gave my farewell talk in the Mitchell Ward? I said that I used to believe the Atonement was like me carrying a load of laundry from the dryer to the couch. The symbolism was that I would be saved if I could get the entire load to the couch in one try. I thought that the Savior, Jesus Christ, would just pick up the few pieces that I dropped. As I studied the scriptures and continued to learn about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I found that that was completely wrong! Jesus Christ paid the full price! He carried the full "load of laundry!" He just asks that we follow Him and His example in order to be saved. We must do the things He has instructed us to do through the Scriptures and through the Prophet. We must come to Him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit and allow Him to heal us from our sins. After sharing those thoughts, we compared the Atonement to the analogy of the mother paying for piano lessons for her child. She paid the full price for the lessons. She does not expect her child to pay her back in cash. She expects her child to practice and learn how to play the piano. That is how the child can attempt to "repay" the mother. Anyway, this 20-year old kid came to church yesterday and I feel like he is figuring out what he needs to do. He knows that the priesthood authority is back on the Earth and that it was given to Joseph Smith. I have high hopes for him, and I'm hoping he decides to serve a mission. We committed him to begin studying The Book of Mormon again to help him regain and strengthen his testimony. It was a wonderful experience!!! His mother was so grateful for the time we spent with him, but like we told her, he was pretty much teaching himself. As he talked to us, he realized what he knew was true.

Okay, I'm sorry I don't have time to write more! My zone is getting together to go to the Natural Science Center in Greensboro today. I love you all!! 

Love, Sister Hudson

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sister Hudson Week 3

Hello again everyone!! I have good news! They changed the emailing rules for missionaries, soooo.....I can write for a longer amount of time so I won't be so rushed! Also, they said that we are now allowed to email friends! If anyone requests my email address (because I'm sure there are probably 35,421 people that have been hounding you for my address!), feel free to give it to them. I love letters! :) Oh, and I just received Richie's and Jennifer's letters on Thursday! It was so nice to get letters in the mail AND to finally hear from Jennifer! I feel like I've been out for months! Not weeks! Oh, but it is so good to be serving a mission. I wish that everyone would serve a mission, even if it is just to learn the things I've learned.
Okay, I'll tell you a little bit about what went on last week. We had to make 3 different trips to Greensboro (about 50 minutes away) for a Zone Activity on Monday, interviews with the Mission President on Thursday, and a Zone Meeting on Friday. Because of this, we weren't able to spend as much time teaching. On Monday for our Zone activity, we played ultimate frisbee, soccer, then football together as a zone. There are 20 missionaries in my zone, four of us our sister missionaries. That was SO fun, but Sister Kurtz (my companion) and I were so sore for a couple days! We both had a couple of hard meeting with the ground! I never thought I would get more injuries while playing sports on my mission than I ever received from playing sports in college! Anyway, my interview with my mission president on Thursday was fantastic! President Craven is such a great man and he helped me get right back on track with my mission plans. Sister Kurtz and I have been struggling A LOT to find people to teach. And the appointments we had set up had almost all been cancelled (or they just weren't home). It was getting very disappointing because we have been putting in so much effort! I've had a lot of good lessons about agency and the wonderful blessing it is that everyone can make their own decisions. It can sometimes be hard to see why that is a blessing. The Zone meeting was very good and we talked a lot about the importance of church attendance for our investigators.
Yes, Sister Hunter told me that she was able to get ahold of you. I wish you all could meet her! She is such an amazing person and she does so much to help everyone around her! It never ceases to amaze me how much time and effort she puts into her calling, into helping us missionaries, and into just being Christlike all the time! There are several people in the ward here that are like that. Everyone seems to have great relationships with all of their neighbors and they all help each other out when needed. I am determined to build these same relationships with all my neighbors for the rest of my life!
Okay, let me share a couple experiences with you all....I mean ya'll! :) Haha, I haven't picked up any sort of accent, but maybe after 18 months I'll have it. The first thing I'll share is about the Ewings (the couple I mentioned in my last email). Our visit wasn't as incredible as last week's, but it was still good. We committed Brother Ewing to begin studying the Book of Mormon again. It's been awhile since he has done that. He still has a strong testimony and I can see that he is aching to come back to church. He is such a good man who is doing what he needs to to keep his family together.
Okay, next thing. Sister Kurtz and I have been trying to "clean up" the ward directory. We have found TONS of wrong numbers, people that have moved, etc. There is a name on the list that no one recognized, so we decided to go visit her a couple weeks. We left a note for her because she was not home. We decided to drop by again on March 16th. She was outside trimming her trees so we talked to her for a little while. Come to find out, she hasn't attended church for about 30 years! (Not since college). We found out more about her and how she came to Eden. It is an incredible story and she is convinced that this is where she needs to be. After hearing her story I am CERTAIN this is where she needs to be. The thing is, she's been here for two years and she hasn't figured out why she needs to be here. Sister Kurtz and I feel like we may know, ;) so we're going to try and get her to attend church with us. She didn't come yesterday, but we will try again. I can see how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be a huge blessing for her. She is a wonderful woman and I hope she decides to come.
About the package, I hope you haven't sent it yet! If you have, don't worry about it. If not, could I request that you add one of my Paul Cardall music books? It's the one with the song "Redeemer" in it. Also, the books I requested are probably in a box that says "Books" somewhere on it, but you don't have to search if you don't want. Actually, they may be deep in some box somewhere in my closet. Did you check the tupperwares? Anyway, I also would like to get my manual for Relief Society lessons for this year. If you have already sent the box, then don't worry about it. Could I also get recipes for oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, and snickerdoodle cookies? I don't like the Tollhouse Chocolate chip cookie recipe, so if you have a better one, that would be great. Again, if you already sent the box, don't worry about the other items. Thank you so much!
Oh, and just so you know. I was told I will be in Eden next transfer as well, so I will have the same address at least until the end of May. Also, they are putting the sisters on bikes! We were told that when we first got here, but in my area, we still have cars. I'm not sure when they will put us on bikes, but I was a little upset they didn't tell us before we left home. I could have sent my bike up here. Instead, I will have to purchase a bike here. It's okay though, I'm sure I'll be able to sell it to a new sister missionary coming in when I am leaving.
I hope the remodel is going well! It looks pretty good from what I've seen! Let me know if Kelly, Scott, Kristi, Jason, and their families are doing well. I haven't heard about any of them. Spread my love to everyone! I love and miss you all!!
Love, Sister Hudson

Sister Hudson: Week 2

 Alright everyone, I have SO much to say and not nearly enough time to say it all, but I'll tell you as much as I can. First off, I LOVE it here!! I am serving in Eden, North Carolina! It is beautiful here, but everyone tells me to just wait until spring! Apparently this is nothing compared to the beauty of the spring and fall. The thing I love the most is the people! Oh man, if I could just call you so I could tell you about all of my wonderful experiences! There are so many churches everywhere and the people have so much faith in Jesus Christ! I love it! Oh, and the flight was great! We had a layover in Detroit, Michigan and let me tell you, that airport is HUGE!!!!! I had a great time though with my district! None of them are in my district here, but I think a couple of them are in my zone. I'll find out later today when I go to my zone activity. Also, I saw Elder David Young in the MTC almost every day that I was there! It made me feel a little bit more "at home" seeing a familiar face.
One thing that I really appreciate is the people in the ward. The ward covers most of Rockingham County, yet there aren't too many members. In fact, there used to be a branch, but about twelve years ago they made it a ward. Anyway, they are so gracious! We have been fed dinner every single night since I've been here and it sounds like we will be fed every night through the end of the month. The first night I was in Eden, the Dawson's took Sister Kurtz (my new companion) and I out to eat. Oh, by the way, my companion is great. This is her last transfer, so she's getting excited to go home and see her family! I've learned a lot from her. Anyway, The Dawson's are a wonderful couple who returned to the church about 10 years ago after several years of inactivity. They said that they have never been happier since returning to church and they said that when they stopped coming, they were only hurting themselves. Sister Dawson was raised here in the South and she has a thick accent. I love listening to her talk! One thing she said to me during dinner was, "You know, we've got a problem here in the south. You may have heard of it. It's called, obesity." Haha, then she told me that I would be gaining a lot of weight while I was here. So far, I think I've actually lost a couple pounds from all of the MTC food! Anyway....
One thing I really want to talk about was a person that Sister Kurtz and I met on Saturday. We tried to visit a couple people that were referred to us by a member of the ward, without success, but we decided while we were out to visit a man that was in-active. We stopped by his house and he let us in. His wife did NOT seem to like us from the way she greeted us. She stayed in the dining room while we talked to Brother Ewing. We just chatted for awhile and found out that he was baptized about 20 years ago. His wife was very much Anti-Mormon. It sounds like when he was investigating the church, he read the Book of Mormon along with a lot of Anti-Mormon literature. He came to know for himself that the Book of Mormon was true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. His wife, however, read a lot of the Anti-Mormon literature and apparently did not read the Book of Mormon. Well, he began attending the LDS church, but stopped for the sake of his family. He has attended church with his wife ever since, but has occasionally participated in some LDS things, but not much. Anyway, as we were talking to him, we got on the subject of his children. They are all grown and out of the house so we had a lot of questions about them. His wife decided to join in the conversation and they talked a lot about their daughter whom they are clearly very proud of. She is a remarkable woman and I told them that I had a lot of admiration for her. Anyway, we talked to them for awhile longer and Brother Ewing asked us a few questions that gave us the opportunity to bear our testimonies to them and tell them why we were out here serving missions. I felt the Spirit in their home and I wondered how long it had been since he had felt that Spirit. We had to leave for our next appointment, so we set up a time to come back a visit them next week. When we left, Brother Ewing walked us out and thanked us for coming. He said that other missionaries and ward members had been to there house in the past, but that was the first time his wife had ever participated in any way. He was so hopeful that we might be able to help her develop love for the Church of Jesus Christ so that he could come back and feel the comfort and love that comes from the Gospel. It was such a great experience and I hope that we can help them both come closer to Christ!
I have so many more experiences to share, but I don't have time. I'm sorry! Just know that I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I love my Savior and I know that He atoned for my sins! I know that He knows and understands everything we go through. Through the Atonement, everything that is unfair about this life can be made right. We can receive so much comfort from the Holy Ghost as we study the scriptures and develop a stronger relationship with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ! I love you all and thank you so much for all you have done for me! Forgive me for not writing much in response to all your letters! Good luck with all the home renovations! I hope that is not wearing you all out too much!
All my love,
Sister Hudson

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sister Hudson: Week 1

Oh boy, where do I begin!!!???! I only have 26 minutes left to write you so I think I'm going to send you a handwritten letter also. I wrote you one from my first day here, but I didn't send it until yesterday so you should be getting it soon. I just want to tell you all that I love you so much!!! I haven't felt homesick at all because I know that I am where I am supposed to be, but I just want to make sure that each of you know how much I love and appreciate you! I think I told you that there were 16 people in my district in the letter I sent you from the first day, but I recounted after I wrote it and realized there are only 12 of us. There are four sisters and eight elders. We have become so close and we have so much fun together! President Colyer (from our branch presidency) said we were the most jovial district he had worked with. I am the oldest person by FOUR YEARS!!! Hahaha, they all give me a hard time about my age! Even though we have a lot of fun, we still have the most incredible spiritual experiences together! The teachers here are so incredibly amazing! I know that not all districts are as lucky as ours, but man oh man, I have been so incredibly blessed!! My companion, Sister Banks, is absolutely incredible. She is so sweet and has a strong testimony. We learn so much from each other every day and I know this companionship was inspired. One of the greatest things I've been able to witness is the growth of the missionaries in my district. There are two 18 year olds, six 19 year olds, three 20 year olds, and me. There is one elder in particular, Elder Luebke (pronounced Lube-key), who is SO SO SO shy. When we introduced ourselves on the first day I just wanted to tell him that the message he is sharing is wonderful and he just needs to open his mouth and share it!! I knew this experience would change his life completely and I felt so excited for him. Anyway, his companion, Elder Hutchinson, is perfect for him. He is always so uplifting and supportive!! Whenever Elder Luebke makes a good comment or anything, Elder Hutchinson will reach over to give him a "pound." Haha, It's so great. Anyway, it was like I witnessed a miracle yesterday when I saw how much he has grown in just a few days! I still cannot believe I haven't been here a week yet! I feel like I've been here for AT LEAST one month!

Just to let you know, I am not planning on calling when I go to the airport on MONDAY the fifth!!! (I know, it's crazy that I'm going to North Carolina after being in the MTC for only 12 days!!) If you would like me to call, please send me a "Dear Elder" letter and let me know because I will get that letter today. If you email me and let me know you want me to call, I won't get the email until after I'm in North Carolina. To my sisters: You can send me a Dear Elder letter instead of emailing, because I will get it sooner and I will have time to write you back.
Okay, I can't even scratch the surface if I tried to tell you everything I've learned, but I will try to tell you a few things. Here in the Missionary Training Center, I feel like the main thing we are learning is to love everyone! Sister Banks and I have been teaching two different investigators and we have felt so much love for these people!! We are working so hard to say the right things and to say them in the right way so that they can feel the love that our Heavenly Father has for them. It is so hard to forget about the things I want to say and to just let the Holy Ghost guide me to say the right things. I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true! I love it! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for all He has done for me. I love you all and of course I miss you! 

Love, Sister Hudson

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Alright everyone. I'm finally going on my mission!!!! I will have a blog with my weekly letters posted, but if you want to have the emails forwarded to you, you can message me your email address and my mom/sister can add you to the list of people to forward the emails to. Thank you to everyone that has supported me! Huge thank you to my friends and family! I love you all and will miss you greatly! For those of you that want to write me :) ...
My MTC address is:
Sister Angela Kay Hudson
MTC Mailbox # 179
NC-CHAR 0304
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793
I will only be here for 2 weeks!!

My mission address is:
Sister Angela Kay Hudson
North Carolina Charlotte Mission
3020 Hilliard Dr
Charlotte, NC 28205
United States
As a side note, I just want to add that I am so EXCITED to serve my mission!! I am dedicating my life to the Lord for the next 18 months, hoping to be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as possible! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love His church. I love the peace, comfort, and joy that I receive from His gospel and I hope I can find others that want those same blessings. I love my family! I love my friends! I have been so blessed throughout my life and now I want to "pay it forward" as much as I can. Thank you again to all those that have supported me!