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