Monday, December 24, 2012

December 24, 2012

Hello family,

Unfortunately, Dolly was not able to keep her baptismal date due some felonies she has made in the past that we didn't know about. She has been talking to the bishop about it, but ya that is a story in itself. Crazy things are happening with her.

I did get your package last Monday night right after I emailed. I also got grandpas box. Be sure to thank him for me! I will send him some mail about it also though. I didn't get any mail from the stake clerk though. Oh duh, almost forgot. THANK YOU FOR THE PACKAGE MOM & DAD!!! I haven't opened it yet. I will tomorrow though. I'm excited. I did open grandma and grandpas box though, because they never told me not to wait until Christmas. HA HA!

GOOD! I'm glad chad is filling out his papers soon. He will love it. Tell him to start reading the BOM.  All the missionaries call it the bomb when talking with other missionaries. it's funny, but tell chad not to call it that until he gets here. Also, tell chad that he better send me a letter soon!!! I want one from him before the end of December!!!

Our sacrament meetings were both full of music. The best thing ever. I sang in both ward choirs even though I only went to one rehearsal in one of the wards. It was pretty easy stuff though. The director is a music major at some college so he made it fun, but also helped us sound good. Probably one of the best ward choirs I have been in. The average age was about 36.5. The other choir was a normal ward choir of old people. They were both fun though.

Umm tomorrow I will probably call in the morning/afternoon-ish sometime. I'm not really sure. I am not really sure what we are doing tomorrow so yeah.

Talk to you tomorrow.

Love Elder Udy

Monday, December 17, 2012

December 17, 2012

Hello Family,
This week has been pretty good. Yesterday I had an amazing experience. I told you about our investigator named Dolly Davis already I think. It was really cool though because yesterday E. Manwill and myself set a baptismal date with her. We planned on talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ that day which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the holy ghost, and enduring to the end. The first two went fine, but when we started talking about baptism you could tell that the spirit was really working hard on her and found a soft spot in her heart. We read Mosiah 18:8-11 and when she read verse 11 she was speechless and just stared at the book with the biggest smile on her face. We talked a little bit more about it and she explained to us that she was ready to change her life. Like the scripture said, she was ready to keep the commandments and come into the fold of Christ. The spirit hit us like a wall prompting us to extend a date to her. We did and she started crying so hard while covering her face. We sat there for like 5 minutes while she attempted to compose herself. Dolly went over to her calendar and marked the date wishing she had a brighter highlighter to make that day stand out even more. It was an amazing experience. Dolly has such a huge desire to be a part of the gospel, it's amazing. She still has a few word of wisdom issues, but she is trying extremely hard to get over it.

Oh, random thought. We tracted for 8.5 hours this week. The most I have done so far. Tracting is way fun. You meet so many cool people, but also some people that are super sketchy. One guy that we ran into this week was from England. He basically told us that he doesn't believe in god, because there is no scientific proof. He also told us to read some book by Christopher Hitchens. We pulled out our book and invited him to read it. Then we promised him that if he read and prayed about it he would know that god was there. He got super insulted by it and started talking about how Joseph Smith was a con-man or something. And talked about how the idea of finding the gold plates in a hole was an absurd lie.

Love you,
Elder Udy

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

Hello Family,
Sorry I didn't email yesterday we didn't have a chance to do it. So we are doing it today...obviously.
My week has been pretty good. On Sunday, one of the wards had an amazing musical number.  The guy sang the version of O Holy Night that we hear every Christmas Eve from Robert Breault (I think that's his name). He did an amazing job, but at the part when he is supposed to go up to the really high note he just stayed at the same one. It was sad, but he had an amazing voice. It reminded me of Christmas Eve.
Glad you were able to go to the Messiah fireside. That would have been way fun. This will be the first year in 4 years that I haven't performed the hallelujah chorus. Kinda depressing, but oh well. How do the madrigals sound this year chad? Sorry I won't be able to do the alumni numbers with you this year, I am going to miss out for sure.
There is a gospel essentials class that we go to with our less actives and our investigators. Recently we started teaching the Hunter family who is less active in the ward. It's amazing to see how they have grown in faith since we started teaching them. They have been to church the past couple weeks and the dad has started reading on his own. He never reads the things that we leave him, but he is reading and we talk about what he reads in our lessons. Because of him, his kids are getting excited about the gospel as well. The daughter has some sort of minor mental disability so reading and praying are hard for her. The dad said that he was going to work with her on learning how to pray and practice with her. I hope that next lesson she will be able to say the opening or closing prayer. Funny story that happened. Hopefully I didn't tell you this already. We were saying the closing prayer and the family was fighting about who was going to say it and the little boy wanted to, but the dad said that it was his turn. So we started to pray and we sat there for a little while in silence and the next thing we here is the little boy saying: "Do you remember how to start?" It was the funniest thing ever! We laughed for like 5 minutes.
Last night I also had a way good experience with our investigator named Dolly. We weren't able to find a member to go with us to that lesson so we couldn't go in to teach her. (we aren't allowed to go inside unless there is another guy home) We did go and say hi to her at least though and SHE had us say a prayer for her and asked us to thank heavenly father for everything she has and her kids and asked us to pray for her to have strength to do well in her job interview today. I was the one she asked to say that prayer and I did my best. When I said amen, she looked at me with tears running down her face and thanked me and us for all we do for her. It was amazing! Also, the previous visit to this one we gave her a blessing that her tooth would stop hurting and I did my first sealing. That was scary to say the least. I probably failed at it, but I will get better...hopefully. She said she was feeling better within the next day or so though so I must have done something right.
Um, This last week was my first zone conference. That was pretty fun. It was an 8 hour meeting. President Morby gave us a Book of Mormon for Christmas. I have 4 copies now. woohoo. President Morby also did a lot of instruction on repentance and why, how, and what we are supposed to teach about it, because really that's what we are asking people to do. Repent and be baptized. We can all repent though for the things we do wrong. That's what the atonement is for and that's what we are sharing with people during this Christmas season for a thought.
I gotta go now, but check out The church is pushing it hard.
Love you lots
Elder Udy


Monday, December 3, 2012

December 3, 2012

Hello family,

I think I know more people in the ward here than I do there just because missionaries have contact with all the ward members all the time. People always come up to us and say hello. It's like I'm important or something...weird.

I miss technology a lot. A member from the ward showed us his new iphone 5 that he got recently. It made me miss my phone, but oh well.

Lately, I have been working on teaching more simply instead of just talking about everything I know about a subject. It's really hard to do that sometimes, because I think of a topic and then in my head it's like I pull up a list of bullet points to go through. So sometimes I confuse people, because they don't understand one of the points and I move on and they get stuck on that point they were confused about. It's tough.

Did you have a chance to listen to the 1st presidency Christmas devotional? It was really cool and the music for that was way awesome. We took our investigator, Dolly Davis, with us and she loved it. As soon as she gets her kids back she will be baptized for sure. She has such a huge drive and motivation to learn as much as she can about the church, because she has been through a lot of crap in her life. Her husband is, for lack of a better word, a dirt-bag and is now in prison all the way in Texas. Long story how she ended up here, but I think heavenly father dropped her here with us for a reason.

Their are quite a few babies in our ward, but I would say mostly we have a lot of toddlers. They can be super funny sometimes. Also, here is the music we are singing in ward choir for Christmas.
The First Noel - Dan Forrest
If this child were born today - Poorman and Poorman
Baby, what you goin' to be - Natalie Sleeth
Star of Bethlehem - Natalie Sleeth
and the woman are singing: Were you there on that Christmas night?

Some good things are going on in the Willamette ward. Although, in the West Linn ward they want to do missionary work, but it feels like it is at the bottom of their priority list. They only have ward council once a month and nobody ever comes to our coordination meeting so nothing gets done. The last couple weeks we have reported all zeros. The Willamette ward is on fire on the other hand though.

Anyway, sounds like you had a good week. I love you all.
Elder Udy
 We did some service on Thanksgiving and found this mini bike cleaning out the garage.
What do you think of this suit?

Monday, November 26, 2012

November 26, 2012

Hello family,

This week has been super crazy. I went on two exchanges this week. One was with the zone leaders and the other was with some other elders. Both of the times I stayed in West Linn with a new companion. It was a lot more responsibility because my companion didn't know the area at all and I was the one that had to decide where to go, what to do, and how to get there. It was a little difficult getting around because we don't have a GPS. All we have are maps. I miss my phone that could just tell me where to go. You probably predicted that would happen right? so did I. The exchanges were a lot of fun nonetheless.

Sounds like thanksgiving was a lot of fun. I spent Thanksgiving at a members house for 2.5 hours. Longest dinner appointment ever!  The food was all really good though. The stuffing had celery in it though, unfortunately. I still ate it though, don't worry. The mom in the family doesn't know how to stop talking. It was pretty much her talking the whole time. The dad finally had to interject and give us a way to end the evening. Otherwise she would have kept talking. After that, we went and hung out at the Ward Mission Leaders house. His house is HUGE and is full of way nice stuff. He doesn't show it and isn't cocky about so that's good. He is the nicest guy ever. One day though he was talking and he said, "Don't judge me by this, but I bought a watch that cost more than this car" and we were in a brand new Escalade. He is such a great guy though and is willing to do anything for us.

I have performed twice with the ward choir. This Sunday we sang, "Look at the World" by John Rutter. It isn't my favorite song, but it's not too bad. We are rehearsing for the Christmas program. We are doing like 8 songs. Luckily this choir is good at sight reading. Sound quality is about the same as any ward choir though. Average age is about 40. We are doing: If this Child Were Born Today, The first Noel, and that's all I remember. Maybe next week I will remember more.

One thing that I thought about this week that I don't think that I have told you about yet is Tiwi. Tiwi is an annoying box we have in our car that yells at us when we go over the speed limit. It is connected to the electrical system of the car. It also gives you violations for speeding, driving aggressively, not putting on your seat belt, and for too many RPM's. It has a GPS in it also so it knows where you are and the mission office can see it and track exactly where we went that day. Tiwi also sends violations to the mission office. Depending on your driving record you can be a green, yellow, or red driver. Obviously green is what you want to be. I don't have driving privileges yet so I can't drive. Elder Manwill gets violations all the time though.

Now one funny thing that happened this week. While we were tracting we found this guy that tried to convince us that drinking H2O2 was good for you and can cure cancer. He also told us about some website called where he buys money from Iraq and he is waiting for them to revalue their money so that he will become a millionaire and cure cancer. He also showed us and gave us this little bottle that you put into your car gas tank that will increase your MPG by 10%. It's only a 2 ounce bottle and he said it treats like 60 gallons. Also, he talked about drag racing and how it's a family sport and how everyone should start doing it at age 8. Also, he mentioned this guy he knows in Texas. He stated, "He is christian, because he prays" dumbest thing ever. There were a bunch of other things he talked about, but I am tired of typing. we talked to him for 1.5 hours in his garage.

Another thing that happened this week is that I had a double scoop ice cream cone from Baskin Robins for dinner on Saturday.

Today is the start of my second transfer. It's crazy to think that I have already been here for 6 weeks. Where did the time go?

Love Elder Udy

PS. Oh, before I forget. Thank you for praying for me. Something I learned this week is that when we pray for specific things we get specific answers. We are having both wards pray for us by name and some good things are happening because of it. Read 3 Nephi 14: 7-10.

Monday, November 19, 2012

November 19, 2012


Last week I had to mail on Tuesday, because the libraries were closed due to Veterans Day.

Good to hear that you are doing alright.  Something that I found out is that a couple weeks before I came here, one of the apostles came and spoke to the Portland mission and blessed us with good health. Way cool right?

Sundays are always really loooong. We are at church for about 8-9 hours. Two sacrament meetings with choir in between the two, coordination meeting in the morning, and every other week we have ward council before coordination. It's always a really long day, but this week we had three investigators come to sacrament. super cool. Sometimes the meetings are kinda boring, actually usually they are just like at home. They can be interesting when you pay attention though. After the first sacrament meeting I kinda get tired of just sitting there, but oh well.

I guess I should tell you about the baptism, because it was crazy! We showed up at the church to set up and we found out that the church got double booked with another baptism. Such a Fail! We had to sorta splice the two programs together and the room we did it in wasn't big enough to hold all the people that showed up. I felt really bad for Linda, because it was supposed to be her special day. She still cried for most of the meeting with joy, but still. I had to stand outside the room to free up some seats for others. I still heard though and the spirit was super strong. It was awesome because she wanted to be baptized sooo bad even though she has cancer and is recovering from chemo. Here is a picture.

Also this week we did companionship study with E. Call and E. Wilson at our apartment. My comp. and I had to leave suddenly and the other two elders decided to stay at our apartment to finish their studies. When we came home that night, they had taped a bunch of ties to the ceiling of our apartment. Also, they took a bunch of random pictures of them playing around inside while we were gone. It was funny to come back to. A few days later they came back and cleaned it up luckily. I'll attach pictures.

That's about all that happened. I'm excited for the package. Mail is the best here!

Love you all

Elder Udy

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

November 13, 2012

Hello Family,

I'll start by attaching some pictures since I remembered my cable.
This is of  Elder Manwill, my current companion, and me sitting in our apartment.
This is me sitting outside our apartment door. Those pumpkins are the ones we carved a few weeks ago. Mine is the one with only one face.
The next one is of our baptism day. Emma is so cool. The adults in the picture are her grandparents. We taught Emma at  their house. Her parents are divorced. and her mom is less active. The dad isn't a member, but after the baptism he came up and thanked us for helping teach her.

These last two are of our area a little bit. This week we didn't have a car, because it was in the shop for repairs. We did a ton of walking and around here there are so many hills that I have to climb it wasn't very fun. One of our appointments was a 1 hr 40 minute walk away. That was fun. We got our car back on Friday though luckily. Those pictures I took during that walk. As you can see there are a ton of trees everywhere just like that. All different colors really close together like that. The picture that is of the valley sorta. Our appointment was across the freeway that you see there.

Oh, duh something cool that is happening right now. I'm actually on an exchange with Elder Wilson right now. I am serving in Wilsonville just for today. We are going to be teaching two lessons to some of their people. It will be cool to get a new perspective on how teaching can be done. I found a way cool scripture the other day that I highlighted a lot. Ether 12:27...Look it up. That's something else that you can send me also. I am tired of only marking my scriptures with my boring red pencil. I known that they have fun colors at Deseret Book. Could you send me some?

I can tell you about this week also. Something fun that I am doing Saturday is having a BAPTISM!!! Her name is Linda Compton. She is 62. I'll tell you more next week.

As you know, we are only allowed to listen to hymns and Motab. I have been introduced to some awesome songs that rock bands have made with the hymns. There is this sweet group called Eclipse that has an amazing version of God is Love and All creatures of our God and King. Chad would love them! You should definitely look them up.

Also, for chad, I was at dinner and when I got there the two kids were totally playing WoW. I was going to talk with them about it, but I decided it probably wasn't the most spiritual topic to bring up.

Next week I will send pictures of other things, but I can only send so many in an email.

Love you all,

Elder Udy

Monday, November 5, 2012

November 5, 2012

Hello Dad/Family,

This week was pretty cool. My companion is the district leader so on Thursday he went to a special meeting and I had the chance to be with the zone leaders (E. Davis and E. Perkins). They are way cool guys! I went and taught three lessons with them to some of their investigators/less actives. We were in a three-some. Also, I have some of the greatest news ever! Yesterday (Nov. 4) I had my first BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!! We baptized a little girl named Emma. She is so cute and has a heart of gold. She was the first person I ever taught. The baptism was super awesome and the spirit was super strong there. I loved it so much and want to do it a million more times! I have pictures and I brought my camera, but I totally forgot my cable today. So next week I will send pictures.

Also, this week I had dinner at a members house and made an awesome connection with her. The mother there went to elementary school with Aunt Margaret. Her name is Amanda Capener (pronounced Cape-ner) I didn't ask for the correct spelling. Way cool to, because she pulled out a picture of her.

Those are basically the highlights of the week. So I'll answer your questions. Yes I wear my raincoat, but only when it's raining noticeably. Meaning that there is constantly mists of rain here when you walk outside. You can't get away from it.

Our primary programs were the first week I was here. This last week was stake conference. We listened to Quintin L. Cook speak. Apparently everyone in Oregon has stake conference on the same day. Weird right?

Our investigators are in different spots right now. There is one couple that I will tell you about. Their names are Kasey and Eva. They live together, but aren't married and have two kids. Kasey isn't baptized and Eva is a Less active. Kasey wants to be baptized really bad, but he can't because he is breaking the law of chastity by living with Eva...way sad! Kasey wants to get married also and said that he received his answer to marry Eva. Eva on the other hand says she is still waiting for a sure sign that she should be married. She has been married before and got a divorce and she says the reason she isn't married now is, because she thinks it's easier this way if things go wrong. We told her to pray about it obviously and explained how to receive answers, but she is still waiting. We also read the conference talk called "start moving" with them that talks about how if you start on a path god will correct you if it's wrong, but if you just sit there and wait god can't direct you.

It's true, we have been very blessed as a family and I know that is, because we have been faithful to the teachings of Christ. When we do what he says, we are blessed.

I haven't eaten all my candy yet. I have to ration it, because I didn't get any on Halloween. It's alright though. I can only imagine how many people came to our house this year. We are in one of those flat, highly populated areas. I bet you were happy to have smarties left, right dad? Nobody came to our door cause we are in an apartment.

Anyway, Love you all. Bye

Elder Udy

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

October 29, 2012

Hello family,

It's good to hear from you. Everything is going pretty well here. It sounds like your trip went well to Idaho. Sheldon still has a long time till he gets to the field though. I have learned 10x more in the field than I ever did in the MTC. You don't find out how to teach until you get here because nobody at the MTC knows how to be an investigator. One thing that I have learned is that as mormons we throw around terms like ordinances and commandments as if everyone knows what they mean. Everyone in the MTC already knows what they mean so they just go along with it.

Although having sisters in your district makes things a lot more fun, it makes things a little awkward I feel also. Because I'm not exactly sure how to talk to them using the missionary standards. They are kind of intimidating. I have to second guess everything I say to make sure that I am not breaking the rules. There is a fine line between flirting and fun.

My daily schedule is: 6:15 wake up, companionship prayer, personal prayer, exercise.
                                7:00 Get ready, shower, shave, etc.
                                8:00 Personal Study
                                9:00 Companionship study
                                11:00 Lunch
                                12:00 Proselyte
                                6:00 Dinner at members house
                                9:00 Daily Planning/Get ready for bed

For breakfast I have been eating coco-puffs every morning. Elder Manwill bought some waffles so maybe I will try some of those one day. Lunch we usually just eat more of a snack for 5 minutes and then E Manwill spends 55 minutes sleeping while I usually write letters to people. Which reminds me, I need to write grandpa back. Then dinner is whatever the member makes us. E. Manwill doesn't have a colon so he can't eat corn kernels. Unfortunately that means that members always make something other than corn for the vegetable part...

Yes, my shoes are working out great. E Manwill told me that there are a few things that he wishes he would have gotten for his mission and one of them was Ecco shoes. A bunch of people have them here and everyone says that they lasted them there whole mission if they take care of them. The other thing that E Manwill said he wishes he had gotten for his mission was European cut suits. He didn't care before he left about it, but being here he has developed a taste for fashion.

I do my laundry in our apartment. We have a dryer on top of the washer type deal. It's stored in the kitchen closet.

I had a deep discussion about the Holy Ghost with Elder Manwill. Basically he taught me that the Holy Ghost is going to eventually get a body as well and that he is a person just like we were in the pre-mortal life. Weird to think about right? D & C 130:22 I think. That doesn't mean that we should look forward to death. So stop planning your funeral! I still need you to be here when I get home and after that also of course.

The last thing I will say is that there is SOOOOO much rain here!!! It feels weird when it's not raining. And when it isn't raining you can just feel the humidity in the air.

Oh I thought of one more thing. My dandruff went away. I think it's because I shower everyday now...I guess mom was right after all...Who knew.

Anyway, Hope all is well. Love you

Elder Udy

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Hello Family,

Sounds like things are going well at home. I am glad to hear that Chad is thinking about a mission right out of high school. I think that's a great decision. Missions are super hard, but they are way fun also. Just this first week I have met so many people and made some good friends.

I will start by answering questions. No I didn't have to buy a bike. I was lucky enough to be put in an area that has a car. There are tons of hills everywhere here. Right by our apartment there is a hill that is 16% incline. Our small little 4-cyl Corrola struggles up it. Elder Manwill is from Midvale, Utah. He said that all his companions have been from Utah.
Unfortunately, we only get to go to the temple once a quarter or when someone that you teach gets their endowments taken out you can go with them. E Manwill said that someone from his first area is going to the temple soon so I might go sometime in the next week or so. Yes, the temple is in Lake Oswego which is in our zone. It's way cool because we are the ones that get to hand out the Pass-along cards with the visitors center on it and tell people to go there because it's in our zone. It's just me and E Manwill in our apartment. It's a super nice apartment because there were sisters in it a month or so ago and they always get the best stuff. Thank you for sending the bedding I got it the first day I arrived here. I 'm thankful that I got it because a lot of people got here and did not have any of that stuff. We cover 2 wards in our area. The West Linn ward and the Willamette ward. Yes, that does mean that I go to two wards on Sundays. 6 hours of church+2 hours of meetings. It was a long day.
This week was really cool. We got a referral from a sister in the ward before I arrived here and we went there to teach her (Linda is her name) Lesson 1. It was awesome because she committed to a baptismal date of November 17. Apparently about 4 weeks ago she was given a blessing because she is battling a recurring cancer. In the lesson we taught she said to us that she felt that after the blessing she felt a huge burden lifted from here and that this church is where she needs to be. THE SPIRIT IS REAL!!! We also have this other investigator that's named Emma. She is 9 years old so pretty much she is getting baptized no matter what we say. We teach her because her mom is less active and her dad isn't a member. We teach her at the grandparents house. Her date is November 4. We have some Less actives that we teach also like Greg, the Valentines, Dylan and Eva, and Kasey. Those are the ones that are really progressing. I totally forgot to bring the address of my apartment with me to the library so keep sending things to the mission home. I got your orange letter so they do forward things.

Tell Chad that if he wants to prepare for his mission start reading and marking his scriptures and learning Preach My gospel really well. Learning the BoM is essential out here. I struggle everyday on finding scriptures that relate to what we are teaching about that day. On Friday we had 3 lessons to teach, which was great, but it scared me to death to teach them. You know me, I'm not a big talker, but I am trying. Everyday, we have dinner at a members house and we share a thought with them so we switch off giving the thoughts. It's super scary and I hope that they learn from the things that I say to them. I'm excited to get a Halloween surprise. E Call got one yesterday in the mail and was super stoked. Mail is always super exciting here. My comp hasn't gotten a letter in like two months. Even in the MTC he only got like 4 letters total.

Anyway, I have to mail the president now. I love you all. Thanks for the prayers they really help!

Elder Udy

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

October 16, 2012

Hey family!
My p-day is on Monday but because we just got here we did it today. It was a crazy day yesterday. I woke up at 4 am and my plane left at 8:30. We flew there and President Morby was waiting for us all. He is a super nice guy and the spirit is super strong around him. We first went to the temple to take pictures. He said that he was going to send them to you so I hope that you get those. The Portland temple is Super pretty. I can't wait to go inside sometime. We then went to the stake building (I think that was what it was) and they did some intro stuff. Then we had a meeting to meet our new companions/trainers. My companions name is Elder Manwill. He is a super cool guy. He has been here for 20 months. Everyone calls the new missionaries greenies, and they have an entire family tree system thing set up (all theoretical of course). I am a son to my trainer which is my father. I have a grandfather which is my trainers trainer.
We went to transfer meeting. They had 23 new arrivals in my group and they lost 15 people so it was a huge meeting. After that we went to our apartment in West Linn (located just south of Portland). That's my first area. It is super pretty here, trees are everywhere. When we got there my comp said that we had a lesson in 28 minutes so I did my first lesson. It was to a 9 year old girl named Emma. After that we met the bishop and we gave a blessing to his son, who had a broken wrist. Way unusual for a first day. Then we met the ward mission leader brother Carter. He is a cool guy.
Anyway, I love you all and I'm glad you are all doing alright.  Pray for me as I pray for you!

Elder Udy

Thursday, October 11, 2012

October 11, 2012

Hello Everyone!
It's the start of week three! Time has flown by so extremely fast I can't believe it. Seems like yesterday I just got here, but now I'm like a veteran at all this, minus the learning and teaching part. I am still below novice status at that. I loved conference soo much. It was the first time I ever have taken notes and it made it a lot better. Something that happened the Tuesday after conference (yesterday) was that we had a devotional. Elder David A. Bednar came and spoke to us. It was amazing! He spoke about conference and how he gets more out of it the second time around. He explained that when he goes back through he looks for three things: 1. Doctrine 2. Invitations 3. Blessings.
It was cool because during his talk we did just that. He played three segments from 3 of the talks from general conference, his own talk, Elder Ballard's, and Elder Eyring's. We went through and found the doctrines first time around, then watched all three again and found invitations, then played each a third time and found the blessings he promises me. When we found things he told us not to just write things down, but to make them applicable to my life. Also in his talk he explained that the age limit drop is because the lord is hastening his work in these last days. He didn't say it, but the lord is coming once again and he will continue to hasten his work. Everything that has been done is for a reason e.g., preach my gospel. One last thing he said was that the concluding remarks from President Monson aren't just to conclude general conference, but they have a much deeper meaning than that and when you listen to it and find doctrines, invitations, and blessings it means much more than just the surface.
I met a new missionary that came here from England. Guess what his name is!!! It's Elder Fagg. Hahahahahaha. Stop, its not nice to laugh at others. It was funny though because he knows what it means in America and has to explain it to people every time he introduces himself. Apparently in England a fagg is a cigarette, which in my opinion isn't much better.
Lately I have been whistling the song Come though Fount of Every Blessing non-stop! It is such an amazing song, I wish it was in the hymn book, but unfortunately its not.
We do this thing called TRC here which is when we get to teach investigators. Well they are employees hired to act like investigators. One of ours was named Alexandre Paul. He is from Haiti and is an incredibly knowledgeable man (Like dad) and after 4 baptisms we as a district were able to convert him.
My time is running short, but I am glad everyone is doing well up there. Make sure you pray for me Monday, because that's when I leave for Portland. Seems crazy that I am leaving already, but my time has come.
Love you all!
Elder Udy

Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4, 2012

Hello everyone!
Sorry for taking so long to write back to you. I got here last Wednesday and they told me that my P-day would be on Thursdays , but we wouldn't have one last week because it didn't make sense to have the first day be a P-day.
I am doing fine here at the MTC. The schedule was a little bit hard to get used to at first, but now that I have been here a week I am pretty well adjusted to it. I wake up at 6:30 every morning and go to bed at 10:30. Our teachers names are brother Rasmussen and brother White and they are the coolest guys ever! They know what they are talking about and they know how to be a good missionary. I am always impressed when they role play about a topic and able to bring the spirit with every thing that they say.

My companions name is Elder Webb. He is a red head and kinda looks like Dan Spencer. Guess what? He is able to talk soooooo much! In our lessons he is the one that is able to just ramble his mouth and fill the gaps. He is very in tune with the spirit and studies really hard. I am grateful that he is someone I can look up to. Every morning he jumps out of bed at exactly 6:30! I don't know how he does it, but then he helps me get up by turning on the lights! In our room that is the worst thing ever, because the lights in our room are super bright so it feels like a gun shot every morning. My district is full of amazing people! We have 10 total in our district (district F). I think there are 6 total districts in our zone. At the MTC there are 57 different branches. Our branch president is Brother Anderson. I just met him two days ago because he was away on a trip.
Missionary life is really hard. I can only imagine how laurel did it. Being in a foreign country and having to learn a new language, that's a lot to take in at once. I am adjusting to it and I am starting to understand everything that is going on.
The food here is pretty good. I mean its just normal cafeteria food, and some days it is better than others, depending on the meal. There is a joke that goes on around about how the orange juice gives you diarrhea. I haven't experimented with that one at all I am good on the candy for now. I made friends with Elder Barney in my district that really hates candy and his parents sent him a HUGE box full of it. He hooks me up sometimes.
On Tuesday I performed in the MTC choir and had a blast. We sang only one song and there was only one practice. I don't remember the title, but it was awesome. I went with Elder Richey in my district. He had NO idea how to read music so he was lost pretty much the whole time. It made me realize that I am blessed with a talent that not everyone has. Another thing that I realized is that my strengths are other weaknesses and vice versa. Our district has grown really close and I have become friends with all of them.
The lord really does love all of us and he watches over us.
I love you all!!!
Elder Udy

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Good afternoon brothers and sisters. My name is Emerson Udy and as you may know I have been called to serve in the Portland, Oregon mission. The bishop has asked me to talk about something from the Preach my gospel manual and tell about how it draws me closer to my heavenly father. While preparing for this talk, I didn’t really know where to start. I thought a lot about what I could talk about and how it related to preach my gospel.
After I graduated from Skyline High School, I decided to attend Utah State to study Computer Engineering. While I was there, I was lucky enough to make some amazing friends. Most of my friends up there were LDS and they inspired me a lot. I saw how happy the gospel made them and their testimony really built mine up to what it is now. The ward I went to really changed my perspective of things also. Being in a ward where everyone was my own age really altered my feelings about the church. I knew it was a good thing before, but being in a place where everyone is in the same position that I am, with the same struggles and the same opportunities as me boosted made me realize that the church isn’t just something we do, but it’s how I choose to live my life.
I thought about this summer and realized that I have been to the temple many times since coming home from Utah State. At the beginning of the summer I wasn’t endowed so I couldn’t do an endowment session. Luckily, while away at school, I made some great friends and one of them named Nate came to Salt Lake. He was preparing for a mission as well and was going to the temple almost three times a week. He lived in Colorado, but was staying here and one thing he said was that there were many temples in Utah and that I was very lucky to have so many around. I think that often times we don’t realize how lucky we are to have so many temples within only a half hour or less of our neighborhood. I have a friend in Montana and the nearest temple to her is in Washington, which is a 4 hour drive from where she lives. It’s a blessing to me to be close enough to so many that I get to choose which one I want to go to. While Nate was here, we were going a couple times a week to do baptisms. Our goal was to attend all the temples in the Salt Lake Valley before he left.
In the Preach my Gospel manual it talks about the baptismal covenant saying:
“God has always required his children to make covenants. A covenant is a binding and solemn agreement between god and man. God promises to bless us, and we promise to obey him. God sets the terms of gospel covenants, which we either accept or reject. Keeping covenants brings blessings in this life and exaltation in the life to come.”
I read this and thought about my own baptism. I know as an 8 year old boy I didn’t comprehend that at all. I just remember being excited that all my sins were going to be washed away so I could start over. Baptism truly is the first covenant we make with our heavenly father. We covenant to take upon ourselves the name of Christ and always remember him and keep his commandments. As we keep our covenants, god promises us constant companionship of the Holy Ghost.
In the temple, we do baptisms for the dead, which is an ordinance we perform for those who are unable to do it for themselves. Before they had fonts in the temple they did baptisms in the Mississippi river, but on January 19, 1841 the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation in D&C Section 124, commanding the saints to build a temple for revealing keys and powers of the priesthood for the living and the dead. READ D&C 124:29-31.  In this revelation, it explains that there is no baptismal font on earth and there should be one built in the house of the lord. I know that this is a true ordinance and those of you that are of age 12 should go often to participate.
Usually, I have been the one being baptized, but recently I had the chance to do the baptizing. I was able to go to the temple with my friend.  I had then been endowed so I had the opportunity to exercise my priesthood power by performing the baptisms. It was amazing to see all the different places that names are coming from.  There are many spirits that are waiting for our help and are counting on us to do their work, because they are unable to do it. One thing that I remember a temple worker telling us is that they are running out of names in the baptistery so we need to be working on our family history.
Another ordinance performed in the temple is the endowment.
President Brigham Young describes the endowment as follows:
Your endowment is, to receive all those ordinances in the House of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being able to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell.
Another description of the endowment was given by James E. Talmage that reads:
The temple endowment, as administered in modern temples, comprises instruction relating to the significance and sequence of past dispensations, and the importance of the present as the greatest and grandest era in human history. This course of instruction includes a recital of the most prominent events of the creative period the condition of our parents in the garden of Eden, their disobedience and consequent expulsion from that blissful abode, their condition in the lone and dreary world when doomed to live by labor and sweat, the plan of redemption by which the great transgression may be atoned, the period of the great apostasy, the restoration of the Gospel with all its ancient powers and privileges, the absolute and indispensable condition of personal purity and devotion to the right in present life, and a strict compliance with gospel requirements.
This is a lot to take in. I don’t think anyone can understand it fully the first time. That’s why we must return to the temple many times. So we can learn and listen to what god is teaching us.
When the time came to plan a date for me to attend the temple I only really wanted one thing. And that was for my sister, Laurel, to come with me to the temple and share the experience with me. I had to plan quickly, because she was about to leave on her mission to Brazil. In July of this year, I went through the temple for the first time for myself. I didn’t really know what to expect before going, but I was pretty excited to go. The night before my dad told me a little bit about what to expect and a little about how the day was going to go.
At the end of the session I was in the Celestial room. I felt the spirit so strongly in there and I knew the lord wanted me to be there. He testified once again to me that he is really there and he is watching over me and guiding me along my way, and being there with my family made me realize that I am not alone in this life. My family will always be there for me on earth and the rest of eternity. I can’t wait for the day when I can be with all of them in heaven alongside my heavenly father.
Having Laurel with me when I received my endowment was one of the best decisions I have ever made, because I love my sister a lot and she has been a beacon of light for me in my life. Being in the temple with laurel and my parents made my temple experience so much better and it brought so much joy to me to know that they all would be in my life for eternity.
One other thing that we do in the temple is getting married. Marriages are another ordinance that we should all do. I haven’t been married in the temple so I don’t know a lot about it, but I am thankful that my parents were married in the temple. They are a great example to me and provide the guidance that I need in my life. I am also glad to be sealed to them for all eternity. It has become a goal of mine to be married in the temple. I am looking forward to the day that I can have that opportunity to be sealed to my spouse forever.
Next week there is a temple dedication for the Brigham City temple. The first thing I would like to do is invite all of you who are of age to talk to the bishop today so you can get a recommend to attend. This meeting is our church meeting for next week and it’s important for those who are eligible to attend. This temple will be the fourteenth one here in Utah. How lucky we are to have so many temples so near to us.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf once said: “The greatest blessings come to those who actually attend the temple.” I think for a lot of people they want to be there and have a testimony of the temple, but never get around to going. I would encourage all of you to attend at the very least, once a month. I promise that you will receive blessings that you can’t get anywhere else. In that same address from President Uchtdorf he also said, that going to the temple is a selfless and holy service that allows us to participate in the glorious work of becoming saviors on Mount Zion.
If for whatever reason you are unable to attend the temple at this time I would encourage you all to do whatever possible with whatever resources to put yourself in a position to obtain a temple recommend. The temple recommend is a symbol of our faithfulness and determination to serve the lord. It’s a symbol of our love for the lord. In John 14:21 it reads, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him” To me, this means that each time we go to the temple we show god our love for him. We do a service when we worship in the temple.
I am excited to serve in the Portland, Oregon mission and before I close, I’d like to bear my testimony that I do know that this church is true. I know that the temple is a house of god and that he needs me to return there as often as I can. I know that god lives and that he loves me more than I can comprehend. Even though at times I make mistakes he will still love me along with all his children. I know that Joseph smith was a true prophet that restored this church on the earth. I know that president Monson is a true prophet that receives revelation for our day. I know that Christ suffered for our sins so that we may return to live with him. I know the book of Mormon is true and that it can answer all my questions if I read. I know my heavenly father guides me through my life and that this is where he wants me to be right now. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen