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 yet...lol. 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