Monday, September 15, 2014

September 15, 2014

Hello family,

I have thrown a lot of stuff away that I have been carrying around. Including those shoes that I had the holes in. I took a picture of them and got rid of them.
Next Monday I go to transfer meeting and then those who are going home will go to the mission home and have a dinner and then after a testimony meeting. The next day we will all fly home.

We have a ton of investigators in Milwaukie right now. There is a lot of work going on here. We are easily teaching all week long. A lot of them aren't progressing as fast as I would hope, but they are moving nonetheless. We picked up a bunch of new investigators this week as well that I am excited to work with. Two of them are named John and Barbara. We were able to take them to the temple visitor center this week. They seemed to have enjoyed it a lot and we will keep working with them. Barbara voiced to us that she was considering joining the church.

Our investigator Ashley pushed back her baptism again. Right now it is scheduled for the end of this week so we have to do a lot of planning for that still. It should be fun. I'm hoping that it will all work out.

Another lady that we met this week and ended up teaching is Gladys. She is an older lady that knew and respected a few Mormons in her life. We were able to teach her about the restoration and answer some of her questions that she had. I'm not sure if she would be willing to convert at this point in her life, but the spirit can do all things.

There are tons of less active people in this area that we are teaching. Some of them are progressing more than others, but there are some that just don't want to do anything at all. I hate when I meet people that know that the church is true and they know what they need to do and just don't do it, because of the natural man inside of them.

My birthday went well. We did some service for a guy that is less active. I also met this laurel in another ward that gave me some candy. At dinner they gave me a box of birthday cereal. That's about it. Thanks for the presents. I ate almost everything already.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 8, 2014

Hello family,

Yes I got the birthday box. Thank you so much.

Love, Elder Udy

I guess not much happened this week or too much happened and no time to write about it.
We did receive the following from a member in Tigard.

To the Udy's,
Emerson is one fine missionary. 
Best to you and your family,

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

September 1, 2014

Hello family,

Happy Labor Day. I haven't emailed from a public computer in a long time. iPads are the way to go. I can email whenever during the day on Mondays.

Lots of drama this week with the area and my companion this week.

Love, Elder Udy
Emerson didn't write much this week but we did receive the following pictures of the missionaries in the Portland Oregon Mission. The new mission president and his family are in the front of the middle section.

Emerson is on the back row the fifth from the left.

Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25, 2014

Hello family,

This week went swell. We talked to some strippers and gave them our number. One of them grew up LDS, but wasn't baptized yet. She didn't really want to learn, but she was nice.

I had a special district leader meeting this week that lasted from 1-4:30. It went well, but I didn't reunite with my companion until about 8 that night. Elder Cantrell stayed in the area and had to teach all the lessons that we had set up for that day so we couldn't meet up.

We did a ton of service stuff this week for a lot of the ward members and investigators. A lot more than usual. The missionaries are kinda like the worker bees in this ward. It's great that it keeps us busy, but stressful as well.

We also had a miracle with our investigator named Junior. He texted us this week and told us he wanted to get baptized with his fiance. He came to church and hasn't been smoking nearly as much. It's great. We have to teach the two of them slow, but they are understanding a bit at a time.

There are three members in this ward that are really cool, the Graham's, Doty's, and the McDonald's. I hope I don't forget them. We do a lot of stuff in this ward together.

That's about it.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

Hello Family,

This week was a very interesting week. Tons of emotions and secrets and things to learn about others. I love my new companion, Elder Cantrell. I didn't really know him before, but he did always come up to me during meetings and such and shake my hand give me a firm hello. He is a super, super nice guy. He has a great relationship with everyone in the ward. He is from Kaysville, Utah. He is great.

This ward is nothing like any of the other wards that I have served in. This week was crazy just trying to learn all the people and all the drama that goes on in it. It's crazy. There is a ton of missionary work to be done here, which is great. I think that the missionaries are the ones holding this ward together. No Joke. Their are a few solid members that get things done. Like the Ward Mission Leader is really great as far as the work goes, and there is a member of the HPG leadership that holds things together. I think this ward has about 85% of its members over the age of 70. I have never seen a ward quite like this one, but its going to be super fun to serve here. We have a ton of stuff to do and I have somethings that I want to try and start up in this ward to help the work and to boost the ward. Hopefully with the Lords help we can boost this ward and leave it better than I found it.

The only struggle that I am going to have with this ward is the fact that I don't have very long to build relationships since I won't be here very long. I am trying to get to know people the best that I can. We'll see how this week goes. Our schedule is packed with teaching appointments already.

We are the only missionaries assigned to this ward. We are close to Portland.

We attended High Priest group this week and it has a totally different atmosphere than Elders Quorum.

That's it for this week.
Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 12, 2014

Hello Family,

Soo...I got transferred for my last 6 weeks. Not sure why, but it should be good. Lots to do. I am in the Milwaukie Stake now in the Oatfield Ward. I haven't been here for very long, but I can see that they have a bunch of stuff going on. Lots of people to teach and they have an investigator with a date for September 6. I look forward to actually meeting her and teaching her the lessons.

I am still on a bike. My companion is now a guy named Elder Cantrell. He has been out on his mission for about 8 Months. He is a super friendly guy. Even before we were companions, he would always say hi to me and give me hugs.

This last week was pretty good. I said goodbye to a lot of people. I got a lot closer to a lot more of the members in this area than any of my others I think. Not sure why that is, but it was tough to say goodbye to a lot of them.

We have district meetings every week. As district leader I always get to conduct those and put them together every week. Its kinda tiring sometimes, but its not bad. At first, I was pretty nervous doing it, but now I kinda have it down to a system. Things are always easier when you have a general outline of how it works. In my new district I have 2 sets of Sisters and 2 sets of Elders, including us. Its a bit smaller of a district, but I am looking forward to it. In my last district there was a sister (Sister Schmutz) who was there for the same 6 months that I was, she got transferred out this week just like me. I got home yesterday and found out who was in my district and found out that she got transferred just one ward over from me so she will still be in my district! Crazy...right? Luckily, she is a good missionary and super nice.

In my last area we ate with members about 75% of the time. Our ward mission leader wasn't very good at passing the calendar around, and sometimes he went out of town so those weeks were sparse also. In my new area, it looks like they are pretty good at feeding the missionaries weekly. I don't know for sure though. The goal is to try and have a meal everyday with members.

Anyways, I guess that is all for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 4, 2014

Hello family,

This was a pretty good week.

I had the opportunity to go on an exchange with our zone leaders. It went pretty well. I didn't learn much though. We were pretty busy running around doing things for other people. One of their investigators parents died, which was pretty sad.

My bike seat fell off this week so we had to go and get a new bolt to put it back on with. Luckily, a member in the ward was able to help us out with it.

This is the last week of the transfer so I might be moved or maybe not. I have been in my area for 6 months and I have been with my companion for 3 months, which usually means that I am going to get transferred, but I'm not sure if the mission president will, because I only have one transfer left.

Other than that, we had a good district meeting. We learned about the restoration and how it applies to people.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 28, 2014

Hello family,

This was a pretty good week.

Yesterday our recent convert got the priesthood. It went really well. He is doing great.

Nothing too exciting came from the dinner other than an increased relationship with our neighbors and I feel like we put a good view of the church into their eyes. Sometimes that can be a powerful thing.
I was in charge of the district meeting at the temple, and I will go to the temple at least one more time. The departing missionaries always go on a special temple trip with their MTC group. That will be at the next transfer.

This week we did something pretty unique. In our area they had an emergency preparedness fair that was put on by the city and the LDS church. I was one of the volunteers. It was fun wearing one of the helping hands vests. I mostly was doing ticketing, but I helped serve food for a while as well. It was a fun event and there was a great turn-out.

Also, a month or so ago I found this lady that I taught a couple of times and found out she would prefer Spanish. I brought over the Spanish Elders and they taught her. Yesterday she got baptized, which was super cool. I wasn't able to make it to the baptism, but I saw her afterwards and congratulated her.

President Ballard came to our church building to interview my companion Elder Jones this week. I wasn't in the interview, but I guess it turned out well. President Ballard is a nice guy with an upbeat attitude. He is swamped right now though with everything going on and being new.

Anyway, that's about it.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014

Hello family,

This was a pretty good week. We had a strange dinner, a baptism, a temple trip, and a sweet district meeting.

On Friday we had the weirdest dinner appointment ever! Nobody from the ward signed up so we thought we would be on our own. On our way out the door that morning a lady from an apartment near ours told us that her birthday was that day. She proceeded to invite us to her birthday party that night. We debated on whether to go or not, because we knew a few people would be drinking. When we gave her our answer she told us that she had hand-selected everyone that was coming. She said she especially wanted us to be there so we could talk with all of them, because some of them need some help. That night we all walked over to the restaurant. The lady that invited us tried to focus all the attention on us. Is was weird. Obviously somewhere along the line we made an impact on her. One of the guests told us that he was a convert to the church, but hadn't been in many, many years. We told him where the church was and all the info about it. The lady that invited us afterwards was very appreciative that we came and said many of them have expressed interest in coming to church and meeting with us, but are afraid to ask us. We will try to follow-up with some of them. It's cool to see how the Lord has prepared people in our own backyard. None of them were members, except that one guy.

 On Wednesday we had a trip to the temple. It was awesome as usual. I learned some new things which were cool.

Directly after our temple trip we all walked over to the visitor center and had our district meeting. It was a really great meeting. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Our training was about how to take advantage of the visitor center and some of the expectations when you bring people there. I thought it was a super spiritual meeting probably because we were all on a spiritual high from the temple. It was a good idea. Since it went well with our group other districts are thinking about doing it.

On Saturday Theodore was baptized. He showed up super late so we didn't have time to take pictures of him in his white clothes. Kinda sad, because he is awesome, but it's alright. Everyone in the ward seems to love him a lot. They are all very friendly to him. He will be a great addition to the ward. The church came out with some new direction saying that we are supposed to remain in contact with our converts for AT LEAST a year. Theodore will be my friend forever. I had the opportunity to give him the Gift of the Holy Ghost in sacrament meeting. Giving someone the Holy Ghost is an incredible opportunity. Most of the time it's the first time the person has ever experienced the laying on of hands. 

Our meeting with the 11 year old boy turned out alright. We talked to him about Pokemon a little bit. The mom was supportive of him being baptized, but she said it has to be his decision not hers. We are going to get him involved with some of the other 11 year old boys in the ward as well as scouting.

That's about it for this week.

Love you all a lot, Elder Udy

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014

Hello family,

They don't tell the missionaries anything about their flight plans home until 3 weeks before they go home. I didn't even know that they were sending things to you about it.

Interviews this week were interesting. President Ballard is a very cool guy. He is funny as well. Sister Ballard is way different than Sister Morby. A completely different personality. She is the one that gave me things to do on my mission not the mission president. They were great things to think about, but I wonder why she said them and not President Ballard.

Our investigator passed his baptismal interview this week. He is going to be entering the waters of baptism this Saturday. I am so happy for him. Something that has been a theme for our teaching appointments with Theodore has been "By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass" it's a scripture. One way that I have seen the Lords hand in my life this week is how He has blessed us with people to teach. When Malik got baptized we found Theodore the week of his baptism. Now, the week of Theodore's baptism we received a solid referral for an 11year old boy. Heavenly Father is definitely looking out for us. 

President Ballard in his last email to the missionaries he talked about how you reap where you sow. I feel that Heavenly Father is blessing me for my hard work, even if the work that I do doesn't yield direct results. God will help those who help themselves.

Also this week I thought a lot about the phrase, no man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is fit for the kingdom of god. Looking back is not good.

That's about it.
Love, Elder Udy

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

Hello family,

This week was super crazy.

We had a big meeting with all the missionaries in the mission so we could meet President Ballard. He is an interesting guy. He made some jokes, but he is definitely going to be different than President Morby. The Ballard's brought 5 kids with them. They all spoke at the meeting. It turned out well. They did a good job.

With President Morby all the missionaries were their family, but now the mission president and his wife have their family with them so the mission environment has changed completely. It's a big change, but it will be good for everyone. We have zone meeting this week and interviews. The interviews will be about 5 minutes each, but I will get to actually meet him for the first time.

We also helped a lady move out this week. It was a two day process, but all turned out alright.

For the Fourth of July we went over to the Allen's house and played with Lego's. I built the coolest airplane ever! All the kids were jealous. Lol. After that we went over to the Gibbs house for dinner and fireworks. They had a big neighborhood thing going on. There were some non members attending so that was good. The fireworks were super good. They did a few illegal ones, which was fun to see. There was also one called dark science that was super innovative. Somebody put some creativity into it. Then of course the normal fountains and ground blooms. Missionaries can't light any of them so I just watched.

That's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, June 30, 2014

June 30, 2014

Hello family,

This week was pretty good.

We got a new mission president (Ballard) on Saturday. I haven't met him yet, but I am excited to do so. We have a meeting this week on Wednesday when he will address us. I'm guessing he will probably talk about new beginnings and share his excitement about the work. I'm pretty curious to meet him and see what he is like.

Also, this week I had a district leader meeting. Yes, I am still the DL, and I have the same companion, Elder Jones.

This week we spent a lot of time helping this less active lady named Terrine prepare to move on Tuesday. She needed help packing her stuff so we helped her. This Tuesday, she is moving to another ward nearby. Things have been kinda chaotic trying to prepare for that. It's good though.

We had a lesson in elders quorum about the conference talk this last April that talked about the new truck. It mentioned it was because of the load the truck had that it was able to get out of the snow. There was a good discussion about how our personal loads are a good thing. Also, about how the savior helps carry our loads if we yoke ourselves with him.

I learned some cool stuff during my personal studies this week. I am trying to read through the Book of Mormon again before the end of my mission. I am in first Nephi and I was reading about the plates of brass in chapter 5. I searched more on what he actually stole and learned that he didn't actually have the entire Old Testament in the plates of brass, because it wasn't all written yet. Jeremiah was still the prophet. Interesting right?

I do have a farmers tan. It's getting worse as the sun comes out more and more.

One miracle that I realized this week is that our recent convert was sent a friend from New Zealand named Theodore. They both speak Arabic. How crazy is that!

That's about all this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 2014

Hello family,

This was a pretty good week. We got transfer calls and I will be staying here in Tigard for another 6 weeks at least. I might just finish my mission here. It's alright though because I love Tigard and there are some good things going on.

This week we met a new investigator from New Zealand and set a baptismal date with him for the 19th of July. He is a super friendly guy and very upbeat. I can't wait to see him get baptized.
Also this week there was a balloon festival in the main park near our house. In the morning they launched off hot air balloons so we got to see them all over the sky. We didn't go to the festival because we were too busy, but it was fun to see the balloons.

I think today I am going to buy a nice picture of Christ and maybe a picture of the Portland temple from Deseret book.

For our district P-day last week we had a BBQ and kickball and basketball. It was pretty fun, but during the BBQ part it started to pour down rain pretty hard. It wasn't good, but luckily we were under a pavilion.

I had to give a training at zone meeting this week on having joy in the journey of missionary work. I used D&C 18:15-16 and Alma 48:11 and talked about how helping others is what brings joy. It went pretty good, but I was pretty nervous.

I think that's about it for this week.
Love, elder Udy

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 16, 2014

Hello family,

This was a good week. We taught some people and went to a dance festival. Our recent convert got the priesthood. It was great.

Dance festival was cool. We got to listen to a lot of unapproved music. Also, President Morby showed the Saratov Approach. First movie I have seen in a long while.

My district is cool. We had a district P-day today. It was fun.

We had someone that we are teaching almost take her life. It wasn't good., but she is better now.

That's about it for this week. Thanks for being a great family.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014

Hello family,

I'm glad they are thinking ahead about my departure (coming home Sept. 23), but I'm trying to forget about it and stay focused till the end.

The baptism of Malik happened on Saturday. It was a super great baptism. A ton of people showed up from the ward for it. It was great, because he is going to need the support. He is on a spiritual high right now and the ward will need to become his best friend. I gave Malik the Holy Ghost which was pretty cool.

This week other than the baptism was pretty regular. We had some lessons with a few less actives and some investigators. None that are progressing too much, but hopefully soon.

The mission, I think, is going to get tightened down with the new mission president. There are a lot of gray areas right now with the rules. I will miss President Morby though a lot. He will be my mission president.

That is it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

June 2, 2014

Hello family,

This week was pretty good. I gave a training to everyone in my zone about using the scriptures to help them teach better. I based it off of the teaching model in PMG about introduce, read, apply. It went well and they seemed to enjoy it.

Our investigator passed his baptismal interview this week and is getting baptized this Saturday. He is pretty pumped about it. He has to move though soon so we have been trying to find him a place within the ward.

We had about 5 lessons cancel this week so that wasn't good, but oh well. Next week.

We went tracting this week and had a couple cool experiences. The first was with this lady named Shirley. She was an older lady that we talked to that said she wasn't really interested, but as we said our goodbyes and started to walk away she started to cry as if someone had put her in pain. It was super random and then she proceeded to tell us that her husband had died about a year ago and that her crying just happens sometimes. We told her about Christ and about eternal families. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said, "Thanks, I'm always curious as to what others believe about that" were hoping that something will come from it. We gave her something to read and ponder about.

The other experience was with a lady named Paula. She is a Baptist lady that grew up Christian Scientist. We got talking to her about religion and about a few of the differences in our beliefs. One thing lead to another and we ended up teaching her about Joseph smith and his experience. We recited the first vision to her on the doorstep and you could see something click inside her. We showed her the Book of Mormon and invited her to browse through it and read a few things. We showed her Moroni's promise and committed her to it. Were hoping something will happen in the future, but as our investigator says, "sometimes people are afraid of the truth".

That's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 26, 2014

Hello family,

I brought my camera and here are some pictures.  One of my new companion, one of my bike, and one of The Villa.

The Villa is actually called Bonita Villa, but we call it the Villa because its our hangout spot. We go there almost everyday and more than half of our teaching pool is down there. Its a low income housing place that is full of Hispanics and poor people. Most of which are on section 8 housing. We know so many people down there and everyone knows us. It's super funny. All the kids that just run around call us pastor. I love it.

My new companion is a lot like me actually, which really makes me think twice about the way that others think about me. I feel like I am going to learn a lot about myself from him. He is a good guy, but every companion is different.

Hmm, we had the same musical number at our ward yesterday. That's weird. We also had a farewell talk. He is going to the Salt Lake City family history center. His name is Sam. I told him that I would come and see him when I get home. He is such a cool kid.

Thank you for the letter about being "Trunky". It kinda made me laugh, but everything in there was so true. I showed it to my zone leader who goes home in 4 weeks. He loved it also. He also said he might quote it in our zone meeting. That will be so awesome.

I'm not sure if I told you or not, but in the time that I was with my last companion, he got 8 flat tires. We are basically master tire fixers.

This week we tracted and found a lady that we talked with for a little while about Joseph Smith. She said that she attends another church, but that we could come back and see her. It was kinda cool. We'll see how this weeks meeting goes. We also met this guy that is a less active guy that said that his wife doesn't like the church so he doesn't come. When we asked why she didn't like the church he said, "because every time you come by you always ask for me and never her" (she isn't a member) #Hopingtoteachthewife.

I didn't even realize that today was Memorial Day until like Thursday last week. Hmm...I must be a missionary.

Our investigator came to church for the third time this week. We are going to baptize him soon hopefully.

That's it.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

May 20, 2014

Hello family,

Yesterday was transfers. I am still in the same area, but I did get a new companion. His name is Elder Jones from Arizona. He is pretty cool from what I can tell so far, but we'll see. He has been out for 10 months. My last companion got transferred just one ward over, which is funny because he is still in my district.

The two Marshallese people I interviewed got baptized! It was sweet. We took our investigator to it in preparation for his own baptism. This last Sunday I interviewed two more people for baptism. They actually spoke English so it went a ton better. It was super cool to see the changes that they had made in their life. I have another baptism interview this Sunday as well.

This week we found a new investigator named Dean. He is a pretty cool guy that knows a lot of Mormons. He is a triathlon coach.

That's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

Hello family,

This has been a super slow week for us. We did some good things though.

For Mother's Day we will be using Skype. I need your Skype user name though so if you could send that to me ASAP that would be great. We have church on Sunday from 7:30-1 so it will be after 4 that I call. Hm... I have a meeting at 6 also. So I guess the only time that I could really do it is at 5 my time. It might have to be a short conversation. Or I could do it at 7:30 my time after my meeting. It will be at one of those times.

I will talk to you then.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April 28, 2014

Hello family

This week was good. It rained this week!!!!! But that's not new news. Lol 

Our ward mission leader just moved away yesterday. We won't have a ward mission leader for a little while, but luckily we have an assistant.

Zone meeting went well. We started really late so they had to hurry through some of it. I had my last interview with President Morby this week. He is such a great guy. I will miss him. This whole mission loves him.

This week we taught the young men and young women how to teach the plan of salvation. It went well and there were a few non members there. It was cool.

I can't believe its May almost. It's crazy. Time is flying by.

On Saturday we helped move a few people. Lots of carrying. It was good.

Our ward had a game night this week. It was just a bunch of board games that were going on along side a silent auction. It was super fun and our investigator came and brought his whole family. They were able to meet the ward a little bit more.

Our investigator that had surgery came to church with her mom this week. It was great. It was the first time that she had been out of the house since the surgery.
We didn't really see anything good come from the Easter season except cancelled appointments. But it's alright. Lol

That's about it.

Love, Elder Udy

The following are pictures of us with our ward mission leader who just moved away yesterday.

The Following are pictures of my companion and me (playing Joseph Smith). It was a good experience.

Funny right?

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014

Hello family,

This week was a super weird week. Our investigator got evicted on false charges. He came to church this week though. It was great. We also had a lesson with his wife this week so that was great. There was a lot of drama though this week down in " The Villa". That's what we call it. Its just a low income housing place in our area.
The daughter of our investigator had more surgery this week so that was pretty dramatic. She was rushed to the ER and everything. They are doing well though. She is healing nicely.

Easter Sunday went fine. There wasn't really anything new or different that happened. Our ward didn't have a party or anything to celebrate. Although, a family in the ward named the Branen's (super cool family) gave us an Easter basket with treats. They are such a great family. We went over for pancakes also.

Also, last night someone doorbell ditched us and left cupcakes on our doorstep. No idea who it is, but they were super good. This ward is so nice to the missionaries. It's great.

I think that's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014

Hello family,

I don't think it's normal for my parents to meet my mission president before I do. Hmmm...oh well. I will miss President and Sister Morby a lot! Did you tell him that he has some BIG shoes to fill up here? He is going to have a tough time gaining the trust of everyone here. Everyone loves and honors The Morby's. We'll see what happens though.

I don't know of anything special that we are doing for Easter this week. Maybe we will find something. We will be thinking about Christ a lot though.
This week was interesting. One of our investigators had their daughter move in with them. She expressed desire to come to church as well so that will be awesome. We are excited to get to know her. She is recovering from brain surgery so it will be slow.

In relief society this week we had to dress up as Joseph and Hyrum Smith. I was Joseph. We had to read a script with lots of dramatic feeling. They all looked at us funny. I felt like an idiot, but it went well. It turned out to be a good event. Something I will never forget. We wore outfits that a lad in the ward had from like the 1800's. I'm glad the outfits have changed since then. I know there are pictures out there of me. You might be getting some via email if you haven't already.

We had some good lessons this week. Set a date with our investigator for May. Hopefully it works out for him.

That's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy
Picture taken before dinner on April 16, 2014.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

April 7, 2014

Hello family,

Today is transfer meeting and I'm staying in my area for another 6 weeks. It's pretty exciting. Same companion also. I have three members of my district leaving so we will have to give the new ones a big warm welcome. It will be great.

I didn't really have a favorite talk. I loved all of them. Elder Anderson had a good talk. Also, President Monson had a good one. I learned a lot from Elder Bednar and Elder Stevenson as well.

This week was kinda tough. We had a bunch of stuff fall through and we had a super hard time finding members to come out with us. Hopefully next week will be better though. Looking forward to good things happening this transfer. The last transfer is in the past and we are going to try and make this one the best one ever!

There is a girl here from Kiel, Germany that is staying with a family in the ward. She is here for a year on an exchange thingy. She is interested in our church kinda. I am wondering if Sheldon or Kendal have been there.

I think that's about it for this week.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, March 31, 2014

March 31, 2014

Hello family,

This week was so much fun! We had a lot of cool miracles. Being a district leader is the best thing I have ever done on my mission. I get to hear about all the awesome miracles and hear how much The Lord is truly aware of what we do. It's crazy to see how much the work can change when we do what is right and stay positive and diligent.

I went on an exchange this week with our zone leaders which was super fun. I went into their area and we taught a bunch of people from the Marshall Islands. It was pretty fun, because their English is limited. Thus, we were able to just be super bold and direct and just tell them how it is and what they need to do. You can't do that with white people or else they would get offended. Also, the one that came here with my companion (Elder Plessinger) had his first experience being on bike ever. He has been out for 20 months so it's crazy that he has never ridden a bike. Also, when I was over there it turns out that an investigator that I had while I was in West Linn moved to their area and they went over and met them for the first time, but I had already met them so it was super easy for me to break the ice with them. I already knew her family so it was like I already knew them so I just introduced the new missionary to them. It was really sweet to see them again and to talk about the family.

We have an investigator named Malik. He is such a cool guy. We went over to his house everyday this week and then he came to church this Sunday. The ward all came up and said hi to him and now he wants to bring his family to church. Too bad it's general conference... That's alright though. He is so much fun though and he is really nice to everyone.

That's about it this week. Thanks for the prayers.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, March 24, 2014

March 24, 2014

Hello family,

Things are going well as a  district leader. It's fun to serve other missionaries. My district is one of the biggest in the mission so I have tons of stuff to remember about them and their areas. I have three sets of sisters in my district and four sets of elders. It's pretty fun, but sometimes stressful. Were you ever in leadership? Or did you train at all? What was your experience with it?

Our new investigators are all doing well. Two of them came to church for the first time this Sunday. The ward freaked out over it. They wanted to know who they were. In relief society our investigator was introduced as a recent convert, which was funny. They didn't know though.

The other new investigators were supposed to come to church this week, but one of them got caught in an extra shift at work and the other was just a no show. Flaky people aren't very fun to teach, but they have their place in the world and they need the gospel also.

We set a couple baptism dates this week which is good. Hopefully they will progress well and be ready for their dates.

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014

Hello family,

This week was good. My talk in sacrament meeting went well. I talked about agency and then tied it into missionary work. I got some compliments on it so I guess it was fine. I took my 15 minutes and left 15 for my companion. Luckily, they also had a youth speaker and a musical number.

Hm... Experiences...well, it rained a lot this week. On Tuesday it poured so hard while we were biking. We showed up at our appointment with a less active member and even though we told him we were soaked he had us come in. We took our jackets off and had a lesson. At the end we picked up our jackets and backpacks and there was a huge puddle underneath everything. I felt super bad about it, but he grabbed a towel and just wiped it up. It was super wet outside.

We taught a bunch of lessons and got to know the ward a lot better. From what they have been saying the last missionaries didn't do so great. They weren't bad, but they were kinda lazy and did the minimum. The ward loves us a lot for some reason.

Yesterday I had a meeting with the zone leaders and the stake president to talk about the work going on in the stake. We talked about each of the wards and the needs of them and the different people
that they have been teaching. That was a pretty cool meeting to go to.

Other than that, we have just been doing our best to get this ward going on missionary work. We did pick up a few investigators so that will help. We did a mission wide fast this week to help us find new
investigators. I have faith that good things will come from that.

There are a lot of ways to find new investigators. Door-to-door will get you investigators, but not very good ones. The best ones come from members that have a relationship built up.

We had to switch to daylight savings time so I lost an hour of sleep and I was super tired yesterday.

That's about all.
Love, Elder Udy

P.S. We received a letter from Emerson's mission president saying he has been called to serve as the District Leader of the Cook Park District in the Tualatin Zone. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014

Hello family,

This week went well. The ward Loves a lot. I made an extra special effort to be excited and energetic about the work. It seemed to pay off a lot, because the ward seems to love us. We both bore our testimonies in sacrament meeting and that was the cherry on top. I think that we might have gone a little too far on the excitement part, because they asked us to speak next week in sacrament meeting about agency. Lol, its alright though, because it will just be a greater opportunity to serve and gain member trust. They said that we were good missionaries already. I guess the previous missionaries weren't the greatest and they never rode their bikes. O well.

We met some awesome people this week. Most were less actives, but one of them was an investigator from the Marshall Islands. He doesn't really speak English. Our only other investigator is a man named Dave that I guess is pretty solid. He wants to get baptized in about 6 months. Hopefully, we can meet with him this week.

Those are our only investigators so we are going to be doing some finding in this area for sure. The ward really wants to do missionary work, but need a little bit of extra enthusiasm about it. In my last area we had a set of sisters in the ward and they got tons of investigators just because they were always excited and super bubbly about everything so I have been trying to do that in this area. Trying to serve in every aspect that comes my way and give everything that I have to the work. Hopefully we can build the area up and get the ward excited by doing that.

My last companion stayed in Cooper Mountain. My new companion and I both came into this area at the same time so neither of us know anything about the area. It's pretty fun doing it again. Starting from square one on everything.

That's all for today. Say hello to everyone for me.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 25, 2014

Hello family,

This week was really good. We were able to teach quite a bit and we set up a bunch of lessons for next week.

I guess the big news for this week is that I got transferred to a new area yesterday. The ward is called Cook Park. My companion is Elder Plessinger. He is a cool guy. He came from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Don't worry, we already had a discussion about Hershey. He said that the town does smell like chocolate and that he lives about 90 minutes away from there.

I am still riding a bike. This area seems to be a lot flatter than my last one. Which is always a plus. We are the only missionaries in the ward so that will be good. There is a lot of work that we need to do. We have 1 progressing investigator and one not progressing investigator with a date. That's all we have for a teaching pool so we are going to be doing some finding this week and going forward.

The ward was recently merged together with another ward to form one ward. So, hopefully that means as they get to know each other, they will get to know their neighbors! Ya. We met the bishop yesterday and the assistant ward mission leader that was called about a week ago. There is a lot of potential here to get some good things going.

It was super wet last week, but it hasn't rained in a few days.

I think that's about it for today. I took some pictures this week with some of the families that I worked with. I am going to make a goal to take more pictures in this area. For some reason that is always the hardest thing for me to remember to do.

Love, Elder Udy

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

February 17, 2014

Hello family,

Thank you Tally for the comments. All your comments are true. I will remember them next time I teach a single person. There was a comment about attitude in elders quorum this week, about how attitude effects everything that we do. Just by changing your attitude we can change our whole outlook on life. We can basically choose whether or not to be happy.

We went out this week and did some missionary work!!! It was sweet, although a bunch of our investigators never messaged us back and weren't home this week so we didn't teach as much as usual. Due to them not setting up a time to meet us we were able to do some finding things this week. We found three new investigators. We taught them the restoration and they all agreed to read and pray. Hopefully they will have done so when we go back this week and check up on them. Otherwise we will read with them.

Something that I read this week during my studies was from October 2008 general conference. It was a talk given by Marcos A. Aidukaitis called "Because My Father Read The Book Of Mormon". He talked about his fathers experience joining the church and the power the Book of Mormon had on his conversion experience. He said that his father felt the power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. He felt it so strong to be true that he gave up a lot of his worldly habits and addictions to get baptized and enter into the kingdom. I kinda already knew that, but hearing it and reading another testimony of its reality is awesome. I encourage you all to read it. I thought it was great for this week because of all our new investigators. I hope and pray that they will be able to feel of that power through the book as they read and pray.

This week it rained a ton! Luckily I have a somewhat good raincoat. I learned that after a while my jacket starts just absorbing the water instead of repelling it. Oh well it's fine. I am hoping this week will be better.

Um that's all that I have to say this week. Other than I might be in a new area next week. This is the last week of the transfer.

Love, Elder Udy

Sent from my iPad. (Missionaries now have iPad's to mange their work)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hello family,

We got about 7 inches of snow here over the past three days. Thursday is when it started and continued on Friday. Saturday we got freezing rain which was really cold and wet. Luckily, President Morby told us to stay inside and that nobody could drive their cars. He said that if you don't have an appointment then stay inside. If you do, then walk. On Sunday there was some sun for a couple hours so it started melting, but president said that nobody was even allowed to leave their apartment on Sunday. So that was fun. It's crazy to see how an entire city can just shut down. Someone said that there is only like one snow plow for the entire Portland metro area. That's how rare the snow is here. A member in our ward said that they haven't had snow this bad since 2008. In Utah this would not have been a problem, but here it was a big problem. I am grateful for snow plows.

Meanwhile my companion is from Houston, Texas and so the snow was unfamiliar to him. I helped him make his first snowman ever. We got it pretty big. I taught him all about snow and what you can do with it. He was pretty stoked about it.

You're probably wondering what we did inside for 3 days straight. Well, this week we got iPads. I have mixed feelings about them. I have to try even harder now not to get distracted by it and to make sure I use it for its purpose. One thing that we did while we were stuck inside is transfer our entire area book over to the iPad. Every teaching appointment and investigator and less active. It made my brain hurt and made me super restless. I am glad it's done now though.

Our iPads are now our planners, so we don't have carry those around anymore, which I am not very excited about. I loved having a hard copy of my planner. I could doodle, take random notes of information we get, and plan a lot better with it. Now that it's electronic it's a lot more formal planning. 

O yeah, church was cancelled because of the snow. That was weird as a missionary. It means that our baptism date has to be pushed back due to lack of church attendance. Also one of our less actives was planning to come to church this week and that didn't happen. Next week though will be good.

I thought the other day about the people that came to this mission with me were kind of like the start of the hastening. The kick off to this whole thing started with the age change. I was in the MTC for that. The start of my mission was the start of the hastening. I have been in Oregon to see it all unfold from the start up until now where the work has changed and we now have iPads. Maybe when I am done with my mission the Lords work will be done. The second coming perhaps? Lol...just kidding. I feel lucky to be part of this huge change from start to finish. What are some things in your life that you have seen unfold from start to finish? And how have you seen the Lords hand in that?

We taught some lessons during the first part of the week and they went well. Our investigator had us over to help him clean his music studio and then we had a lesson about Christ. He has investigated before and so he knows that we believe god was once a man like you and me. He asked us if god has a different savior other than Jesus Christ. We talked about that for a while.

Another lesson that we had was with a man named Gene. We found him last Sunday. The bishop actually knew about him and his family, so he gave us some information. He is a super nice guy that wants to get back to church and change his life. I am hoping that his family will want to come with him. One thing that I have seen since being out here, is that this is a very family oriented church. I remember one comment that a less active guy in my first area said. He stated right after a ward conference meeting for couples that "it's very hard to be single in this church." And that's true, it would be hard to be single in this church. Especially if you are over about 35 or so. God has set up his church to revolve around families, even though everyone is a child of god. Kinda weird how that works.

Another thing that happened this week is a lesson with a man named Anthony that loves to study religion and the history of it. We talked with him and were able share part of the restoration. He thought it was interesting and then he talked about how our message related to a bunch of different religions throughout history and how ours has little parts of each of them. That was pretty cool to hear from a non member. It's true though, that this church contains the fullness of the gospel, not just bits and pieces.

My companion made this Vietnamese soup stuff called pho. It's weird. It has rice noodles with spices.

I have a stomach flu today, so that's fun. Sorta. I'll get over it though...eventually. I think it's from being inside so much this week.

I love you all,
Elder Udy

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February 3, 2014

Hello family,

This week was good.

We talked to a drunk guy this week that we prayed with 7 times in a row. It was an interesting experience. He gave us his contact info and said to call him. He was baptized in the LDS church a long time ago and then got into some bad things. He told us about how he was in the marines and has killed 6 people and that he has never forgiven himself. He was drunk so I'm not sure how accurate things were. He said he drank to try and hide it. The man said that it never worked and that the pain of the past always came back. It was a testimony to me that worldly things never heal a wounded spirit. To heal a spiritual wound, you need spiritual medicine (Atonement). To heal a wounded body, you need physical medicine.

We have are still working out with the military recruiter. He works us pretty hard, but my body gets off to a good start everyday. We do running and upper body stuff and abs mostly. He is really good at push-ups.

Our investigators didn't come to church again. One of them didn't want to and the other one that came before had to go to the ER. Everyone is alright though.

Thank you Grandma & Grandpa for the letters. I read them and appreciate them a lot even though I am terrible at writing back.
Also, when Elder Christofferson came the other week he said that most of the senior missionaries have at one point in their life been backed up to the wall of faith. Have you ever had an experience in your life when your faith was all that you had to rely on? When you think about your mission, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?

Thanks for everything!

Love, Elder Udy

Monday, January 27, 2014

January 27, 2014

Hello Family,

This was a great week for me here in Oregon.

On Tuesday we went tracting with some of the Spanish missionaries in our area. That was super exciting, because 3 out of 4 houses that we knocked on had Spanish speakers inside. My companion and I both felt good about taking the Spanish missionaries there that day and I guess that was a good decision. Amazing how the spirit tells you things.

On Wednesday we were able to teach our investigator about the gospel of Jesus Christ. She has a date for February 22, 2014 for baptism.

We have been having a lot of success with the above investigator. She came to a baptism to see what it was like and then she came to church Sunday and she signed up to help the youth with their dance festival thingy. It's amazing to see how the lord blesses us when we do what is right and keep the commandments.

When I first got to this area, we went tracting and found a guy named Steve that we taught and are teaching. This week he came to church for the first time as well. It was great! He also said that he had an amazing time in High Priest Group with all them. We had no idea until we got there that he actually knows two of the high priests already so he was instantly fellow shipped into the ward by them. A third high priest came to him a few years ago to record something in his studio so he knows him as well. Steve, I don't think, remembers him though. It was such an awesome day at church having two investigators come for the first time ever. There were a lot of talks about missionary work though, which I thought wasn't the best for them, but that's alright. It looked like they both had a good time.

On Thursday we were able to go to the temple. A couple days prior to that morning we started calling people to see if they would be able to give us a ride. We must have called about 25 people and had a bunch of rejections. Finally, we did find someone, but it took forever. The temple is always such an amazing place to go to feel the spirit and to learn about the savior Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. After the session we went down to the baptismal font to check it out and one women, that I taught when I was in West Linn, was there doing baptisms for 300 family names that she found through family history. That was the cherry on top to be able to see her in the temple! I remember the night that My companion and I went to the dinner appointment with her and some members. We ate and then afterwards I remember we invited her to take the missionary lessons. She said yes and then we taught her. Now, she is worthy and able to be in the temple. It makes everything that we do as missionaries worth it. When we get to see someones small seed of faith to accept missionary lessons, grow into a plant, and then that develops into a tree of knowledge and understanding.

We were able to find a new investigator this week named Gustavo. We taught him about the restoration and I know that he felt the spirit, because it was there. I don't think that he recognized it though because he wasn't really looking for it. He said he enjoys learning about others views on religion. We taught him and he agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately, he is working full-time and is working on his dissertation for his doctorate degree so we're not going to be able to meet with him very much. I know that he will for sure read though.

On Saturday we were blessed with the opportunity to hear and shake hands with Elder D. Todd Christofferson an apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It was an amazing experience! He shared a few words about discouragement to all of us missionaries and then he opened it up to questions from all of the missionaries. The first two questions were sorta about policies and so Elder Christofferson had some of the other people with him get up and and answer them. I noticed that every single time that a question was asked that he could testify of Jesus Christ he answered it. If it had to do with policies then he had the stake president answer it. He talked about the atonement of Jesus Christ a ton! The fact that it cleanses our sins and removes the stains as well. He read in 3 Nephi 27 about how if we come unto him that we will be guiltless AND spotless at the last day. He taught us that the foundation of our testimony should be on the Book of Mormon. He talked about offering our whole souls unto God and read Omni 1:26. He taught us that during times of affliction we should come closer to Christ not farther from him. Listening to him speak towards the end of the meeting when he bore a powerful testimony of our savior Jesus Christ was amazing. He is just an ordinary man, but he has an extraordinary calling and brings the spirit of an apostle. No words can describe how strong the presence of the spirit was in that room. It was just as powerful, if not more than the temple experience that I had this week as well. I know that he is a true apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He blessed our mission that the Lord will let us know that we are approved as missionaries, that we will be able to teach with greater power, and testify with greater persuasion. It was awesome and probably one of the most powerful things ever.

This morning we started working out with one of our less-actives who's wife is taking the lessons. He is a military recruiter so he worked us super hard. Probably one the hardest work-outs on my mission so far. Hopefully it will get easier.

Love you all.
Elder Udy

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

January 20. 2014

Hello Family,

Glad that Laurel got home safe. It seems like yesterday that we both just left on our missions. Now she is home. That's crazy.

This week we did mercenary work. I mean, missionary work. lol. We set a baptismal date for February 22, 2014. It will be good.

This upcoming week we are going to the temple. I am super excited! Elder Christofferson is coming this week also. Lots of good things are happening this week.

Love you all,
Elder Udy

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 13, 2014

Hello family,

Hope you have fun with Laurel coming home. Say hi to her for me. Wish I was there to see her, but ya.

Transfers were today and I am going to be here in Cooper Mountain for another 6 weeks. Our district leader got transferred out and the district leader that I had while I was in Canby came here. This will be the second time that I have served with Elder Barlow as my district leader. Kinda funny.

This week we were able to find a new investigator that we set a baptismal date with. I am not really sure how serious he was about it, but he committed nonetheless. Hope everything works out with him.

This Sunday (yesterday) we were planning on having 3 investigators come to church and none of them showed up. We followed up with them and they all had some excuse of some kind. Very frustrating, but there's always next week. They will come eventually.

We had a special training meeting Friday, that trained us how to do better planning. President Morby is going to try to come out and plan with the missionaries at night at there home every night now. That will be fun if he comes to us.

Anyway, not much time now. Love you all.

Elder Udy

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6, 2014

Hello Family,

For new year's this week we did missionary work, we got a new investigator! It was great. I'm glad that you had a good one.

Yes, our Hindu investigators speak English, but they also speak Hindi. It's a slow process talking about Christianity with them. They actually believe almost the same things that we do, but they have different names for it. Most of the stuff in the plan of salvation they agreed with except the end kingdoms. That was different for them.

My facebook account is the same one that I used back home. I just changed some stuff on there. My name is now Elder Emerson Udy, instead of just Emerson Udy. You can go look if you want to. You can just log on to your account and see it. You don't need a special link or anything.

No Ipad yet. President Morby said in a couple weeks they would send some.

Laurel is coming home soon. That will be exciting for you. Wish I could be there for that, but...ya.

That's all this week.
Love, Elder Udy