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