Monday, June 24, 2013

Members Pave the Way for Missionaries

Dear mom and dad,
Today has been an incredible week, but dang it is getting hot. Haha when we get in for dinner we are usually soaked with sweat. It makes me pretty grateful for air conditioning. The area we serve in doesn't have a lot of members, so we've visited almost all of them and tried to build faith, but a lot of the time we end up tracting.

The other day we were tracting down a street and everyone kept telling us they weren't interested, until we got towards the end of the street and knocked on a door. A guy came out and told us that there were mormons two doors down that had helped him cut down a tree once. He let us in and talked with us for a while and we set a return appointment. Then we went to the next house, and the family living there welcomed us in and told us that their neighbors were mormons, so we were able to set a return appointment with them as well. It was crazy to see how much a member can break down barriers and let people become accepting of us. There are so many strange beliefs about us and everyone thinks we're crazy, so when a member shows that we're normal people it gives us that chance to get in the door and talk with people. I really hope that members in our ward will realize the impact they can make with people. Almost every person that lets us into their homes or sits and talks with us either has a friend or family member who is a member. Most people who have only heard of mormons aren't very willing to talk to us. Haha tracting definitely makes for funny memories though.

My favorite thing that happened this week was during a lesson. We are teaching a teenager and his mom who have pretty much heard all the lessons already but won't commit to baptism yet. We decided that we were going to watch the Joseph Smith movie with them, and I absolutely loved it and could totally tell they were feeling the spirit. After it was done we decided to simply testify of Joseph Smith, have a closing prayer, and leave. It was so powerful and I could see in that they knew it was true and that it was an amazing thing, but she doesn't want to be baptized because she loves her church so much. While we were walking to the car her son came out and asked when we would come back. I think he recognizes that this is what he needs to do and I'm really hoping that he'll be baptized soon because eventually I think his mom would become converted too and he would have the opportunity to baptize her. I'll keep on believing and praying til it happens.

We have so many amazing investigators here and I wish I had the time to tell you about them all. People here really are amazing and I love being here with them. Some of the missionaries are so cool too, and they definitely teach me lots. We are all really sad because our mission president leaves this week, and it's going to be weird to have a new one. It will be exciting to see the changes in the mission over the next couple years though. The Lord's work is hastening.

Elder Hoddy

Monday, June 17, 2013

Elder Hoddy and Elder Nelson

We had your wonderful Missionaries at our home just 2 hours ago...
I wanted you to know they are both doing great here in Oklahoma...
and here is proof they are! Don't they look great!
We are grateful for their service!
May the Lord bless you and your families!

(from a family in his area)

Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day! Sorry I'm a day late. Hope you had a great day yesterday and everything went well. I definitely wish I could have been there with you especially when I heard the talks on fathers during sacrament meeting. You're example as a father has meant the world to me, and is a big reason why I'm out here. Someone told me that we should be out here teaching the gospel and using words only when necessary. I feel like you've done a great job at that and you teach people by example. I love you and miss you and can't wait to see you again.

Elder Hoddy

In the Right Place at the Right Time

Dear Momma
Things here have been so much fun lately. I've had the chance to to meet so many great people which is seriously the best part of missionary work. We met the an awesome family last week and we had our first chance to meet with them on Saturday. They aren't members, but they are some incredible people. Lester (the father) has been on the board of directors for Alcoholics Anonymous for quite a few years and he spends so much time giving back. We asked him to read in the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it was true, and he told us he would read the whole thing. So I asked him to if he would be baptized and he said he would, but we haven't committed him to a date yet. I'm so excited for their family to come know Christ more in their life and find the blessings that come from it.

Yesterday we want to an all black Pentecostal church with a less active member and an investigator. There were people yelling and screaming the whole time, and it was such an crazy experience. The pastor mentioned tithing over and over again and he and his wife drove super nice cars. I kept thinking of Mormon 8:32 which is kind of rude, but it seemed like he cared about money a lot more than the people in the congregation. The experience made me very grateful when I attended church and was able to feel the Spirit during the awesome Father's day talks. I'm so glad that I'm a member of this church because I know that we're following what Heavenly Father wants for us.

That's so cool that Jace got into that reading program. It will definitely be good for him and I hope that he learns to love reading. That's so cool to have miracles like that in life. We pray for miracles everyday out here in the mission field and we have found so many ready to hear the gospel. Just the other day we were out tracting and I felt like we weren't getting anything done and it was like 8:30 at night so I prayed to know what to do because I didn't want to waste our time. I felt like we needed to go back to our apartment, but we're not supposed to be in until 9:00 and we were super close to our apartments. We decided to go back to our apartment, but I still felt like we were doing the wrong thing because I didn't want to get in early and waste time, but then the lady across the street saw us and yelled for us to come in. We happened to be in the right place at the right time to meet her and we were able to talk to her for a while, and I'm confident we'll teach her soon. I love watching how the Lord works in our lives and helps so many people. I love you mom!

Elder Hoddy

Tornado Clean Up

Hey Mom!
How has summer been going for ya so far?.. You'll have to give me the deets on St. George and other things you've done. Things here are still pretty crazy. It's so weird to see that wind can level neighborhoods. we have driven through different streets and all that is left are just big piles of junk. All the houses and trees are just torn apart and it is so crazy to see. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan though... We have had a lot of success lately as we've been tracting and talking to people. After seeing all the work that the Mormon Helping Hands did for Oklahoma, people are more willing to hear what we have to say. Yesterday we were doing tree cleanup on a huge property which was super fun and we were just messing around with some of the other Elders. When we got back I went to go get in the shower and there are were all these little things crawling around on me, and I realized they were tics. I started freaking out and smacking them off me, so my companion ran in and I found a bunch on him. Haha we were both screaming like little girls, but we got them all off and only one had bitten me. So many funny things are happening here and I have such an awesome companion.
Right now I'm serving in the village ward which includes down town OKC and a lot of the neighborhoods around it. Kevin Durant lives in our ward boundaries, so hopefully i'll get to meet him but I doubt it (if you don't know who that is just ask dad). I'm having a lot of fun here, and there are some incredible members here. It's also so cool to be around so much religious diversity. Some people have some really strange ideas about religion, but it's fun to learn a lot of different perspectives.
I love and miss you tons,
Elder Hoddy

Last Night In the MTC

Hey mom :) Tonight is my last night in the MTC so I get to email and do laundry and stuff. Things here have been getting better every day and I love it so much. The missionary life is so awesome and I'm only smiling like 27 hours a day! I seriously have the best teachers and the best district in the world. I learn more and more from them everyday and my testimony is strengthened constantly. I know how important missionary work is and I wish everyone could have what you and dad gave me.. that's why I'm going to Oklahoma. There are people ready to hear about the gospel and accept Christ in their lives. That is our purpose as missionaries and I try to fill it everyday. I've learned that as a missionary I can invite anyone to come unto Christ whether they've never heard about the gospel or they've been member their whole lives. It is really cool to know that as I listen the spirit, the words I say matter to people. and I can teach people. Oh and being a zone leader was probably the coolest thing ever. I got to talk to all the missionaries with my companion and the sister trainer leader, and we tried to make it a lot easier on the first couple days than it was for us. It was seriously so fun to see all their bright faces and now they're used to being a missionary and joke around with us. Our zone, which consists of 37 missionaries, has gotten so close and it's really sad to leave them. Nothing will compare to leaving my momma though. You've really been so great mom and I'm glad that I got to speak on mothers day.. I'm sorry if I talked about you too much, but no one else deserved to be talked about as much as you. I've been taught to be a missionary before I got here because of the example you've set of service and love. I'll make ya proud! I hope that you'll be awake tomorrow morning because I'll be calling somewhere around 8:30, but I'm not totally sure.

Love you tons,

Elder Hoddy