Monday, August 26, 2013

Elder Hoddy Turns 19 and Gets a New Companion!

Happy 19th Birthday Elder Hoddy!

Ok so bad news... I'm not an immature 18 year old anymore, I'm an immature 19 year old now... haha but I love it. This week has been a little crazy. Of the six missionaries that were in our ward last transfer only 2 of us are still here. My new companion's name is Elder Evans and he is a super awesome guy. It was kind of sad to see all the missionaries go, but I'm reminded that where one door closes another door opens, and we had a lot of opened doors this week.

The most amazing thing that has happened is we have been meeting with this guy Jake. We met him a couple months ago, but we've been having a really hard time meeting with him. We finally were able to meet with him and he is taking it all in so fast. We met with him on Thursday as our follow up to the restoration, and we talked about faith. We read some verses in Alma 32 and left him with that chapter and 3 Nephi 11. He told us how Alma 32 really hit him in the chest and he has been so excited to meet with us. He asked us if we could stop by on Saturday so we went over and taught him more. It's crazy how fast he is progressing and learning about the gospel. His heart is so open to learning and he has been prepared for the gospel. He also has a huge support system of friends from high school who are members. We are really excited to be meeting with him. He's amazing.
My birthday was a blast. We had district meeting in the morning, so the sisters brought cupcakes and made me a hilarious card. I forgot it, but I'll send a pic next week. We knocked doors for a while and met some great people. None of them were incredibly solid, but they will be someday. We just keep telling ourselves that we're dropping seeds. Planting as we go. Then a member saw us, so we talked in his house for like 20 minutes and he gave us popsicles which was awesome. Then we had a dinner with some of my favorite members, the same ones who pranked Elder Anderson, and had a great discussion about missionary work. I really value their friendship, and it is extra awesome because they're on our missionary team.
I just picked up the package this morning. I think it was there on time, but we weren't home so they took it back to the post office. I haven't gone through all of it, but I'm cracking up. I love the rolled up 19 ciggy dollars. Ha this package is awesome. Thanks for everything and I love you all so much.
-Elder Hoddy


Monday, August 19, 2013

An Awesome Missionary Weekend!

Woohoo this week has been a good one.
P-day was just killer because we played 4 square for a couple hours. Things were gettin pretty heated and intense, but luckily chief judge Hoddy was there to settle all disputes and reign as king for a while. The next couple days we did some service and met with some people. It was great. On Friday the sisters had a baptism which was really awesome. The spirit was really strong there and it was exciting to see. After that we saw one of our potential investigators, Jake, and had an awesome lesson. We taught the restoration and one of his roommates sat in and listened. We were kind of rushed for time, but we have another appointment this week, so we should have time to do everything.
Saturday was a really awesome day. I don't really remember what happened in the morning cuz it's already been two days since it happened, but after dinner we decided to knock a few doors and we had more success than we've ever had tracting. We knocked on this one door and the people let us right in and started talking to us. There were two families there and they were in the process of making dinner. Most people say that they're too busy to talk to us, but these people let us right in, offered us dinner, and talked with us for a while. It is so incredible to meet families that you can teach. Especially ones who truly act like Christians instead of just saying it and shutting the door on us. There were some other really nice people, but that was a highlight of tracting for my mission. Then we had a lesson with Leon. He's taken all the discussions, and come to church plenty of times, so we were hoping to have a lesson on baptism. His favorite members came with us and they gave powerful testimonies, but in the end it wasn't the right time for him I guess. He's such an amazing Christian that it's hard to believe that he won't accept the gospel someday though.
Sunday was another amazing day. We went to Life Church with the Helsleys that morning and it was not at all what I expected. They had a rock band, and great play places for the kids. Ha it was a really fun place for church. I thought that it was going to be another church that was just asking for tithing and trying to get members, but I felt like the leaders really were trying to help the people. At the end of the day however, it is very clear that they are missing many important things contained in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The power and authority to baptize and give the Holy Ghost is missing. There is no sacrament. No one gets to be sealed to their family forever. I thought it was a good church, but it was not Christ's church. The Book of Mormon and Bible clearly teach the way to eternal life, and although Life Church teaches a lot of truth, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints goes so much deeper and contains it all. People misunderstand us, but the work goes on. Haha we were actually asked to leave a couple of times because they thought we were proselyting. Oklahoma is the best and I love it here. The people here are amazing and I'm getting so much closer to the ward here. It's going to be sad when I leave. I found out last night that I have at least another 6 weeks in the village ward, so I was pretty happy about that. I'm getting a new companion on Wednesday though we we'll see how that one goes.
Well it sounds like life at home is pretty awesome. I can't believe Jace is in Junior High and that's so fun that Aunt Melody had Beckett. You'll have to send me pictures of him. I love you all and hope you have a good week!
-Elder Hoddy

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Fruits of the Spirit; Love, Joy and Peace

Mom and Dad,
Hey so I totally forgot to bring my journal today, so hopefully I'll still remember what happened this week. Ok so Elder Nelson got the big transfer back to Utah this week. It's been so crazy not to have him here joking around and making us laugh. On Monday and Tuesday we were pretty much just visiting people and letting him say goodbye. It was pretty sad watching people cry that he was leaving. After we dropped him off everything seemed so weird. I still can't believe he's gone. I've been with him since I've been in Oklahoma and he's suddenly gone. Ha things have been great with me and Elder Anderson though. We had some awesome lessons this week and have been having a good time.
We were teaching a family this week and we read from the Book of Mormon in the most read chapter 1 Nephi 1. It was really good because we need them to start reading the Book of Mormon if they are ever going to be baptized. The mom asked if people not born into our church could be baptized. Ha kinda freaked us out because we got real excited. We had a great lesson with them and their kids were able to come to church the next day, but I guess the parents were busy. Missionary work has been so exciting lately. Everything seems so simple to me how our church is the only church that contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel, but often it is so hard for people to understand the importance.
Ok so this family in our ward gave me this really cool idea for FHE that they had tried. The parents pulled out PMG (Preach My Gospel) and talked about lesson 3 in chapter 3 and then had the kids teach it to each other. Haha they call their house a pre MTC now and the kids love it. We were giving them some quiz questions and it was pretty awesome.
That's so exciting that you all went to the temple together. I'm super jealous because we only get to go twice a year, but I'm happy that you got to go. I told Jace to go a while back, but he hardly ever emails me so we haven't talked a whole lot. Oh and that's awesome that you got called into the relief society this week. You're going to do great momma.
 There's a quote in Preach My Gospel that says, The Spirit is the most important single element in this work. With the Spirit magnifying your call you can do miracles for the Lord in the calling. Without the Spirit, you will never succeed regardless of you talent and abillity. Basically the Lord isn't asking us to be perfect servants. He's asking us to have the Spirit with us and do our best. In Galatians 5 it talks about the fruits of the Spirit being love, joy, peace, etc. As we strive to have these in our life and to bring them into the lives of the people around us, we are able to bless lives, and as others are lifted we are lifted as well. Ha it's kind of a nice little cycle how we help others and the Lord helps us. Haha oh and don't worry about saying I miss you. I know I'm supposed to be here and even though I wish I could be having fun at home with the fam, this is where I'm called to be and this is where I want to be. I love you both lots and I hope everything continues to go well. I pray for you each night, and I know you both are blessed for all the work you do.
Elder Hoddy

Monday, August 5, 2013

Short Recap of the Week

This week Jake e-mailed us separate notes so there are 2 short posts for this week.
Hey Dad!
I'll give you the weekly update of Oklahoma. Monday we had P-day so we messed around and played sports for a lot of the day. Tuesday we had temple conference which was so cool. If you have done an endowment session lately you have to go. It was really fun to see a lot of other missionaries as well. Wednesday was the usual day of visiting less active members and investigators. Thursday we visited a part member family and sang at an Alzheimer home which is always hilarious. Friday we finally got our air conditioning fixed which was awesome. Saturday we went to a baptism for one of Elder Nelson's old investigators so we got to go on a road trip. Sunday we went to catholic mass with an investigator, then went to the true church of Jesus Christ, and finished with dinner and a meeting.
We had a good week and we're having a lot of fun with the people here. It's sounds like a lot of good things are happening at home as well. I love you dad! Also if you find the priesthood lineage I would really like it.
Elder Hoddy

Farewell To A Great Companion, Elder Nelson

Oh boy that sounds fun going to education week and all that exciting stuff. Hanging out with friends and having sleep overs is always #1 :)  Haha so anyways this week has been a good one. Elder Nelson goes home on Thursday which is really sad. He was going around and saying goodbye to everybody yesterday. That is going to be so tough... You work on building relationships with these people for 2 years and then all of the sudden someone tells you that your time is up and you go home. He's really excited to see his family again, but goodbyes are always so sad.
Elder Garner was such an awesome companion. We would walk around the MTC with our little binders and act like we owned the place. haha we thought we were so cool and pretty much we were. I definitely hope I get to serve around him again.
I'm sorry that I can't remember a lot of the things we did this week, but we visited with a couple of black girls who were hilarious. Haha they were telling us about their high school experience and the cold chicken nuggets and prom and stuff. it was so funny. We went to a catholic service and met some amazing people there. The father said something about us at the end of the meeting and it seemed like he genuinely cared about us even though he had barely met us. It is amazing to see some of the incredible Christians who do their best to live their faith and seek for truth. I love Oklahoma. We went to a church where it seemed like the pastor was just after money and it made me so mad. I wish that the father of the catholic church would join our church, but he does so much good for those people and I know that he'll accept the true gospel someday because it's in his nature to accept truth. I love these people and I wish I could just convert them all, but I know things will come slowly. We have the fulness of the everlasting gospel. we are so dang lucky.
Well I love you Mom and I'm so lucky to be your son. Thanks for the emails and updates on everything. Keep loving life!
Elder Hoddy
PS preach my gospel is a great tool for fhe. I've seen some parents use it here for their little kids and it is awesome