Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Baptism Dates Set And An Egyptogogist?

Dear Family
This has been another one of those awesome weeks. We met with Jake a lot and he definitely getting closer to baptism. He was struggling with the Book of Abraham for a while because he felt like the Book of Mormon was true and the book of Abraham was false. They're translated by the same prophet so I guess it kind of makes sense why that would be a problem. He talked with his friend Danny and an Egyptologist which answered a lot of question, but he still has a couple struggles. We took him to a baptism of some other missionaries and he thought it was pretty awesome. Jake still feels good about his baptismal date of November 9th so keep praying for him and he'll make it.
Kevin, another one of our investigators, also has a baptismal date for November 9th, but he has already planned his baptism with who is going to baptize him and who the speakers will be, so he is pretty set. Things have definitely been looking really good for us and we've been having an amazing time here.

After asking Sister Helsley some questions this week she told us that she believes that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. That was a huge leap in the right direction, and we had a lesson on prayer with them and she prayed in front of us for the first time, so she is getting continually closer and closer to baptism. She doesn't want to set a baptism date and she still has a lot of pressure from family and friends to do other things, but we think she'll make the right decision in the end. One Wednesday we went over to talk to their neighbors and she came out with a huge smile on her face and said, "Perfect timing I made hot chocolate". It was the best hot chocolate I've ever tasted because she made it from scratch with love and some awesome ingredients!

We went on splits again and I got to visit Pastor Bob with a member again. It's always super awesome to talk to him and I learn cool things about the Bible. We started talking to him about the Book of Mormon which he has a lot problems believing there can be another book since he was raised with one book and he has taught about this one book for the last 43 years. At one point I felt like the spirit told me why he wasn't reading the Book of Mormon. It came that he doesn't think he'll find the Book of Mormon to be true, and he's scared that he'll have to tell us that and we won't come by any more. We basically told him that he was cheating himself by not finding out the truth of the Book of Mormon. He told us that if he felt it was wrong he would let us know, but if he felt that it was true he would embrace all of this 100%. If you look at church history there have been hundreds of pastors who compare the Book of Mormon to the Bible and end up joining. We are praying that he will be open to the answers he receives. He is one of the nicest people I have met out here and he deserves nothing less than the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

On Saturday Elder Nelson came back to visit the mission so he took us to breakfast. It was so awesome to see him and we talked about all the funny things that happened when we were companion. I miss him a lot and wish we could have served together longer. It was so awesome to see him. I also saw this Narnia pop up book at a members home on Saturday that was the craziest pop up book I have ever seen. I had to take a video of it. Ya basically Saturday was a good day.

There is always plenty of fun stories to talk about, but I'll leave you with these for the week. Sounds like everything back home is going well so that's good to hear. Have a good week.
Love Elder Hoddy, HFF!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

3 Miracles A Day Challenge

What's up family?!
This week has been the usual incredible week that a mission provides for ya, but one of the coolest things ever was when we took Pam, an amazing investigator, to the temple. That's where the picture came from mom. So we get there and we're having some pretty neat gospel discussions, and boom the inspiration comes to go ask a member of the temple presidency if he'll talk to her. So we walk in the temple and guess who is standing right there in the waiting room. Ya it was a member of the temple presidency. So we walk on over and start telling him the situation, and he's like, "ya bring her on in and let's have a little talk" so we walked casually back to Pam and the members that were with us (more like ran with smiles a thousand feet wide) and told them that we could go into the temple and talk about a few things. Pam got to go into the waiting room and Pam got to talk to a member of the temple presidency for like 20 minutes. He answered all of her questions so much better than we could and it totally set the mood for the night. We walked over to the chapel across the street after and had a little lesson about the atonement. Pam has been so prepared. She already fully believes in the Book of Mormon and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. She is excited to go back to the temple and she wants to read the entire Book of Mormon before she is baptized. Her baptismal date is December 7th. Exciting stuff :)
This week we were asked to write down 3 miracles every day, so I was doing really good about doing this on Monday, but the rest of the week totally spaced it. Monday was cool though because I sat down to write a few miracles and they just kept coming. I could think of so many amazing simple things that happen in one day and there were probably so many more that I didn't realize. That day we gave out all of our BofMs, we picked up some awesome new potential investigators who came to church this week, we had some awesome lessons, we got stopped by some guys and had an awesome conversation, we showed up to meet with a less active member at the perfect time because of the conversation, and so many other things. I guess an attitude of gratitude get you a long way.
Oh and bad news I picked up a guitar this week and I can't really remember any of the songs that I've learned. It's such a bummer. I'll have plenty of time to relearn everything in a couple years though.

We met with the Helsleys and Jake a lot this week. Sister Helsley still likes to learn a lot, loves having us around, and wants her kids to play with the other lds kids; however, she is having a tough time making that leap of faith to want to know if everything we are showing her is true. It's only a matter of time though.
On thursday we went on splits so Elder Evans and I split up for the night. I got to visit Pastor Bob and we had a really cool lesson. We watched President Monson's Sunday morning talk and Pastor Bob really like it. He lost his wife last October, so he felt connected with President Monson. He has been taught the King James version of the Bible all of his life and he has such a tough time believing that there can be another book. Our conversations are consistently about the Book of Mormon and priesthood authority. He even recognizes that his unwillingness to search the Book of Mormon is largely because of his pride, so we are still trying to figure out how to overcome all of this. He is doing great though and one of these days it's all going to click how this works.
On Friday I had the most delicious sandwhich I've ever eaten. It was pretty much a little piece of heaven drizzled with magic sauce and bacon. yum

Earlier this week we knocked into a house of this super nice baptist lady and her two teenage kids. She made us a deal that she would read our book if we came to her church, but with our beautiful art of persuasion and the spirit, we got her and her daughter to come to church and read the Book of Mormon. They loved seeing all the little kids at church and we are pretty excited to meet with them. We also went to their church and it was pretty interesting. They had a really good pastor that seemed like he would be an awesome mormon. It seems like there are so many amazing christians that would join if they only knew what we had to offer. I guess that makes our job pretty important. Time to step up our game.
Overall this week has been an amazing week. I love hearing about all the adventures that are going on back in Utah and I've having lots of my own. HFF :):):):):):):):):):):):):

Elder Hoddy

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference Is Awesome!

Conference was so sick! When President Monson said, "Conference is now over" I was like crying on the inside because conference is the best. Ha kind of funny because I don't think I've ever paid attention like this for conference. It seemed like there were a lot of reoccurring themes in conference and I have no clue what really touched our investigators, but they were touched. The thing that probably stuck out to me the most as a missionary was probably about the simple everyday decisions that we make define us. I love that because I definitely want to not only change my actions but my character. Ha it was cool! There was a lot of other awesome things like these people are children of God, and we live God's standards not man's. I guess I can't even begin to summarize conference, but I think the best part was hearing President Monson speaking in the morning session. If investigators listen to nothing else that's what they need to hear. We are so blessed to have a prophet today and he speaks so powerfully. We thank thee oh God for a prophet!

That's so exciting that you're going to Mexico. I'm so jealous, but I can totally imagine dad looking it up on youtube and then going down to build. You guys are going to have such a blast... without me :'( Jk I'm super excited for you)

We met with Jake a whole bunch this week and he is doing awesome! He is still struggling with a perfect belief in the church, but his questions and search for truth are so deep that once he converts he will be a powerful member for the rest of his life. It might be hard to get there, but it will be worth every effort. He watched 3 of the sessions with us and loved them. I think he really liked Elder Oaks because he is super into politics, and Elder Oaks had a pretty good chance of being a United States Supreme Court Justice, which is no small feat, until he was called as an apostle instead. Everything about the gospel makes sense to him logically. How could Joseph Smith - an uneducated boy - write 531 pages of religious text that nobody has been able to disprove in the last 180 years? Why would such an intelligent man like Elder Oaks give up such an amazing career to be an apostle? Why do young men give up their lives for 2 years to go on missions? Logically he knows this is true, but he needs the spirit if he's really going to be converted. It's going to be a process, but he'll get there.

We also watched a few sessions with our investigator Pam, and she would ask a question about something, so we'd explain it to her. Then it would be explained like ten times better by an apostle. I think all of the questions that she had were answered during conference and she set her own baptismal date last time we met with her, so she is pretty committed to all of this. The gospel just makes sense. I don't understand why people have such a hard time believing all of this, but then again Satan wants people as far away from the gospel of Jesus Christ as he can get us, so it is always a constant battle.

Oh and we also went to Hibachi grill. That place is delicious. This was actually my second time in there and it was joyous to me.

On Thursday we went north to do some singin at an old folks home. We had an tail wind on the way up there and we were flyin. It's always a blast singin to them, especially when we sing the primary songs with actions. Ha it's always good fun to watch them be a snowman tall tall tall then melt suddenly. Then on our way back we were battling the elements. The wind was blowing straight against us and we were tired and it was not so fun, but we made it to the Helsleys and we taught the Plan of Salvation sidewalk chalk style and it was a good time. The kids got to draw it out and walk through and stuff. It was awesome. The Helsleys are definitely moving in the right direction, but there is still a lot of pressure. Luckily good always wins.

This week has been such a blast and Elder Evans and I are having a good time. We are being treated pretty well and I don't even remember the last time we tracted. Elder Ballard's talk about fear of missionary work was so awesome. if you pray for missionary work you will find it. Doubt not, fear not (D&C 6:36) Members are picking it up. I love the promise that if every member reaches out to others, millions of people can feel the love of the Savior by Christmas. I love you all so very much and I consider myself pretty lucky to be a Hoddy. HFF

Elder Hoddy