Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If God Believes In Them, So Can We....Never Give up On Anyone.

This week has been such an incredible week for us. Transfer calls were last night and I found out that both Elder Van Halder and I get to stay for another transfer. Neither of us wanted to leave so it was such a huge blessing. We're also getting sisters into the other half of our ward so that should be an interesting transition. We're expecting a lot of good things from them and the ward is pretty excited.
      We had some amazing miracles this week. We were riding our bikes to visit a member that is like a mile and half from us, so we used it as an opportunity to talk to some people. We rode by the middle school and saw someone sitting on a lawnmower a ways off. We kept riding because he looked busy and he was kind of far away, but we knew we needed to talk to everyone, so we flipped around to go talk to him. He was totally uninterested and wouldn't take a card or anything, so we left and kept going. When we got to the spot where we had turned around to go talk to the guy, we saw a 14 year old kid walking home from school. He asked if he could introduce himself and told us that we could come over that night to pray with him and his family. We went over that night and were able to talk to him and his mom for a while about the restored gospel. He has had some challenges with bullying and other stuff at school, so we had some applicable conversations about our Savior. God put Collin in our path that day, but we would have missed him if we wouldn't have followed the command to talk to everyone. It was a powerful testimony builder for us that we really need to talk to everyone.
     Then the other day we were walking out of a member's home and we hear, "Hey are you missionaries?" Another 14 year old walked up to us and started talking about his life. His mom is LDS, but he doesn't live with his mom. He told us that we could come over some time and talk to his family. We've been over there twice now and there family has been really prepared for the gospel. The dad reminds me so much of Jake because he struggles to believe in Christ, but he's looking for truth. Jake got to be there for the second lesson and we all got to feel the spirit testify of truth. We see so much good ahead for this family!
      Oh man I could really go on and on about this week because that was just the start of so many miracles. I learned a powerful lesson that we can never give up on anyone here in this life. Heavenly Father has provided us, His children, with a way to be successful in this life and to return to live in His presence. For us to be disciples we have to follow that and plan for others' success and seek to help them reach their potential. Some of these investigators seem like they're never going to move, but some that I had almost given up on are now progressing the fastest. I learned a powerful lesson that everyone has the potential to accept and live the gospel. If God believes in them, so can we.
     Well I'm excited for another transfer here in Choctaw. There is a lot ahead of us. I love you all so much! HFF
-Elder Hoddy

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Easter! Two lunches and Two Dinners....A Lot of Food!


This week was amazing, especially because of Easter. Three of the part-member families we're working with came to church, and the Waldens came as well. A lot of less active members came, so the chapel was full and they had to open up the gym and set up extra chairs. It was so cool to see so many people come to church to honor our Savior and His resurrection.
     We had a lot of fun on Easter but definitely ate way too much food. We had two lunch and two dinner appointments, so it seemed like that was all we did yesterday after church. They were huge gatherings though, so we probably met like 40 people who aren't members. Hopefully we planted some good seeds, and one of them said we could come by sometime. We got home feeling pretty sick from all the food, but we made a lot of good memories.
     It's hard to describe how much this area has changed, but it has taken such a turn for the better. It seems like we have so much support and trust from the members and they want to help. There are part-member families and other investigators coming to church and soon we'll have plenty of baptisms. Hopefully there will be a huge excitement and that will trigger many more converts.
     I was on exchanges this week with an Elder and he gave me some really good things to think about. The first thing we talked about was the gospel of Jesus Christ being the "what" and "why" we teach. He was telling me how good I was at teaching what the gospel is, so I felt pretty good about myself. Then he encouraged me to really focus on teaching why the gospel of Jesus Christ matters to them. I need to make it relevant to them and they will more easily be able to feel the spirit in lessons and they will be more interested. It made me think a lot about why the gospel matters to me. The next thing he talked about was having a better relationship with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. That made me think because He should be the person to go to when ever something happens whether it be happy, sad, exciting, boring, important, spiritual, scary, amazing, or anything else like that. We can go to our Father in prayer just like a best friend. He's always there for us.
     It seems like every time I learn something new it just opens the door for the next thing I need to learn.
      I am so grateful for this Easter season and what is has meant this year. He lives! And because He lives each of us will have the opportunity to do so as well. The grave shall have no victory, and that the sting of death should be swallowed up in the hopes of glory (Alma 22:14). Because of him our potential is infinite.
I love you and hope you have an amazing week. HFF!

Monday, April 14, 2014

I Love Being A Missionary!

(I posted last week's letter yesterday--still working on my timing;)
This has been an amazing week. We are teaching more lessons than ever and there have some great memories. The Waldens are still doing great and he just got a really good paying job, so we can definitely see that their family is being looked after. The Mccormicks are doing well and it seems like all our solid investigators are still moving right along. We just need to set a few marriage dates and the baptisms will flow after that.
     Transfers are coming up in a couple weeks and I've been here for a long time, so I'm trying really hard not to just want to spend time with the people I've grown to love the most. I've been rebuked by the spirit though and Elder Van Halder and I are hungry for the best week of missionary service we've ever had. We feel like there is so much we can do and we are confident we'll be blessed with bounteous blessings.
     We had a really cool experience as we did service with a part member family this week. They were preparing for a big garage sale, so we helped them move stuff around and get ready for it. We got to talk to him a lot and gain trust with him. Then his daughter and her boyfriend were there as well, so we got to have gospel conversations and answer a lot of their questions about the Church. The daughter doesn't live in our area, but we're going to get missionaries over there somehow. They seemed prepared for the gospel.
     I love being a missionary right now. It seems like we have plenty of struggles, but there is always so much comfort about how important this work is. I have truly grown to love these people and I've seen them change and become something better. I've seen me change and become something better. I love the blessings of this gospel. I've heard the questions asked of why we live this gospel when it is so hard to live. 2 answers stand out. 1) It makes me happy 2) It is true. Here we find truth and eternal joy. What more can we ask for? This gospel pushes us to reach for everything which is so readily available to us. Without this we would find a world of contentment and sin with no hope or vision. Too often I forget what matters most, but Elder Van Halder and I have made it a goal to bear our testimonies as often as possible. Sharing what we believe leaves an imprint on the heart of the hearers and testifies to ourselves our true priorities.
I love you all so much! HFF!
-Elder Hoddy

Sunday, April 13, 2014

One of the Best Weeks of my Mission!

Family! This has definitely been one of the best weeks of my mission. The Waldens and McCormicks are still doing really well and their baptisms get closer each day. We also found 2 new people that are more prepared for the gospel than anyone I've ever seen. One of them, Sister Husband, was almost quoting the Book of Mormon to us after we prayed on her porch. She has never heard of us, but she has been seeking truth and loves the gospel of Jesus Christ. We're going to meet with her tomorrow, so we'll have to tell you how it goes next week. The other one, Cory, is one of the most spiritually intune people I have ever met, but he didn't realize it was the spirit. He told us the peace that he felt as we prayed with him and he has been feeling like he needs to be better in life. We were amazed that the spirit was in his life so much. After discussing the Restoration, he was really excited to read the Book of Mormon and asked that we come back later this week, so get ready for a lot of good news next week.
     So one of the greatest times this week was on Tuesday as we took some of the younger youth with us to teach the Waldens. It was so amazing to see the 13 and 14 year old young men teaching the gospel and inviting the Walden kids to come to mutual and pray. We didn't ask the youth to do anything, but they wouldn't stop talking about how fun mutual is and they taught the Walden kids how to pray and how helpful it is to pray. We were amazed at the power of the youth.
      This weekend has been one of the most inspiring times in my life. Watching the chosen apostles and prophets of our day teaching and testifying of truth was amazing. We are so blessed to live at this time and be in these circumstances where we are led by a prophet of God. We thank thee oh God for a prophet. We will never be led astray as we follow his counsel and if we follow him we will always be happier. I found that there are a lot of things I need to work on, and it's time to start working.
 I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!
-Elder Hoddy