Monday, August 18, 2014

The Garden Of Enid/The Magic of Bicycles/A Street Named Hoddy

This has been a pretty amazing week. We have never been so busy in our lives and there was so much to do. Our mission calls this place the Garden of Enid because of all the amazing people that live here. It seriously seemed like we were bouncing from person to person trying to make it to all the people we had planned for.
     So one of the most special times this week was on Tuesday as we had exchanges here in Enid and I got a missionary that has been our for three weeks. We set goals to get better at finding, so we chose our weapons carefully and of course pulled out the bicycles (they are magical finding tools). We were riding around for little bit aiming towards some of the investigators and members we have in the area, but I still don't really know how to get around these parts. There was no one outside, so I thought, we really need to find something fun to do, and a nice jump appeared. We were like Pedro and Napolean having a good time and people came outside and started watching. It was the perfect opportunity to talk to people and we got some new investigators out of it. I'm amazed at the small things that are thrown in our life and provide the means to answer our prayers. The prayers for new investigators were answered. Life is so good.
     Oh and interesting stuff... We were in Ponca City as well this week for exchanges and people were telling me about the Hoddy's that lived in town and apparently there is a street called Hoddy. I didn't get to meet them, but I'm going to try real hard to next time to meet them. It's the first time I've heard of someone else with the same last name.
     I feel like it takes too long to type all the stories I want to tell, but I'll tell them to you someday.
A verse I thought a lot about this week is Alma 46:12. Moroni writes the Title of Liberty which says, In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children. I pondered a lot about this verse trying to decide what my personal Title of Liberty is. What is my motivation? Why do I get up every morning and go out to teach the gospel? Moroni's passionate service full of great motives lead him to be a great leader. I'm on an honest search to find my desires.
     Thank you for everything you do. Life here is truly amazing. I love my mission and I love my God. HFF :)

Monday, August 11, 2014

We Do Our Part And God Takes Care Of The Rest

     This has been a pretty amazing week. Life is so amazing here in Enid and we had great experiences this week. One thing that really stood out this week was how often we had the opportunity to bear testimony of the Book of Mormon. There are plenty of things to talk about and bear testimony, but it seemed like so many of our lessons were focused on the simple truth of this testament of Jesus Christ. It was the perfect reminder to us of how much this book means. I love it.
      In this mission there are two missionaries that I have really looked up to because they've been such good examples to me. They've both been great leaders, but the things they were called to do are so different. One of them baptized almost 40 people which is insane for this mission and the other has baptized 2. I got to go on exchanges with my good friend that has baptized 2 and watched him pray, teach, and bless people. I've had plenty of opportunities with both and I realized that they teach with the same power and authority. They represent the same Jesus Christ. We are all part of the body of Christ, but we have specific calling to fill and certain tasks to perform (2 Corinthians 12:14-31).
     This week in Enid we met a lady named Deanna that wanted to read the Book of Mormon and come to church. Well she did both and she told everybody at church that she's joining the church. The baptism date is set and we're ready to go. I am so amazed and so consistently reminded who leads this work. This is the work of God and constantly we see miracles. Sometimes it is so hard to understand why we go through things and why we're not having the success we want, but we do what we're supposed to and God takes care of the rest. Our whole purpose is to invite and help people come to him.
I love you all! Have a great week! HFF!
-Elder Hoddy

Monday, August 4, 2014

We Can Pray And Expect Miracles!

This week has been pretty amazing in Enid, but there were definitely a few things that stuck out.
     We have an investigator named Matt that has been really receptive to the spirit and has noticed how it is changing him. Not a lot of investigators naturally recognize the spirit and seek it more, so it makes him pretty special. We had a lesson about leading by example because his family isn't quite on board like he is, but he is ready to lead them. We also talked about baptisms for the dead and he was crying because his sister passed away and he wants that for her. He still has his own journey, but he is moving in the right direction. Meeting with people like this makes the mission so worth it!
     We were on exchanges in Woodward Oklahoma this week which is super far away from everyone else, but it was fun to be in the rural setting again. Before we left the apartment we prayed that we would find a family that would progress and help the Woodward branch grow. We set off and went to a small town outside Woodward. Elder Harnish was driving and we went to the outskirts of town and decided to knock a door. We went up to it and... no one answered, but there was a trailer a little ways off, so we decided to go knock that instead and this time... no one answered again. Ha big surprise. We got back out to the main road and were about to turn right back into town, but we felt like we needed to turn left. It is about 30 miles before the next main town and there's not much in between, so we had no idea what we were doing, but Elder Harnish turned left and on the last street of the town we turned and decided to knock a door. We pulled into the driveway and a guy came out which made it kind of awkward, but we started talking to him and he was super open to us. We were pumped. Then his wife pulled in and she was super open to the message. We talked about the restoration and went into there home to kneel in prayer. They were excited to see us again and seemed committed to read and pray about the message. Heavenly Father had timed it perfectly for us to run into the family at that time and the elders are going back next week.
     Miracles this amazing haven't happened every day to us, but we were both taught a lesson on the power of prayer and who runs this work. Heavenly Father trusts those elders with a pretty amazing family of 6 that is very open to the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. We can pray and expect miracles. Often times I've settled for simple miracles on my mission not realizing what God wants to give us. We must live the simple things and be grateful for the tender mercies of God, but we can expect the great miracles of the scriptures to apply to our life. This work is amazing!
      I don't know what I would do without all of you. Heavenly Father has blessed me so much by giving me such good friends and family. I love you all. HFF!

-Elder Hoddy

Saturday, August 2, 2014

New Companion...New Town...Welcome to Enid Oklahoma!

sorry...we were in San Diego and I forgot to post this until now

This week has had a lot of crazy good times already. It was really sad to leave Choctaw, but it has been a great experience so far here in Enid. There are 12 missionaries serving in the city, but 4 are Spanish missionaries and 4 are Marshaleese. The ward here is amazing and I'm learning a lot from Elder Manwaring. He's from Rexburg and he's a pretty amazing guy. He's already been out for 21 months, so he knows his stuff pretty well.
     We have some pretty cool investigators that seem committed to the gospel as well. Ha we visited one guy on Saturday and talked to him about coming to church. He kept saying "maybe" and "I'll try", but we told him he needed to say yes, so finally he looked at us and said that he would absolutely be there. Well we were there at church, but he didn't show up so we stopped by his apartment again and he said that he wanted to have a lesson. He felt bad for not coming, and we had a really amazing lesson about repentance and coming closer to Jesus Christ. I think the spirit threw down a little bit and let him know what he was missing out on, so he's going to come from now on and then get baptized.
     It's so fun to be surrounded by so many missionaries here. They really bring the spirit into our lives. There's a brand new Elder here from Orem and he is always so excited about everything! He's got the greeny fire that the rest of us are jealous of. It's pretty amazing to see his excitement about every little success and he's always trying to help us out with different scriptures. His example has led me to go back to the basics and try to be amazed by the simple workings of Heavenly Father. We miss out on so much because we become accustom to the way he leads our lives. I guess the principle is continued gratitude. Writing spiritual experiences each day has been the perfect reminder for me.
     Leaving Choctaw gave me many great experiences to feel the spirit because I was reminded how much I loved those people and how much I was going to miss them. The spirit has given me the gift and ability to truly love them, and I can't wait to see them again. Leaving some of those homes for the last time was painful though. I just want to be with them and help them, but I trust them in the hands of God. I did absolutely everything Heavenly Father expected me to do for those families and I left without a single regret. I can't wait to see the future baptisms and sealings.
     One insight I had this week was as I studied the topic of desire. I wanted to learn how to grow desire, so that my intentions became more pure and I grew in faith, hope, and charity. Alma 32 had the answer. In verse 27 "awake and arouse your faculties... experiment upon my words... exercise a particle or faith". Desire is something that constantly leads us to good or bad, but sometimes we don't really have a lot of desire either way. We're kind of just sitting there. However, one of the greatest gifts we've been given is agency. At some point down the line we have to act. We have to go seek something better and follow the knowledge and understanding that we do have. Our positive experiences will lead us to grow in desire. It is a deep topic, but I realized that I intellectually understand what I need to do for the most part, so I need to follow what I've been taught and the spirit will give me the rest. Ha it's so simple.
     Anyways life is good. Real good. Thanks for all the support. I love you all! HFF!!!