Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It's Been A Glorious Two Years!

It's been a glorious two years. I really don't know how to express my gratitude as I look back to the amazing memories, friends, and opportunities. There are few gifts I cherish more than the opportunity to serve in the Oklahoma City Mission.

One email could never explain all that someone learns in two years, but I'll share a couple things today. In John 6 a group of people seeking for Jesus, finally find him and he says to them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled".

These words hit home. We don't seek our Savior because it's the popular thing or because we're scared of punishment. We experience Christ and we want more. We taste of his love, glory, and mercy. Without hesitation we desire more. Then as your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. I seek my Savior because of the special experiences we have had together.

After two years of labor I will come home with 2 suitcases, relationships, and conversion. What was given to me out of this experience was better than anything I could have imagined. I now have an Oklahoma family and I better understand my heavenly family. The sacred relationships with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are treasured above all else.

It has been so hard to think about leaving this life. I love walking the streets holding the Book of Mormon. I love the mindset of trying to figure out how to tie conversations into the restoration. I love bearing testimony frequently of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have loved the opportunity to serve this way and I'm really going to miss it.

Now I will look forward to the future service opportunities.

I could go on and on about the amazing things of the mission. And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!

Signing off for the last time,
Elder Hoddy

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It All Comes Down To The Atonement Of Jesus Christ

We had a mission conference with Elder Corbridge (photo above) of the seventy yesterday which was an incredible experience. That's why we didn't email yesterday. It was amazing to see the confidence that he taught with as he talked about baptism for the remission of sin and the way we teach the gospel of Jesus Christ. It all comes down to the Atonement. Everything else points to that and things that don't point to it aren't worth our time. We watched a short video of the Garden of Gethsemane and he asked us to describe the message in two words. Someone immediately responded, "Thank you!" It was such an incredible moment as we felt an immense gratitude for our Savior. Elder Corbridge gave us the words he had, but he said they weren't as good. It is amazing to watch the way general authorities teach.

Another amazing thing that happened was that Haley (photo above) got baptized on Saturday! It has been so cool to see the transformation as she has grown in the gospel. She didn't know if she even believed in God when we first started meeting with her, but she has prayed many times and gotten answers. She has read a lot of the Book of Mormon, and she has been coming to church every week. She seems so much happier now. I don't know everything that goes on in her head, but it has been a great opportunity to be her missionaries. During the baptism as the words were being said there was an incredible peace. She has now been baptized by the priesthood authority for the remission of sins. Haley is eternally better off because of this decision.

Have a good week Momma! Love you.

-Elder Hoddy