Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Transferred to West Linn, Oregon New companion and a calling to be a Sister Training Leader

yes, mom. i have been transferred. my daughter, sister russell is all grown up and taking care of the area! sad and happy. bittersweet. we had an awesome week though. there are many things i anticipated about a mission, but i definitely did not expect to be taken care of so well by all the members! i had a birthday party every single day last week and multiple parties on my actual birthday. i was given so many gifts, hats, candy, cakes, and a birthday enchilada! but best of all, the elders serving in my ward surprised me by bringing me a cow to milk! #farmlife #backtomyroots haha it was so funny. so i milked that little mama dry! it was so fun.

we were able to teach some awesome lessons last week, one of which was a tour of the church building. we are teaching a young man who has some anxiety and the thought of going to a unknown building with at least a couple hundred unknown faces didnt appeal to him like we hoped when we extended the invitation. but, not to worry, for there is a nifty little trick called a church tour, and missionaries, like myself, have keys to said church, so we can get in when no one else is around. that is exactly what we did! timothy and a couple of members came with us down to the church and we showed him around the whole thing! he saw where all the bathrooms are, examined the pictures on the walls, and peeked in each classroom. we gave a brief description of each room. my favorite thing to show people is the chapel, so i save it for last, because ive heard once that best is always last. the spirit in the chapel is so strong when no one else is around. as we went in and sat together timothy kept commenting on the feeling of the room. we said a prayer all together and then let him stay in there for a minute alone to say a prayer for himself. timothy came out of that chapel a changed man! his confidence seemed to increase a ton! it was amazing.

 i knew i was going to be transferred, so i wasnt surprised to get the call. i am now serving in west linn in the Willamette ward with sister jensen! i served in aloha with her, she was in the other ward, so we are excited to be together. she is from alpine utah and is tons of fun. im a sister training leader now which is kind of wild but im excited to be here. west linn is the second richest city in the state of oregon, so it will be different than any other area i have served in but im pumped about it. i was so sad to leave gresham! i love mt hood so much. #hoodlife. im just thankful that i can go back and visit. i have a few members that are arranging for me to marry their sons and grandsons when they return from their missions. thanks for everything you sent me mom! and everyone else! youre all the best people! love you so much!
sister udall
 


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy 20th Birthday Kylie!

Dear mom and dad
 
Sorry this is so late! I'm the worst person. I forgive myself though so if you don't then you have the greater sin!

We had a great week! Ahh I love being a missionary so much. I love wearing my name tag, I love the weird stares we get, I love the awkward questions people ask, I love it all! I love having my name right near the Savior's and truly feel like I am helping others come unto Him. This has been a great week for that. We were able to teach quite a few lessons. I have been in a constant pursuit to be on the same page as God my whole mission. I'm striving to be a tool in His hands, so I want to understand what He needs me to do and where He needs me to be. I prayed really hard that I would be guided as I planned, that I might be in the right place at the right time to be an answer to someone's prayer.

Well, God surely answered my prayer. Thursday night we were planning and I felt strongly about two things: we needed to do some finding at the grocery store around noon and we need to see a certain part member family at 7. It wasn't a pressing feeling, the thoughts just came to my mind to do them. So we went to the grocery store and it was awesome! We saw some of our Ward missionaries there and we were able to talk to them for a bit. The man is so sweet! I'm not saying this to brag, I only say it because I was so touched when he said it. He told me that they have had a lot of good missionaries in that Ward, but I was the best, and he really meant it. Somehow God knew that I really needed to hear that and he just kept telling me the things that he thought I was good at. It was seriously exactly what I needed! I thought for sure that was the reason we were meant to go there, but I found out that God was killing two birds with one stone there. We saw one of our less actives that we teach as well! She was standing outside waiting for her ride and we were able to whip out our scriptures and teach her a lesson right there! It was great!

Later when we went to the part member family's home, we found that they had some friends over. We were able to teach the whole bunch! It was great! I've seen Gods power so much lately it's insane.
 
I love my area so much, but I think I might get transferred. I have a birthday party planned for every day this week! The members keep inviting me to come over to celebrate! Today the sweetest lady ever took me shopping and bought me a present and tonight this family invited me to celebrate again with them. And then every day of the week someone has either offered to take us out or invited us over. I feel so blessed here! The Lord really takes care of His missionaries, and He does it through amazing members! I love you all, I love the Lord, I love Oregon. Love, love,love. Next time you see my face, it'll be 20 years old! 




Monday, December 1, 2014

Cancer Isn't Stronger Than That

We hear everyday the things cancer can do
the word "cancer" itself makes my heart split in two
But my mom's sweet embrace seems to mend it all back
And cancer isn't stronger than that

Chemo and radiation, she took them both on
Making her sick from dusk until dawn
But instead of complaining, she smiles and laughs
And cancer isn't tougher than that

She gathered us kids all together one year
And showed us the meaning of holiday cheer
We gave up our gifts for families that lacked
And cancer doesn't serve more than that

Money isn't a good gift for my mother
She forgets herself and spends it on another
She'd give anyone the shirt off her back
And cancer doesn't love more than that

Mom goes down in the school hall of fame
Six kids playing sports and she's not missed a game
She's my biggest fan when I'm up to bat
And cancer isn't supportive like that

Mom can do any accent known to man
From southern, to Irish, to Mexican
She'll have you laughing till there's pee where you sat
And cancer isn't funny like that

Mom can cook better than anyone I know
She could legitimately have her own cooking show
Her cheesy potatoes will make you fat
And cancer isn't talented as that

Seems anytime I tried sneaking out of our home
Her mom senses would tingle, and she'd call up my phone
I could never get away with doing something bad
And cancer isn't psychic like that

Mom can make friends anywhere that she goes
In fact, I don't think that she has any foes
She's kind to all, even our evil cats
And cancer isn't friendly like that

In family baseball games, mom is the king
She's known for her aggressive base running
She keeps on running if she's out or gets tagged
And cancer isn't athletic like that

Mom's the epitome of "ride for the brand"
She sticks up for her kids as much as she can
She's gentle and kind, but she's got my back
And cancer isn't loyal like that

Mom cries in everything. She's got a big heart.
Any movie she watches, the water works start
She's a good hearted woman, and that's a fact
And cancer doesn't care more than that

I think of our Savior, who took on Himself
The pains and the sickness of everyone else
We can overcome all through His great sacrifice
And cancer isn't stronger than Christ

When we measure them up it's easy to see
Who's really stronger? Mom or the disease?
In the Plan of Salvation we learn the outcome
That cancer will not beat my mom

No matter the results, we have peace of mind
God promised to exalt the faithful on high
We've been sealed in the temple, a seal with no cracks
And cancer can never break that
Biggest John,

I loved your email! I'm so glad the Udall family continues to mourn the Thanksgiving Pie incident of 2012, a date which will live in infamy! I'm sad that mom isn't feeling well, but I wrote her a poem this week and I'm sending it today! I hope she enjoys it :) we had a great week! we did some major work in our area! we've still been doing a lot of finding. we felt impressed to go see a less active family, so we stopped by and they let us right in! miracle! we asked if we could set up a time to share a Christmas message with them, and they were all over that. the best thing is that their non member son was there. he's in his 30's or so. he was really happy to see us and was the one setting up the appointment around his schedule so he can be there. i was so humbled. the Lord really will use us as tools in His hands to touch the lives of those who are prepared. we had an awesome lesson with one of our investigators. she is so close to baptism, but those cigarettes won't leave her alone. we talked with her about the blessings of the temple. it really really hit her. Recently president Ballard has talked a lot about how baptism isn't our goal for people. our goal is the temple and baptism is just a prerequisite to that. how blessed i am that my family is sealed in the temple. we can be together forever as we live worthy of it. anyways, she prayed for the first time in one of our lessons and it was so powerful! I cried. Crylie is stronger than ever out here. we also had another miracle. a former investigator couple has been having a really tough go lately. their health, finances, and life in general seems to be falling apart. well, she called us this week and asked if we could meet somewhere, so we chose dairy queen (don't judge). she opened up to us about the many trials she is enduring, but along the way she realized the good in every circumstance. we were able to share with her the love that God has for her. she asked for a priesthood blessing so the elders are going to give her one tonight! exciting! we had thanksgiving at two houses. The first was mysha poche's cousin, the ritz family! I love them so much! there is six kids in that family from teenagers to toddlers, so I felt right at home! we played games and had so much fun with them! Then we went to the sieburts, a recently baptized family. They are awesome! We got to see Lois there and we played games with them as well. let me tell you, for an old blind lady, Lois is dang good at operation. she got second place! she beat me! I guess any dreams I had about becoming a surgeon are shot. I reflected a lot that day on the things that I'm truly grateful for. I'm grateful for a family that prays for me. I know you pray for me. I can literally feel your prayers. if anyone else has experienced that, then you understand that there is nothing more humbling than to literally feel the prayers of your righteous mother buoying you up when you feel hope is lost. when you feel no one cares. I have the greatest mother in the whole world! I'm grateful for the times dad woke us up at the butt crack of dawn to read scriptures, even though his tactics for waking us up are annoying as I'll get out. Im grateful for a mom who loves unconditionally. She pre forgives. no matter what I do, I know my mom will forgive me and help me correct my mistakes. remind you of anyone? thats right, my mom is Christ-like! im grateful for my oldest sister Cammie. I'll forever be jealous that she got the blonde hair, that is something I'll never have. But i strive every day to mimic her work ethic. Cammie is driven and so accomplished. I hope to be just like her. I'm thankful for christie and trev for my nephew and also for teaching me to play poker. mostly though, I'm thankful for their example of a temple marriage. I'm so grateful for Rulon for going on a mission and setting the example for me. I'm grateful for baby boey (Ryan). he's always been the rock in our family. He's the spiritual giant and I'm proud of the man he is. and I'm grateful for baby Kate! I love that tiny girl! she has the biggest heart and the best sense of humor. I just have the best family in the whole world. despite our trials, I feel so indebted to God for our many blessings! I know God loves us and i know the atonement is real. Christ does live. The church is restored. I know it.
I love you!
Sister Udall
Dear mom and dad,
It's been a great week here in Gresham! I love this area and I'm sad to say that I'll probably be kicked out of it come transfer time. I feel like I just got here. Five months flew by! We have had a stellar week. We have taught a few awesome lessons and been able to find a few new investigators. For sure one of the highlights though, was that I got invited to attend the baptism of one of my best friends in the whole wide world. She was one of my first lessons as a missionary and I've never had more fun at someone's house. I've never met a family more similar to my own and who have treated me like one of their own. She decided to be baptized and messaged me on Facebook and asked if I would say the opening prayer at her baptism. So I got someone to take me down there and we went to her baptism! It felt so good to see the family again! Her baptism was simple. It consisted of an opening prayer, the baptism ordinance, testimonies, and a closing prayer. I have a testimony that sometimes less really is more. When I saw her I just was overcome with joy. As I watched her get baptized i realized that if this was the only person I saw get baptized, this entire mission would still be worth it. If she was the only person to let me in her door, it would still be worth it. I felt like the luckiest missionary in the world that I got to be there. I also gained a sure knowledge that God knows me. This is where I am supposed to be. If someone would've told me before my mission that I would find a family that would mean as much to me as my own family, I never would have believed them, but I have come to know that our God is a loving God. He has blessed me more than I could ever imagine. I was really hoping I would get called to some exotic country to serve my mission, but now if I had the chance to choose, I would choose the OPM without hesitation. I serve the best people in the world here. I have also learned that we aren't called to a place. We are called to people IN PLACE of the Savior. He loves us all equally. We serve a really cool God, ya know that? This is the true church. It's gotta be. No mere man could have called me to this specific mission without receiving inspiration from God to do so. It just couldn't have been this perfect if it wasn't from God, and if it was from God, that means our prophet is His mouthpiece on the earth today. After she was baptized, we each had the opportunity to bear our testimony. Mind you, she only invited about 8 people to her baptism. If you know me at all, you know that I always have something to say, but in this instance I was completely speechless. I am so humbled by the grace and mercy of God. I love Him. After the baptism the family offered to take me and my ride to dinner. It was so much fun just to spend time with them. I love them! The rest of the week was awesome too! We taught a few sweet lessons and had a lot of ice and rain. Missions are the best. They are just the best things to ever be invented. Serve God. You won't regret it. Thanks for the package family! I love you all! 
Love, Sister Udall 





Monday, November 17, 2014

Snow and Freezing Rain

Hey dad! 

I can't believe Ryan is such a manly man! I should've known! And Kate is the cutest tiny girl in the world. I'm sad that mom feels sick but I bet she will be athletic about being ball.

We had a great week! So I'm not sure if I told you this, but last week we were in an apartment complex and we saw this guy named Timothy that we always see. He's never mean to us, just kind of not happy to see us around. Or so we thought. I was feeling really gutsy this particular hour of the day, so when we passed by him I said hey Timothy! Have you ever talked to the sister missionaries before? He said no, so I said would you like to this Wednesday? I expected him to turn us down cause he usually isn't too fond of us, but he thought about it for a minute and said yeah I think I'd like to. So we taught him this week In a members home that lives in the same complex. We taught him the restoration and he committed to be baptized. It was amazing! It strengthened my testimony of talking to everyone. Don't think for a minute that they wouldn't accept. Don't make that decision for them, let them decide cause you never know, they might be prepared! So we are really excited about him.

We also had a crazy storm this week. Snow and this little thing call freezing rain. Which is terrible. I was on an exchange in sandy and we basically got snowed in the apartment. We got cabin fever really bad so we started walking to an appointment. Right before we knocked on the door she cancelled and said she was stuck across town. So that really bit a doughnut. We started to walk back and I felt like we should knock on this door. So we did and the lady let us right in! Which never happens. Turns out her and her husband had previously taken missionary lessons and have read the Book of Mormon, doctrine and covenants, and pearl of great price. Crazy huh? The sandy sisters will start teaching them now. It was a super awesome! I better go, but I love you guys so much! 



Monday, November 10, 2014

Listening to the Promptings

Dear mom, 

I can't believe what happened to Boey! Poor little guy! Will he be healed by basketball season? I hope so! I'll be praying for him. I hope your chemo went good. I'm sad you have to go through it. It breaks my heart to think of it.

We had a pretty good week. So we had to push Scotty's baptism to this next week, which is fine with me. He's doing so great and progressing really well. I'm so proud of him and Lindsay, because their focus is primarily on the temple. That's their whole goal is to get there. I'm so excited for them and I love them very much. We taught Tina this week and she received her answer about the Book of Mormon! She knows it's true, and wants to be baptized! She is praying about the December 13th, so we will follow up on that this next week.

We had a cool experience this week. We were on our way to the church building for a meeting when we saw this guy riding his bike and wheeling a stroller behind him. He looked like he was struggling and I felt like I should turn around, but we were on our way to a meeting and I didn't want to be late. But then I remembered a story President Monson told, about how he ignored the prompting to go to the hospital to see a friend because he was in a meeting, and his friend ended passing away.  So we turned around and stopped and found out he had already been riding for almost an hour and still had awhile to go! So we offered to take the stroller and meet him where he was going. So we went down to the gas station to wait for him and while we were there we gave out two book of Mormons and found a potential investigator and then gave the guy we helped one too! It was awesome! I'm about to go on a hike right now, so I'll have to get going, but I want you to know how much I love you all! I love my mission. It's the best thing I've ever done ever. 
Love you! 
Sister Udall 


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To get to the other side!





Hey Mama!

I got your package! That was the best thing that has ever happened to me! You are such a blessing! and I got an awesome letter from Grandpa and Grandma. I cried. It was beautiful and just what I needed. We had a great week! We taught a young kid and his brother this week. His brother is only 6, so we're not really teaching him, but he participates in all the lessons. This week we taught about baptism. At the end of the lesson, to review, we asked him why do we get baptized. and then he blurted out, to get to the other side! hahaha I died laughing! its really true though. In John 3:5 Christ teaches us that to enter the kingdom of God, we must be baptized. Baptism is such a blessing! missionaries don't go out and invite people to be baptized because we want there to be more Mormons. Our work is not about statistics. We baptize people so that they can have full access to the atonement. Without baptism, we cant be fully clean from our sins and "no unclean thing can enter the kingdom of God." We literally get baptized so that we can get to the other side. It was a cool lesson to learn from two little boys. After the lesson their mom asked if we wanted to carve pumpkins with them. She said she had bought two just for us. well how do you turn down an offer like that? So we carved pumpkins with them too! It was great, great fun. This week seemed like it went by so fast that I hardly know what else to say. We did have a miracle with this lady we have been teaching. She had been struggling to quit smoking. She missed two baptismal dates already and she took it as a sign from God that she wasn't supposed to get baptized. So we reasoned with her. We taught her about one of my favorite things in the world: priesthood blessings. I have received many over the years from many amazing men! my dad, Guy Phelps, Bishop Bluth, President Morby, President Nally of the MTC, and many others. I am so thankful that the Priesthood authority of God is on the earth today. I know its real, and Tina is proof! she used to smoke a lot of cigarettes a day. I wont tell you how many, but its a lot. In just a couple short weeks she has cut down to less than five a day. That is unheard of. un thought of. many would say its impossible! I know that she has been strengthened and she has seen a sure sign of the power of God. If there is anything you're struggling with physically, emotionally, or mentally, get a priesthood blessing! they help! I want to say more, but I don't know what else to say. We did a lot of finding and tracting in the rain! It's gettin' wet up in here! It's a lot of fun though and I'm loving every minute of it. Mom I love you so so much! You are so strong and I know you'll be athletic about beating cancer. Cancer ain't got nothin' on you girl! I don't worry very much because I have been comforted by the knowledge that we are sealed in the temple as a family. God promised us that we could all stay together for eternity, and we promised that we would try our best every day to live worthy of that blessing. I'd say we got the good end of the deal for sure! love you mama! I love dad too! and baby boey and tiny kate! 
love, Sister Udall

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Clown answered the door!

Hey mom! 

Life is going good, thanks for asking! It's been a great week here in Gresham. Oregon forgot that it's supposed to rain every day so it was super dry the last few weeks, but don't worry, it remembered. It's been raining and windying (that one is for you cammie) all week! It's been nice, but cold. We did a ton of finding this week. We spent a few hours a day tracting in the rain which has become one of my favorite things to do. I thought people would feel bad for us and let us in, but I think it makes them see us as crazy Mormons battling the elements to drag them to our church. They can't believe we are out in it. But I have seen so many blessings as we have put our trust in The Lord and worked hard. We were tracting one neighborhood this week and no one answered. We were about to leave but I had another one of those test promptings that urged me to knock one more door. So we did.

We waited and waited. I could hear people inside so I didn't understand what the big idea was. So I peaked through this little window by the door and BAM! Clown face! Ha, the clown face then opened the door and talked to us for a minute. It was getting dark and I won't lie I was shaking in my cold, wet boots. My skirt may or may not have been a little wet too. Seriously I was scared! He had the paint and make up on, not a mask, and his teeth were sharp! But, I remembered that this clown is also a child of God and God expects me to say something to him. So we started talking and he said that the missionaries used to come by all the time and teach his mom when he was a kid. He said he always liked them and told us a few memories he had of them. We taught him a Book of Mormon and he accepted it. Then we set up a return appointment with him and his mom. Don't worry, he's normal. I guess he just wanted to scare us haha.

We had another funny experience too. During our prayer one night I got he distinct impression to visit a certain less active lady in our ward at 6:30 the next evening. So we did. We got up to the door, knock knock knocked, and she answered almost immediately! She was so happy to see us! She welcomed us right in, told us to take off our boots, and then introduced herself as Kyle's mom. We were like, who's Kyle? And then she saw the tags. Apparently 6:30 is when her son Kyle's girlfriend and her mom were going to come over, and she thought we were them. So she let us in. And at this point we were standing in her kitchen in our sock feet. I have learned on my mission that I am really good at getting into strangers kitchens. You could tell she was so mad at herself for what she had done, but we seized this opportunity to talk to her and her family. Her son plays center field on the baseball team at his high school so we talked about that for forever! And her husband told us he died on the operating table twice last week. So yeah, it was a miracle. The funniest part is that as we were leaving his girlfriend was pulling up, so it looked like he was two timing her. Ha it was so awkward but I enjoyed it thoroughly.

We had an awesome lesson with Tina this week where she committed to be baptized. We had such a great week I wish you all could be here and experience the amazing things that I get to experience. I feel like the luckiest person in the world. My mission is without a doubt the greatest thing I have ever done in my live. It surpasses any diving catch I've made in the outfield or any volleyball game I've ever won. The uniform isnt as comfortable, but I never wanna take off this tag. I love Jesus Christ so much. I hope you all know how real He is and how aware He is of your situation. I know that this is God's church and I know that Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Love you all so much!
 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

hi mama bear!

you and the doctor are besties now huh? Ryan is so awesome. I love hearing things about him. how tall is he? if he's taller than me now I will be shocked. im proud of baby kate for making the volleyball team! she better wrap her head in pre wrap for a headband. keep the tradition alive.

Gresham is exuberant! of course I still love it here. its the promised land! this is the place moses and the children of Israel spent 40 years wandering looking for! too bad they never found it. its a gem. transfers are two weeks from now. everyone tells me that time flies by so much faster when you're training and they would be right! I feel like sister Russell just got here! we are having a great time though! this has been a pretty good week. its had some ups and some downs. i'll explain a little of both.

 so sister Russell was pretty sick this week, which resulted in both of us spending a lot of time in the apartment. president ballard said that all day every day we should be asking ourselves "what is the best thing I can be doing with my time right now?" well, I asked myself that and the answer I decided on was I needed to be finding more investigators. one problem. we were stuck in the apartment. so I looked through our cell phone and started calling everyone in there that I didn't know. I ended up teaching a few lessons over the phone and got five or six return appointments! I was so stoked! that's better than any day ive ever had tracting. we will be seeing a lot of those people this week and im really excited. especially because we had to pass of 3 progressing investigators this week. they moved out of our area so they have different missionaries now. it was bittersweet. i get really close to the people i teach and then poof! they're gone. this next week we are dedicating our time to finding new people to teach. its going to be great.

 we had our ward Halloween party this week. it was awesome because almost everyone brought their friends and neighbors! we talked to so many people and found some cool families from that as well. we had dinner with one of my favorite families this week. we ate some chicken and then they said they wanted to take us for dessert but the place was a surprise. they took us to the one and only salt and straw! if you haven't heard of it, look it up. it will save your life. they have so many different kinds of ice cream and theyre all really weird: pear and bleu cheese, Hawaiian (with real pork bits inside), honey lavender, mince meat pie, apple pie and cheddar, and many more. its weird. well they had one kind called dracula's blood pudding and i asked to sample it. the lady got me a spoonful and said it has real pigs blood in it, is that okay? i thought about it for a quick minute, and decided that since ive eaten steak medium rare, this isn't much different. so i tried it. it really wasn't bad! it was pretty good actually. so yeah, that happened. i'd love to stay and chat but i have to go have a nerf war. to answer your question mom, i desperately need new boots. mine are all ripped up . i love you forever!


Monday, October 13, 2014

All is Well!!

okay is dad lazy rafter R? or who is that? im going to trust that its dad because thats his favorite brand other than flying box. family i am excited to be emailing you today. its been a great week, but also a really weird one. we have had cancellation after cancellation. no love for the sisters! but for some reason its still been really fun. im so proud of Ryan. and as for the Round Valley St Johns thing, i know of another instance when someone was falsely accused and slandered. in John 15 the Savior warns His disciples that this may happen to them and He explains why. 
 
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 
19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but i have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. 
 
those that follow the example of Jesus Christ are often hated because of it, and i know that Round Valley folks are good people. the Savior sets the example for us of what we can do as we endure persecution in 1 Nephi 19:9
 
"wherefore the scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men."
 
Christ endured a lot of persecution, and as disciples of Christ we should expect to endure a portion of that persecution, too. But, the good news is that even though the battle between good and evil is still raging on, the winner has already been declared. we know that God's team will come off conqueror, and Round Valley already beat St Johns. all is well :)
 
its been a really great week! we went on an exchange this week so i spent all day on wednesday with sister halgran from colorado. tuesday night i got a strong impression that we need to visit melody, a former investigator. now for all you who, like me before my mission, think promptings are constant in missionary work, i am here to tell you that they are not. God usually makes us earn them. so for me, its always really exciting to get a prompting and have it work out for me. have i ever told you about the 3 different kinds of promptings?
 
i decided that there are 3. 1) homeruns. the kind that when you walk up to the door the person had actually prayed you there. or some kind of miracle results from them. 2) indirect. when you feel you need to see someone in particular, but really God just needs you to be headed that way so you can meet someone else He has in mind for you. and last, and certainly the most common in my case is 3) test promptings. you feel strongly that you need to go somewhere or see someone and no one comes to the door. those happen to me 99% of the time, and the other two kinds make up .5% each. well, i guess i was having a .5% kind of day, because i felt prompted to go, and melody burst into tears when we got there. she said she had prayed us over. she lost our number and didnt know how to find us, but her mom had just passed away and she instantly felt that she needed to speak with us. AMAZING! we were able to teach her the plan of salvation and we had the elders come over and give her a blessing. it was so great and she really started feeling better after that. the spirit was almost visible! if i can try to describe it, it was like when youre sick and you get that weird, clear, filmy goop that covers your cornea sometimes. thats basically how the room looked when we all opened our eyes.
 
 it was really funny though because afterwards she wanted a picture with all of us and while we were standing there smiling she grabbed each of the elders butts! i didnt even know it. shes like 60 something so i didnt expect it. but later elder robinson looked at me and mouthed the words "she grabbed my butt." then elder alatini said the same thing. it was hilarious. i laughed the rest of the day about that.
 
 we also had the opportunity to watch meet the mormons this week! it was awesome! i laughed, i cried, and i really felt the spirit. its an awesome movie and goes through the lives of 6 people from around the world. i encourage you to invite a friend to go with you. they'll like it! i am grateful to be a missionary in the OPM! i love it here and i love all of you! mom, youre in trouble cause you didnt update me on your breasties. but i still like you. tell cammie happy birthday! i have a really funny card coming her way. well, i love you all! work hard, pray hard!
 
sister Udall
 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Embarrassing Moment For Sister Udall















 

Mom!

 I got your letter! And insanity! I love that you told me not to lend
it to my fat friends haha.

I'm glad we smashed St. John's! Glad, but
not surprised. I knew baby Boey was the biggest stud in the whole
world. Proud of him!

This has been a good week but it will be a short
email because I'm running out of time. So, I had one of those moments
that only happen to me again this week. I was trying to be all big and
bad because I'm a trainer and I told sister Russell I didn't need the
gps and I knew where our appointment was. So we drove down there,
parked the car, said a prayer, and headed up the steps. The front gate
was locked. I didn't remember them having a front gate, but I
rationalized that it was probably open last time and I didn't notice.
So we started trying to jimmy the lock and get in there because we
knew this family and they knew we were coming. It was our dinner
appointment. Then some guy walked out of the house. I didn't recognize
him, but the first thought that came to my missionary mind was "oh
good! They invited friends for dinner! Hopefully we can teach them!"
He came and helped us with the gate and we followed him up on the
deck. He started talking to us and then he headed inside, so naturally
I followed him. I was standing in his kitchen when he said sorry
ladies but we're in the middle of dinner. I replied "that's what we're
here for!" He looked so confused so I asked if this was the bardi's
home. He said no. I continued to stand in this strangers kitchen. It
was so awkward. Haha I had no idea what to say and we were late for
our dinner by this time so we left. I'm still laughing about it though
because I know he was super creeped that I just walked right into his
house. Haha it was so great. We are going to go back though because he
seemed super open and we already got our foot in the door, pun
intended.

We had a real miracle this week though. We have this
investigator couple, kami and Kevin, who rock so hard! We taught them
the plan of salvation this week and they both told us that they
already knew it. They said they believed this all along but didn't
know there was a church for it haha. It was awesome! They both just
said it makes complete sense. I love hearing those words. They're
praying about baptism right now. I love them so much! We had other
awesome things happen, but I have no time! I love you very much!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The crowning event of the week-- Lois's Baptism

hi mom!
 
This has been a crazy week! i dont even know where to start! i think i will talk about lindsay and scottie first. we had a great week with them. we took them to the visitor's center where we watched "God's Plan for His Family." that movie always reminds me of cammie because of how much her and i cried that one time we watched it in the mesa temple visitor's center. anyways we did that and we showed them a ton of other things there as well. by the end of it they were so excited to be married and then sealed in a year. and, get this, scottie has been cigarette free for 4 days now! he is so dedicated! its so hard for him and the cravings come strong and often, but he carries around a bottle of grapefruit juice and takes a swig of it ever time he gets the urge to have a cigarette. he is doing so great. he told me that i have to give up sugar and peanut butter if he has to give up cigarettes, so yay for me! this is my third sugar fast on my mission! i never realized how hard it is to give it up because its just part of my life. people offer dessert to me all the time and i swear sugar is in EVERYTHING. even though its not the same as giving up smoking and nowhere near as hard, im grateful to do it because it helps me get a small taste of what Heavenly Father is asking them to do and how hard it must be for them. 
 
We had a mission tour this week and elder Johnson of the seventy came and spoke to us. it was amazing! he talked a lot about "becoming" disciples of Christ and how we do that. he invited all the bishops, ward mission leaders, and ward missionaries of the wards to come to the conference and in the middle of the meeting he paired us up with one and had us teach them any one of the 42 principles in preach my gospel. we got paired up with a man in our ward that we know pretty well. he is extremely active and i couldnt help but feel silly teaching him a lesson on things he knows all about. i got the impression to teach the atonement and sister larsen said she had the same impression come to her. so we shared a lesson with him and it was easily one of the most spiritual experiences i've ever had on my mission. this man was in tears for a minute talking about the trials he was enduring and how amazing it was that we were able to know what he needed to hear. i was so thankful for the spirit at that moment because i know that there is nothing i couldve said to help him, but the spirit can always testify to their hearts if we'll just get out of His way. it was great and i learned so much about teaching people, not lessons.
 
the crowing event of this week had to be Lois's baptism. let me tell you a little about Lois. she is 78, completely blind and has been for quite some time, mostly deaf, is in a wheel chair, and has no family other than her niece. she had a really rough life full of experiences you cant imagine. despite all this she is happier than anyone i know, loves more than anyone i know, and has the faith of the brother of Jared. she cant swim and is terrified of water, so naturally baptism wouldnt be her cup of cocoa. but as we taught her the doctrine of baptism she understood that Jesus Christ requires it of her and the blessings far outweigh any fears she may have going into it. the day of her baptism she started to cry because she was so nervous. we told her that she didnt have to do it if she didnt want to, but she said she knew Jesus Christ wants her to. so we managed to get her in a white jumpsuit and just before she walked into the font, she gave us her hearing aids so they wouldnt get all wet. most people have the privilege of having all 5 senses as they make this covenant, but Lois did it with only 3! she was baptized by her neice's  husband and both the elders were in the water as well to help her up and down the stairs and make sure she could get all the way under. it took her awhile to get down the steps into the font, and after about two steps she said "Jesus is making me work hard for this one" haha it was the sweetest thing ever! they eventually got her baptized and after she came out of the water she said "jesus got my hair all wet, but i know he's with me in my whole body," haha it was the cutest thing ever! it was the most moving baptism ive ever witnessed. talk about blind faith. there's a quote and i cant remember who said it, but they said if we teach the doctrine of the gospel clearly that people would crawl over broken glass to get to the baptismal font. well, to me, that basically what Lois did. she's amazing and i absolutle love her!
 
So, here's some big news. I have a daughter! my firstborn daughter in the wilderness, as Lehi would say. im training a new missionary. he name is sister Russel. she is from Las Vegas. she is a lot of fun and im really excited to be her companion. im super nervous because i feel like im still being trained myself, but one thing that elder Johnson told us this week is that there is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone. i think you can guess what zone im in. im really excited though! i love her so much and im excited to work hard alongside her. mom, i love you so much. im sorry that you have to have chemo. i pray for you daily. my companions think im weird cause i call you mom in my prayers. i dont say my mom, just mom. thats just who you are! you're mom! you're the best mom in the whole wide world. you're a million and two times greater than anything i could ever dream to be! i love you with all my heart momma! i better get going, but i want you all to know and to never forget that i told you that God lives. He loves us. those are facts. spread the word. 
 
sister udall


Sunday, September 21, 2014

His Gospel is a Pearl Of Great Price


Dear Family, 
 
Hey! How is Arizona? It looks like it's all underwater! That's wild! We had a super good week!

First off, we set a baptismal date with our blind investigator, Lois, for this coming Saturday. We are pretty pumped! Did I already tell you that people from her old church were coming to read her anti Mormon material? Can you believe that? Why I oughta! But I won't. She told them to bag their groceries and get out of her life. Haha I'm not even sure what that means, but I'm Glad she said it

We had a really cool miracle this week too. We had been introduced to this girl, Kami, by her foster mom, who is a returning member. She wasn't interested AT ALL when we first met her, so we left it alone. Last week while we were at wal Mart we saw her working there so we went up and talked to her for awhile. We had some good laughs, me and her had the same bracelet on, we left her with our number and told her to call us of there was anything we can do for her. She had told us that she had been disowned by her foster mom and was pregnant and looking for a place. They had been living out of their car for a little while. We didn't expect to hear from her, but this week she called us up and wanted to meet up with us! We were both excited .   We decided to meet with her even though there wasn't much we could do for her. We got there and had a good time getting to know her and her boyfriend. They are both so much fun and we got along great. Sister Larsen and I, thinking we knew everything, started telling them that we couldn't do much for them financially. Kami responded by saying she doesn't want money, she just wants answers. She told us how ever since she got pregnant she's had this strong desire to know Gods plan for her and her family. She told us how she just wants to find something she believes and she wants to know more about our church. I felt like the lowest piece of dirt around. I had some major repenting to do for that one. I was so humbled right then and I learned an important lesson from God. The message of Jesus Christ and the restoration of His gospel is worth more than anything we have to give in this life. It is the pearl of great price talked about in the New Testament. It's the treasure found in a field that a man sold all his possessions for. It is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem. This entire life is for us to "prepare to meet God" so regardless of our financial or physical situation, a testimony of Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon is the most important thing we can have. This mortal life is just a knot on the rope of eternity, and the suffering that we will endure will all be for our good as we continue to rely on the merits of the savior.

We had the chance to teach Kami and Kevin the restoration this week and the spirit was incredibly strong. I think what added to it most was the members. We taught in a members home and they all testified of what we taught. People, have the missionaries in your home to teach discussions. It helps. A lot. Sorry this email is long, but to wrap it up I want to tell you that Richard got baptized! It was amazing! I got to go back to Aloha to watch him be baptized. He was so happy and I am so proud of him. We also went to the visitors center this week and I met some Vancouver missionaries that knew Rex! Crazy! Well, I better close this long and crazy email. Sorry my thoughts get jumbled. I love you all very much. Mom, will you still send me insanity? I would greatly appreciate it :) work hard, pray hard! 
Sister Udall 

Modest is hottest


Dear Dad

 

That's weird. I never email you. It's always mom! How are you?
I can't believe everything you told us! So you find out tomorrow huh? Make sure you call my mission president and have him tell me the results. If I have to wait till next Monday I will probably die. I'm not worried though because I know that mom is really athletic and she can conquer anything that comes her way.


Tell me who is getting baptized back home! That is fantastic! For some reason I hate that you said the word breast dad haha you should never say that word again.


This has been a really great week. We have taught a record number of lessons for this area this week! We were really pumped. We found a new investigator. She told us to call her auntie Helen. She is so sweet. She is a horse breeder and she is trying to give me her little Australian shepherd to take home. The way we found her is kind of funny. So there is this guy named Mike in our ward. He is the nicest guy in the world and he's not all there mentally. He gives us two big bags of kettle corn a week, and he gives me peanut butter and peaches since I love them. Well he invited a friend of his out to lunch with us. She is catholic and pretty old. She is the coolest lady ever. We started teaching her and she was really excited when we mentioned forever families. And get this, she loves the principle of tithing. She knows that the true church will have a set tithe. She's totally right about that, but most people struggle with the thought of tithing. We have another appointment with her this week and we are pretty excited.


Today this guy named Woody took us golfing and that was really sweet. I'm not very good haha but it was fun. We were in a trio this week with my MTC companion, sister porter! It was so fun to be with her again! We taught some sweet lessons, including one on virtue to this young girl. We taught about being modest in our clothes and our words and actions. Then we had a fashion show where we made modest outfits out of toilet paper. That was really fun. It's been a really great week, but I feel like I don't have much to say. I love my area a lot though. I hope everyone is doing good back home! I love you all very much! Work hard, pray hard! 

 

Monday, September 1, 2014

We recieve our answers through prayer and scripture study

Dear mom, 

Happy Labor Day to you too! I can't believe you guys went camping. Something about me and Goodes going on missions has inspired you to go camping and go to Disneyland and Christie to give birth. The only thing I can count on being the same when I get home is Cammie to still be short. Give her a shout out for consistency from me, will ya? Tell Christie I'm super straight. We had a great week!

We were able to teach a part member family this week. The wife and one daughter are members, but the husband and two daughters are not. Our Bishop invited us and them into his home for a family home evening and his wife offered to provide treats. This family is so great. We get along with them really well and they have had missionaries for a lot of years and still haven't seen the importance of finding out for themselves if the gospel is true. Sister Larsen and I were praying hard on what to teach them that will really bring the spirit and have a desire to know whether or not what we teach is true. Then, BAM! It hit us like a ton of bricks! One of my favorite talks, "Teach the Atonement" by Jeffrey R Holland popped into our minds and we decided that the most important thing we can teach anyone is about the atonement of Jesus Christ. We spent the next week or so planning, role playing, and preparing, and the more we did the more I realized how hard it is to grasp the sacrifice the Savior. We can say the words over and over but we couldn't figure out how to make it real for her. Through our much fasting and prayer the idea came to us to do a simulation of the atonement.

The first thing we did was ask each person if they wanted a root beer float, which was the treat that Bishops wife provided. Everyone in the room said yes. We explained to them that they can have their treat, but that it comes with a price. I had to do 5 push-ups for each person that wanted a root beer float. I know what you're thinking, 5 is nothing. But there are 8 people in bishops family, 5 in the other family, and then me and sister Larsen. Going into it I thought it would be pretty easy for me to do. After all, I work out every day for thirty minutes! I didn't just do the 75 push-ups in a row, I had to stop in between and say the name of each person I was doing them for. Near the end my arms were basically screaming at me to stop, but I couldn't! I had a work to finish for these people! So, despite the pain, I finished my push ups and then collapsed to the ground. At first we were all laughing, but as the night wore on the spirit set in very strong as we each contemplated the Savior's atoning sacrifice for us. There's no way someone can hear about what Christ has done and not have a desire to know if it's true. Because if it is true, then this is the best news in the world! It means someone loves us enough to take on our pain so we can overcome it. It means we don't come with an expiration date. We are eternal beings! It means there is a plan and a way provided for us to return to live with our Father in Heaven, where even more happiness awaits us. If God was willing to sacrifice His Son so that we could return to live with Him, then He must have something amazing planned for us after this life! It was a great lesson and I was so thankful for the lesson I learned about the atonement. The best part is that the husband, who had NEVER been to church, came last Sunday! It was incredible to say the least!

We also had a crazy experience with the comcast guys! Remember when we were telling you about them? Well they really wanted to meet with us and they offered to take us to Olive Garden. This seemed more like a date, so we brought the elders that serve in our ward! Haha it was a whale of a time. They asked us a ton of questions and as time went on we could tell that their real motive was to destroy our faith. They starting pointing out the beliefs we have that to them "don't make sense." They basically told us that we are too easily influenced and believe everything we hear. Ohhh boy it was hard for me to keep calm, cause I really wanted to give them a piece of my mind. Then it dawned on me. The feeling of wanting to sock someone in the stomach was not from God. I knew that they were not preaching true principles because the spirit wasn't there to back them up. All we told them was that we receive our answers through prayer and scripture study and invited them to do the same. We later found out that one of them was a preacher for a different local church. I am just grateful that God has provided us with a way to know truth, and that is through the spirit.

 I know that God is our Father, Jesus Christ is His Son, and their full gospel is found in the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know because God told me through the spirit, and I also know that everyone can know this as they pray and ask, and there is nothing more important that this knowledge. I love you all very much! Work hard, pray hard, and beat St John's! I don't know when you play them, but beat them.
Sister Udall 


Monday, August 25, 2014

Inviting the Spirit in our daily lives

Dear Reed,
 
Is Rex really in Gresham? That's crazy! The white mountains are taking Oregon by storm. Gresham is the cream of the crop! I love it so much here. The people are great, my ward is great, and my companion is great. The weather is not getting cooler, nor will it ever get cooler I fear. It is blazing hot here! I thought Oregon was really cool but it's so stinkin hot! That's okay though, i still love it.
 
Tell the tiny boy I love him! I wish I could watch him play football this year. That would be awesome if you had Austin over for family home evening! Make sure to invite some non members to that.
 
Well, I better tell you about our crazy week. So we are teaching this guy named Scottie. He is a little older than me and his girlfriend is a member. We were able to set a baptismal date with him for the 27th of September! The real highlight is Lois, the blind and partially deaf lady. We set her date for a couple weeks away and she is so excited. I want to go more in depth with my emails but I don't have time and there's no way you can grasp how amazing these things are. I just can't adequately put it in words. My explanations don't do it justice. But we have those two baptisms coming up and I'm stoked about them.
 
We had an awesome experience this week that strengthened my testimony of God's timing. So we are teaching this family and the kids won't pray unless we bring them cookies. We really want them to pray, so we made cookies on our lunch hour and planned to bring them with us for our lesson later that night. Well, we forgot the cookies, so we had to run home later in the evening to pick them up and a few minutes after we closed the door we heard a knock. We went over and opened it and lo and behold, here stands in front of us the 22 year old comcast guy trying to sell us internet. We told him that we don't use internet on our missions and that opened up a ton of questions about what we do and don't do as missionaries. This discussion was a great opening act for him to begin asking questions that pertained to the plan of salvation. We started teaching him while we stood there and decided we wanted to go a little more in depth. Sister Morby makes each missionary these laminated cut outs of the points of the plan of salvation, so we all sat down of our concrete porch, laid out the cut outs, and began teaching victor the plan of salvation. It was amazing! He was so intrigued and he just kept asking more and more questions. We still had to go teach the cookie family so we had to cut the lesson short, even though we had talked for about 45 minutes. We exchanged numbers and he really wants us to meet some of his friends too. That night we got texts from him. He had been on Mormon.org looking up answers to more questions and texting us and asking the ones he couldn't find on there. He really wants to learn more and he asked us to meet him at this vegan burrito place somewhere in Portland. Portland is weird. I could never see Eagar having a vegan burrito place. I'm not even sure what that is. But, we were excited and we are going to be teaching him this week.
 
So every Tuesday and Thursday we teach New Testament and Book of Mormon classes down at the church. Remember the Free Masons we did service for? Well, we invited them and a couple of them came. We found out that they live in sandy so we passed them off to the sandy sisters, but that was really exciting! They are very interested in learning more.
 
I got to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday and my topic was "inviting the spirit in our daily lives." It got me thinking, when I'm invited somewhere, what usually is the driving force that makes me want to go? Food. It's always food. I believe that's the same with our spirit. We are promised as we take the sacrament that we "may always have His spirit to be with" us. The key word is may. He may stay, he may not. It all depends on what you feed him! I know that as we read our scriptures daily and pray and ask for the spirit to attend us, we can more fully enjoy His influence in our daily lives. And who doesn't want that? In Galatians we read that "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance." I need each of those blessings and qualities daily as we all do. The spirit is just like Dad at any family function, He won't stay unless you feed Him. We need to nourish our spirits daily just like we do our bodies. Well, that's all I got for now! I love you all very much! Happy birthday to stellaphant! Work hard, pray hard
Sister U