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