Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So Grateful!

July 22, 2013

I hope everyone is having a wonderful day today!! 

Thank you for all of your letters! They always make my day and I can't even tell you how much it means to me! I will try and write back when I can.  
So this week was filled with miracles(as every day always is:)), but a lot of them happened on Sunday! 

We are now officially teaching Kayla who is a wonderful example to me of enduring trials! Wow, she has been through so many, but she still has faith in God and wants to do the right things! She is a mom who has so much on her plate, and still wants to do what is right! Sometimes she struggles with understanding why bad things happen to good people, but we all do! She is an inspiration to me! I really hope that as she reads the Book of Mormon daily she will feel the peace and comfort that comes with it.  I just remember sitting in the last lesson we had with her and thinking, don't give up!!!!  

Last night we met a man doing yard work, and he told us to knock on the door and talk to his wife. Crazy, cause that hasn't ever happened before!  She was soooo nice to us and was so excited that we were talking about Jesus. She LOVES Christ and told us that she isn't sure if any religion is true but wants to know.  We gave her a Book of Mormon and will see what happens! I just remember looking at that house and having a really really good feeling about it! So I am so glad we were able to share the gospel with their family!

Since it was so hot this week, 3 people let us inside their house and gave us water! That's pretty unheard of! We were let inside 2 times in one day! None of them were interested in hearing more about the gospel, but they were all such a blessing to us! One lady, Mary, gave us ice packs to put on our necks to cool us down. She was so cute! And she knows someone in our ward.  Another lady, who we taught a lesson to, made us milkshakes :)  And the other couple had a Book of Mormon--he even got it out and showed us!  People are so nice here!

Bethany Hartt, Sister Udall, Sister Hansen,
and Ann Marie. Bethany and Ann Marie
are in Rachel's current ward.
I remember sitting at dinner one night (at a member's home) and just being so content. I thought, I would have never met these people if I weren't on my mission! And all of these members are such stalwart examples and so fun! I feel so blessed to be out here! I know that Heavenly Father blesses us so much--and sometimes even more than I think I deserve.  So bottom line is that I am so grateful to be out here.  I was even happy as we were walking around in the sun Saturday afternoon talking to people! I looked really hot and gross, but I was still happy.  Sharing the gospel is such a happy thing! Today I am so grateful to be here and for everything that Heavenly Father has blessed me with!

I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and this Church! I know it's true and know that it's the reason my life is so blessed!

Love, Sister Udall

As a missionary mom, I also want to express my gratitude for all the angels out there who watch and care for her while she is serving her mission. No matter what kind of angel you are; whether it be a letter/package, a stranger inviting her into their home because it is so hot or having her for dinner...these tender mercies mean a great deal to me and gladden my heart. As a mother, it is daily spiritual exercise of faith to have Rachel serve for 18 months, especially when I am so limited in what I can do for her. I am absolutely dependent on the Lord and angels
to watch over her. Again, I too am "so grateful" to those who I don't know who take care of her and those I do know who support and love her while she is in Virginia. It means the world to me. Thank you! 

This one is of Brother Roberts who we have been teaching! He is the best! And too cute! After our lesson last Monday he asked if he could get a picture with us! He probably took 15...we felt like we were famous :)

Sister Hansen, Sister Udall and Bethany Hartt
at Chipotle

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Perfection vs. Progression

                                                                                   July 15, 2013

I am officially one transfer into my mission! And yes, I am still with Sister Hansen in the Great Falls Ward!  Six more weeks here, I can't wait to see what will happen!  We have both decided we really need to work hard this summer.  Everyone tells us that the ward shuts down in the summer and that everyone is gone on vacation, etc.  Well we are finding that that is true.  HaHa!  This week was a little rough because most of our investigators (all the ones that we have talked to recently)  just told us they will be out of town for an entire month!  So SAD!! A month is a long time, and I hope that they don't forget about us!  So sad to say, we don't have too many investigators right now, but that's ok because we will find more!!! It will happen! But Sister Hansen and I set up more specific goals for our finding this week, so since we are focusing on it, we are going to find those that are ready to listen to us and hear more of our wonderful message.  During our personal study yesterday, Alma 21 and Mosiah 24 were both really comforting chapters for us (and Mom it is so neat how you mentioned Mosiah 24 as one of the scriptures in your letter! You are so inspired) 

This week, we got two referrals from the Hermanas in Bella Vista (the spanish ward in our stake).  And we were able to teach a lesson to 5 Egyptian guys because of it! We walked up to their apartment and two of them saw us and were so nice.  They invited us in! (And don't worry we had a member with us!! Bethany actually!)  We then started talking to them and taught them the restoration.  One by one, more of their roommates started to come out of their rooms.  By the end, we had 5 listening intently to us! It was so cool!  It was kind of crazy because they were all at different places with religion, understanding the language etc., but I could totally feel the Spirit!!  One of the guys even came to church on Sunday! Since I was giving my talk, I saw him walk in late. Unfortunately he had to leave right after Sacrament meeting because of work, but he said he would come again!  I am sad that he wasn't there for the sacrament, but he came!  (Oh, my talk went well apparently.  Everyone said it was good.  And I felt good about it.  It was really cool to see how Heavenly Father really knows the need of the ward, because all 3 of us that spoke really had the same message...Share the gospel!  I hope that I am able to help the members start making missionary work an even bigger part of their life.  There is already so much good that they do!) Sunday was so good! So many miracles, and missionary work is just the best! That's all I have to say!  Something I really liked from a return missionary (it was his homecoming talk, so he spoke) was that your "all" on your mission is seeing the progression that you make as you are trying your best everyday. It's not about becoming this "perfect" missionary, but seeing a change in yourself over time. I hope that I can say the best at the end of my mission is much greater than the best that I am giving right now!

But I am so grateful for this opportunity to be out here on a mission! I know that this church is true and that it will bless all of our lives! I know that the center of this gospel is Jesus Christ and His grace.  We can all access this grace as we humble ourselves, have faith, and are diligent!  (D&C 104:78-80)

I love you all and know that we can all make a difference every day as we strive to have charity just like Christ!


Sister Udall

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Heavenly Father is watching out for each one of us!

July 8, 2013

Dear Family,

It is so crazy how fast the weeks are flying by!  I can't believe it has already been 6 weeks that I have been out here!  And this week FLEW BY!!  Transfers are this week, don't know what will be the outcome of that (probably just staying here), but it is just crazy to think that I have been here 1 transfer already. 

Lets see...the highlights of this week.  There were so many!!
We were really busy to say the least.

On Tuesday we had dinner at Outback Steakhouse with an older man in our ward, Brother Larson.  He is so sweet to take us out to eat every single week, and he always is finding ways to help us out.  He had a few people in mind, and we were able to help him figure out how to bring up the gospel with them.  It was a really neat experience.  We also met the host and hostess at the restaurant and we gave them "Thank You cards" which were pass along cards with a note on the back.  The host started asking me questions about the church and was interested, but before I could explain more he had to help someone else. So that was the end of that.  But I hope that he looks at mormon.org like I told him to!!

Happy 4th! We are matching! And it was a long and hot day.  This is at the end of our long day so we don't look the best haha
But I am wearing the bow you gave me!!! It was so cute...you just can't see it!!

THE 4th of JULY was great! And really hot, but that's better than rain!  We had a ward breakfast, and there were 3 or 4 non-member families that came.  It was so fun to talk to them and get to know them.  They are all so great.  It was really good to get to know the members better.  They are all so fun, and this ward is starting to feel like home. We then went to the Vienna festival and talked to a couple people.  We talked to one man who had restored his car that he drove as a teenager.  Way cool.  Then we had the miracle of the day:  We checked on a lady that Sister Hansen had met before I got here.  We knocked on her door and found out that she didn't live there anymore.  But we found someone else who seems really interested in learning more!! She said we could come back next week and teach her more. Miracle!  Then we went home and did our studies at night (kind of a backwards day) and then went to a members house to have dinner and watch the fireworks.  Yeah, we got to watch fireworks! President Riggs made an exception and said that we could as long as we were home by 10:30.  One of the girls in their family reminds me so much of Emily...it's crazy!!!! 

We have had 2 people call us back in the past two days (when we called them weeks ago) who have wanted us to come back over.  We had a lesson with one of them yesterday.  She is such an amazing and strong woman and has been through so much! I just hope we are able to help her see how much the gospel will help her in her life!!

I went to a New Member Fireside last night.  It is a fireside where recent converts speak and share their conversion story.  It was such a neat experience to hear how different each person's conversion was but really how the blessings are all the same and all glorious! I have had a desire to have greater charity, and last night at the New Member fireside I realized something really important. These are HEAVENLY FATHER'S CHILDREN that I am teaching and talking to! I knew that before, but it just made sense.  They are the same as me, they just don't have the gospel yet. But they all have their own challenges and concerns, and learning takes time for EVERYONE. I realized that I just need to do the Lord's work HIS way and take things on HIS timetable so that these people I talk to are truly converted. I just need to have patience with them and show them that I love them. That just clicked with me last night, and I pray that I can apply that to my efforts this week. 

We did get names from the members, and lots! It has been fun to see how the members are doing their own missionary work and seeing success! There is a lot we have to do to follow up with them now, but I love that we can help the members out with their efforts!!

We also got to help our investigator's family move last Saturday. It felt so good to do service.  I mean I am trying to serve everyday, but it was good to just work hard in a different sort of way.  We also had help from the ward! Yay! It made me feel so good to see the ward reach out and help.  I know that means the world to our investigator!

Today we went to GREAT FALLS! There are actually waterfalls out here! Pretty great!  It was so fun to hike and be out in nature.  That was my mini "weber trip" this summer.  And it's so beautiful there!!

Rachel at Great Falls, VA
July 8, 2013

Great Falls, VA
July 8, 2013

I am so grateful for all of the miracles that have happened this week!!!!! I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for every single one of us and that he LOVES us all so much!  I am so grateful for this gospel and know with all my heart that it is true!

Sister Udall

PS: Tell Tom and Karen and Julie and Cameron THANK YOU FOR THE PINEAPPLE!!! That was such a surprise and made my entire day!!

This picture was texted to me by Bethany Hartt.
Bethany is someone in the ward where Rachel is serving in Great Falls.
Bethany was running and snapped this photo of Rachel
and her companion street contacting (talking to people
on the street). To say the least I was thrilled to receive
such an unexpected picture.
June 22, 2013

Serve with Heart, Might, Mind and Strength

July 1, 2013


So thanks for all the birthday wishes and packages!! My birthday was pretty awesome, I can't complain!  We went to DC and took the metro there.  I felt pretty cool! Then we went to the National Mall and went in a couple of the museums.  I could have spent all day there it was so cool! Definitely on my bucket list of things to do now! 

But here are some pictures of the exciting trip!

Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
 June 24, 2013

Capitol Building, Washington, D.C.
June 24, 2013

Museum of National Archives, Washington,  D.C.
June 24, 2013

Rachel and the Washington Monument,
June 24, 2013

Happy 21st Birthday Rachel!

Sister Rachel Udall and
Elder Diego Alfaro
The Alfaro's moved from Burbank
10 years ago.
This week was the week of meetings! It was our Whole Mission Conference right before the mission split.  We not only have 6 zones in our mission. So sad, but the Richmond, VA mission is pretty lucky! They are getting some great missionaries!! It was crazy to meet with the entire mission, but so awesome! We were given so much great counsel from President Riggs and  Sister Riggs.  President Riggs talked about establishing patterns on our mission that we will use for the rest of our lives.  There are so many, that's for sure! But something that I realized later in the week is that Heavenly Father uses patterns to help us learn and grow.  It's an important principle to master.  If you thin about it, we go to Church every week, we read our scriptures and pray every day, we do soooo many things that have a pattern to them. I've realized that repetition and simplicity is so important!! We also had a meeting Tuesday that was kind of mind blowing!  Elder Ritchee talked all about Moses 1 and how once Moses knew his real potential he was instoppable.  He was able to resist Satan's temptations and to become the person that Heavenly Father wanted him to become.  If you think about that for a second...WOW!! Once we know who we are and what our purpose is in this life, we have POWER!!! I also loved Return and Report, which was on Friday.  We got lots of good counsel and instruction yet again!  But one thing that was little but stuck out to me was that President Riggs told us to make sure our language is dignified.  Dad you will appreciate this...he told us we need to stop using the word "like" as a filler.  Well Dad, you and President Riggs know best!!  Haha

We also have a progressing investigator now! David from Burma...he's the best!  His wife made us noodles again! She is too sweet.  We haven't met her yet, but he wants his wife to learn what we are teaching him! We had a lesson with him on Tuesday, and as he has been praying and reading the Book of Mormon he said that he now knows that the Joseph Smith story is a miracle. He was really skeptical when we told him about it the first time, but his heart is softening more and more! He really has a desire to know for himself if this is true, and has not recognized his answer yet if the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

This Sunday our Bishop had every member write down a name of someone that they could start to share the gospel with and what they were going to do to start to share the gospel with their friend. He gave us all of the names and what the members will do, so we now have all these names to work with as we help the members in their missionary efforts. I hope that I can show the members how simple and easy it is! I am striving to be the missionary they need in the Great Falls Ward!

I feel that I am truly learning the Christlike attribute of patience more and more everyday. I know that I also need to work on humility and relying 100% on the Lord!!! I am going to strive to pray for more humility and trust in the Lord so that I can truly open my heart up to Him and let Him guide me. I know I NEED to serve him with all my heart, might, mind, and strength, but my pride gets in the way at times.  I just want to serve Heavenly Father with ALL my Heart, Mind, Might and Strength for the next 17 months. Oh yeah, I'm one month into my mission, officially yesterday. How crazy!!

Adorable cottage in Great Falls/Vienna
I love you ALL! Happy 4th of July to everyone!!!

Sister Udall