Monday, September 23, 2013


Hello family!!!

So we are running all over the place today...I get to get a hair cut/trim! :) So part of my letter will just be what I sent President Riggs. It sums up most of my week pretty well! 

So my email from President this week was short, he's a busy guy, but exactly what I needed to hear.  He said, "Thanks for sharing the miracles with me. I hear great things about you and hope you are not being too hard on yourself. There will ALWAYS be room for improvement, so just improve and relax. Love you!"  Well I laughed and smiled when I read his response.  He knows me too well!!  Heavenly truly inspires our leaders!! They are able to receive revelation for each of us!! That is truly a blessing. 
So this is what I said back (in the quotes)..."Thanks for your encouragement.  You know me tooo well!!!  One thing I think I will continually have to work on during my mission is not being too hard on myself.  RELAX is the key word.  Yesterday evening, I was not relaxed at all and I saw that it totally blocked the spirit from guiding us.  The evening was not as productive as we had hoped because I was just "confused" as to where to go.  So this week I am going to work on relaxing, putting trust and faith in God and the Spirit to guide us and lead us where we need to be.  Following the Spirit is something that I have been thinking about this past week and I realize that I am making it way too complicated!  Heavenly Father does not work in complicated ways, he works in simple and small ways!  I am so grateful it does work like that, but now I need to put my over-analyzing and over-complicating to the side and let the Lord take over!!" 

This week I also got to go on an exchange with one of the Sister Trainer Leaders, Sister Woodbury!! She's amazing.  (Oh, and really important, we have matching toothbrushes and journals...that's the picture of the week!!)

"The exchange with Sister Woodbury this week was FANTASTIC! We talked all about following the spirit, trusting in the plans, and then going out and working them!   We put that to action that day and found a new investigator!  We set a return appointment, and taught a lesson to him the next morning and he is so AMAZING!! He has such a strong desire to come closer to God and he is not working and has a lot of time!!  Truly prepared and ready.  We walked into his home and I noticed there were two Books of Mormon sitting on his table--one in English and one in Mandarin Chinese (we had not given either to him)! We sat down and he said, "Let me tell you a little bit about myself and then you can tell me about you."  How is that for the start of a lesson.  He did the How to Begin Teaching (that's a term in Preach my Gospel) part of the lesson himself!!  We didn't even have to initiate it!  We also found two really solid Spanish referrals.  One of the Spanish referrals we received was for Elder Kirkham and Elder Sheffield.  They told us that they went to the address we had given them.  The man we had talked to was not there, but they met another lady who is also prepared.  They had a really  powerful lesson with her!!  It is such a miracle that the address got mixed up somehow...Heavenly Father is truly watching over all of His children!!!!  I learned so much from Sister Woodbury--especially just relax and trust in the Lord.  I also learned that planning the little things is what really matters." 

This week the scripture Proverbs 3:5-6 kept running through my mind.  Just TRUST!!!!  And have FAITH!! I also read a lot of the talks from the August Ensign.  They are sooo good!! If you haven't read them you should :)

We were truly blessed this week!  We taught 4 lessons! I'm pretty sure that's the all time high so far :)   And we had an investigator stay for all 3 hours of church! He's great.  When we asked him how he liked it, his face just lit up!!!!  He said he hadn't been to a church in years and really liked it!  The poor guy did fall asleep during sacrament meeting a little bit (our Sacrament meeting starts at 8:30am), but I don't blame him.

I am so grateful for all of the experiences that I have every day!!  Every morning I thank Heavenly Father for this new day, whatever it brings I know that it will be wonderful!!!  It is truly a blessing to be a missionary.  I feel like I am getting more blessings than I deserve sometimes, but I'll take it! 

Some fun facts from the week...Friday night we were tracting and it was pouring! Our ward mission leader said it rained 1 1/4 inches that night!  I got to hold a Mexican jumping bean in my hand last night.  That brought back fun memories.  We also got locked outside of our house for 30 minutes, but found a spare key in the garage :)  And Sister Phelps and Sister Goates (while on an exchange got locked inside of their apartment).  We got to rescue them :)  Oh and we stayed at another members home for some time and had to do our planning on a is never dull and is full of adventures! :)

So bottom line, I  am so grateful that Heavenly Father is in charge and for the reminder to RELAX!! Sister Phelps shared with me John 16:33: "These things I have spoken unto you,that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."  I LOVE THAT!!! I know that Heavenly Father loves us all so much and wants us to remember, especially Sister Udall, to relax and enjoy what he has given us!!!

I am praying for everyone back at home!!! I love you all so much and am so grateful that we are all so blessed with this gospel!! I know that as we put our Faith in Christ and do what he asks us, everything will work out for our good!!
Love you all LOTS!!!  

Sister Udall

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

He is in the details of our lives

Hello family!!!

This week was GREAT!  Although we had most of our lessons fall through, we still saw so many miracles!  And the people that we are teaching are really starting to open up to us and trust us! Sister Phelps is such an amazing example of being compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others! I am so grateful to be learning from her and to be serving beside her! 

I am just so so grateful for all that has happened this week!!! I feel like I always share with you how the Lord is in the details of our lives...but it's the truth, so i will say it again and again!

So here is just one example...
On Friday before the Nationals  game that we went to, we received a phone call from a sister who has not come to church for about 9 months.  We have talked to her a couple times on the phone, but never visited her or anything.

Here is some background info that will add to the story:  The week that Sister Phelps got here, Bishop asked us to check on her. He suggested we just give her a call and then see if we could come on by.  We have called her a couple times and talked.  She has been really sick and has wanted to come back to church.  She would tell us that she was coming on Sunday, but Sunday would come and go and she wouldn't come. 

But back to the story.  On Friday, we got a call and she asked us if we could come over that afternoon.  We had a window of an hour or so before the game with no set plans, so we said yes!  When we got to her home, she was so loving and welcoming!  Come to find out, Sister Phelps was the exact person that she needed to talk to!  She basically committed herself to come to church, and she said that nothing would stop her!!  She told us over and over that she was so grateful she had followed the prompting to call us. And Sister Phelps was so grateful that she shared what she did with her!  On Saturda, her and her husband came to our ward activity and then they came to church on Sunday!!!   About 9 months ago, she was set on not ever coming back to church.  It is truly amazing how the Lord softens hearts and prepares us (the missionaries) and them!  I can't even explain all the little miracles that happened prior to us visiting her, but every little prompting that we had (like me looking at the phone at the exact moment she was calling--the phone was accidentally left on silent), the sister had, and the bishop had, made it possible for her and her husband to come back to church!!!  It is all in the little details that the success of bring others back to the enjoy all the blessings of the gospel happens! 

That was such a lesson to me on how CRUCIAL it is to follow any little prompting I have. We can't disregard what might seem insignificant at the moment, because Heavenly Father's grand plan happens in his time and in the small and simple ways.  I love D&C 123:13-17.  The first verse talks about how we should always be striving to do good.  As we are "wear[ing] out our lives" in the Lord's work we cannot go wrong!  Lives are changed by the things that may seem insignificant to us, but they are never insignificant if they are good and guided from the Spirit!  The little things that we do make all the difference!  I know that I need that reminder constantly, but I am grateful for all the reminders around us! This just came to me, but I am so eternally grateful that Heavenly Father works by small and simple things.  I am so grateful that he is letting me, Sister Udall, take part in helping others (and myself) come closer to him.  I am so grateful that he only requires us to start out small.  I am so grateful that he lets us all take a part in this glorious and joyful work! 

I have also been thinking a lot lately about the missionaries in my life, the people that have helped me come closer to Christ.  Woah, it's too many to even list or name, but I am so grateful for every single one of them!!  Every single little thing they did for me has helped me.  And I am just so grateful right now...I can't even handle it!!!! :) 

Oh, and the Nationals game was crazy on friday night! I couldn't even believe I was there! It was a totally different experience than any other baseball game that I have been to.  It was amazing to see all the missionaries at the stadium! It was also amazing to see all the missionaries on the metro as we traveled there and back.  We actually met a man last night who asked us, "Is there some kind of convention going on around here? You were all on the metro Friday night." That made us smile, and we had a good talk with him.  People recognize us :) Pictures are way better than explaining it all to you.  The Nationals won 6 to 1 I'm pretty sure.  It was a really late night.  We didn't get home until 12:09! We had permission, but it was a miracle that we woke up on time the next morning! 

I am so grateful for Heavenly Father, his love for each and every one of us, and this restored gospel. I am so grateful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father has a plan for us all, and he IS in the details of our lives :)

Til next week,
                        Sister Udall

It's all about faith

September 9, 2013

Hello everyone! 

Here's an update from the past two weeks! So much has happened I don't even know where to begin, but I will try to squeeze all the great details in! :)

Probably the biggest miracles this past week was that we got in contact with David again! (He is the man from Burma that we have taught in the past.)  We decided to just drive past his house and he was outside getting his mail! They had just gotten back from their really long vacation the night before.  He wants us to come by sometimes this next week, and we get to meet his wife (who always cooks us really good noodles) as well!  

We also talked to so many people this week who know a lot about the church already.  One man's great great... grandfather was a body guard to Joseph Smith and died for him! Crazy! He's not a member, but his parents are. 

We also taught a little mini restoration lesson on someone's doorstep the other day.  After we had talked about it and asked him to read the pamphlet and pray about it, he asked us, "Can I just say a prayer before you go and pray for you girls?"  We said yes, and he said a really nice prayer asking Heavenly Father to bless us!  We were joking about how he offered to say the closing prayer!!! 

There were a lot of really little but great things that happened this week.  Sister Phelps always keeps me laughing and having a good time.  Heavenly Father knew that I needed that :)  He's teaching me to be less serious all the time.  Like my mission president tells us, "If you aren't having a good time, you're doing something wrong."  That is so true!  Missionary work is the best thing ever!!!! I am just always so happy, even when I am exhausted or when things don't work out the way I think they should.  

We had some really funny things happen this past week.  
First thing--We were going to check on one of our investigators and as we were pulling into the driveway his 4 dogs ran up to our car and wouldn't move!  We were stuck and couldn't move the car because we didn't want to run them over. It was such a bizarre situation at the time!  The dogs would not move until our investigator's wife came over and coaxed them away from the car.
Probably the most bizarre thing that has happened yet happened last night.  We went to go knock on a door and this random sprinkler sprayed us!  It totally caught us off guard and we ran to get away from the sprinkler!  Then an older lady came to the door.  She explained that the sprinkler was there to keep the deer from eating her plants!  It senses movement and then sprays!  We were laughing so hard!!!!  The sprinkler not only scares the deer, but it scares us sister missionaries away as well! :)
Oh, and here's another good one. We accidentally knocked on someone's door the other day that we had already knocked on. Whoops! (I had forgotten to check and see if that was the right apartment building number.) I realized it and then panicked! So we ran down the stairs and just prayed that they hadn't seen us! I don't know why I panicked and ran, but I did. Haha.  Definitely a blonde moment! But I am sure Heavenly Father was just laughing at us!  

And Sunday was GREAT!!  It was all about Faith! And I am so grateful for faith.  When we hang on and keep going, the answers WILL COME! The Spirit will manifest to us that what we are doing is right and that it is what Heavenly Father wants us to do!  One of the speakers was talking about all of the different times in his life where he has felt the manifestations of his faith from the Spirit.  And I got to thinking, do I have my experiences recorded anywhere?  And I don't think I do!  I realized how important it is to record those precious promptings from the Spirit because that is what builds our testimony!!  And I want to be better at that!  And I know that the answer to my prayers does not always come in a big and great display, so I need to write it down before I forget forever!!!!   That's one of my goals for the week.  I am so grateful to have a faith in our Savior Jesus Christ!  I know that as we all turn to him and just have the desire to believe and hold on to that desire, we will get an answer! I KNOW IT!!

And I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary!!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I am still alive!

Rachel at the Washington D.C. Temple
with her companion and mystery friend
September 3, 2013

Hello Family!
This is going to be really short, but just wanted to let you know that I am still alive!!!  I am just printing off your letters and won't have a chance to read them until tonight, but I can't wait!! You can put this picture up on the blog.  We went to the temple!!! Highlight of my week!
Love you all :) Sorry it's so short!
Sister Udall

Please note: Her email came a day late due to Labor Day and the libraries being closed. I am grateful she is alive, happy and filling her time with amazing experiences. The smile on her face tells it all; I assume with as little information as I have to go on. I am just grateful I heard from I keep telling myself.