Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Oh What a Wonderful Week!!!!

So little time, so much to talk about.  The miracles are just everywhere!!!!!!!!  My "cup runneth over" as Brother Davis would say :) (He is the member that we live with!)

I will just start typing away and hopefully I get everything in this letter...here I go!!

We had a lesson on Tuesday with Jason and his little 4 year old girl Ella Grace.  This time we talked all about Jesus Christ.  We were planning on using lots of pictures to keep her attention.  And we wanted to talk about the Atonement.  So we went in there, and she LOVED the picture of Jesus Christ holding the little lamb. (It's the one we use on the restoration pamphlet..one of my favorites too!)  And when we told her it was Jesus Christ her eyes got really big.  As we showed her all of the pictures she just kept going back to the picture where Christ was holding the Lamb.  I just loved seeing her face fixed on Christ.  The spirit was so strong during that entire lesson! I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ and the sweet spirit of peace and hope that he brings into every single one of our lives.  When we asked the dad if he wanted to get baptized, he said yes, not just a "down the road" sometime! It was such a neat moment!! I love being a missionary! And then on Sunday, we walk into the chapel and I start talking to some lady that I have never seen before.  Then all the sudden (I don't know what got me to turn around) but I see the dad sitting there in his suit and tie all ready for church! We hadn't even planned on him coming! The surprise showed in my face.  He said, don't be that surprised to see me here! Well I was, and I am so grateful that he came! I got all excited and told him that, "You will LOVE today, it's the Primary Program!" Well he looked at me funny and said, what is that supposed to mean. Whoops! Hadn't told him about that...but I briefly explained and he said "OK".  The Primary Program was seriously the most spiritual Sacrament meeting I have been to in a while.  The spirit was SO STRONG and the testimonies were so simple, yet so powerful.  Every time one of those sweet children went up and bore their testimony I knew that what they were saying was true! And I knew that they knew it was true as well! They sounded like angels during all the primary songs, and primary songs are my favorite!! And oh, I just felt so blessed to be sitting there soaking up the Spirit!!!!  Little children are so close to the Spirit!  And after the meeting I turned to our investigator and said, "Did you like it?" He said yes and kind of brushed it off. (He is a pretty reserved guy though.) Then I asked, "What made you come to church today?" He said, well if I am going to get anything out of you coming, I figured I better put in my part."  That pretty much brought me to tears.  He really does want to learn, and he does want to have the blessings of the gospel in his life!!! And I know that Heavenly Father really wanted him here on the Primary Program Sunday, even if the sisters weren't pestering him about it this week. haha  He is so mindful of all of us!!!!!!!!!! :)

Sister Rachel Udall with Angela at Trunk or Treat!
And then we started teaching someone that I taught a lesson to on the first day out here on my mission!  Linda!  She is a mom and has two daughters.  One of them, Angela is 8 years old and super cute!  They came to the trunk-or-treat and loved it!  They were one of the last ones out of the building because the members were all talking to them!  We got to go and trunk-or-treat with the little girl for a little bit because her mom was chatting away with the Primary President :)  It was so wonderful to just see others reach out and make these wonderful people feel loved!!! They were going to come to the Primary Program, but that morning she sprained her ankle and they couldn't come.  Bummer, but we did see her last night.  We knocked on the door just to drop by and see if there was anything we could do, and she let us in.  She said that when she heard the knock she thought, "I hope that is the Mormon girls at the door" :)  She is so sweet! I love her soooo much!!!!
We also had a Halloween themed dinner with some members and JC and Glenn on Thursday.  It was so fun! There was a menu with lots of fun names for the items...we had spaghetti and meatballs (worms and eyeballs), a salad that looked like a clown (something to make you laugh or cry), breadsticks (which they called snakes) and "witches brew" or limeade with dry ice for added effects.  It was so fun to be with everyone and enjoy dinner!!!  I wish I had gotten a picture!!! Sorry!

We also taught a lesson to two guys on Friday night from Egypt.  I am coming to love Egypt and Arabic.  I want to learn it someday.  It is such a pretty language!  But we were planning to teach a lesson to the Egyptian family that we have taught before.  Well, they both weren't home but this other guy was.  It was clear that he didn't speak a lot of English.  We tried to teach him using pictures, but it didn't work out so well.  Then he gets on the phone and calls up his friend so that he can translate what we were saying.  He hands me the phone to talk to this man...long story short.  He came over and we ended up teaching him as well.  His name is Peter and he is so prepared!!!! He had to teach the entire Restoration lesson because he was translating.  Every once and a while his friend would get off topic, and Peter would say, "Let's get back to the lesson." It was so neat to see how he really wanted to listen and learn more!  We got to read from the Bible with them...in Arabic.  It is so cool to use the scriptures.  They are true and such a powerful tool in teaching others...including myself!
Some sad news, we are no longer teaching Degi from Mongolia :( He said that he couldn't believe it.  He wanted to give us all of the pamphlets back, but we made him at least keep the Mongolian Book of Mormon as a gift. We will miss him so much!!!

We had to get an oil change this week...that was an adventure! But it was really cool.  As we were in the waiting room we were trying to study scriptures.  It was rather difficult because the tv was blasting.  One of the employees came over and asked us if we would like it muted.  That was so considerate of him, and we got to share with him about how we don't watch tv, etc.  It was a neat missionary experience.  And then there was another man that was walking by and we smiled and said hello.  He then looked at us and said, "The world would be a better place if everyone was as nice as you two."  That made our day! And then when he came by I jumped on the opportunity and gave him a pass along card and said, "This is why we are so happy! We know that you will feel something as you go on the website!"  I couldn't resist! I hope he does!!!!

So Presdient Riggs shared something with us sisters (at the Sister's Conference this past Friday) that is starting to change my attitude and it makes me feel more hopeful...it should do the same for everyone! In 2 Nephi 25:23 it talks about being saved by grace "after all we can do".  Sounds daunting, right? ALL we can do.  That is a lot, and I feel that I can always do more. Well, Elder Christofferson talked about how the word "after" really means "beyond or above". So when your read it like this, "it is by grace we are saved beyond/above all we can do".  We are never going to put in a certain amount of effort that saves us, but Christ saves us during our difficulties and strengths.  Grace comes in when we are trying our best, but it might not be our "all".  I mean everyday I think I could have done more on this, or that, or this... But after he said that I thought, well maybe at that moment that was all I could give, and during the lesson the Spirit testified to them that it was true even though it wasn't perfect.  I mean, as long as I am keeping the commandments and doing all that I can then it's ok!  Grace is applied along the way during the hard times! Hope that makes sense!! I know that Christ is so anxious to help us and let us use his strength and mercy.  We just need to have faith, humility, and diligence!  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and that he is here for all of us!!!! HE LOVES US ALL!

I think my arms are about to fall off I wrote so fast, but I wanted to get it all in there! This week was wonderful! It was full of lots of ups and downs, but it was wonderful!!! I hope everyone has a great Halloween!! You are all in my prayers!

Love you all!!
Sister Udall
Sister Udall Visiting with friends at a Senior Citizen's home.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Talk to Everyone!!! Share Your Testimony!!!


I hope everyone is having a fantastic day (and had a wonderful week)!!!
This week I had some really neat experiences where I felt that the work I have been doing has been helping people out, even if I don't see the results right away. I am so grateful for the Spirit! It is such a privilege to have it with us and to let it guide our service.  And mine especially!!! I have really seen the difference that it makes when I am constantly striving to seek and follow the spirit. And Sister Phelps has been a wonderful example of always striving to follow the Spirit!! I am so grateful I have the opportunity to serve with her!! There have been so many instances this week where I know that the promptings of the Spirit have led us to stay away from danger, told us where to go, and what to say.  One little story: On Saturday I needed to get some pamphlets out of our trunk.  As I did so, I had this thought to grab the one Spanish pamphlet that we had in our trunk just in case (and we were in a pretty wealthy, affluent neighborhood).  I questioned, and closed the trunk.  As soon as I did I instantly regretted not following the simple thought, so I had Sister Phelps open up the trunk for me again.  Well, we went on with our afternoon. And for the next hour and a half I kept it with me.  We had gone to a different neighborhood really close by to check on a potential and there were a few ladies putting their cleaning supplies into the back of the van. (It looked like they had a cleaning service.)  I went up and started talking to her.  I used the little Spanish I could to talk to her.  We gave her a card and then we were about to walk away...then the Spirit reminded me about the pamphlet that I had been carrying in my hand for the last hour and a half!  So I quickly opened my mouth and asked if she would read the pamphlet.  She smiled and said, "Yes I would love to!"  She was really excited and promised us time and time again that she would read it.  Such simple and small promptings, and nothing "spectacular" as in a lesson came out of it, but I just know that she needed to read that pamphlet!!!  Heavenly Father really does work in small and mysterious ways! 
Another fun, little story.  It was pretty late Saturday night and we were trying to find this one address in an apartment complex.  Well, there was a lady leaning over her little balcony (which was on the first floor). I asked her where this address would be, and then we got started talking.  Her little daughter came outside and was so cute!  We found out that it was her birthday the day before.  I got super excited and then out of my mouth came, "Can we sing happy birthday to you?!"  And then we did!!  It was a fun, spontaneous moment! And the little girl was so happy!  We invited them to church, and the little girl really wanted to go!  She kept calling us her friends.  Oh, it was such a sweet little moment!!
We had so many other little miracles, and now that I think about it, a lot of them happened because I had made up my mind to TALK TO EVERYONE!! 
I am just overcome with so much joy and gratitude for this opportunity that I have to be a missionary right now!!! This transfer I am really coming to LOVE the scriptures!!!!  Every morning during personal study I love reading the scriptures.  I am amazed by what a wonderful and powerful gift they are to us!!!  My testimony has grown from the testimonies of all the wonderful prophets bearing their testimonies!!!
We are teaching a new family!! They are from Egypt, and don't know a lot of English, but the scriptures and pictures are amazing!! Sister Jeppsen and Sister Woodbury found them and passed them to us.  Sister Jeppsen is such a wonderful example of teaching simply and really using the scriptures to help others understand.  I am so grateful for her example.  I have learned so much from her already!!  I know that teaching this family will be a really good opportunity for me to learn how to teach simply.  I really need the help, and I am grateful for this opportunity Heavenly Father has given me to learn and to grow! 

We also got to teach an impromptu Sunday School lesson yesterday!!  We taught about prayer, and oh my, that inspired me to really make my prayers more sincere and meaningful.  I am so grateful that we all have the wonderful gift of talking directly with our Heavenly Father!! We can each access that Heavenly Power!!! I know that Heavenly Father is anxious for us to talk to him, and he is anxious to bless us! I know that he knows what is best for each and every one of us! I know that he loves us all so so much!!! I just pray and hope that I never forget that!!
Sister Udall

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Making People's Eyes Sparkle!!

Hello family!!

I know this is super short, but just wanted to let you know that I am alive and all is well :)  Hope you all had a wonderful Colombus day!! So this week was great!!!!!  One of the highlights was that it rained 6 inches plus a little bit in rain in one day!! And it rained for 3 days.  One night both roads that we usually take were flodded, so we had to take the toll road home. Adventure!  And I am so grateful Brother Davis was able to coach us through how to get home.  It is getting darker earlier, and they don't have lamp posts like they do in the West, so it gets DARK.  And we were blessed to just go from appointment to appointment on the days that it was raining!!! 

This week is literally a blur in my mind right now, so sorry this letter won't have great details...
But something really cool that I learned this week:  As leaders, our goal is to make people's eyes sparkle!!! So my goal from now on is to make everyone's eyes sparkle! To help them really understand the potential that's in them! And I also learned how crucial positive thinking is.  If we have the mindset that everyone WILL love the gospel and that this is the best thing ever, then we will get everyone to believe it.  You just have to have confidence in it and be EXCITED!!!!! 
There is one girl that we met on the street two weeks ago walking her dog. We gave her a card for mormon.org...then she said, "Hope to see you around again sometime"!  Then the next week we saw her.  She said, "You are the really happy and excited girls".  haha Yes we are!!  And then we gave her a Book of Mormon!! Excitement and enthusiasm goes a long way!! :) This is a joyful gospel and a joyful message!!!
I hope all is well for everyone back home!!! I am so grateful for this gospel!! I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church! I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God.  I know that Thomas S Monson is the prophet on the earth today!  I know that through our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ we experience true joy and happiness here in this life!
Sister Udall

This picture is of Brother Sparks, Sister Phelps, and Sister Udall(: