Monday, July 28, 2014

What a week!! What a week!!

July 28, 2014

Well, this week was definitely a roller coaster. There were a lot of ups and downs.  It is amazing how God gives us the really good times right along with the bad times so that we can get through it all. Sister Akin and I were talking about how even on our really bad days, we still feel this underlying happiness inside.  And I know why!! I'm sharing the best and happiest and most important things with everyone!! Even when they all say no, or people don't like me (or what I say), or when we forget to do something, I know that my heart is in the right place. I am doing my best to share all about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with others. And that's why I'm happy! I also realized another reason why I am happy...Jesus Christ is MY Savior and Redeemer!! I know that He loves me. I know it! I know that Christ loves each and every one of us and suffered for all of us. I know He will never leave us comfortless (John 14:18).  I know that He will be there for us in ALL things, because He has felt ALL things
(Alma 7:11-13).  I know that because I feel the Holy Spirit touch my heart and tell me it is true. Oh, it's a wonderful feeling!! And not even others being grumpy, or me being grumpy, can make that change. In District Meetings (on Tuesday) this week we talked a lot about
happiness. We talked about how God's entire purpose for us is to be happy! His whole purpose for us is to have JOY!! I've been really pondering about that and God really does love us! Everything that he asks us to do is just so that we can be the happiest we can be.  And
we can be happy NOW!

Here are some of the happy highlights of the week:

Monday we did a random, unplanned act of service and got to meet two wonderful and sweet ladies from Sierra Leon!  I was brave enough to just get in there and start helping her put branches in the bag even though she had said no the first time.  Once I started, you could tell she really appreciated that. Serving and sharing the gospel made me feel so happy inside! I know that is where God wanted us to be Monday night!

Then on Tuesday we had a great district meeting! We also talked a lot about repentance with a member of our ward. And I LOVE REPENTANCE. That is something else in the gospel that screams happiness. It's so happy and merciful that Heavenly Father allows us to repent and use Christ's grace so that we can return to live with Him again.  It was also a happy moment because I felt prompted to share certain scriptures and sentences from certain talks. It is always a good feeling when you know that hard work and preparation has paid off to
help someone else.

Wednesday we had a very interesting day. We knocked on a door that looked like any other American home.  A Bhuddist monk opened the door. We were both really shocked! He invited us in to the temple. As we sat
there and talked to him it was interesting to feel the stillness that was in the temple, but there seemed to be an absence of happiness and fulfillment there. The monk was so nice, and he took a Book of Mormon to read.  We also ate lunch there with all of the people  that were there for the day. Everyone was so friendly and nice! It was a great and spontaneous experience!

Thursday morning we went and cleaned a home of a family in our ward that needed some help.  The mom had just passed away, and so we helped clean and clean and clean! It felt so good to clean! I was in charge of cleaning the fridge. We had lots of people there to help, and it is always so happy to see so many friends and family helping out!! Then we rushed over to transfer meeting! was transfers, but neither one of us was getting transferred!! That is something that we have to do now as Sister Training Leaders. I'm grateful I got to go to the meeting because there were a lot of missionaries leaving and their departing testimonies were wonderful! I realized how little time we have to serve a missionaries now, but that the Lord's work goes on and as long as we are doing His will, all is well!! Friday I had a really neat experience with someone on the street. He was weeding his garden and he started to tell me how him and his
fiancĂ© and looking for a church to get married in, but he feels that church is just one big business now.  I felt prompted to show him a picture of the temple and told him that he should consider getting married in the temple!! I was so excited and happy to tell him about
it! Then we got to share about Joseph Smith and the Restoration.  As we talked about the First Vision, I WAS SO HAPPY!!! I knew that it was all true! I knew that because the priesthood power was restored, we could have eternal families!! We have a temple, a place where we go to feel peace, happiness, joy, and where we fell the Spirit of The Lord. Oh, we are so blessed!! I've never outright told anyone on my mission that they needed to get married in the temple...but it felt so right to tell them all about how wonderful it is!!

And Saturday was happy because one of our investigators prayed for the first time and really felt God's love for her! It was an amazing experience to be there!

Sunday was one of the worst days ever, everything seemed to go wrong, but I was still happy! I was happy because God hears my prayers and answers them! He comforted me when I needed it the most! There is so much more I want to say, but I've run out of time! Look for the happy moments this week! God wants to bless us with happiness, we just need to seek it out and keep his commandments!!

Love you all!
Sister Udall

Sunday, July 27, 2014


July 21, 2014

So this week was an interesting one! :) 
Interesting becasue we did a lot of fun activites this week that broke up the usual to do of missionary work.  

We did a lemondae stand of Friday that was a HIT!! The Elders in our zone played in a community basketball tournament.  It was 3 on 3 basketball.  They were all dressed up in their proselyting clothes (white shirts, ties, and slacks). The sisters set up a free lemonade stand and talked to all of the people there. At first, Sister Akin and I felt very stiff. We didn't know what to do (this wasn't the "normal" missionary work we were used to....we had never done a lemonade stand before.)  We both realized that these people just wanted us to be thier friends and be "real" with them (as they would say). I'm pretty sure the missionaries were some of the only white people there. I love how friendly and open everyone else was. They let us come in and give them lemonade and let the Elders play basketball with them. It was a really neat experience. Once we both relaxed, we had a really good time!! :) Sister Akin and I ended up talking to one of the referrees (who happened to be the most respeced man there). He was really interested in what we were doing and we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and sharing the Restoration with him.  Another cute little story: we had this little boy that came up to us and asked us how he could be like them when he grows up!! 

The other fun thing that we did was an open house on Sunday. Our stake opened up the church for tours and members brought their friends and people came to see what the church was like. We also had the mission's New and Returning Member Fireside there at the Mt Vernon building. It was really fun to see people come in and see the church. I remember being in the chapel before there were a lot of people in there and felt so much peace!! I love the Spirit that is in the chapel!! 

I also learned a great lesson in planning inspired goals that will help us to reach the potential that God has for us! 

On Monday we didn't do our usual preparation day activities. (So if I repeat a little bit of what we did on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, bear with me!)  We did our weekly planning. We hadn't done a good weekly planning session the entire time I was here. So we buckled down and did it! I felt that we were setting goals that God wanted us to. Sister Akin and I both felt inspired to do certain things that week and to focus on certain areas of the work. One of them was geting to know and visiting the members. ( I will talk a little more about this later.)  

Tuesday we went to District meetings as usual. We had a really great District meeting. We set goals as a district of things that we wanted to work on.  I was so excited about going out and working after that! It was a big pick me up! I felt that the Lord was really on our side and that he wanted us to accomplish these goals!! One of the goals we wanted to work on was getting 7 member visits this week.  We only had one or two set up, so on the way home from District Meeting we were calling members. We got two appointments set up for that night!! The Lord truly blessed us becasue of our willingness to set a high goal and ask members if we could come over and meet with them! And we hit our goal this week for meeting with the members! 

Here is another quick story that I remembered on Tuesday that helped me to be so excited about going out to acheive the goals we had set: 
I had a really neat experience with Sister Donato two Saturdays ago. We did a little biltz in their area and we prayed together that we would find three new investigators. I was the voice of the prayer and I remember the Spirit specifically directing me to pray for patience in our work today. And I asked that as we exercised patience that we would see miracles!! Well, we did! The last person that we talked to became a new investigator and said that she would be baptized on August 30th! It was a testimony builder to me of the power of prayer. 

Sister Udall with Sister Donato.
So God does hear and answer our prayes. He will help us to acheive the goals that we have set with his guidance. So don't be discouraged when the results don't come right away. It will take time and patience. (Whether it's patience for 1 1/2 hours or for days or months, the blessings will come!) God has promised us blessings when we do his will. 

It was a really great week!! God is so good to each and every one of us!!
I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Udall

Friday, July 18, 2014

"In the Strength of the Lord..."

July 16, 2014


Oh, I have so many thoughts and things that I could say! Where to begin!? This week was a really amazing week! We have seen so many miracles (as always, because this is God's work!)!!

Well, one thing that I do want to say is that I have learned a lot about humility lately.  I have studied about it for the past two days, and it is amazing!! I'm realizing that God's way is ALWAYS better than mine, and when I trust in his way and do my best to follow it, he blesses me a billion more times than I could have ever done for myself. He is too good to us!! I've learned that humility literally strengthens us.  We are strengthened because we now have God's power, and not jus our own. I have also been working on noticing God's power and hand in my life, and there is so much of it, I couldn't even begin to write it all down now. I am so blessed!!

So these are some of the things we have done this week "in the strength of The Lord":

We had an investigator come to church. She always has a million questions for us, and she was able to have most of her questions answered. She was apprehensive about coming to church. She said that she didn't need church because church was in her heart.  Well, I promised her that if she came to church she would see why it is so
great and she would want to come more. She saw that everyone's testimonies are powerful. Her questions were answered by other members who said the right things at the right time. We could not have answered her questions on her own!!

I played the piano at two baptisms!! And I didn't have much time to practice either. It's a miracle that I made it through!!

We have had a rental car for a really long time...and it was time to get our car back!! Well, when we went to return the rental car there was a lot of complications, but we got through all of it and we now
have our car back!!!

We went on a blitz with the sisters in Crystal City. I was really scared because the busy city intimidated me. We said a prayer before we went out, and by the end of our hour and a half, we had met and taught this really sweet girl!! She loved the restoration and wants to get baptized!! It was an amazing experience and a testimony to me that when we are patient, God will work miracles!!!

Oh, there are so many, many more!!
I don't think I've ever been this busy and happy before on my mission. It truly is a testament to me that we find ourselves the happiest when we lose ourselves in the work of God!!

I love you all!!
Sister Udall

Happy Independence Day!

July 7, 2014 
Hello all!

Well, this week was a hard, but really good week.  The week started off with a lot of miracles! We had two lessons all within one night and talked to so many people! All I can say is that when we are willing to work and do the Lord's will, he blessed us!  Here is a quote from President Eyring that I love! "God will put prepared people in the way of His prepared servants who want to share the gospel."(Sharing the Gospel Heart to Heart). I know he will bless us with these opportunities when we ask for them!

I lead the area by myself for the first time!  It was great! The sweet sister that was with me kept saying, "Enjoy being new!" I loved that! That was a good reminder for me. I haven't even been here a week, so don't stress. Let The Lord guide!

I had a fabulous Independence Day!  We went to a little parade, that lasted about 10 minutes, with one of our investigators and her children.  We had dinner with one of our investigators, and then they took us to see the fireworks! Then we watched the National fireworks at the Target parking lot. They were really far away, but you could see the National Monument still.  That parking lot is on a hill, so we had a great view!  And there was hardly any traffic! It was a great day!
Their view for the fireworks.
I don't know how to describe my entire week in the few minutes I have left. But I learned a great lesson...the sacrifices that we make to keep our covenants help us to receive more of God's power and strength.  We have been striving to be exactly obedient this week, and we have definitely seen the power that God has given us because of that!

I'm grateful for the freedom that we have because of Christ and because of all
those who have sacrificed so much for us to have a free country!

I love you all!!
Sister Udall
Sister Udall and her companion showing their National spirit!

I am brave when I am myself and let God take over!!

June 30, 2014
Well, this week was an unexpected one! But I'm glad that I had this opportunity to learn all about how much Heavenly Father is willing to help me!!

On Tuesday, my birthday, I got a call and was informed that I was being transferred the next day. I didn't know where I was going, who my companion was going to be. All that I knew was that I was called to be a Sister Trainer Leader. What is a Sister Trainer Leader? Basically my companion and I go on exchanges, and spend the day with another sister from another companionship. One of us will go and work in thier area. The other one will stay in our area and another sister will come with us.  We have the opportunity to learn from all of these wonderful sisters that we serve. We have six companionships that we serve.  Right when I got into the area, we had two exchanges that we went on. Since I didn't know my new area at all, I went to the sisters' areas. That means the first full two days in my area were really not in my area...they were in other areas. But I LOVE getting to know all of the sisters better and work with them!! God has truly called so many amazing missionaries to come out and preach the gospel!! 

Oh yeah, and my new area is Fort Belvoir!! Right next to one of my old areas :) 

One thing that I feel that I should share is that my goal is to just be myself during this time of craziness and change. Both Sister Osmond, my old companion, and Sister Akin, my new companion, and I have talked about how when change happens, we tend to revert back into ourselves and stop being our true self. Well, the best way to get over all the scariness of change is to just open up to others and BE MYSELF. So my mantra for the rest of the transfer is.."I am brave when I am myself!"  It has been amazing to see how much it has helped so far!! 

I know Heavenly Father is aware of all of us! I know that he has paid so much attention to me in the past week and has literally carried me through all of the craziness this week! I know that he will continue to do so!!

I love you all!!
Sister Udall