Monday, September 29, 2014

"Yes, I know Heavenly Father Loves Me!"

September 29, 2014

So as I look back on my week, this primary song line keeps coming to my mind. "Yes, I know Heavenly Father loves me!"  That pretty much sums up my week.  I realized this week that the more we come to know this simple, but sweet, truth, the more we are able to withstand the hard things that come our way in life.  As a missionary, I've been learning little by little, day by day, that God is constantly aware of me and the people that I talk to. He is always mindful. He is always there.  It is my choice to remember Him or not.  
And I've also realized that knowing that I am a daughter of God helps me to treat myself like one, instead of thinking less of myself, or not taking care of myself, or not pushing myself to become a better person. And I'm so grateful that I do have that eternal perspective.  
I'm grateful for the Women's Broadcast that happened last Saturday. If you haven't watched it yet, please do! No matter who you are, you will come to know that you are loved by Heavenly Father. That's that! And we have reason to be so happy :)

I was talking to Brian, our investigator that is getting baptized on Saturday, and he was telling me why he finally decided to get baptized. He has wanted to get baptized for a long time, but he didn't feel that he could live up to the standards.  He told me that once he realized who he truly was, a son of God, and that the negative thoughts and worthless thoughts werent' from God but were from Satan, he knew he could change! And he did! He put his mind to it...and he did it!  He was so happy after his baptismal interview. I hope we all know that we can all change, no matter how hard the change might be. Brian has been a great example to me! He quit smoking after YEARS of smoking. He said he has smoked longer than anyone he has ever known.  I'm so grateful that I've had the privledge to get to know him. He has taught me so much!  

And I have a fun accomplishment of my own that I want to share (not to brag or anything like that, but just to show that we can do anything we put our mind to.) I accompanied the ward choir in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday!  She needed a pianist and I was the only one that could play. It was a fairly easy song, and I volunteered and practiced and I did it! God really knows my potential more than I do. So remember to not doubt yourself! You can do anything that you put your mind to! :)

Hopefully my thoughts made sense!! I'm so grateful that we have these simple truths and that we get to listen to a prophet speak next Saturday.  I can't wait! I especially can't wait to feel the love that God has for us through the messages of conference. :) 

Happy Monday!!! Make it a great day! 

Sister Udall

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"You Never Know"

September 22, 2014

So this week was a hard one...but also AMAZING!! We had so much that has happened!!

I know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of me and all of the people we meet. That's the bottom line. And I know that he makes so much more out of what we give to him.  I was a little frustrated this week that what I was giving wasn't enough. I kept thinking, "If only I could do this better..."  Well, that's definitely one kind of attitude that will bring me down faster than anything. No good. And by the end of the week, I found myself listening more to God's opinion of me rather than the negative opinions I could think up.  But the reason why I share all of this is because I hope you know that the gospel helps us to understand that we are loved and that we are infinitely more than our weaknesses and our limitations. As we work with our strengths, The Lord magnifies them.  I realized this more and more as the week went on. In Relief Society on Sunday, they showed us a video called "You Never Know". It was about a mom going through her busy, crazy, hectic day. She felt pretty defeated by the end of the day.  But I love how she realizes that her perspective of the day wasn't the only perspective. Others saw all the good that she HAD done. Anyways, you will have to watch it to really understand what I'm trying to explain. And it's good for anyone, even if you aren't a mom :)

So that is my simple update for the week. I know that God makes so much more out of our efforts as long as we are willing and ready to serve him and give him our heart!  That's what he needs! I've realized as I put my faith and trust in The Lord, there isn't as much need to worry or ever feel down.  He has it all under control, and we will see His hand in our lives as we turn to Him.

I read this verse of scripture today in the Book of Mormon that really puts things into perspective for me..."But The Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen." (1 Nephi 9:6)

Life is so good! Hope it is for you too!
Love you all!!!
Sister Udall

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

An Unforgettable Weekend!

September 15, 2014

Well, this week was great! The highlights of our week were this weekend! It was an eventful one!

On Saturday we got to go to the Temple Visitor's Center with our investigator. He is so excited to be baptized soon! The temple was amazing! We got to watch a video at the temple visitor center about President Monson's life.  What really stood out to me was how he always ministers to the one that is in need, no matter how inconvenient the situation might be. And I love his example of always following promptings.  He is truly an amazing man! If you haven't seen the movie, it is called, "On the Lord's Errand". So good!

Sunday morning was an interesting one...I couldn't sleep all night and then I realized that it was because I was sick! Sister Adair was sick as well! We both had food poisoning! We mustered up the energy to go to our ward correlation meeting. While at our ward mission leader's house, I was so uncomfortable. I needed water so badly! Well, I didn't have the heart to ask my ward mission leader for water, so I just sat there and prayed for strength! Then my prayer was answered! His wife walked in the room and I got up and asked her if I could have some water. She ended up giving us medicine which helped so much! We went back home and slept before church. Then we had a cute new family come to church for the first time!  All the energy was taken out of us by the end of church.  We actually had to leave early and go back and sleep. I haven't slept so well ever! Then we got up and went to the two lessons we had planned. It was truly a miracle that we were able to do all that we did that day!  The Lord truly strengthens us when we are doing his work!!!! This scripture pretty much explains what got us through yesterday! :)
33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me. (Moroni 7:33)

And I know that God answers our prayers and helps us through other people! :)  So grateful we are all here to help one another out in this crazy world!

Remember God loves you!
Sister Udall

Monday, September 8, 2014

Repentance is real and WONDERFUL!

September 8, 2014

So I feel that there is a lot of catching up to do...I have had some really next experiences in the last two weeks. I didn't get to share some of them with you last week and I have a little bit more time this week :) 
So two Sundays ago, Sister Akin and I were out working and it started raining really hard and then all of the sudden there was a thunder and lightning storm.  Sister Akin was really afraid of the lightning. I wasn't too phased, but it was starting to get really bad.  (She has had not so good experiences with lightning before.)  Well, we get in our car and are driving to the next place that we are going to when we hear the thunder and see the lighting at the same time! I also saw sparks from where the lightning had hit! It was a very surreal experience.  I was amazed at that moment with how we were kept safe! The place we were going was in the same neighborhood as where the lightning had struck.  So for a few minutes, we sat in the car and sang hymns. It was so peaceful to sing hymns amidst the crazy crazy lightning storm going on.  The Spirit truly calms our heart.
Then on Monday we got to go to the Temple!! I don't think I had sent a picture last week, so here it is! :)  It was a lot of fun to be with Sister Taylor. 
Tuesday was our last District Meeting with our Fort Belvoir District.  There were a lot of missionaries being transferred.  We had all stayed together for two transfers...quite a long time!   Tuesday we also took naps! We hadn't done that in a while.  I realized how needed rest and relaxation is for out own bodies. We can't give of ourselves if we are worn down and not feeling well. So grateful that we chose to take the time to nap during lunch :) Here is one of my favorite quotes from a talk that I read this week from President Holland:
"Fatigue is the common enemy of us all—so slow down, rest up, replenish, and refill. Physicianspromise us that if we do not take time to be well, we most assuredly will take time later on to be ill."
Wednesday was a great day...........our investigator Brian quit smoking! :) 
He is so excited to stop! Repenting and living the gospel is truly joyous! He is a great example of that. He truly has a willing heart to become the best person he can. And he has recognized that it comes through living the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was so proud of him!!!   We took a picture with the envelope that we decorated for the "no smoking program" and the bag with his cigarettes and lighter in it! Such a happy day ...especially because he was so happy :)
Thursday was TRANSFERS!!! Sadly, Sister Akin left. I will really miss my running buddy! We had a good time! Now my companion is Sister Adair! She is fantastic! We have already had so much fun together.  I know I will learn a lot from her. We are both similar in a lot of fact, she only has sisters (just like me!). And we love talking to Hispanics and practicing our Spanish! She makes me laugh a lot! And it was funny because Sister Akin ended up going to Sister Adair's last area. They switched!

Sister Udall and Sister Adair
I've learned a lot this week. Like I talked about last week, I'm learning to really follow the Spirit. Thursday night we were driving to our next place when I felt like we should go to Rita's house and Joselin's house. Well, I knew that I would definitely regret it if I didn't go, so I started driving that way. It was crazy because it didn't make logical sense at all. But I'm so glad I followed that prompting. Joselin's husband was outside when we got there and Rita came outside and started walking her dogs. The Lord truly leads us to the places we need to be and to the people we need to see.
Saturday I leaned another lesson about following the Spirit! We got a call from a member who had lunch for us. All we needed to do was to go and pick it up! So we drove all the way up to Alexandria and got it. On our way home, I had a prompting to turn around and go see this lady named Agartha.  Well, I justified it and said that we needed to go home and do the rest of our weekly planning.....  Not good excuses. Well, we got all the way home and I said a prayer and basically repented for not following the prompting. We got back in the car and drove all the way back up there! Repentance is real!! When we got there she wasn't home, but we called her and she said she would be there in about 30 minutes! I remembered another person that we could go visit. She was home and we had a neat visit about learning how to recognize the Spirit.  Definitely not a coincidence! Then we got to go back and visit with that sister.  I felt so much better after turning around and going back to see them. It just felt right. It was hard and a little humiliating to tell my companion that we needed to turn all the way back around, but it was worth it! I know that God wants us to repent so that we can receive all that he has waiting for us! I know that repentance is possible because of Christ!
Saturday night we had this wonderful experience. It was 8:45 or so and we went to go check on a less active. On the way there, we said hi to a man on his porch.  His name is Kim. He told us that he was a member, but he hadn't gone to church since he lived in another city nearby.  Well, he told us that he wanted to come to church! We got his number and we gave him ours. We were pretty amazed that he was there when we were!! (We had tried knocking on his door a couple of days earlier, but no response.)
Then Sunday morning we got a call at 7am. It was from Kim!
 He said that the plans he thought he had had fallen through, so he wanted to come to church! We called a member and they gave him a ride to church! It was a miracle! He bore his testimony. It was really sweet. He also said that he felt really good coming back. He hadn't felt the Spirit this strongly in a while. It feels good to be a small helper in God's enormous work for all of his children!!
Well, that was that for this week! I hope you all have a great week and remember that God is there and loves us!
Sister Udall

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Small and Simple Things...Following the Spirit

September 1, 2014

Hello dearest family and friends!!

Can you believe it is September?! I surely can't. Time flies by!     And this week flew by. I'm not exactly sure what all happened this week. There were so many great things that happened, but I'm not sure what to write as of now. But here I go! I'll start with a brief summary of some of the things we did/things that I learned...

Monday after I emailed we did a sisters sports day where we met up at the stake center and played basketball and volleyball. It was a fun time! I haven't played sports in a while. Sister Akin and I like to run outside, but that's the extent of our sports, etc.  I love all of these sisters so much!!

Tuesday we had a wonderful District meeting about focusing on the most important things.  That seemed to be the theme of the week for me...Where are your priorities? What are you putting first?  We talked a lot about making sure that we aren't being distracted from this great and wonderful work!  Satan tries to distract us in any way possible. Even if we aren't focused on home or the obvious distractions, he can find a way to try and distract us. It was a testimony builder to me that we always need to be aware of what we are doing and continually choose to do the right thing.

Wednesday I learned another good lesson about putting the promptings of the Spirit first!! ALWAYS!! Sister Akin and I had made a plan to do something. It wasn't anything that was bad or against the rules. But we both had the feeling that we shouldn't do it. Well, after the fact we both realized that we had both had the feeling to not do it, but we assumed the other person wanted to. NO GOOD!! I learned that no matter what we think the other person's reaction will be, we just need to speak up and say, "this is what I'm feeling". Let's think about what God wants us to do. Let's follow the Spirit! So I'm grateful for that lesson I learned. :)

I also learned this week that as we do the small and simple things, everything else falls into place! That is just how God works! He works by the small and simple things.
These scriptures say it all...

6 Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.
7 And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.
(Alma 37:6-7)

Oh, and we also got a phone call on Wednesday from another set of missionaries with an opportunity to start teaching someone. We were really excited! As we were driving home, I had this feeling that we needed to let the Elders teach this man. Well, since I had learned my lesson earlier that day I quickly told my companion and we talked about it. We both felt good about letting the Elders teach him. I felt so much better about following the Spirit :) And the Elders had a fantastic time with this man! God really knows what he is doing!

Friday and Saturday we did a lot of service. I love serving!!! That is that. It brings so much joy to my heart.  There are so many people that are in so much need of help and of someone to show them love and compassion. How blessed we are to have so much! We can share that with others :)

Today I got to go to the temple with one of my past companions Sister Taylor! :) We went to the temple together last time. It was a really good time, and I loved being inside the temple. It is truly a place of peace. I gained a greater testimony that God loves us! He loves us because we are his children....and he wants to do everything that he can to bless us!

Well, those are my thoughts from the week. I know it was very sporadic, but it was a great week!
Sister Udall