Saturday, 27 January 2018

Back at SVU!

So I originally wrote this a couple weeks ago (January 13, I believe), but didn’t post it because I was trying to figure out how to get blogger to recognize the pictures that are on my iPad. I never could figure it out, so I have no pictures for you, but Lizzie was asking for a blog post so I’m posting it anyway. 

I’m back in Virginia, and I love it. So much. Every morning I wake up and just thank God for how perfect life feels right now.

The travel here was a little chaotic. I accidentally put my forms for entering the US in my checked luggage, and realized it at about 12:15am as I was on the plane to Toronto. I scrambled to get the situation sorted out in the 45 minutes between when I landed in Toronto and had to be on the plane to New York City. I arrived at the gate just after the plane took off and was put on the next flight to NYC, leaving two hours later. That meant I missed my bus from NYC to Washington DC and Cass had to wait around an extra two hours for me, but I made it here!

I think my favorite part of the trip was all the blessings I saw along the way. There were so many things that went wrong, so many times I just stood their in line praying that the Lord would soften the heart of the man at customs so I could get through in time, or that He would delay the plane or open up a break in traffic. I didn’t get everything I asked for, but I had so many tender mercies. Like the delicious breakfast I was able to get in the airport when I missed my flight, how the people with the UGO shuttle I took to the bus depot were determined to get me there as fast as humanly possible, how I had rows and rows of plane all to myself on my last flight, and then the woman who let me text Cass when my phone died just as we arrived in DC. It was the trip I’ve been on where the most things went wrong, but it was also the most enjoyable.

Something amazing happened in my soul as we drove to Buena Vista and all of a sudden the air changed. It was a smell from the past, a smell of life, and it made my heart soar. The same thing happened when I walked into Main Hall. And any number of the buildings on campus.

AND MY HOUSE! I love it, love it, love it. It’s right at the base of the hill, as I sit on the couch typing this I look out the window and see Main Hall just above me. It is so lovely and vintage, and I wish I could post pictures but my iPad isn’t letting me. I’ll have to figure that out eventually. For now, however, you can know that I am alive and that I love it here. 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Happy Week

Goodness. There is just so much to say.

I am so impressed with Erik for going to provincials, and for letting himself lag instead of dying, and then being content with beating his personal best. I want to be better at focusing on improving instead of getting better in relation to other people. It would be so wonderful for him to run on the BYU track team!

For news here, we waited and waited outside the chapel for "Rachel and Charles" to come. Eventually the meeting started and we went in. I was still holding out hope that they would turn up, but then the sacrament started and I was really disappointed because we had talked about the sacrament with them and I knew that it would the highlight of the meeting for them since they don't speak English very well.
But they did come in after sacrament! And apparently they got it out in the foyer. We had set up translation devices for them, but we couldn't get it to them the meeting had already started. So Sister Mohsen just whisper-translated the meeting to them. After sacrament meeting, we went over to greet them and their 4-year-old daughter ran to me and threw her arms around my legs exclaiming, "My sister, my sister!" Which was pretty heartwarming since she had played shy around us before, but I guess she warmed up pretty fast when we were the only people she knew in the room.

They stayed for the rest of the meetings, but told us after that they should learn English better before doing that again. (Specifically pointed out that Elder Owens, who taught Gospel Principles, had VERY HARD English. I found that highly amusing.) We are seeing them again today, and planning to get a solid commitment on a baptismal date.

Fun story: We were doing service at a member's house on Saturday and they gave us pizza afterward since we finished right before dinner. Then we headed back to our apartment for training (greenie training) and I had a smoothie because I wanted to eat something with a little more vitamin C before fasting. So I was very full. Then we had a member lesson with a family from Ethiopia at 7. We came in and the adult daughter was talking to us, and we were waiting for the mother to come in from the kitchen. And waiting. Finally I actually looked at the kitchen, saw her setting the table, and the awful reality set in. We thought we had set up a lesson appointment, but they thought they were having us for dinner. Thus ensued dinner round 3. And it was a huge affair. We asked the mom what she had been doing all day and she replied, "Cooking." We went home that night and almost had to crawl up the stairs.

"Cindy" is still doing well. We watched "Lord, I Believe" with her and it was really helpful because she saw how she can be true to what she knows despite her doubts and concerns. Physically, though, she's going through a hard time. So I think she's pretty much living on prayer. Thank you for your prayers.

Love you!

Monday, 30 May 2016


This last week has been fantastic! A little backstory...
We went to visit a former investigator week before last and she wasn't home, so we decided to tract down the street until she arrived. It was a little awkward because we had seen what looked like missionaries from TWO other faiths on the same street earlier on in the day, and we didn't want to be the third set of missionaries of the day.
But we did it anyway. Because sometimes you have to dare yourself to do really embarrassing things. (After emailing, we are going to Chapters to get a notebook I saw last week that says GO AND DO on the cover. I will use it to write down supremely awkward moments. It will make them more fun.) One woman, "Rachel," opened the door and told us she was busy, but we should come back next week because she just 'loves Jesus'.
So we came back the house on Wednesday and she let us in. Again, it was a little awkward because she doesn't natively speak English and only moved to Winnipeg a month ago so hasn't had a lot of time to practice. We didn't realize the language barrier when we first met her. 
But, in a way, that was a blessing because it made us teach more simply. She told us she was fasting (blew my mind) and shared with us Psalms 91, which is her favourite passage of the Bible. I suggested that she read Isaiah 58, since it is about fasting. We talked with her about how the Lord has sent us a prophet, and He leads our church through this prophet. Her question was simply that so many people say they are prophets, but how can she tell who is real? Introducing the Book of Mormon! We told her we would bring her a book from the prophet in French and set an appointment for the next day. I skipped down the street to the car and squealed a lot.
When we came back, her husband, "Charles" joined us. She had told him about what we taught before, so that was a good sign. We quickly reviewed the first section of the Restoration and then taught the rest, introducing the Book of Mormon. I don't even know how to describe the lesson. It was just powerful. They said they would read and pray, and we knew they meant it.
We came back on Sunday with Sister Mohsen, who speaks French. It made the lesson last a whole lot longer to translate everything, but it was wonderful because they could express themselves, and we could as well. They had read the introduction, and read random passages throughout the Book of Mormon. They told us that they would read the whole thing, but first they wanted to know what it all contained. If joy could kill... I would be dead. Poster children of real intent here.
They had a few questions. The Book of Mormon talks a lot about baptism, and they were concerned about whether they would need to be baptized again. (Apparently "Rachel" hadn't quite comprehended the baptismal invitation the first time. Hence the translator.) 
Anyway, we taught the plan of salvation and it was incredible. He would ask questions--really deep life questions (he's a lawyer, so he has the best questions)--and the answer would lead directly to the next point.
This email is stretching out to be way too long, and I'm sorry. But it was the most incredible thing. Doctrine and Covenants 50:22 says, "Wherefore, he that preached and he that receiveth, understand one another, and both are edified and rejoice together." That was what was happening. They testified of how they knew that the Lord had sent us there in answer to their prayers and we testified of... everything. It was beautiful.
They are coming to church on Sunday. They will be baptized this transfer. I just know it must happen.
So that is the miracle of the week. There were others as well. Like yesterday when I was having a tough day and people were quoting 2 Nephi 4 (my favourite scripture) left, right and center. And then I opened up the scriptures this morning to the same spot. But, yes, that is all I have to say.
Love you dearly,
Sister Hudson
P.S. Thank you for your prayers for "Cindy." It would be lovely if you could keep them coming, but she is receiving answers to her prayers. She found a way to break with her previous religion that she feels secure with. And she is already in Helaman. (She was concerned about being able to finish the Book of Mormon before her baptism. I'm pretty sure she has nothing to be worried about.)

Monday, 23 May 2016

Little Tender Mercies

This week saw a lot of miracles. First, Sister Bodily and I were looking through records of former investigators and all the ones we THOUGHT were in our neighborhood ended up being in another one, so we went over there and ended up meeting this wonderful mother of an 11 day old baby who was just so in love with her little boy and so close to heaven that she was ready to willing to meet with us.
The next day, while going through the records again, we called a woman who started crying over the phone because everything in her life was falling apart. We ended up having a lesson about how much Heavenly Father loves her over the phone and setting an appointment for the next day. She texted us later that night to thank us for bringing light into her life when she was in a really dark place.
We met with "Cindy", the less active sister from last week a few more times. She has had a lot of trouble recognizing the Spirit. She will say that she feels good when we talk with her, but doesn't recognize it as an answer to her prayer to know if what we are saying is true. So when we met with her the other day we prayed really hard beforehand that she would recognize the Spirit, and then we went in to talk to her and she started off by telling us about she went to stake conference and felt like she had come home. She said she had never felt that way with the religion she had been meeting with for the past few years and when we pointed out that it was the Holy Ghost witnessing of truth, she agreed. We were overjoyed.
And then there was the wonderful miracle on Thursday night. I have a favourite pair of earrings from Dad that I always wear, and as I was taking them out on Thursday night, one of them went flying. I heard it clatter. Then I heard it suddenly stop clattering. Mortified, I looked at gaping drain, gave the rest of the room a cursory look and then got down and prayed. Hard.
I must have hunted for ten minutes... to no avail. I even started sticking kitchen utensils down the sink to see if I could try to get it out of the drain. I was sure it had fallen in since I couldn't find it anywhere else.
Eventually, I gave up and went to bed thinking about how I would just keep the other earring as a nice little momento. Maybe it could be a pushpin? :)
Imagine my surprise when I woke up the next morning, went to the bathroom and saw this: 

To me, it was just a sign that the Lord was looking out for me. I scoured the bathroom the night before and couldn't find it anywhere, but the next morning it was so nicely presented to me. I know that He cared about me getting that earring back, and I just felt so loved.

So, yes. The Lord loves you all. Have a wonderful week!
-Sister Hudson

Monday, 16 May 2016

Not going to take the time to come up with a title :)

We had a WONDERFUL weekend. There was a priesthood leadership training meeting on Saturday of the sort that only happens once every five years. Elder Renlund, Bishop Causse and Elder Spackman were all there. Elder Renlund took off directly after for stake conference in Fort Francis, so I didn't actually see him, but Bishop Causse and Elder Spackman stayed for a special stake conference here in Winnipeg and a tri-zone conference for the missionaries.
It was wonderful. As I was listening, I just thought about how these sorts of experiences are so spiritually powerful... but it isn't really because of who is speaking. General Authorities are wonderful speakers who invite the Spirit while they speak and follow His direction, but I think that the biggest difference between conferences like that and a standard sacrament meeting is our level of preparation. When we go to hear a General Authority, we prepare to hear what the Lord wants us to know. We should be preparing that way every Sunday because--what do you know--the Lord specifically called that long-winded old woman to speak to you in a very similar way to how he called an Apostle. Just a thought.
Besides that... I'm not really sure what has happened this week. Sister Bodily accidentally stole a mini Book of Mormon from a less-active sister who called us in a panic the next day because she couldn't find it. Oops. We finally found some real potential investigators, which was a blessing. We found a less-active sister who is primed to return to activity. She is reading the Book of Mormon, coming to church and loving it. I know that she has been prepared for this time. She said some missionaries called her a few years ago and she said she wasn`t interested, but this time we called and for some reason she said yes. Very exciting. But now I must bid you all farewell. :)
Sister Hudson

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Some Photos at Last

Assinaboine (don't actually know how to spell that) park. Some serious red eye going on here, but the bridge was just too lovely.

We taught YW at church yesterday and made these bookmarks for the girls. They are made with shrink-a-dinks. Which are the best things ever.

I was so excited about Erik's birthday, I talked about it all week.

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

No Time to Title

If I don't respond to anybody this week, I'm sorry. I don't really have any time, but I wanted to write an email that is intended for the general public this week. Because, yeah, the emails Mom has been giving people for the past few weeks were just for her. Don't think she knew that. (I love you, Mom!)

Missionary life is crazy. It's like a constant back and forth between having everything and nothing to do. Today, for example, we have everything to do and people keep calling us to ask us to do more things AND it's p-day. But then on another day everybody will refuse to answer their phones and doors and we don't really get any lessons in. 

What we've really improved on this week is street contacting. It is freaky to go out and talk to random strangers. And there's this myth that it isn't effective, so we didn't do ANY street contacting for the first week, but then we had exchanges and learned more about street contacting from the STLs. It's true that it isn't as effective as referrals from members, but it can still be impressively effective. Since we started street contacting after that, we have had several really powerful experiences with people who aren't all that interested at first, but then we testify and they are interested enough to take a Book of Mormon and promise to read it. (And give us their numbers. Seriously, that takes a definite prompting from the Spirit because I know I wouldn't hand out my number to a stranger unless I was convinced she was a servant of God. Or, you know, a government authority. That would probably be a good idea.)

I know that this gospel is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that this is His church. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, given to us for our benefit and the benefit of those around us. People challenge that conviction all the time, and I am so glad to have the opportunity to have my testimony challenged so that I can look at everything from a new angle and see that, yes, it is still true.

Dunno if any of that made sense. I was going to attach pictures, but I have no time. Love you all!