I know that the work is God's

April 26, 2015

Nooosssaa I can’t believe Dad doesn’t have a job now.... imagine all the things he´ll be able to do around the house now! Maybe he´ll even get that model airplane working that he promised me when I was 3 :) haha I’m sure lots of job opportunities will show up. So we will be able to Google Hangout on Mother’s Day in a member’s house... so let me know if 3 o’clock my time works for you guys. And yes Elder Ballard is the secretary... and I actually forgot to call him so that’s my fault, haha, but I won’t forget again. And yes we are from the same group... and I’m pretty sure our release date is October 13th.  O and my camera still works. I don’t know why it wasn’t charging, but all is good now :) 

So I really liked Jackson’s new car. 

However, I think he should sell the car after this summer because I want it :) haha I already told the other missionaries how I might get a mini cooper after the mission! haha I’m glad May is starting to like the idea of having a mini-cooper, but maybe if I can get her on my side, we can get Jackson to sell the car. 

So this week was really good. Elder Vallo and I have been teaching this 21 year old girl "L" for 3 or so weeks, she’s our new ward mission leader´s friend. We taught her the first week and she was really excited to go to church and was sure she was going to receive confirmation from God that it was all true.. but she said she didn’t feel anything and after that day, she stopped reading the Book of Mormon.  On Saturday night some of our appointments started to fall through and Elder Vallo and I were debating if we should go back to teach her because she seemed like she wasn't interested anymore.

So then Sunday morning as we were walking to church we turned into the street of the church and we saw in front of us our ward mission leader.. who was with what looked like "L". She was at church! We didn’t know how that was possible. Of all of the people we were teaching, she was one of the last ones we expected to show up at church. Turns out that she had called our ward mission leader’s sister Saturday night saying that she wanted to go to church! 

So sometimes on the mission we see so many people that act indifferent and we see so many people who say, "if I can, I’ll show up", that our faith begins to falter and we forget that God has all power over all things and it is He that is at the head of His work. After seeing the change that happened in her, I know that the work is God’s and the power is His, and because of what happened with Lara I will never again not pray for an investigator that needs to go to church or read the Book of Mormon, falsely thinking that God won’t help that person because they are not committed enough. Seeing her at church, really was a miracle. 

So this week we baptized a girl that is a recent convert´s sister. She was extremely excited for her baptism. The whole family came to watch but only 3 of them are members.  We are working a little with her Mom as well. 

Cole is looking pretty tall these days. How tall is he?? We gotta get him in the weight room ;) sounds like you’re treating the missionaries well there. Here, sometimes the members can’t feed us (once a week) so they give us money to buy lunch, and we’ve been buying things that are cheaper to be able to use most of the money for Elder Vallos "Last Supper" here in the mission haha. This is his last week. Missionaries go crazy when they’re so close to returning home haha. But anyways, that’s about all I got. I hope Dad manages to get a job, and that Jackson comes to his senses and decides to sell me the mini cooper. Have a good week! Love you guys. Let me know if 3:00 works for Mothers Day, and send me my Google Hangout password and user name. Tenha uma ótima semana!!

-Élder Udy

An apostle is coming next week

April 20, 2015

Sounds like all is good in good ol Slippery Rock. I kind a figured that the e-mail wouldn’t get to you guys.. the mission secretary is new, and I think he’s still learning lots of things. But I’ll talk to him today. Fred must be pretty fast because I remember the kid that broke the hurdles record was an animal, haha. So that’s pretty exciting. Today I went to see if I had any pictures on my camera to send you guys... but when I went to turn on my camera.. it didn’t turn on. So I thought maybe the battery was dead... so I tried to charge the battery, but it wouldn’t charge... and then we left to send e-mails. So I don’t really know what happened with it, but hopefully I can get it working. So this week “F” didn’t end up being baptized. 2 weeks ago he was all excited for his baptism, and we were planning it. However, when we went to talk to his mom, she said she would be out of town and she really wanted to be able to see the baptism. So we re-scheduled 2 weeks ahead for this past weekend. However, when you delay baptism, the adversary starts to go to work. Felipe and his family are now having some doubts. But we´ll see what happens this week. 

This week our ward mission leader asked to be released, so now we don’t have one. However, I’m sure we´ll get a new ward mission leader soon. I can’t remember if I told you guys or not about how an apostle is coming here again. Everyone says its going to be Elder D Todd Christofferson, but no one really knows because they never said. So it’s going to be next Tuesday with the 2 missions (Fortaleza and Fortaleza East) in the same chapel. This week I can’t really think of much that happened at the moment. Sometimes I write things down in my planner that I want to write about, but this week I forgot. 

This week I learned about the importance of references and the work of members. One of the missionaries that lives with me, Elder Benitez, was telling me about how in the mission.. Salt Lake South, I think.. some of the missionaries baptize around 200 people during their mission.  In Pennsylvania I remember like 3 baptisms in 7 years! How can Utah be so different? One of the missionaries here, Elder Bishop, has a brother that served in Salt Lake.  And he said the difference is that the missionaries always receive references. If a ward trusts its missionaries, and passes references to the missionaries, and teaches with them, the ward will grow. The members can be the difference in their own ward if they want to be. So here we’ve started thinking about how we can use the ward activities and other means to find more people to teach. I think I wrote the word references, but I think the right word in English is referrals, haha. But anyways, I hope all is well and that Bandit’s still able to walk. (just old age) I’ll write down what I want to write about this week, so I remember more next Monday. Have a good week! Love you guys.

-Élder Udy

We have to decide to DO instead of just TRY

April 13, 2015

Hey... sounds like Cole is going to have a busy week with the English project. I remember when I did that project, I wrote lyrics to the song Good Riddance (Time of your life) by Green Day, and I brought my guitar to school and played the song.. over all it took about an hour and a half and the teacher loved it! I think I got 100% or if not, then it was 98%. So Cole could always just write a song and sing in front of everyone haha. Sounds like Slippery Rock is really turning into quite the school. A new football field and now new seats in the auditorium. Now the only thing that’s missing is a fast 4x4 and 4x8 team ;) they’re gonna have to run 32 seconds faster to beat the record on the 4x8! We´ll see what happens. 

This week President Bonini had a meeting with all the District and Zone leaders because the mission goals weren’t being met.  He has a goal to have 98 people baptized per week. That would be 1 person per companionship. Our expectations are really what change our results in the mission... and in life. He talked a lot about how we need to be committed to the Lord and his work.... And we have to decide to DO instead of just TRY.  So the meeting was good.

We’re teaching 3 brothers these days. They’re D (16 years old), J (19), and C (20). 2 of them are more or less atheists. They’ve never believed much in God. It’s not because they are against the idea, but they have never really been taught about God or Jesus so they don’t know. As we have been teaching them we´ve seen a change. They are starting to pray and believe more. They’ve been to church a few times and are progressing. They have a baptismal date on the 26th so we’re hoping to help them feel the Spirit a lot this week with the Book of Mormon so they can continue progressing. Also we are teaching a kid who is 12 years old and some of his best friends are deacons in the ward. He’s been getting to know the church for a while now. He’s been about 5 times, but he always has to visit this other city with his mom because they have family there.  And it’s hard to find a time when the Mom will be able to attend her son’s baptism.  However, this week is the week that we marked with her. So we’re excited this week for his baptism.

This week we had an invasion of wasps.  So we had to kill them.  Here's a couple of pictures.

So I think a lot of things happened this week.... but I can’t seem to remember anything at the moment. Oh ya, we had interviews with President Bonini this week and he said you guys can come out after my mission. So I called the mission secretary and he said he would send you guys an email with some information. So let me know if you get the email. This morning we got up at 6 to be able to play basketball with one of the other areas in the zone. We ran to the church in the rain, because here it’s raining every morning, and then we played basketball with them in the pouring rain haha. Im excited to play basketball when I get back... although on the mission we lose our talent for sports haha. I think its about the 5th time I’ve played basketball on the mission. So when does Dallas leave for his mission to the Chez Republic?? What language will he speak there??? That’s exciting that he got his call. Hope all is well "nos estates" in the states. Have a good week! Love you guys!

-Élder Udy

We have to understand our Duty to God

April 6, 2015

So this week was really good. I liked the talk from General Conference this weekend by Elder Michael T. Ringwood where he talked about Shiblon. I thought it was interesting how he said that his Dad, Alma, dedicated 50-70 verses to his oldest and youngest son individually... but Shiblon, the middle child, received less than 20 verses. Even Alma forgot about his middle child. And thus we see that the middle children have always been forgotten and neglected from the beginning of time until our days, haha.

(To watch any of the talks referred to from the April 2015 General Conference of the church from Salt Lake City follow this link www.lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2015/04?cid=HP_SU_4-5-2015_dPTH_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng

So this week lots of things happened. Well I didn’t end up going on exchanges to the beach area, so I couldn’t take any pictures for you guys there, but I do have some pictures.

This week we had a council with President Bonini and all the Zone Leaders and he taught us about how we have a duty to God to make this work go forward. How we have to understand this Duty. Well actually he used the word "compromisso" with the Lord... however I don’t remember at the moment how to say that in English. I thought a lot about what he said. When we don’t feel obligated to do something... most of the time, or almost all of the time, if that something is difficult, then we won’t end up doing it. However, if we feel a burning necessity, then we will live our lives around that necessity in order for it to happen. If a missionary is good but relaxed about the need to teach others about the gospel of Jesus Christ, then he will only baptize when people fall from the sky to be baptized or when some member gives a reference of someone that is asking to be baptized... which happens sometimes but not all that often.  However, if we realize our duty to God to bring other people to Jesus Christ and His gospel every week, if we really have that mentality, then everything we do in our lives as missionaries will be more effective. Our use of time, our studies, our effectiveness in lessons and our baptismal invitations. 

I also liked the 2 talks from General Conference about the Savior by Elder Holland and President Uchtdorf.  (click here to watch:  https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2015/04?lang=eng&vid=4154894180001&cid=10   and https://www.lds.org/general-conference/watch/2015/04?lang=eng&vid=4154894179001&cid=12 I think those 2 were my favorites. Here they even had the conference in English for the Americans. Usually the Stake President brings peanut butter and jelly for the Americans to watch, but he was sick and watched at home. He’s American too, so I guess he has a stock pile of peanut butter and jelly haha. 

I’m sure Cole will like working on the other side of the road (pro shop and carts) if he gets the job at the golf course. O and I got your letter this week as well. But anyways that’s about all I got. O and yo estoy aprendiendo español tambiem. My companion is teaching me some Spanish when we have time. I can’t remember if I said that last week or not. Elder Vallo is ending his mission this transfer. He has 4 more weeks now until he will be going back to Argentina. He’s a great companion. He’s already gotten his degree in Electrical Engineering! But anyways that’s about all I got. I hope you guys have a good week and enjoy the NCAA championship! Amo vocês!! 

-Élder Udy