Monday, December 16, 2013

The Throw Down


It's the most wonderful time of the year to share the Gospel! Especially an old lady in our branch, Sister Speith. She's this way older lady who invited us over to her house for lunch with her and her non-member care-taker. She's a way nice lady! We ate some delicious veggie soup and eased our way into a gospel conversation. We asked her care-taker where she went to church and if religion played a big role in her life, etc. We tried talking about the Book of Mormon THEN came Sister Speith! She was quite zealous! Her care-taker would say she didn't want to read the Book of Mormon and Sister Speith was right there hitting the table saying, "Then you will never know the truth!" And her poor care-taker is taking four on one and we as missionaries don't know how to make the situation better as Sister Speith keeps going on and it all turns into a light argument between the two of them. It became quite the throw down! Eventually they had to agree to seemed again since I'm assuming they have this conversation a lot. Props to Sister Speith for doing her best to be a member missionary!
I hope ya'll enjoy the holidays and remember the blessings we have from knowing about our Savior. And more specifically the knowledge we have of His Atonement and how we, as members blessed with the priesthood authority of God, can fully manifest His Atonement in our lives and families.
Sister Hodges

Uncle Bob sent me antlers!

Ninja Turtle cut out christmas display!!


AFRICA! Lion King!! 

This old couple that feeds us and isn't interested in the Gospel gave us all matching pocket knives. They're titled "the vulture II" 

And there's Uncle Bob's giant garbage can in the background. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 2 & 9

Dynamic Trio!
December 2, 2013

Things have changed here in Olney. In other words we have a +1 Sister! We're now the dynamic trio! Sister Airmet and I now have Sister Ellsworth here with us. And she is wonderful! We got the call last Saturday and picked her up on Tuesday. It's been an adventure ever since of course. We squeezed all three beds in our little room and my desk is now a round table awkwardly next the Sister Airmet and Ellsworth rectangular study table.

We had a great Thanksgiving together! We had dinner at Rene's with her and her family and her 4 dogs. It was super delicious and we got to end the night watching a classic church movie, Legacy. The rest of this week we spent figuring out how to work with a trio and it's been new for all of us, but we're learning a lot from each other and I feel the Lord has placed each of us here for a specific reason. We've already seen lots of miracles after just one week together. 
Something that I've come to understand more these past couple transfers is how vital trials are in our lives. It truly is the purpose of our life here and an opportunity to become more fully who our Heavenly Father wants us to become. And it helps us turn more fully to Him and rely on Him. It is a vehicle for our growth. Missionary work is not easy and life isn't easy, but as I look back on trials and overcoming those trials, it is what allows us to change. How we react to our trials effects the type of change we have. 

Hope ya'll had a great Thanksgiving!

Sister Hodges

Sister Ellsworth, Sister Airmet and Sister Hodges

Surprise picture!

Snow Storm!
December 9, 2013

It was quite the week! After two days of nice warm weather in the 60's almost 70's, we got hit with snow! A lot of it! It started off as sleet for half of the first day and turned into snow for the next 24 hours. We had to dig out our car out of a good foot of snow. Because of the weather we ended up having to postpone Rene's baptism to Sunday morning before church since no one had plowed the church parking lot. We discovered this Friday night when my companions and I tried to go to the church the night before to practice musical things for the baptism and ended up hiking through a foot of snow to get there.
But Sunday came and Rene's baptism was wonderful! It all went really well. It was a blessing to be there and take part in it.

Stay warm!
Sister Hodges

Hump Day Poster made by Janna's companion.

Hump Day shirt from Janna's Dad.

                                                      Adventure to the church! 


Rene's baptism Day!

Scary car ride!

Snow Day!!

Snow Fun!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

November Posts

October 27, 2013

It was a great week here in Olney! Sister Airmet and I had two investigators come to church! It was awesome!  There have been a lot of good things going on here! I miss Kentucky sometimes, but Olney has really been great and I've learned so much just being here a couple of weeks! We have a baptism this Saturday! It's for a nine-year old girl. I met her my first day here and it was chaos. She hadn't been taught any of the lessons and she was supposed to get baptized that Saturday, but we had to postpone it and have been teaching her the lessons like wildfire! It's been a little stressful, but hopefully things will be all ready to go this Saturday!
Things have been great with Sister Airmet! She's only been out a little over one transfer and she is a dynamite missionary! I have to remind myself that she hasn't been out very long. It doesn't even feel like I'm training her sometimes. We get along really well.
 I can't wait to get the conference Ensign! Conference was SOO good! President Monson even said it was one of the most spiritual he's ever attended! WOW!  
I can't believe that you have so many missionaries in Quincy! That's so awesome! I hope the ward really helped their investigators feel at home. I'm sure they did. We have an awesome ward in Quincy. And that is so awesome that they had that many investigators at church!
I'm happy everyone is doing great! I sure do love you lots and I hope you have an great halloween! :)
Love love love,
Sister Hodges

November 4, 2013

It was a really great week! We had a baptism on Saturday! It was wonderful. Her confirmation on Sunday was great too. And we had three investigators there to see it! We have this great investigator, who I just love. She's in her 50's and started reading the BoM before the sisters even got there. She has soaked up everything we've taught her. She has gone to severel different churches her whole life searching for the truth and she feels she has finally found it. She asked us "Who do I talk to if I want to be baptized?" and we were like "uhh... us!" haha.
Halloween was the greatest day ever! So, sister Airmet and I may have spent all of our missionary fund on candy this past Monday...including a giant rice crispie treat, cookie dough, and halloween captn crunch! Then came Halloween day. And it was pouring rain! We had just recieved a training at district meeting earlier that day on contacting. So, with a new zeal to talk to people we headed to the walmart parking lot! People were moving fast to get out of the rain so we restorted to jumping in puddles for a bit then moving on to something a little more effective. Probably one of the greatest moments on my mission. And Halloween was bomb with all that candy but I still feel a little sick.
I can't wait for the Ensign! It was one of the greatest conferences ever! I still can't belive President Monson said that is had been one of the most spiritual conferences he had ever attended!
As for the mission question I'd say I wish I would have known my scripture masteries and how to mend clothing and how awesome conference is. I'm happy I knew how to cook and had a good basis on how to study scriptures and the Gospel.
It sounds like that Relief Society conference was awesome! I love how he compared the tree of life to what sounds like Elder Uchtforf's talk, the Hope of God's Light. That is one of my favorite talks!
Elder Nelson's talk was so great! I can't wait to read and study it!

Me, Breena and Sister Airmet :)

An awesome card that Sister Airmet's mom sent me :)
The sisters in our distric-funny face from sister reeder
The elders in our distric-aren't they classy?

contacting in the rain!

Trying to put a bike rack on...

The Seniors are in Town
November 12, 2013

It has been a great past few weeks here in Olney! I got to celebrate Halloween Sister Missionary style. A.k.a. with a giant rice crispie treat. And ended jumping in some puddles at Walmart since the rain chased away all of the people we could talk to.
This past week a new couple rolled into town. A senior couple to be specific. Elder and Sister Thaxton are the new senior couple that arrived Wednesday! If you can imagine the nicest, Utahest Mormons, you've got the Thaxtons. They are nice older couple in their 70's. We got to spend a few days with them visiting people and helping them know what to do. We've already had quite the adventures with them. Elder Thaxton is a little hard for hearing and so you have to talk a little louder for him to understand him which led to a recent adventure. The Thaxton's were taking us to our house. We were passing through a stop light. The light had turned yellow right before we could pass through but I guess Elder Thaxton didn't see the light change so we slowly went through with Sister Thaxton yelling "Arlind. Arlind! Arling! It's red!" And Elder Thaxton didn't really understand at first so Sister Airmet and I are dying in the back seat trying to not laugh since we would be crying if we weren't laughing. So, it's been great to know them and spend that time with them. It's like having grandparents out here! Super great.
This past week we saw miracles happen!  One of our investigators, decided that she wants to get baptized!

White Squirrel Count: 6

 Reliving My Childhood
November 18, 2013

Guess who was back in action this past Saturday? One of the greatest duos ever! Sister Hodges and Sister Mickelsen! Let me rewind and give you some history. Sister Mickselsen was my wonderful trainer--A.k.a. my mom in the mission field. When I was born in Mt. Vernon she was the one who raised me and taught me my missionary ways. Fast forward-- we were back at it again! And not only were we together, but we were back together in Mt. Vernon of all places! It was a wonderful day! Mt. Vernon has just taken off and we got to see some old investigators that we had found that are now planning on getting baptized. The whole day was a little weird since it really was like reliving my childhood, but it was quite the adventure since thats the only way Sister Mickelsen and I know how to do it! To top off the night we went to knock on a less-actives door. This lady had a few cats running around and I thought I saw one at the corner of my eye next to a food bowel on the ground right next to us. When I finally glanced down and looked at it, it was definitely not a cat. It was a possum! Just staring right up at us. 
Yesterday was a pretty crazy day too! There was some crazy temperature changes from cold to hot which meant tornado weather! I vaguely heard of some tornado watch warnings and after some weird clouds and rain, lo and behold, there ended up being three different tornadoes in our area. But don't worry, the closest one was about 20 miles away so it wasn't in Olney. Our sirens went off for about one minute after a linger-longer at church and everything was fine for Sister Airmet and I for the rest of the day. 
Hope all is well with everyone!
Sister Hodges  

So, guess what!
My companion, Sister Airmet, knows Darren's companion, Elder Larsen. What?! What a small world we have in the church.
They went to jr high together.

*Janna's Uncle Bob has sent her a few packages.  One day when ordering on Amazon, he forgot to change it back to his own address from Janna's.  The result--see the pictures.  Janna received some pretty random things in the mail.  Uncle Bob said he had already reordered everything and had it shipped to the correct address, so he told Janna to find an new home for all the things he sent.  Now the following pictures will make some sense. 

 All the boxes I got from Uncle Bob-It was like Christmas!

                                                                         Light thing!
                                                                       All of the stuff


Sister Airmet and I modeling the t-shirts from Uncle Bob.

                                                                         Light thing!
                                                         We put it on our study table!

                                             What the morning of our zone conference entailed.

                                                       Don't judge me for the duck face.

Out of all of the random things Uncle Bob sent me on accident, there was an HDMI cord! The very cord Rene needed to hook up her blueray player so that we could watch the Testaments with her :) Coincidence? I think not!

November 25, 2013
Parts of this weeks letter from Janna. 
She is in Olney, Illinois.

Our week was pretty good here. We found out that we are going to be a trio!! Crazy stuff. We squished a bed into our sleeping quarters. 
Sounds like it'll be a fun Thanksgiving! Sister Airmet, me and the new sister will be at Rene's. I'm excited. It'll be a blast!

A couple of the tornadoes were in my mission. One was about 20 miles away I think. But we were all okay here in Olney. The sirens went off for about a minute after they spotted one north of us. 
I'm so happy to hear that Telisha and Dylan got sealed :) it's such a blessing to take part of those covenants. What a blessing to have the authority to administer them today! 
That's so exciting for Tessa and Jeff too! I can't believe they have a sweet baby girl!
This past week went well. It's a great area! 
Love,Sister Hodges 

 The seesters in the District! 

Our forever classy elders 

All of us! Don't ask me what us Sisters are doing. 

me, Sister Reeder, Sister Airmet

Razers from Uncle Bob

Mouth wash from Uncle Bob 

it's a white squirrel! 


Monday, October 21, 2013

A FEW weeks worth of Janna. :)

September 30, 20013
I'm SO sorry Mom and Dad but I spent the day with the Bishops wife in Shakers Village so I can't write yall this week. I LOVE you soooo much and I can't wait to tell you how this week went and the coming. and I cannot wait for conference!!
Lots of love,
Sister Hodges

October 7, 2013
It has been a crazy good past couple of weeks! I've been on several exchanges, half out of my area including one in a bike area. We rode to the church in the dark at the end of the night to watch the Relief Society Broadcast. I thought I was going to die but it was totally worth hearing the talks, especially President Monsons! The next Sunday we had a fantastic sunday school lesson with everyone on the 5th Sunday. The Nicholl's (who we live with) Son gave an awesome lesson on how we need to make sure that we're always following traditions that follow the Gospel, but be willing to change church and individual traditions when need be. It was really good.

Last Monday Sister West and I went to Shaker's Village which is at the edge, right over Jessamine county. It's an old village where Shakers don't live anymore. They are an almost extinct religion. They are celibate sooo that explains it. They were all about singing and dancing as their main form of worship on Sunday. We got to eat there and have delicous fresh food from their garden. Then we went on a ferry ride on the Kentucky River and saw lots of turtles and brown water. It was a really fun day with Sister Baxter! (The bishops wife.)

General Conference was FANTASTIC as usual! Seriosuly, like Christmas out here! I loved all of the talks. I got to watch all of them. At the church on Saturday and with Sister Siletta and Judy (yay!) on SUnday morning and with another member family that evening that fed us after. It was quite nice!  I loved Elder Hollands talk! It was an answer to our missions prayers! I've worked with a lot of Sisters that deal with depression so it was soo great to hear Elder Holland talk about it! I would love a conference issue when it comes out!!
Time is flying and I can't belive I've already been out for 7 months! Crazy!
This week will be interesting since Sister West and I have been asked to give a training at our Mission Leadership Council soo hopefully that goes well.

I sure do love you LOTS!!! I hope your week so sooo great! :)
Sister Hodges :)

Look Out Illinois
October 14, 2013

Transfer calls came this week and I'm going to OLNEY, ILLINOIS! Transfer calls always seem to take me by surprise! I've been there on exchange a couple of times when I was in Mt. Vernon, Indiana. It's quite the place! They are well known for their white squirrels, in whom they worship., right? I'm super sad to be leaving Jessamine. I've really grown to love the people here and serving with Sister West has been the time of my life, but I know that the Lord needs me in Olney and I'm excited to start a new adventure! I'll be follow-up training a sister there. Her name is Sister Airmet and I've heard that she is a fantastic sister!

This last week in Jessamine has been great. It started off a little crazy with a meeting in Louisville then I went down south to Corbin, KY. I got to spend the day with Sister Jaco who is my volleyball missionary soul sister. She is so great! At the beginning of the day we ended up locking the keys in the trunk of her car and walked A LOT till we finally got a hold of a locksmith. When he showed up at our car we asked how he got into the business of unlocking things and he proceeded to tell us that "it's a funny story, I was in federal prison and they asked me to get into a safe they needed unlocked. They finally let me out and helped me get certified" and then he said hahaha just kidding. Totally ruined the story. But he was a super cool guy who had been taught by missionaries before! We just had to lock out keys in the trunk to find him. ha. The Lord works in mysterious ways.
Well ya'll, next time you hear from me it will be from the land of white squirrels.
Stay awesome and read your scriptures :)
Sister Hodges 

White Squirrel Siting! 
October 21, 2013
It's been a great first week here in Olney, Illinois! It's definitely not Kentucky, but there are so many great things happening here! I've taught more people in one week than I have at any other point on my mission! My new companion is super great too! Her name is Sister Airmet. She's from Highland, UT and has been out for 6 weeks.
This week has been a lot of change and adjusting, but I've truly come to know that it's when we face change in our lives that we have the opportunity to change. How we change depends on how we face it. A lot of our choices are between choosing faith or fear and choosing faith is what leads to true happiness.
Hope ya'll have a great week!
Quote of the week (@ a trailer park): "Is it just me or is there a herd of chihuahuas?" (follow with tons of barking chihuahuas and a lady on an electric wheel-chair)
*White Squirrel Sitings: 3*

                                                                  Me and my last district

                                                              And FAVORITE sisters :)

                                           And the giant box that uncle bob sent me with chips.