Thursday, February 20, 2014

Back in Kentucky Country!

Hey mom and dad!
Sorry I don't have a lot of time, but I've been transfered! I'm in Morehead, KY now! What. A. Crazy. Day. We got a brand new 2014 toyota corolla that I got to drive here :) My new companion is the BEES KNEES!!!!! Elder Hicken, AP, told me that President wanted me to help her prepare for leadership since she's one of the best sister missionaries. Uhhh hello pressure! ANd I met the new Ward Mission Leader who is awesomely instense!!! And I met a cool guy, Dr. D. He's a professor here at the college in Morehead as well as the WML, Brother Curry. SO, I'm feeling a little overwhelmed but good! I'm super good! I'm excited to work with these people.
I'm going to miss Olney and Sister Ellsworth so much, but I can already see how great this area is going to be. I'm so happy to hear from the two of you :) I've had a lot of nice flash backs driving back through Kentucky and thinking of the time I served here before. I just LOVE Kentucky and I'm so happy to be back! Oh and I'm sending a couple of packages home of stuff that I won't need while I'm out here. One includes the blanket Rene made me for Christmas, it's so awesome!! And a little something for the two of you. It's a little cheesy.
Well, I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE you both SO MUCH!!!! Have a great week!
Sister Hodges
119 N Blair Ave #3
Morehead, KY 40351-1175
double check the zip code :)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

February 10, 2014

Hey Mom!
It was a good week here in Olney. We had exchanges this week so I got to go back to my "home" in Mt. Vernon, IN for a day. It wasn't as weird this time since I wasn't with Sister Mickelsen and I had already been back a couple of times before. One time being just a week before getting Sister Ellsworth a bike. It was really fun being with Sister Kuenzle for a day! She's a sister. I was the first person she went on an exchange with when I was an STL. I remember being blown away that day since she was such an awesome missionary. And she's just gotten better. She's such a good STL and missionary. We told each other that we'd start memorizing at least 3 scripture verses a week since I want to work on knowing the scriptures better.  It's been pretty awesome! I've memorized Alma 26:37 so far and now I'm working on what seems like the longest scripture ever. Mosiah 3:19. 
This morning for my personal study I read in the BoM forever! I read from Alma 52-57. It's when all of the super cool wars are going on and it's intense! Moroni and I stopped right before the stripling warriors go down. I heard through the rumor mill of LDS people that they might be making a movie about Moroni. Like one that they would show in theaters and everyone could see. The more I read the more I hope it happens cause it would be such an awesome movie!! As I've read the war chapters I've tried applying it to the spiritual war we face today. I had just read about Moroni and how they had built up their weak cities and how we can build up our weaknesses like they did and the people of Ammon did when they buried their weapons of war and we can do the same with our weaknesses. I'm trying to figure out how to do that with mine. Like when I get annoyed way too easily. I want to figure out how to build up protections around it so when Satan tries to attack me and tempt me to get angry or frustrated so easily I'll have protections built around it. I read a lot about it in the talk given by Elder Richard J. Maynes "The Strength to Endure". It's a really good talk. 
In other exciting news, I hit a raccoon!!! 

Anyways, I've also been learning a lot about family history at church! The Relief Society President gave a really good lesson on on Sunday and it was awesome! I can't wait to do tons of family history work when I go home! I looked at our tree on Family Search and Grandma Darline's parents aren't on there!!! I asked dad for their names and then their birth dates. I hope we can find them! I can't believe I didn't pay attention to this stuff before!
I can't believe how big Randy is getting! Not cool that he's going to be taller than me!! 
I'm happy ya'll finally got snow! We've had it here for a while now. On and off a couple of times. Hopefully the cold goes away soon but I don't think it will. They say this is the worst winter they've had here in like 40 years which is crazy. 
That would be cool if you read my letter to them every week. I can't believe how crazy Darren's life is! Learning that other crazy language?! Man, I'm sure he'll be fine though and that he's learning a lot. 
Well Mom, I sure do love and miss you lots!! This Gospel really is amazing and I feel so blessed to be a part of it. 
Sister Hodges

Late birthday pics. I made the cake mix and frosting from your package!

And Sister Hawes made me a cake. She's the nicest lady ever! 

planning at night 

and after planning! 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Adventures In Olney Illinois

February 3, 2014  Just pictures today!

From Zone Conference this past week! 


January 27, 2014

One Late Night at the Police Station

On your mission there are crazy weeks and then there are CRAZY weeks. This past week was one of those CRAZY weeks. 
Every month our mission has a fireside for investigators and recent converts in Louisville which is about three hours away from where I am now. Sister Ellsworth and I became determined to get Marcy and Rene, recent converts, and Peg, our investigator, there. Earlier this past week we went to invite Peg after we helped her move into a new apartment. We asked if she wanted to go and she said yes and we were all SO excited. When suddenly it dawns on us that Peg can't leave the state of Illinois since she's on probation. We were all devastated! Peg mentioned that to leave the state she would have to get a travelers permit that could take weeks to get! Despite that, we pulled out a phone book trying to get a hold of her probation officer but the court house was closed since it was already after six. Doing all we knew how to do, we prayed. Right after Peg had an idea. She told Sister Ellsworth and I that we should go down to the police station and give a police officer there our number, tell him our situation and have her get a hold of us. So, we went down to the police station and talked to an officer. He left the room and called her probation officer. A while later he came back and asked for Peg's name and left. He came back again and asked where we were going, so we told him and he left again. Finally after waiting for what it seemed like forever he came back and told us Peg could go! So we freaked out and told Peg and it was awesome!! What a miracle! 

Janna in her birthday dress that her dad and I sent.  It was a hit.  Relief!!

My birthday banner.  Who's Batman now Darren? 

Sign by Sister Ellsworth

Both these pictures were taken right after we found out Patty could go!! 

January 21, 2014

Locked Out

Well, it was one of those awesome weeks cause Marcy was baptized! I don't think I've said a lot about her since we'd been teaching her for a long time. She's this cute little lady that's 35, lives in a trailer and has a ton of animals. Five to be exact. Two dogs, one named bear that's super crazy, and three cats. One cat named Trucker is super crazy too. Her baptism went so great! Sister Ellsworth sang Amazing Grace for her at one point. It was super pretty. I played the piano and thankfully it was a simple arrangement I could manage to play. Marcy's mom even came which is a big deal to her. Baptismal services are some of the best moments on the mission.
In other news, Sister Ellsworth and I had an adventure the other day. It was right after our study and we left the house. Being girls we forgot something of course. We ran back inside really fast and grabbed what we needed. While we were inside I grabbed some hand warmers since it was colder outside than I had expected- shout out to my dad who sent me a package full of hand warmers. We went outside locked the door and just it closed I realized the keys were inside. I had brought the hand warmers out and left the keys in. Thankfully we had our phone and the car unlocked so we called our "grandparents" of the mission, Elder and Sister Thaxton, the senior missionaries in Olney. They were quick to the rescue and took us over to the branch mission leader who usually have a spare key. Turns out he had recently lost it. So, Sister Ellsworth and I spent the day walking all over town. At our last appointment, Bro Hawes, the branch mission leader, being the awesome guy he is got our landlord to open our house and he went inside found our keys and brought them to us. That man is going straight to the Celestial Kingdom! 
Hope ya'll have a great week!
Sister Hodges 

Sister Ellsworth and Sister Hodges

Floppsy the attack rabbit

Sister Hodges, Marcy and Sister Ellsworth

January 7, 2014

Things are kind of back to normal. As you've heard Sister Airmet got suddenly transferred so I'm adjusting to just two instead of three now. It's different but it's been good too! Sister Ellsworth and I get along good and I learn a lot from her. I'm excited for the transfer!

This past week was pretty crazy with emergency transfers! We found out Wednesday and had to have Sis Airmet all ready to go by Thursday night, which meant lots of packing and scrambling! I think I got a taste of what it was like to send me off to college. It was so hard to watch my little step-daughter go! But I know she's going to learn so much now that she'll be more on her own. You learn lots of different things in your second area. After that fiasco we had the storm hit. We heard a lot about it so they canceled church on Sunday which stunk but it was inspired since the snow started coming what would have been an hour after church begun. And it snowed hard! For like 8 hours straight! It was crazy! We went around and saw different people, but by the end of the night President had decided that we take a full p-day and stay in as much as we can. It was in the negatives and icy and snowy so it was needed. It was pretty crazy, but I still went crazy being inside all day.

Something that I've had to learn recently was to find a balance between being hard on my self and giving myself room to improve. I'm sure you know how hard I can be on myself. Lately I've had this horrible knot in my throat and I'm pretty sure it's from tension. Don't worry, I feel good and I'm working hard, but I told Sister Ellsworth about it and I had to realize that I get pretty stressed out inside and don't allow myself to be satisfied with anything I do. The mission expects perfection and I've had to swallow the pill of knowing I'm just not going to be completely perfect on my mission let alone this life. And I need to learn how to be satisfied and more happy with the things I accomplish. So, I'm trying to figure out that balance and learn how to relax and make sure that I'm feeling good and healthy in body and mind so that I can serve more effectively and just feel better. 
That's so fun that you got to see Tessa Alana and little Chloe :) She looks so cute! And that picture with Po is so precious! 
I heard from lots of people in the ward for the holidays, lots of Christmas cards which was awesome! The Robinson's also sent me a bomb package!! I need to write them a thank you note!! And Aunt Dee sent me cute decorations and Aunt Nikki sent me a scarf and candy and Aunt Jamie and Chandlor sent me Christmas presents. It was so great!!! 
I sure do love you lots!! :) Have a great week :) I'm excited to write a letter about those missionaries in the BoM! They're the best! Total manual for missionary work!
Love love love love you!
Sister Hodges

The cookies from the Relief Society

Me and patty! 

Me and Sister Airmet-upset that she's leaving! 

Can you find the white squirrel?

Pictures from Christmas Day!

Monkey Bread!

Sister Ellsworth, Sister Hodges and Sister Airmet

The cup and blanket were from Sister Airmet's mom.  

 December 30, 2013


It was SO wonderful to talk to you and the family!! I loved seeing your face:) It means so much to see my mom! The family looks good!  And I realized I never said THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! For the wonderful gifts you and dad got me!!! I LOVED opening them on Christmas!!! :) :) My favorite was the large cat calendar hands down. I laughed at that one for a while :). I'm thinking dad may have picked that one out. It really was the greatest Christmas ever! I got to go to District meeting and show up the Elders on some basketball. I made some Monkey bread for breakfast and we got to be with Rene and her husband. It was SO great! ANd of course getting to talk to the whole family was just the best! I loved it! Christmas Eve was great too! We ended the night at Rene's having a lesson with Patty. Rene crocheted us all something. I forgot to get a picture of what she made me. She made me the most beautiful blanket!! And when you look closely she said that the design is angels. It is so pretty! It meant so much. And she is so talented! I can't wait to send you a picture! 
The day after wasn't too hard. I know I'm where I need to be and I feel so blessed to have more time here because I have so much I still need to learn!! 
I'm sure the kids love their tablets. It's good to teach them now how to use technology wisely. In an article in the January ensign President Ballard hints that more technology is coming and it can all be used to build the kingdom of God!!! And I'm happy three little ones are doing well. Bridgette's hair is so long and Taggart has glasses!!!? And randy is turning into a man!!! Jocelyn looked good too. 

Patty, she's doing AWESOME. We've taught her the Restoration and she believes that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God and she was so touched by the long Restoration Movie!

I'm happy the three little ones had a great Christmas :) How are Sam and Kelly doing? I can't believe Sam is having a baby soon! 

I know my mission has changed me. It's kind of weird to think of who I was before. I forget sometimes. It was scary to think of what choices I could have made with the path I was on. I'm not saying I would have fallen onto a horrible path of course, there was just so many simple things that just hadn't clicked yet, especially in the Gospel! 

Well Mom I sure do love you LOTS!! Things are great in Olney! Transfer calls are this Saturday and I'll probably stay here with Sister Ellsworth, but the Lord seems to always throw me through a loop when I think I know whats going on, but I really think I'm right this time! Sister Airmet will probably be leaving which makes me really sad since we've gotten so close. Like we're going to be college roommates if we can. But, It's been such a blessing to have the time we did! That's awesome that you talk to her mom lol

Sister Hodges 

                                                   Pictures when we drove through a river. 

                                                    Us at the Christmas Conference!  
                         (Sister Ellsworth in the striped skirt, Sister Airmet with the green scarf and Janna)
 January 13, 2014