Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 21, 2014

Dear Mom,
It was a good week and things for school are coming together! Whoo hoo! It's quite the relief. This past week was pretty good too. We got to take the "dream team" to both of our lessons with an investigator.The dream team is Bro and Sis Marshall. We read the first few verses of 1 Nephi 1 and stopped and talked about every verse. I learned a lot as the missionary! The spirit was super strong! I didn't realize how powerful Lehi's vision must have been in that first chapter till I stopped and discussed it with everyone and taught it an investigator. Then we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ the next day. Tim asked good questions and soaked it all up. It was neat. We're teaching him the word of wisdom this week. I hope it goes just as well as all of the other lessons.
Sounds like yall had a blast in Seattle! How fun! That's great that you got to see Jen and Darren too. They're awesome!
Thank you so much for helping me with my school stuff. It's all coming together.
Have a great week!
Sister Hodges

Youth Conference! With their shirts tucked in to match the sisters :)


Monday, July 21, 2014

July 14

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 7, 2014

Dearest Mom!
I had a good week this past week! We found a new person to teach who is awesome! He actually came up to us when we were trying to talk to his friend that we're teaching and he said he wants God to be in his life and we were like, we can help with that!
Our 4th of July was good! We got permission to watch fireworks. Here they have them in the middle of nowhere! So, we drove about halfway there and decided to just park, climb on top of our car and just watch them from a distance. We watched it along with a few other random shows going on. It was nice! Good way to celebrate 'Merica! The next day we got to celebrate again with the whole Kappes Clan! They're the giant family in the ward. There were the grandparents and like 6 of the 8 kids and their families were there. They made delicious food and we got to watch their fireworks show. It was pretty legit! Sounds like yall had a pretty good 4th of July too!
Tomorrow should be an exciting day. We get to meet Pres Brough at a Zone meeting in Lexington. Should be awesome!
Man, Taggart and Randy are going to be so much taller than me!!! Crazy. I'll probably end up being the shortest in the family. Ugh. I realized not too long ago that I have to find new doctor!! Cause Dr. Crawford doesn't do older people like myself....that'll be interesting to figure out. Becoming an adult it weird.
Sounds like the family is doing good :) I sure do love reading about how yalls week went! It feels good to know what's going on.
Sorry this e-mail is kind of short and lame, but I LOVE YOU!!!!! Have a great week :) Tell the three little, becoming not so little, ones hi for me!
Sis Hodges

(The pictures she sent this week are from the wedding she wrote about last week.)

                                        The cake Sis Smith made and I decorated the cupcakes!

Our matching wedding outfits!

                                                               Look out! Church ahead!

Monday, July 7, 2014


June 30, 2014
(Mom and Dad,)

Sorry I'm writing you two together. I don't have a ton of time since we're helping a family move today.

This past week was interesting. It started off with a mad dash to make cake and cupcakes for a last minute wedding.  We volunteered to make the cake for like 5 people. We called Monday night and found out there were actually going to be about 20 people there. That led to us spending a lot of our Tuesday  making all of these cupcakes for a wedding happening that night. Thankfully Emily, the best person ever, helped us make and decorate all of them.

In other news, there was a shooting we found out about on Tuesday. We were trying to teach this lady and it was a house invasion in the trailer next to her. A kid that was 18 I think got shot. It happened last Sunday. We found out on Wednesday morning that our neighbors were the ones that did it. That was pretty weird to find out. They were young guys, like 18 and 19. I did have to get up at four in the morning to tell them to quiet down once but I had talked to them a lot and they were really nice to us so it was weird to have them be involved in that. DON'T WORRY they're all in custody now and everything and everything is okay. Just weird to have that happen. 

Dad, Sis Airmet did get transferred :( I'm sad I won't get to see her at least once a week anymore.  I can't wait for the package :)  And we get to meet Pres and Sis Brough not this Tuesday but the next one at a zone meeting. Should be great! 

I hope ya'll have an awesome fourth of July! I think we'll make some sort of red white and blue dessert to celebrate. 


Have an awesome week :) I loved hearing from both of you! I always look forward to it! 
Lots of Love,
Sis Hodges 

June 24, 2014

Dear Mom,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It sounds like you had a good one :)
This past week was good. I found out I'm staying in Morehead. So I will probably die here. Mission lingo for spend the rest of my mission here. I'm excited! I thought I was leaving but now that I'm not I'm ready to help the people here! It'll be great I'm sure. There must be a reason for me being here.
This past week we survived the hotness and HUMIDITY. Oh man, that stuff is horrible. You walk outside and literally feel wet. The heat just drowns you I feel like. But hey, we survive! And I'm getting an awesome Sis Missionary tan :). We taught a lot of great people this past week.
Overall, it was a pretty good week. Nothing too exciting. We did save that turtle. He was in the middle of the road. He was super cute but I'm pretty sure he was terrified of us. And it's weird to think that Pres Woodbury will be leaving this week!
I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU MOM!!!! I'm happy you had a great birthday :)
Sis Hodges

                                                                      the sistas!

          A lizard we saw.      

A turtle we saved.

Bearcat District!

He's smiling.

District T-shirts.

Bearcat District!

Hazel loving Chester

                                 Pretty clouds

a bug! that looks cool

Only in the Bible Belt
1. Printing place.

2. Church turned into a dentist place.

June 16, 2014

Dear Mom,

This past week went pretty well. We met a new investigator who lives up a holler. He has an aunt that was LDS-she passed away. So at our first visit he told us straight but that "I can't convert girls, cause I just can't give up my iced tea!" We'll see about that one.

We had our last Zone Conference with President and Sister Woodbury. It was SO sad! I still can't believing they're leaving in about a weeks time. We had some AMAZING trainings all about the Book of Mormon!! It was the best Zone Conference I've ever been to. I felt my testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon increase so much. At one training we were all asked to individually bear out testimony of the BoM to everyone and it was powerful. The spirit was so strong. At the AP's training it was all about how the BoM testifies of Christ. At the end we were all invited to re-read the BoM in 120 days and mark every scripture that testifies of Christ and his Atonement. I started and plan on finishing it by the time I come home. It's already been AMAZING. I highlight every time it names the Savior, like the Lord, Lamb of God, etc. And underline when it gives attributes of Him and teaches about His Atonement. So far each page testifies of Christ and it's amazing to just look for how it testifies of Him. My testimony of the BoM has deepend to much and I'm only on like 1 Nephi 13.

At the end of the conference Pres and Sis Woodbury gave their final talks and it was really good. I'm going to miss them a lot. It's exciting though to see what Pres and Sis Brough are going to do.


Anyways, this past week was good. Our Ward Mission Leader gave a talk in Sacrament meeting and asked the members to give away 1 Book of Mormon, invite one person to hear the discussions, go out with the missionaries once a month and feed us once a month. It was awesome! It was help the work pick up here so much! I might not be here to see it though since transfers are next week. But, we'll see what happens.

Everything is going pretty good! I hope you have a great week!

Sister Hodges

Back to Jessamine!
June 9, 2014

This past week went pretty well! I got to go on exchanges and I went back to Jessamine for a day! It was so awesome to be back for a day! I got to see some awesome people that I love SO MUCH!
At the end of the night I got to see the Cravens! Bro Craven wasn't a member when I was there but since then he has been baptized, become Ward Mission Leader, received the Melchezidek Priesthood, and just got sustained as Ward Clerk. Crazy! I'll never forget meeting Sis Cravens and then Bro Cravens for the first time. Another really special family.
It was so great seeing how the area had grown and seeing those people! It's helped me remember how many people I've been blessed to get to know and love while on my mission. I've made relationships with people that I'm sure will last forever. What a blessing.
In other news, Morehead is doing well! We're playing the finding game. So, talking to lots of people. The people we're currently teaching are doing well.
I'm loving life! Loving the mission! I can't imagine my life without it.
I want to end with a quote that I read in a talk this past week: "My brothers and sisters, today is a day of miracles. We believe in miracles. The Latter-day Saints may expect miracles according to their faith. As a member of this Church, you have an authorization to take a leading part in the development of the kingdom of God on earth within your respective responsibilities. Pray fervently. Actively seek to increase your faith, and with that great gift from God, you can cause great things to occur in your life and in the lives of others."
Sister Hodges

The Elders in our ward got to talk at a radio station this past week. We exchanged with the sisters in their area and got there a little early so we went contacting for a bit and saw the building for the radio station they went to! You can look up their interview online I think... It was in Mt. Sterling, KY.

                                                      We ate at Jerry's in honor of Dad!

Bee Pollen?
June 2, 2014

We had a few interesting things happen this past week.

It all started with what I thought was allergies. This area is known for causing a lot of allergy problems. So, when I started getting a stuffy nose, sneezing like crazy, and hearing like there was a bowl over my head I was quick to believe that it was allergies. The next few days I tried benadryl, zyrtec and the only results I got was feeling super tired from the benadryl. Some other sisters suggested bee pollen. They said you could find it at natural vitamin stores. So, Sister Smith and I headed to the local Herb & Vitamin store in search for some. We go inside and I ask for some bee pollen for allergies. The man goes on to tell me that they have it but to make sure that that is what would fix my allergies he said that he could hold a bottle up to my throat and "check the subconscious to see if that's what your body needs". He went on for a few mintues and finally I was like...sure. You have to understand I was pretty desperate at this point. What I thought were alleriges had been going pretty crazy by now. So, he pulled out a few different bottles to see if anything else was "what my body needs". He then held each individually up to my throat while lifting up his knee and would say, "is this what you body needs?" He'd then twich his knee and put it down with a pained look on his face. Finally, it turned out I "needed" bee pollen all along.
So I took some and nothing happened for like 5 hours. I finally called a doctor in the ward and he prescribed me to a ton of stuff. Nasal spray, steriods, and allergy pills. He even said he would have given me a steriod shot if he was in town. And I've ended up not needing any of that since I've finally figured out that it's been a cold all along!!
On a more spiritual note, we had Stake Conference this past weekend and it was so great! Elder Gidden presided from the 70 and he's a boss. The theme was on hastening the work of the Lord. Awesome topic! Elder Gidden spoke Saturday night about how we can hasten the work as members. He talked a lot about preparing for missions too. He had some great stuff to say. Sunday morning session was great also. My favorite part of his talk was when he told the story from Joshua chapter 3. It talks about how the people cross the waters of Jordan after the priests that carry the ark of the covenant had to get the soles of their feet wet in the waters of Jordan before it became dry so that they could pass over. It shows that you have to exercise your faith, take a step into the dark and be willing to get your feet wet, in order for the miracles to happen.
With all of that it's been a good week. We've continued to keep teaching a college student. He's been soaking up everything! The last time he came to church he left with a lot of questions and has been researching a lot of things. He's also made a goal to finish the Book of Mormon.  Another person we're teaching is also doing well. A lot of the things we've been teaching has been clicking for him. You can see him making changes in his life already. The restored gospel is crazy awesome and so true!
Love y'all!
Sister Hodges

I at....crawdads! however they're spelled. They're pretty intimidating to eat with their eyes and stuff.

                                                  This was on the porch of a door we tracted


                                           Woke up to a rainbow!

May 27, 2014
Dear Mom,
This past week was a lot better! I've been feeling a lot better spiritually. Nothing too crazy happened.
We had dinner with an awesome couple this past week! Bro and Sis Marshall.  And they're both super great! The spirit was really strong in their home. We had great conversations with them and they expressed a lot of appreciation to us for the work we do as missionaries. That always means a lot to hear from the members we're working with.
I got to teach a girl who learned about Christianity when she came to Kentucky for school. She has been looking for a church and we haven't been able to meet with her since she is SUPER busy doing a ton of stuff during the semester. We watched Finding Faith in Christ with her and she really seemed to like it. She's trying to figure out if she wants to believe in Christ and God.
Memorial Day was interesting. We walked outside to go talk to people for a while when we discovered that a parade was going to be happening in an hour! So we walked around and talked to people, sat and watched the parade, and got to talk to even more people after! It was awesome since usually there is NO ONE around town during the summer. The parade reminded me a lot of ours back home minus the mariachi band, dancing horses and lots of farm equipment. I love telling people here that we have a Farmer Consumers Awareness Day. They think that's pretty interesting.
That's crazy to hear about Crescent Bar! I'm sure there won't be as many tourist then.
I researched that word, zealous, this past week too! I've been studying about patience and that was one of the words I picked up while studying it. I want to stay optimistic and zealous no matter what challenges come my way.
I'm definitely learning to rely on the Lord in everything. I'm still learning, but I've definitely been able to learn a lot about all of that this past year or so. It's a blessing to go through these hard things and grow as a person. And it's in ways I didn't anticipate. I just pray I'm changing into the person the Lord wants me to be.
I loved reading about what happened this past week! I hope y'all had a fun Memorial Day!
I sure do love you lots!
Sister Hodges

May 19, 2014
Dear Mom,
It's been a good week. I picked up my new companion, Sister Smith! She's from Minnesota, a half hour from the mall of America!! I'm totally going there someday now. She's pretty great.
It was kind of a whirlwind this week. We saw lots of our investigators, but the rest of the town is pretty desolate. The local college is now out of session so it's like a ghost town here. It makes it hard to talk to lots of people of the street, but we're adjusting!
Honestly mom, this past week was really hard. It's hard to explain, but I found a lot of solace. I tend to try and do everything on my own a lot of the time. I feel like I need to do it all and not rely on anyone, even the Lord. I do it unintentionally of course, but I forget to rely on His help nonetheless. I've gotten to some of the lowest of lows I've ever experienced and I turn to the only one I can in prayer at that point. He's carried me through a lot. Especially this past week. I've kept going as far as I can on my own and then when I can't do anything else I've pleaded for the Lord's help and guidance and I finally realized that instead of getting in that process I can choose to trust God always. I can be at peace always knowing that He's in control. I don't need to let stress build up till I'm ready to explode. And it takes adjusting to keep that in mind, that I don't need to overstress myself. It's kind of hard to explain it all, but I've learned a lot this past week and I'm learning about not stressing so much. I just need to do my best and keep trying to do better. And in the learning process I've come to love my Heavenly Father and Savior even more. It's crazy when I think our relationship deepens a lot, then it just keeps growing.
Anyways, our new ward mission leader is Bro Thomas, he's pretty cool.
I heard that someone from the ward posted something on facebook. Sister Barnett gave me a hug from you yesterday :)
I'll try out lavender on chigger bites, I already have some terra shield. Can I mix them both with water and spray it on me? The bugs haven't been too bad yet so that's been really nice.

I briefly heard that they were building a ShopKo! I didn't know they bought out Heartland! That's super crazy. People here don't know what ShopKo is, including my new comp since she's from Minnesota haha.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! Have a great week mom!
Sister Hodges

                                             Sis LeFevre and I before heading off to Lousiville

As Down As a Bunch of White Kids Can Get.
May 12, 2014
It was an exciting last week of the transfer!
We got to have the first annual Bearcat rap battle at our last district meeting. It was pretty epic. It consisted of the Elders rapping a hymn and Sis LeFevre wrote a rap and I beat boxed while she rapped it. The other set of Elders blew us all away with a bomb rap. They had batman and superman baseball caps and sunglasses to add to the effect. It was as down as a bunch of white kids can get.
After that meeting Sis LeFevre and I rushed to a lesson. Right before we got to teach we met their nice neighbor He's a college professor that teaches philosophy I think. He informed us that he'd already read the Book of Mormon. I don't think he remembers much of it though. After we chatted for a bit we went and taught the lesson. Afterward, while I was backing out of the driveway the neighbor started walking over to say bye to Sister LeFevre. He didn't seem all there at that point and stumbled a little bit walking over till he lost all control and went crashing into the ditch by the road! Sis LeFevre starts calling for help and the people we taught come rushing over to help him get out of the ditch. A few cars driving down the road stopped, some jumped into the ditch to help him while another had their phone out ready to call 911. We found out that he is a diabetic and has not been so good at taking his meds. It turned into quite the ordeal. After a while he slowly made it back to his house and ended up being okay.
It all ended up being quite a week. It was a nice note for Sister LeFevre to end on since she's getting transferred this Tuesday.
I realized something really important in church yesterday. We were being taught about the life of Jesus Christ. We started talking about the attributes that Christ emulates perfectly like faith, humility, patience, etc. While we were talking about all of this I began to understand more fully that He must be perfectly patient with me then and that I need to give Him and the Atonement more credit. I can't underestimate it as much as I have before. I feel I underestimate those things the most when I make a mistake and am self-critical. Since I'm so upset with myself I figure God must be too. But He's happy when we're trying to do our best and encourages us when we fall down to get back up and keep trying. He's not there to beat us down, but to lift us up. It's easy to beat yourself up on the mission since you're trying to represent the only perfect person. I was talking to a missionary that went home recently and she said that that is one of her biggest regrets. She said that "God is just happy that you're here and trying" and I'm sure that's how He feels about all of us. 
Have a great week!
Sister Hodges

                                                                        gangster pose.

Us spelling out Bearcats.


bearcat pose.

props pose!

Golfing! Outside of the church...

                                                                   beautiful Kentucky skies

Us with Emily-  her sister and Jordan- return missionary who went to a ton of lessons with us!

    me and tiffy! The cutest dog ever!

Us and the Watson's


The Kappus' (the younger ones-Sis Watson's Brother

The Kappus'


May 5, 2014

Hey mom!
Sounds like y'all had a crazy awesome week! Weddings and everything with it! Sounds like Jimmy's wedding was fun. It's fun hearing about seeing the whole family. You got the kids pretty good with that flight! That's so fun! I saw a few pictures and everyone looks so good! I freaked out when I saw a picture of how tall Randy has gotten! I cannot believe it. That's going to be the weirdest thing seeing how big everyone has gotten.
I can't believe you met Sis Airmet's parents!!! That's crazy awesome! She looks a lot like her dad. And I've only heard awesome things about her mom.
This past week was pretty good! We had interviews with President which are always nice. President Woodbury is so awesome. It's sad to think that his last transfer here will be starting next week. I'm sure President Brough will be awesome though. It'll be interesting just having him for a couple of transfers.
An investigator came to church again yesterday and he was awesome! In Gospel Principles a member asked how the Book of Mormon containst the fulness of the gospel and he answered like he had read the section about how the Bible and BoM support eachother from chapter 5 in PMG! Everyone was pretty impressed. He's super solid. He's just soaking it all up now. We got to watch the CES Fireside with him and some members. Elder Ballard spoke and it was really awesome. You should read it sometime. He talked about using technology, pornography and marriage.
The Kentucky Derby was this past week. We did some yard work for some members and they tried to make us watch it. They were like "it's only two minutes!" haha but thankfully we didn't. They fed us hot dogs and a hot brown casserole. Hot browns are a kentucky derby classic dish. It has chicken and bread and gravy. It was super good! Lousiville must have been crazy, cause the Kentucky Derby is not a 1 day thing, it's like a two week celebration!
Transfer calls are coming up this Saturday. Sis LeFevre is probably leaving, but we'll see what happens.
I'm super excited to talk to you on Sunday! I'll call Saturday night around 9:30 my time to make sure all is good to go and double check for time.
I LOVE LOVE Love YOU!  I loved reading all about what happened this past week :)
Love you!
Sister Hodges

April 28, 2014

Dear Mom,
Happy Birthday to Jocelyn and Randy! I can't belive everyone is getting so old. I kind of freaked out when I realized that Randy was going to be going into high school next year!! That is so crazy. This past week was good. One of our investigators came to church. He's into 2 Nephi now of the Book of Mormon! He even like the Isaiah chapter in 1 Nephi, but we'll see how much he likes it when there's multiple chapters in 2 Nephi. I'm actually at that point in my own reading in the Book of Mormon. I've been reading it with an Old Testament manual that explains what in the world Isaiah is talking about. There's lots of quotes, including scriptures written by Nephi, that says how important Isaiah's words are! So, I knew they were important, but I had no idea what was going down in those chapters. Thankfully this time around I've had some help with that manual and there's some sweet stuff in Isaiah! Some is still a little rough for me...but I really liked 2 Nephi 16/ Isaiah 6. It clicked how amazing it is that Isaiah was in the presence of the Lord in a Celestial state. He had to use symbolism to attempt to have it make sense to us. I could go on and on, but it was pretty neat figuring some of that stuff out.
Sounds like the three little ones are doing super well! They're all doing awesome things! Randy with track, Bridge with softball, and I'm just so proud of Tag for reading the whole Book of Mormon!!! How neat is that!!! That's SO cool! I'm sad he's been getting headaches though. How have yours been??
That's exciting going to Utah! I'll appreciate the pictures :) pass along a congrats for me! (Cousin James and Jesse's wedding) I got a wedding invite this past week. It's super cute!
Thanks for all you do mom! I sure do love you! Sorry this e-mail is shorter.
Sister Hodges

APRIL 21, 2014

Dear Mom,
I sure do love you!
Easter was great! It's becoming one of my favorite holidays. There's so much joy in it. Just thinking about Christ's resurrection makes me feel happy.
We had a good service on Sunday. Sis LeFevre and I taught the Gospel Principles class last minute since the teacher's son got sick. We have a neat group of people that go to that class and I learn so much from their comments. The conversations we end up having in that class are so great. This last lesson was on prayer. I love learning about it since it's so basic but it's something I feel I can constantly improve on- working on my communication with God. And we're all indviduals so I feel we can all communicate with him in our personal way and I'm always seeking a closer connection when I talk to Him. We discussed a lot about having a sincere heart and real intent. I think that I tend to repeat myself when I pray that takes away from my sincerity I think. I'm trying to change how I express gratitude. I always say I'm grateful for this this and this, but I want to tell Him why more and express it differently so that it's more like a conversation and like I'm talking to someone. Brother Jex made a great comment about how his Mission President told him to pray. He said in the morning you express your righteous desires for that day and what you want to accomplish and ask for His help to accomplish it. Then at night you report back and tell Him how the day went and what happened and sometimes how lessons went. I think that's really neat. It helps you be accountable for that day and I think it would help you notice more fully how the Lord blessd and sustained you throughout that day.
Anwyays, it was a neat class. I love when the spirit takes over and it's more of a conversation and all of us are edified from each other's comments.
This past week we had beautiful weather which made riding bikes super nice! I'm starting to get that awesome sister missionary tan line. It's great. I hope it starts getting green soon. I've been missing that pretty Kentucky green since last summer!! And the summer nights here are so great. And we get lightening bugs! oh man, I'm excited.
I'm doing good. Our investigators are doing really well. The weather has helped us meet more people.
I'm glad to hear everyone is doing so well :) I sure do love you all!
Love you lots mom!
Sister Hodges



Basketball P-Day! We had the bears vs. the cats so we became the bearcat district! 

Kentucky Sunsets