Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week 55- Let reality become your happy place

Well, I was going to do a Q&A Week this week, but my mom has been VERY busy with my amazing sister who is leaving for a mission in Hawaii!!! So, apparently last weeks letter hasn't been posted quite yet. Mom, I'd prefer you be busy with Rachel….So, the Q&A week has been postponed!

So, this week was pretty awesome. We taught some great lessons, found some awesome people and Had some incredible stuff happen, too!!! First off, Operation: Arise and Build is going amazingly! Everyone is just tearing it up! I have NEVER seen the mission work like this!   Our mission President is an inspired man!  Miracle after miracle  story after story. It's amazing to be a part of. This is a very exciting time to be a missionary.

A highlight of the week  for me is our half mission conference. We had it on Friday, and ours consisted of the Ashburn, Centreville, Oakton and McLean zones. We found out a couple days before (in complete confidence) that Elder Larry Echohawk was coming to our half mission conference! Elder P and I were the "hosting" Zone Leaders since the conference was at our stake center, so we had to get there early to set everything up. There were some maintenance guys there working on the A.C., so we found out that our conference was going to happen in a 55 degree room.... oh yeah.... haha

Before I dive into the way cool parts of the conference, just one quick, funny story. We told President Riggs about the A.C. situation, and he was really worried about the room being that cold. So, he got up and announced that it was permissible for Elders to give their suit coats to Sisters. The entire place literally gasped, usually that's a BIG no-no, but President wanted to make sure the Sisters were comfy, so we got them all taken care of. My coat went to a sister by the name of Hermana Ward. Later in the conference, when Elder Echohawk showed up about half of the elders were coatless.... When the presiding authority (President Riggs until Elder Echohawk showed up) is still wearing their coat, the proper etiquette is to keep yours on.... So, here's these rebel elders standing there coatless... haha Then the closing song came, and Hermana Ward goes up to the stand to conduct the music.... still wearing my coat.... with my nametag on it.... Elder Echohawk arrived late, so missed the announcement that that was acceptable today, so who KNOWS what he was thinking then as this sister missionary goes and conducts the music with my coat on... haha Well, at least it was funny when if happened. I appreciate all those who humored me with courtesy laughs and the time to read this.... :D

Some really cool other stuff was said, too, but I just wanted to share one thing in particular that Elder Echohawk said: "God has a divine plan for each of you in this life, and now is the time to figure it out. Right here, when you're on your missions, when you're so close to the Spirit, this is the time to find out what His plan for you is, because by the time you're home, it's time to put that plan into action." That hit me hard. I've always had a strong testimony that God has a divine plan for each of us…including me, but I keep putting off thinking about it so I could focus on my mission more. But now, hearing from a general authority to pray about it now (obviously not at the expense of missionary work) was something new to me... It's interesting how often you get called to repentance (or as I prefer to put it, get called to change) on your mission. I used to hate change, but now I embrace every call that we get. It's fantastic to be in such a great place to change an improve myself to become more of who the Lord would have me be.

This week, we had stake conference, too and we got a new Stake Presidency, which means Elder P and I get to "train up" a new Stake President, as President Riggs says it. haha. I'm kind of nervous, but very excited :)

Well, until next week! Hope you all have a fantastic week! And Rachel! Have soooo much fun in the MTC! I'll be in touch with you soon :) Love you!

-Elder Hodgson

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