Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 68- exchanges and office runs

Well, this was a busy week! One of those ones where we end it and crash every day. With transfers coming up this week, Elder F and I want to have it be a strong one since it will likely be our last together. We still don't know what's going to happen to us. I've been here longer, but Elder Flaherty might go train a new missionary, so it's all up in the air right now!
This week, we had two more exchanges! They were back to back days, and I stayed in Manassas for both of them! Poor Elder Flaherty was all over the place! We had a great time though! The first exchange, I was with Elder A, who is from Samoa and awesome. The second one, I had Elder F who is new and excited about it all! haha We had a great time and got some great stuff done. My favorite part of exchanges is the training. At the beginning and end of exchanges, we set aside some time to just training the missionaries we're working with. I love it because it's just some time set aside that we can talk and learn together. They often ask questions or share concerns that don't otherwise come out, so it's great to have that opportunity.
Twice this week we went to the mission office. With the new mail policy and the office not being able to forward mail, the place is overflowing with mail! So, we've gone a couple of times and grabbed people's mail so they can have it more than once a month haha. We're everybody's favorite people all of a sudden! haha Speaking of mail. We don't know what's going on with transfers this week, so please don't send anything until next week when I either announce that I'm still here or give my new address.
Other than knocking on a lot of doors, most of our week has been preparing things for transfers. We're to the point where the office has signed leases on all the new apartments we're having missionaries move into, so we have to get them all prepared. We've been running around picking up keys, checking places, making sure they're clean, working with the wards to furnish apartments, etc. It's been a blast, but very busy!
As I mentioned last week, we went to the Manassas battlefield. It was amazing!!! I'm so glad I went! I would have killed myself if I was here for 4 months and never saw it! haha I was amazing seeing all the places the battles happened and seeing the stories retold and relived. I included a few pictures of the Stone Bridge (the sight of the decoy approach of union armies during 1st manassas and the place of retreat of union armies during 2nd manassas), Sudley ford (the actual approach of union armies during 1st manassas), and a statue of Stonewall Jackson (1st manassas is where he got the nickname).
The 40-day-fast is going really well. There were some questions asked about it, so I'll clarify that for you all. Pretty much, the fast has 10 steps to it:
1) fast on fast Sunday. This is the only day of the 40-day-fast we actually fast, so I really don't know why we call it a 40-day-fast. haha It's like a 40-day-spirituality-improvement-plan-that-starts-with-a-fast in all actuality.
2) While in the attitude of fasting and prayer, make a list of all your behaviors that poke at your spirit. All the "buttons" Satan has that are separating you from the next level of spirituality.
3) During your evening prayers, covenant that you will be diligent in your commitment to this list.
Every morning, repeat steps 4-6:
4) During your morning prayers, go over your list with our Father in Heaven
5) Visualise the temptations that will beset you during the course of hte day
6) Tell the Lord which of the behaviors you will focus on that day
Each evening, repeat steps 7-9:
7) During your evening prayers, review the list and how you did on each
8) Show gratitude for successes you had that day
9) Seek forgiveness and recommit to failures you had that day
10) repeat daily for 40 days.
It's been a fun challenge, and frustrating sometimes to see how easy somethings are to change once we make up our minds, and how difficult other habits can be! We're all very excited to see the result of the fast. We've noticed many changes already.
This week, we're excited for all that's going on! New areas, transfers, lots of changes happening, it'll surely be an adventure!
But that's how I like life anyway.
Love you all!
-Elder Hodgson

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