Tuesday, February 25, 2014

2 letters Feb 17 and 24

Feb. 17, 2014
Hello my dear family!!!!!!!
oh my goodness it sounds like your week has been crazy! with a little bit of good and a little bit of bad all mixed in there together. Something I have realized as a missionary is that the bad days and the bad weeks and maybe even the bad months help us to appreciate the good days, good weeks. and good months! This past week has been one of those reminder weeks for me :) It was kinda like whatever we did things still fell apart. So we just kept trying! and eventually on Saturday night some really great things happened.
We were able to have dinner with our investigator Kristina and her family. Her husband has been completly against her joining the church. She told us that she is ready to get baptized but that he is not so keen on the idea. So dinner was the first time we had actually ever met him. We prayed ALL week that his heart would be softened and that we would be able to say the right things. When we first got there he was still pretty stand off ish but as the night progressed things got better and by the end of the night we are pretty sure that he liked us! We were able to answer a lot of his questions and Kristina's mom and uncles questions too. (they were there for dinner as well) As we were leaving Kristina hugged both of us and told us that she really felt like it helped! so we were super excited about that. Then as we were leaving we got a text message from Sister Haataja, our returning member, telling us that she had gained a testimony that night and she wanted to share it with us. We weren't too far from her apartment so we went over and she shared her testimony with us. The spirit was so strong! It was amazing. The whole time she was talking I couldn't help but smile. She is an amazing person. She is working to quit smoking and her official quit date is March 14th! so we are super stocked for her! She recently finished reading the Book of Mormon and said that after she did she felt like Satan was trying to tempt her more and more and she needed to start reading it again. Because when she was reading it she had felt strength and comfort. So she started to read it again! She decided that 1 Nephi 3:7 is her new mission statement :) she's told us that God made the promise that He would help us if He gave us the commandment. and He gave the word of wisdom so He will be there to help her. She is amazing!!!! I love her so much :)
I am trying to think about what else to write home about.... right before Sister Ransom went home I was actually able to get a picture with all 3 of my companions! that was cool. I will have to sent the picture home today. We have zone conference tomorrow and I am super excited for that. We should get to learn a lot of really great things. This week should a really good one. We have some fun exciting things planned.
Oh! I don't remember if I wrote home and told you about Brother Thomas? He is this cute little 90 year old man in our ward. oh my goodness I just love him. So his wife is really sick right now with cancer and she is in a nursing home. So we have been visiting her for the past few months. She is not a member of the church. So we have been begging Brother Thomas to let us come and clean his house for him for MONTHS and he finally gave in and let us. So last week and then again this week we were able to go over and clean for him. He is just the sweetest old man. With a lot of really great stories to share. He served in the army in WWII and fought in the battle of the Buldge. (I don't know if I spelled that correctly... hopefully you all understand....) It's crazy to hear the stories he has to tell. He told us that we would only let us clean his house if he could take us out to dinner so he did last wednesday. He kept teasing people and telling them that we were his new girlfriends :) we were laughing pretty good. He's amazing. He has done soooo much family history it's insane!!! He also has a $50,000 organ in his home that he let me play. It was way cool.
oh yes I did get your package!!! I love it ;) made me smile on a hard day.  One of the Elders we serve with asked us that the best part of our week was besides Saturday night and I was like, my mom sent me a valentines day package. :) (even though I am sure that dad sent it too. the pillow case does say love mom on it though... so I might have given her the credit for it) It made the elders laugh. On Valentines day we went to visit a woman in our ward who is in a nursing home and someone had sent her a bunch of roses so she told us to each take one home. So we have two cute roses sitting in a thing of water at home :)
Well. things are good! I am super excited about this week. I know that it will be amazing! because I am determined to make it a good week regardless of what happens. I am still just learning that Heavenly Father is the one who is in control. I don't know how many times I am going to have to learn this lesson.... Maybe some day it will finally sink into my thick head :) but every time I give up the control and just do what I can do and let the rest be what it is I find that I am happier. Because my success isn't based on the outward results. It's based on how I feel about what I have done. If I have done everything that I can then that is all that they Lord requires. It's not an easy lesson to learn but It gives us a better view on our lives and what it means to be successful.
Well I think that is all for this week! I love you all and pray for you always. I know that the Lord is watching over you and that he loves you :) I LOVE YOU!!!!!
love always,
Sister Boudreaux
aka your favorite sister missionary :)

Feb. 24, 2014
Hey!! That is exciting to hear about the new bishopric! I am sure that they will do amazing things! Things here are going good. We had a lot of things happen this past week. Which made it go super fast! I feel like it was just P-day and yet here I am writing home again. :)
Okay so this past week we had zone conference which is were all the missionaries in the zone (plus they bring all the missionaries from the Pierre zone too so there are two zones) come together with President and Sister Anderson and the Assistants and we have a day long meeting with a ton of trainings and things. This past one was AMAZING. I love it!! The assistants to the president (who are the Elders that we share our ward with, they are pretty awesome.) they did a training on how our insecurities and fears and disobedience prevent our investigators from repenting and changing. They had a super awesome visual lesson. They asked an elder to come and be the "investigator", and another missionary to be his "missionary". the missionary was given a jar of change (because the investigator wants to "change") and they were about 15 feet apart. Then they gave the investigator a back pack to wear. They started to ask us what things might keep us from being a consecrated missionary. Some of the things were fear of rejection, not wanting to give up control, social anxieties to talk with everyone, etc. For ever missionary who said something they asked them to come up and the had 4 of them put weights in the back pack. They asked the "investigator:" how he was feeling and if he felt like he could walk over to his missionary and "change" He said ya he felt like he could it would be hard but he could. Then they asked for more ideas and for the next  four people they took workout stretch band things and put them on his hands and feet and had the missionaries sit on chairs holding them.. Making it impossible for him to move even if he wanted to. They then had his "Missionary" invite him to change. No matter what he did he couldn't move. He couldn't get to his missionary and accept the change he was offering even if he wanted to. They talked about how we as missionaries effect our investigators ability to change. They then had each of the missionaries at the front give a way to overcome whatever they had said kept them from becoming consecrated and slowly took the bands off and the weights out until he was able to easily walk over and accept the "change" offered to him by his missionary. It was super powerful and helped me to see that there are always little things that we can be working on to overcome to be better. That the Lord can't work through us if we are not willing to give EVERYTHING to him. All of our insecurities and fears. If we give them to Him then He can help us overcome them. But if we won't give those things up then He can't help us to change. Our Mission Presidents wife, Sister Anderson, gave us a training about "non-missionary stuff" about how there is not time for the non-missionary stuff. That we promised to leave everything back home and to put our whole hearts into this work. They are simple things like using slang terms, having conversations with other missionaries or members about things that don't pertain to missionary work. Simple things that pull our thoughts away from what we are here to do. President Anderson gave a training about repentance. He talked about how repentance is directly tied with obedience. I really like it. During it I had the thought that God lives a certain lifestyle.If we want to live with God again then we HAVE to live that same lifestyle. It's not optional. The commandments are how we know what that lifestyle is. God lives all of the commandments and if he can live them then so can we.
This past week Sister Haataja (our AMAZING returning member whom I love with all my heart!!) she told us that she has a quit date for smoking and she wanted a blessing to help her out. We decided to have it on Sunday after church. We are sitting in sacrament meeting right as it is about to start and we got a text from her telling us that her car battery had died. :( we were super sad but didn't know what to do! then part way through the meeting in she walked with our Relief Society President! She had called her and Sister Auger (the RS President) went and picked her up!!!! we have such a great ward. I love them! After Sunday school we were able to be there when she got her blessing. oh my goodness the spirit was so strong! It was incredible. I know that she will be able to make it over this current trial. She is here to stay this time. and I love to see the amazing changes that she is making in her life. This gospel is true and when we let it it changes us for the better. That is the true beauty of the Atonement.
We went on exchanges this past week and it was a lot of fun to spend a day with Sister Johnson. She is one of the sister training leaders and she was sister ransoms last companion. So it was fun to talk with her. She is super funny. :) We got to go to the stake woman's conference on Saturday and it was tons of fun. They had us sing a special musical number with some of the woman in the stake. We did the EFY Medley with As sisters in Zion and Army of Helaman. The RS sisters sang as sisters in Zion and all us sister missionaries sang the armies of helaman part. it was really cool.
This past week Sister Haskell and I totally had a girls night that was tons of fun. We took silly pictures I will send some home. We did a face mask and a foot scrub. it was fun. laughter is the key to a happy mission! that and trust in the Lord :) that's what I have learned!! I feel like so much more has happened this past week but I can't think what else to write home about..... I feel like weeks are going too fast! I don't like it. it's getting way too close to my year mark. When Sister Ransom hit her year mark I remember thinking that she still had forever and I couldn't figure out why she was freaking out! but now that I am almost there I am freaking out too!! not super excited about it......
Well my dear family I love you all oodles and oodles!! Things are going well here. I love the area and I love the people. Life is good and this church is most defiantly true!!!
Love always your favorite sister missionary,
Sister Boudreaux

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Feb 10

Hello my dear family. This past week has been good but I don't really feel like it's what I want to write home about this week. I want to send home my testimony. That this church is true. The other day we were talking with a less active and he told us that he doesn't understand how an atheist lives their life. How can you live with out any hope? Every time in my life I have had a hard time I know where I can turn. To the source of true hope and comfort. My Savior Jesus Christ. The Scripture that I put on my missionary plaque (I don't know if that is spell correctly but I hope you understand what I mean) is Matt 16:33. I picked that scripture because to me it's exactly what the gospel is all about.
"These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."
The world and life has a lot of pain but we are told by our Savior to be of good cheer. He has overcome this world. He has overcome any and all of the trials that we are asked to face. My favorite line from Preach My Gospel is, "all that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I know that to be true. These past few weeks I have been battling depression. At one point in time I remember the distinct impression that my Savior was working to heal me spiritually. In the Book of Mormon it teaches us that Christ can heal us both physically and spiritually. Sometimes we forget that our spirits need that healing. But they do. And Christ and His Atonement can bring that needed assistance. He is always near us. Waiting to reach out and pull us into a warm embrace. I love the Christus statue because of how His arms are reaching out to us. Ever time I see it I can just imagine Him wrapping his arms around me in a warm embrace.
I was writing to my mission president this morning before I started this e-mail home. and in it I told him that I had learned about Austin and what had happened. And that the hardest part was that I wanted to be home to be there for Brock and for the family in this hard time. But I also told him that I know I am where I am supposed to be. And that  I knew the family would take care of Brock. Because that is what it means to be a Boudreaux. We take care of one another.
Please tell the Coopers that I wish I could be there but that I will keep their family in my prayers. This gospel is set up so beautifully. We not only have our families in our homes but we also have ward families. and the Sunset Hills 2nd ward is one of the strongest ward families that I have ever seen. I often reflect on how blessed I have been to not only have come from such a great family but also to have grown up in such an amazing ward.
When things like this happen it makes me think of how important it is for us to share the gospel with others. Because we have a knowledge of where Austin is. And we know that Heavenly Father is taking care of him. That he is again with his Savior. There are so many people who do not have that knowledge. They have no idea where to find hope and comfort. We do. As we share it with others we will gain an even stronger testimony of it ourselves.
Yesterday my companion and I were talking about how important it is to read from the Book of Mormon if you want to stay strong in this gospel. The promise of the Book of Mormon is that it's the most true book ever written. That a man can come closer to Christ from reading it than by reading any other book. I know that to be true. No matter how many times I read it I learn something new. I come to know and understand my Savior and his plan a little bit more. I find answers to my questions. I find comfort to my soul. and I come closer to my Savior.
I love you all so much. It's my testimony that true comfort and peace come from this gospel. I have a strong testimony of priesthood blessings. I have had many times on my mission when I have been worried about something and prayed about it and cried about it. and who knows what else about it. and then I will ask for a blessing and my Heavenly Father will very clearly answer my questions, and calmed my fears. The second verse of I know that My Redeemer lives is my favorite. "He lives to grand me rich supply, He lives to guide me with his eye. He lives to comfort me when faint. He lives to hear my souls complaint. He lives to silence all my fears. He lives to wipe away my tears. He lives to calm my troubled heart. He lives all blessings to impart."  This is the beautiful message of the gospel. He lives. and He loves us. He lives again, and so will we.
Don't worry about me :) everything will be okay. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us. This is His plan and we are His children. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!
Love always your favorite sister missionary,
Sister Boudreaux
p.s. I am doing so much better! Sister Haskell and I are doing wonderful together!! and I am much happier. I have been able to find a lot of good tools to help me. :)

Feb 3

 to start out I just want you to all know that I love you. With all of
my heart. So don't ever forget it!!!! okay so this past week has been
crazy and amazing and crazy some more!! we taught 17 lessons!!!! which
I have never done on my mission before!!! and we invited our new
investigator to get baptized on March 1st and she said yes! She was
the one who we found last Monday that I wrote about, Raven. We are
super excited. She doesn't have a strong religious background but she
has the desire to be baptized and we can work with that!!! This gospel
changes people and it changes lives. I know that to be true with all
of my heart! So in our mission we do what we call hard invites which
means that you invite the investigator to baptism on the first lesson
and by the second lesson we invited them with a specific date. So we
did this with her and she told us that after we left she thought about
it and just felt like it was what she needed to do! so we are super
excited about that.

church yesterday was incredible!!!! We had two investigators come!!!
Kristina came and she LOVED it. She stayed for all 3 hours and later
we had a lesson with her and she told us that this was the friendliest
church she has ever been to before. We came out of our co-ordination
meeting yesterday and the Bishops wife was like "there is someone here
to see you sittting on the back row. but I am taking her" so she did!
Kristina sat with her and then sat with us in sunday school. She even
participated! it was amazing.

oh I forgot to tell you. I am staying here! and so is sister haskell
:) so ya! I guess I am just a 3 transfer companion :) which is good
because our area is doing fantastic! We had like 4 less actives at
church too! basically yesterday was a great day. this past week has
been crazy but amazing all at the same time. I don't even know how to
put it all into words.

so who is the new bishop? do you have one yet? tell Miss Kris that I
say HI back! I miss jr jag preschool sometimes ;) The Porter family in
the ward are amazing and they have this cute little girl Mackenzie and
out of no where she just decided that she wants to be like my best
friend. So we are pretty tight :) It's also Sister haskell's birthday
this Saturday so we are super excited to Party! (missionary style of

So Sister Haataja our less active has been doing so great! She is
working on quitting smoking and she is determined! She told us that
she wants to go to the temple. OH! She finished the Book of Mormon for
the first time! Yesterday in Sunday school they were talking about
conversion and we talked about how it is different than just having a
testimony. Sister Haskell told me that Sister Haataja leaned over to
her during the lesson and asked, "is that what I am doing? (as in
becoming converted)  and Sister Haskell was like ya!!! I just love the
people here. Oh and Sister Arrington got transfered to a ward here in
Rapid too! so for a few minutes on Wed. all 3 of my companions will be
here! I am hoping to get a picture with them.

Ok so in all honesty when we first heard about transfers both Sister
Haskell and I were a little bit upset. Because we are both pretty
different. And we are happy together but getting along takes a lot of
work for both of us. We have decided that as friends we are GREAT! but
as mission companions we work very hard. I was having a pity party for
myself. and then the Lord sent me some special people who gave me a
nice kick in the rear. :) They helped me to know that this is not the
end of the world. Maybe it will be hard but the Lord wants us together
for a reason. and He understands us and the bigger pictures so much
better than we ever will. I feel like someday I will finally just
learn to put my trust in HIm and stop trying to think that I know what
is right all the time :) Over and over again He is teaching me what it
means to be truly humble. If there is anything I want to take out of
my mission it's learning how to have true humility. I have realized
that I just need to let go of the control. and give it to Him. I can
feel Him molding me into what He wants me to be. Sometimes I am just
stubborn and fight it. and then things don't go so great. But when I
turn it over to Him it always works out how it is supposed to. I can
tell you that today I am excited for this transfer and for these
people and especially to be with Sister Haskell.

The youth theme for this year is Come Unto Christ and they have a
music video on LDS.org in the youth section. Oh my goodness you all
need to watch it!! It warms my heart. The other day I was listening to
it here at the library and I just felt like I could feel my Savior
putting His arms around me. He is never far away from us. But we have
to let Him in. We must come to Him. He doesn't take away the trials
but He is there for us. I know that with all of my heart. Sometimes we
have to humble ourselves to be able to see that. I know that our
Heavenly Father lives. and He loves each and everyone of us. And I
know with all of my heart and soul that my Savior lives. Last week in
district meeting our district leader held a mini testimony meeting and
he asked us all two questions. One why did we come on a mission and
two why are we still here. what has kept us on our missions. The
reason I came on a mission was to share the gospel with others,
because it has blessed me and my family so much. And the reason that I
am still here on a mission is because of my Savior. Because He loves
me. And has never left me alone. Missions are hard. Hard in a way I
don't think I could ever imagine. Yet this is the greatest experience
I have had in my life. I know that I am here because of my family,
friends, and ward members who helped me to gain my own testimony of
this gospel. There are so many people who gave me that great example
that I needed to follow. I know that my Savior lives. If you are
having a hard time, Come unto Christ. He is there. and He loves you.

I love you!!! I know that you are at home praying for me!! and I pray
for you too!! every single night I thank my Father in Heaven for my
family and ask HIm to bless you. I can't wait for the day when I will
get to see you all again but I know that my time here is sacred and
that as I serve you will be blessed. Thank you for all your
testimonies and love. I LOVE YOU!!!!! with all of my heart I love you.

Love always,
Sister Boudreaux
Denae :)

Saturday, February 1, 2014

well hello my dear family. how are things at home?? Things here are
FANTASTIC! and I love it :)  well maybe it's just been a good morning
so I am in a really good mood. So this will be a happy email!! :)

So let me explain why it's a happy morning. This past Friday we get a
call from the Elders that we share our ward with and they are like,
Hey so we were trying a Less active in your area and we felt like we
should knock on her neighbors door so we did and we set an appointment
for monday morning at 9:30, do you want it? of course we were like
um... ya we want it!! so we went to this appointment this morning
totally not expecting to have anything really come from it but they
let us in! It's a husband and wife and they have a cute little boy who
is 2. We taught them the Restoration and the husband wasn't too
interested in everything but the wife was like ya, you can come back
and teach me more! it was awesome!!! so we are going to go and visit
her this Thursday again! They both expressed to us that they have been
looking for a religion but haven't really found one yet. She told us
she feels kinda like Joseph Smith not knowing what church she should
join. Anyway we were pretty excited and it made for a good morning
today :) Even though the appointment was in the middle of our studies.

It has been a pretty good week. I got to go on an exchange with Sister
Ransom!! It was awesome. I never would have guessed that I would get
to spend 24 more hours with her as my companion. It was fun. We were
even able to tract into a new investigator together. Which was pretty
legit. It was in her area, not mine but that's okay! it was still fun.

We also had a really good lesson with our investigator Kristina. She
is doing well. She is the one who read the book  of mormon in two
weeks. and she knows that it is true she is just worried about her
family. Her husband is a strict Catholic and is scared that her
joining the church could cause a divorce and they don't either one
believe in divorce. So we are moving slow with her but she has a
testimony of the gospel! we watched the restoration DVD with her and
she LOVED it. We invited her to watch it with her family. So we hope
that she does!!! She's awesome. Both Sister Haskell and I have felt
that she will join the church someday. Maybe not right now but she
will join.

We are super excited because today we are going to go to the mission
home and have a sister P-day party! we are going to watch Ephriam's
rescue. Super excited for that. It should be fun. and then tonight we
are going to watch 17 miracles with the Malik family (the family we
live with) It was funny last night we knocked on the door to ask them
if it was still okay to watch the movie tonight and sister malik
answered and sister Haskell's like HI mom! it was super cute. She was
like Hi girls! She is a single mom with 5 girls so we just decided we
would adopt ourselves in as her 6th and 7th daughters :) They are
awesome and we love them.

So this is a weird transfer and it has 7 weeks (because the last
transfer had 5 because of the holidays) so this is week 7! Transfer
calls are this Saturday. I honestly have no idea what is going to
happen. But I trust that it's in the Lord's hands. President Anderson
is an amazing mission president and I know that he does what the Lord
wants him to do for our mission so we shall see!! a small piece of my
heart is still hoping that they will send me back to fargo so I can be
at Jadyn's baptism in March :) but another part of me wants to stay
here! and part of me wants to still be with Sister Haskell and part of
me wants a new companion too! so really I am just putting it in the
Lord's hands because I can't even make up my mind about what I want :)
It's funny as Sister Haskell and I have talked we both feel the same
way. Sometimes she wants to leave, sometime she wants to stay. Some
days she wants a new companion and some days she wants to still be
with me! it's funny :)

So we found a new fun way to tract. We have decided to make it less
boring we bought gummy candies and we leave them in the pocket of our
coats so we can eat them as we go. I had Dinosaur ones the other day.
that way when someone is rude to you it's ok! because you can eat a
yummy gummy candy as you walk away. and you feel a little bit better
inside :)

I don't know what else to tell you. This past week has been crazy! but
awesome. ups and downs and lefts and rights. but the Lord is always
with us. I know that to be true with all of my heart. He knows us
individually and perfectly. No matter what we are facing He is there.
He won't take away our hard times. but He stands with us through them.
I love you all so much! I was talking this past week with my mission
president and his wife in the mission home ( a blessing that only
comes from serving here in Rapid) and he was asking about my family. I
was able to tell him that I don't really worry about you all back
home. Because I know that you are all strong in the gospel. and I pray
every single day that you will stay that way. What a blessing is is to
be a part of the Boudreaux family!! Every single one of my companions
has had brothers or sisters who have left the church that they are
constantly praying for. I am so thankful to not have to worry about
those things. I do still pray for you all and I know that this gospel
is a life long commitment but what a blessing to know that we are all
in this together. I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for the prayers and letters and support. Remember that life
is too short to not giggle every now and then!!

Love always,
Sister Boudreaux