Thursday, April 24, 2014

April 21

Well.... this past week has been... interesting? both amazing and horrible all at the same time? confusing and clear? I am sure many of you have seen the church's Because of Him campaign. oh my it has been so amazing to use as a missionary!  we were able to show it to all of our investigators this past week and many of the families in the ward. as I have watched the video time and time again it has truly touched my heart. Every single time I watch it I feel the spirit. every time. when I first saw it last week I almost burst into tears right here at the library. President Anderson encouraged us to use the video and the website as much as we could this past week and it's been so great! As we have shared it with the families in our ward we have been able to ask them what they have Because of our Savior. with out fail in every single home they have mentioned family as one of the first things. it was incredible to hear their thoughts. one little boy said air! another little girl said friends! comfort, peace, understanding, forgiveness, homes, love, so many wonderful things!! all because of Him. I love it!!!

well so this past week has been hard because well... our area has kind of struggling.... but!! it's okay. we had a few girls who were Karen that we have been teaching and this past week we prayerfully made the decision to hand them over to the Elder's (Elder Zaw is an elder here who is actually Karen himself. so he is fluent in the language) it was one of the hardest decisions I have made on my mission but I know that it was the right thing to do. One of the girls is Ma aye aye. She is the one who is 11 and fluent in English. and oh my goodness I love her so much! she had the strongest desire to be baptized and she knows and understands why she needs to be but she struggles to help her parents understand why. We struggle to over come the language barrier. So we prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed some more and we know that we need to pass them off to the Elders. so we have! and we have pretty much not many people left to teach. but it's going to be okay!!

In conference President Ucthdorf talked about having an attitude of gratitude. something that he said has really stuck in my head and in my heart. He said, "How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?". Sure this past week a lot of hard things have come our way. and there were moments when I was so tired and so mad or so sad or so who even knows. moments of anger moments of frustration. and yet I am still so incredibly blessed. There are little tender mercies in every single day. I think that I sometimes get into the mindset that I keep working hard because a blessings is coming. why not work hard because we are supposed to work hard regardless of the result? why does it always have to be I will do what I am supposed to because it will bring me something? why not do it because it is right. because it's the way that you know you are supposed to be living. I think that sometimes we become motivated to live the gospel because we know that blessings come. why not live the gospel because it's what Heavenly Father has asked us to do? How much time do we waste "wadding" through trials searching for the end of them without realizing all the great things that we have in the moment. and knowing that the "great" things are often not incredible manifestations of huge things. but that they are simple. The gospel is simple. the way God shows His love is simple. we don't have to be thankful for things. we should just be thankful. The other day we were driving in the car and seriously it had been a hard day. we were upset about a lot of things. and things that would genuinely upset someone! but I hated the feeling that was in the car. and so we began to go back and forth and list off things that we were thankful for. blessings we had in this area. pretty soon the mood in the car changed. we were able to smile and laugh. we began to again invite the spirit into our work. now did that magically solve all our problems? no. but it did help us feel better and realize that there is always much to be thankful for and about. is it easy to have this thankful attitude? no. it's one of the hardest things to do. but I think that as I have tried it out these past few days I have come to see that it helps us to find happiness now. to enjoy the rain! without always just waiting for the rainbow :)

so I got to speak yesterday in church. it was a really great experience. Sister Dennison also spoke and she shared an experience about how she has come closer to the Savior and created that personal relationship with HIm. I was about to speak about missionary work and the atonement. which at first I thought was going to be hard but the more that I studied the more I realized just how inter related the two are. At every single stage of the Atonement Jesus Christ commanded those are Him to share the gospel. In the final chapters of each of the 4 gospels Christ as a resurrected being commands that HIs followers go and preach the gospel to all nations. while in the spirit world He establishes missionary work and preaches the gospel. Right before entering the garden to take up himself the sins of all man He tells peter that when he is converted to strengthen his brethren. my all time favorite story however is when they are on the shores of the sea. it's the last chapter in John. and Christ asks peter 3 times if he loves him. I love His simple answer. then feed my sheep. If we truly love the Savior then we will feed His sheep.

well I have more I could write but I am running out of time! I love all of you so much!!! this past week my testimony of the Savior and His atonement has grown in ways I never would have imagined. missions are hard. sometimes they seem lonely. but I know that I never am alone. I know that there is always someone there who knows me perfectly and who wants to help me every single step of the way. I know that I have a family back home who loves me so much. thank you for all that you do! I love you all!!!

Love always,
Sister Boudreaux

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14

Well Hello!!!! so another week has come and gone and it's again time to write home. which is just so weird to me. I feel like I just wrote home! I don't even know what to write about.... this past week went so fast that I don't even remember what happened! Things are going good here in Huron. Same old same old. Sister Dennison and I are doing great! still laughing our way through things. Like always :) Church was a bit hard yesterday. we had 3 investigators who said they would be coming who didn't :( but it's okay! Sister Dennison leaned over to be and reminded me that we did have 3 less actives and 2 recent converts come to church. so 5 people that we are working with were there. They just all happened to be members of the church. I also got to play the piano for sacrament meeting. First time I have done that on my mission. but it went well. No mistakes. which is really a mini miracle in and of itself. I get to speak in church next week. So April is missionary month here in Huron. Except this coming Sunday is Easter. So I am supposed to be speaking about missionary work on Easter Sunday,.... I think I am just going to focus on how missionary work is so closely tied to the Atonement. and how the message of Easter is really the center of our missionary message to the world. something like that... we'll see. I got volunteered to speak yesterday in ward council. so I will let you know how it goes!

oh goodness I don't know what else to write about. last week we had an extra sister with us for Monday and Tuesday. so Tuesday we were frantically trying to figure out something productive to do. We tried like every single person under the sun that we could possibly think of. NO ONE answered the door. Not one person! so we kept going and we get to the point in the night when we only have like 20 min. before the other missionaries are going to be there to pick up the other sister. Sister Dennison is like... well we could go try Yong. He is a former investigator who we had tried before but was never home. So we got over totally not expecting him to be home. and He is! and He lets us in. He and his wife were there and he told us how he had met with missionaries in the past but then he just got too busy but that he was ready for us now. It was crazy! but of course we only had a few min. so we quickly shared some how to being teaching points with him (they are basically simple point that explain why we are there as missionaries etc they are in chapter 10 of PMG) and then we had to go! He is Hmong and doesn't speak a ton of English but his son has gone to college so he wants to have us over when his son is home to help him understand. the elders also had a Book of Mormon in Hmong so we were able to drop that off at his house a few days ago. Kinda crazy! but a cool experience. The Lord gives us those blessings as we continue to strive to do what we know to be right and are diligent in doing His work.

okay so random side note about this adventure last Tuesday. we are driving down this dirt road and I look at this house and I was like hey! there are bikes in those trees!! both the other sisters were like what? so we turned around and went back and sure enough there were like 4 bikes hanging in these peoples trees. super funny. so we of course took pictures. oh the adventures of serving in a small town :) always something new and exciting! I love it. Huron also has all these cool murals on the sides of buildings. so we are going to go one pday and take pictures next to them. should be fun.

We had our zone training meeting this past week in Brookings. Which Is a pretty good drive. I got so used to being in rapid where all the meetings took place at the stake center which was like a mile from our house. Having to travel to meetings again was super weird. but The meeting was good. We talked about ways to have enhanced studies. What I got from it the most was just how important the spirit really is in everything, learning and teaching. The zone leaders did this role play where they were teaching an investigator about the apostasy. The first time through they did it way bad so that we could easily tell it was awful. They were talking about things that were super random like the Koran and the Dead Sea Scrolls, Martin Luther and the 95 thesis. Random facts and events that have to do with the great apostasy. Then the second time they did it they didn't need to mention all those historical "facts" and things. They explained it simply and clearly the way that it is taught in Preach My Gospel. The difference was night and day. What really stood out to me was that both times they technically talked about the great apostasy. the first time through everything they said was technically true. but the second time through they had the spirit. and it made all the difference. I think of how when we are sharing the gospel, learning the gospel, and teaching the gospel we have to keep things simple. The more simple things are the easier it is for the spirit to help us teach.

Later that night we were able to go and meet with our investigator ma aye aye (she is a cute little 11 year old Karen girl) the lesson we taught was directed by the spirit and it was a really great experience. it was the kind of lesson you walk out of and just feel like you are on cloud 9! it was so great. Because you know that it wasn't you who taught the lesson, it was the Holy Ghost. Feeling like you have been an instrument in the hands of God is one of the best feelings there is.

well I am running low on time and I want to send home some pictures! so I well leave your for now :) I love you all so much!!! hope you have an amazing Easter!!!!!!

Love always your favorite sister missionary,
Sister Boudreaux
one year anniversary

sister dennison and I ! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

March 31 and April 7

March 31
This week the inevitable will happen..... I will have been a missionary for an entire year... I am super not excited about it.... I might cry... a lot.... ahhh!!! but what a year it has been! oh goodness.

So things are going well here in Huron! I grow to love this town and the people here more every single day. I loved getting to watch the Woman's General Meeting broadcast with some of the woman in the ward (okay so Huron is technically a ward but really it's the size of a branch.) The broadcast was AMAZING!!!!! oh my goodness. warmed my heart!! I totally started to cry when President Eyring told everyone to look to their Mom and smile. I was smiling Mom!!!! :) It made me think of all the wonderful examples of woman that I have seen in my life. My Mom, Sisters, Grandmothers, Aunts, have always been such amazing examples to me. I knew what kind of a woman I wanted to be when I grew up because of the wonderful woman the Lord placed in my life. Basically the broadcast was amazing and I loved it!!!!!!!!!

So we got in with a family this past week that the sisters hadn't been able to get in with for a very long time. The parents are divorced, less active. and both only really speak Spanish. They have two daughters Gabriella and Samantha. They are 9 and 12. They want to be baptized but don't have much of an understanding of the gospel. They speak English well so we are excited to be able to teach them. I hope that they will progress! We are still working with some of the cute Karen girls too. But their parents won't let them be baptized until they are older. So right now we are working on helping them to build a testimony that will be strong enough for them to stay active until they can join the church.

So Sister Dennison and I are getting along great! we laugh together pretty much every single day multiple times a day. She helps me to be motivated when I am like blah! I am quitting! She has a great excitement and she is good at keeping me going :) We both have a similar sense of humor so it's great to joke and laugh. We know how to laugh at ourselves which is super helpful too. Basically it's been a good two weeks :)

The ward here is good. Very different than any other ward I have ever been in or served in. Pretty much the polar opposite of Rapid :) but still good!! Rapid was HUGE and Huron is tiny. but it's amazing to see how the gospel is the same! I love it! There is this amazing little old man in our ward named Brother Whitney. He has lived in Huron since he was 19 years old and He and his wife joined the church together in 1954 when he was 24. The missionaries knocked on his door and his kind wife let them in! It was amazing to see what has come from that. He has had many children and grand children who have been active in the church. Married in the temple. served missions. It's amazing! He spoke yesterday in sacrament and it was incredible to hear his families conversion story. He talked about how all of those little steps in the gospel led his family to the temple where they could be sealed together for eternity.

So we live in a house here in Huron and it's over 100 years old! crazy right. It can be scary sometimes but it's growing on me :)

I just want you all to know how much I love you!! Today as I got on the computer to check my email it was so nice to get to see so much love and support! The emails and letters you send really do help me out. The support and love are needed and felt!! and most assuredly appreciated :) The prayers are also felt!! What a beautiful thing prayer is. We can have a conversation with the most powerful being in the universe. and yet He loves and knows each of us so intimately. He hears us. I know that He does.

I love you all so much!! I feel like there was more I wanted to write today but I can't think of any of it..... so I guess it wasn't too crazy important :) it if was then I guess it will have to wait til next week!

I love you!!!!!!!!!!

Love always your favorite sister missionary,
Sister Boudreaux

April 7
Hello from Huron!!! Things are going so great! Sister Dennison and I are just as happy as ever :) our exciting news is that we have two investigators on date for baptism on May 10th! so we are really hoping that they will make it! They are Gabby and Sam (both girls) Gabby is 12 and Sam is 9. Their parents are less active members who are divorced and only speak Spanish. The girls speak English but we really want their Mom to feel involved. So we are working on that :) but they are on date! so we are excited. We also were able to teach 18 lessons last week! not sure how we  did but we did! which the most lessons I have taught as a missionary. it was crazy. so things are going good! Huron is unique but I love it :)

so conference. oh my goodness I love it!!!!!!! it was so amazing!!!!! everything was just hitting me right to the heart. I loved Elder Holland's talk. and pretty much every ones. I don't even think that I could pick a favorite. it was just all amazing. As I listened to conference I really felt like the message Heavenly Father was sending to me was that I need to be prepared to stand up for what I believe in. That truth is truth regardless of what the world says. That it will take courage but that I need to stand up for what I know to be true regardless of if I stand alone. But in all reality we are never standing alone when we stand up for what's right. Because our Savior is always standing with us. always. so it will take courage! but I know that I can do it. Let's be honest I also need to work on having Christ-like courtesy. Because when Elder Holland told that story about the sister missionaries and how they just walked away after being spit on and having mashed potato's thrown at them I was like oh no. that would not have gone over well. So I am going to work on that..... I have six more months right! :) which is also a super weird thought. Sister Dennison was like by next conference  you will be home! and I was like no!!! I will still have two more weeks as a missionary!!!!! don't take those two weeks away from me!! Oh ya by the way I am pretty sure if I have done the math correctly I will actually get home the day after my birthday.... just a heads up! not that I am thinking about it... I am still in denial of everything... my mission is never ever ever going to end. like ever. I love it too much!!!!

so I have decided that Sister Dennison just makes me feel like I am in high school again. She is 19 and does super silly dorky things and then I feel like I need to join in on said silly dorky things (these things usually take place in the comfort of our house...) and she just makes me feel like I am back hanging out with Lindsey and Bri taking silly pictures and acting like a fool :) but it's good for me too. keeps my inner 5 year old a live and well.

so I don't know what else to write. I always have like tons of stuff to write about and then I space it all when I get here and start typing. Huron is small. but I love it! well it's smaller than grand forks and rapid. but seriously its really great. I know the work here is just waiting to BOOM!! and I am so excited for it. I know that the Lord is preparing people every single day so hear the gospel. When Elder Ballard talked about missionary work it really hit my heart. Because 6 months from now I take off the name tag but I never stop being a missionary. as a missionary I think sometimes it's super easy to be like YA the members totally need to be inviting people to learn about the gospel! Help us out!!! but yesterday as I listened I realized that when I get home I will be expected to invite someone to meet with the missionaries once every 3 months. and it is going to take courage. but I know that if I pray for those experiences that the Lord will bless me with them. That if I am courageous enough to open my mouth and share my testimony I will be led to those that want to hear the gospel. You don't need a name tag on you shirt to be a missionary. my biggest regret before my mission is that I didn't share the gospel as much as I should have. but now I am different. now I know that there are people EVERYWHERE who need this gospel. and we are the people to bring it to them. where else will they find it if not from us? The Lord sent all of us to the earth at this time because He needs us to prepare the world for the second coming of His Son. Every single one of you was asked to do this. and we all said yes. so let's get to work!!!! I know that as we work hard in sharing the gospel the Lord blesses us with those people who need it most :) that I believe and know with all of my heart!!!!!!

so basically I have the most legit family and friends out there. and I want you all to know that. That I love you. And I pray for you. and your support and prayers are felt, appreciated, and needed. I would not be here on a mission today if not for my family, ward family. and friends. you all helped me to piece together for myself the truthfulness of the gospel. and with out that I would be a very lost and confused girl right now. but with the gospel my life has purpose. I have purpose. I know that I am a loved daughter of God. That my Savior knows me. This past week we were able to get one of our investigators to young woman's and they were doing personal progress that night. They were talking about individual worth. at one point in time I made a comment and it's something that brings me a lot of peace and comfort. It's actually something that I learned in Grand Forks when I was teaching a Sunday School lesson. And that is that Heavenly Father knew Joseph's name. When Joseph had the first vision, Heavenly Father called him by name. Joseph was a 14 year old farm boy in New York. He was a no body as far as the world was concerned. but God knew his name. and if He can know Joseph's name then why not mine. and why not yours. God knew his name. and I know that He knows mine.

I love you all dearly!!! I am still in denial I have been gone for a year but what an amazing year it has been. I have to thank my Heavenly Father for it often. He has molded and shaped me more than I ever thought possible. and I still have plenty of time to go!!! again I love you!!! thank you for all that you do!!!

Love always,
Sister Boudreaux
your favorite sister missionary :)