Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24

ok. so this past week has been crazy and amazing and crazy!! so hopefully I can get it all into one email!! and it will make sense! so first off my official release date is Oct. 16th. just so everyone knows. and now that everyone knows we are no longer talking about it. :)

so this past wed. a tornado came through Wessington Springs a town about 14 min away from Huron which is actually where our Bishop lives.  Bishop and his wife were assigned to be a ma and pa on trek so they weren't home to be there with their 4 daughters when the storm hit. Sister White shared her testimony this past Sunday in church and it was amazing. She talked about how Wed. night she just felt as if she needed to call her family and see how they were. She got a hold of her oldest daughter, who is 13, and found out about the tornado. She told them to get in the basement in a room with no windows. She spoke of how after getting off the phone with her daughter she got on her knees in her tent and prayed. That was all that she could do. Pray that her family would be okay. With the path of the tornado our Bishops home and his veterinary clinic should have been destroyed. But they were both completely fine. Homes just around the corner from their home are completely gone. But theirs is just fine. As I have pondered on this experience I know that it was a miracle. I know that because our Bishop and his wife were where the Lord needed them to be that angels watched over their family and kept them safe. Wed. night our Bishops wife also got a phone call from Brother Farmer who, the elders quorum president in our ward, telling her that he was already in Wessington Springs to pick up her girls and bring them to Huron. He didn't have to be asked, he was simply there. This ward is a family. They take care of each other and it is such an amazing blessing to get to be a part of it and to serve here.

On Saturday Sister Maisey and I went out and got to help clean up the Bishops yard of debris. It was crazy to see the different things that you could find. I found a card from a Pictionary game, ribbon still in the package, cold and flu medicine also still in the package, a Disney princess bike bell, just random things! pages from a cook book. pieces of a letter. It's crazy to see in real life what a tornado can do.

So the reason that you are getting this email a day late is because yesterday we were able to go out and again serve and help clean up. All of the missionaries from the Sioux Falls stake were able to come out and help. There were about 40 missionaries and at least 10-15 members. We put on our Mormon helping hands T-shirts and we went to work! we were assigned to work in what they call the south gulch which is an area off the side of the highway across from town. it has a HUGE hill that lowers down into a valley type area that they keep cows in. There were HUGE pieces of metal and debris and many trees that had fallen over that we worked to haul out of the gulch. It was hard work but it was a lot of fun. I got to see a lot of missionaries that I have served with in the past. One of the things that really stood out to me was the fact that we were doing incredibly hard work. Work that really no one else wanted to do and yet we all did it with a smile on our face. I don't think that I heard one person all day complain about it. Where else would you find a group of 18-26 year old young people who would be willing to serve so selflessly and with a smile on their face. :) it was truly amazing. And it was amazing to see what an effect it had on such a small community. We were able to do something for these people that would have been very hard for them to do themselves. it was amazing!! such a good day. a day that I will never ever forget. and don't worry I have LOT"S of pictures to send home :)

so when the tornado hit Wessington springs it then came up this way but thankfully it didn't touch down anywhere near Huron. The sirens did sound for over a half an hour and we went over to a members house so hide in their basement if we needed to. So we were safe!! but there was a CRAZY storm! I think another huge miracle from this storm is that no one was seriously injured. The sirens had been going off for over a half an hour in Wessington springs before the tornado came and all the people had listened to them. They took head of the warning and they were all okay. It's the same for us today. The prophets and the scriptures give us MANY warnings. and they have been sounding for a while now. If we head those warnings then we will be okay. but we must head the warnings.

This past Sunday our sacrament meetings was one of the most powerful sacrament meetings I have been to in a very long time. The spirit was so strong. as I mentioned above they had the people who had gone on trek share their testimonies. We had our Bishop White and his wife go and then also Brother and Sister Gose (she is who always sends you pictures of me :) ) went as ma's and pa's and then we had two youth go. To hear their testimonies was truly amazing! I just love this ward and these people.

okay well I think that was everything that I wanted to write about. As far as I can remember. The rest of the week last week is kinda a blurr. But there were many miracles seen and felt. This work is true! and I know that the Lord is always mindful of us!! I love you all with all of my heart!! thank you for the love and support! I know that the Lord truly has given us angels around us to help bear us up.

Love always your favorite sister missionary,
Sister Boudreaux

the elders made a pyramid... because they are elders :)

 just a few looks at the damage.

 sister Jaramillo :) she serves in Brookings and she always makes me smile :)

 jump for joy! haha we were like we have to do something crazy! we are all wearing jeans so we can!!!!!
 all the sisters
 yellow shirts everywhere!
 taking a break for a min.!
 me by the Wessington springs sign!
 all the volunteers after a LONG day of work :)
 sister Johnson! she is amazing. she was my Sister Training Leader in Rapid!
 sister spencer my MTC companion!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 16

June 16

ok so last week I wrote home and was like Hey I have all these things to write about! and then I forgot like half of them. I got home and was like oh man I forgot to write about this and this and this. so I made a list of things and I am going to write home about them this week!

So a week ago Saturday the zone leaders call us and they are talking to Sister Maisey because we are out walking. and she laughs and is like hold on my have to tell her this. So she hands me the phone.  First the elders ask how the weather is in Huron and some other lame small talk and then they tell me about how they were walking down the street in brookings and they saw this lady mowing her lawn. The Elder talking to me was like. "she looked up and Sister Boudreaux it was YOUR face! like she looked just like you!" oh goodness I was laughing pretty good. I was like well I am most defiantly here in Huron! not in brookings mowing a lawn. It was just funny because they kept telling me how this woman looked just like me! I was like Um was that all? The elders were like ya! .... ..... so basically you called to tell me that you found my twin mowing a lawn in brookings? that was the whole reason you called? it was super funny. we laughed pretty good about it. I didn't think til later to tell them that they should have known better than to think it was me. I've never mowed a lawn in my entire life. I don't even know how to turn a lawn mower on. :)

okay so last week we also go to paint with the young woman. It was the first time I have painted literally since the 7th grade. so ya. it was an adventure! :) but I sent the painting to Kale. thought he would enjoy it.
also it rained a ton!! so wed. night at like 8:55 we went out and danced in the rain :) I would sent home pictures but that was also the night that I deleted all of the pictures on my camera........

also they have what they call wheel jam here and it's this big thing where all these semi's and trucks come into town and there is competitions and stuff. They do it at the fair grounds (because Huron is the home of the South Dakota state fair) and so on Saturday morning they have a parade and it's just all of the semi's and trucks driving down the main street. I have never seen anything like it before. Only in Huron :) but I loved it!! Small towns are the best!!!!

okay so now for this week. It has been one of the best weeks that I have had in Huron!!!! not because we found any new investigators, or had any crazy huge miracles but because the Lord was with us. He literally led us through this past week. It was just so great!!!! There were multiple times when we could feel the simple promptings of the spirit leading us where we needed to go. and I know that many of those promptings came because we were doing our very best to be obedient and diligent. More than once we had a simple thought to go somewhere like the Library not really knowing why. We would get there and find someone that we knew who needed help in some simple way. A phone to call someone when theirs had died, help printing off an important paper. simple things but still answers to someone when they were in need. We also go to go out to have dinner with our Bishop and his family out in Wessington Springs. (which is about 45 min. away from here) it was so much fun! they are such an awesome family :) I love them! they make me laugh. Their little girl Hadlee is 4 and she is a character! She always asks if she can come in our car or come to our house. I have started to tell her that only missionaries can go in our car and house. She then asked me at dinner if she could wear my name tag... that way she could be a missionary and come in our car! it made me smile :) She also might have accidentally spilled her glass of water all over me at dinner... oh the adventures of eating next to a 4 year old! :) (I seem to remember another time I had dinner next to a 4 year old who thought it would be funny to stab me in the thigh with a fork during the dinner prayer. Good thing he is now 6 huh so he wouldn't do anything like that anymore :) ) We also go to go with them to music in the park which was fun!

Friday we have co-ordination with our ward mission leader Brother Taylor and we get to have dinner with him after (we take turns one week the elders stay for dinner one we stay) so this was our week and guess what they made!! home made pizza!!!!! oh it was so good!!!! I loved every min. of it!!!! then they have a fire pit in their back yard and we got to make 'smores! so great!!! that night we also got to go watch the Joseph smith prophet of the restoration movie with the Estrada's. it was a good night ;)

We have a young woman in our ward who is a convert of a few years who is getting ready to go on trek this week so we got permission from president Anderson to watch 17 miracles with her to help her better understand why she was going and what had happened to those people. I just love seeing their stories!!! it touches my heart. It's amazing to reflect back on the sacrifices that others have made in our behalf. so that we can believe what we want to believe and we can have the freedoms that we do. Even as I reflect on the scriptures. Think of how many people sacrificed their lives in order for us to have the Bible. the Book of Mormon. how do we show our gratitude for their sacrifice? that is something that I have reflected on again and again. and when I do I always have a stronger desire to read those sacred words and to live what they teach.

Well I am running out of time! It went much faster today than I thought it would!! but I love you all so much!!! oh before I end I just wanted to say Happy Father's day to everyone! I know it's a day late but still. :) yesterday in relief society we were talking about the priesthood and I was able to reflect on the priesthood leaders in my home growing up, my dad and my brothers. you are all such amazing examples to me! I was able to reflect on how you gave me that example of what a priesthood holder should be. and that Dad you especially taught me how a priesthood leader should treat his wife. you have always loved and respected mom so much and that great example has left a very big impact on me!! (I'm sure it's impacted everyone else too :) )

well okay for reals now I have to go!! but I love you!!!!!! thank you for the love and support!! it's felt and appreciated and needed :)

Love always  your favorite sister missionary
Sister Boudreaux

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9

June 9
so the news is in and we did not get transferred! at first it was a little bit hard to take but as we prayed and thought about things I know that it is the right thing :) I have faced a lot of trials here in Huron but I know that after the trials come the blessings right! so this transfer I am searching for the blessings!!! and I know that they will come ;)

so this past week has been crazy and so I hope that I can remember everything that I wanted to write home about! first off I did something really stupid this past week.... I accidently deleted all of the pictures off of my camera..... so ya if you could make sure to keep track of all the pictures I have sent home that would be great! because I no longer have any of them... ya.... it was a little bit of a rough night when that happened... but most of  my favorite pictures were sent home!! so it's all good :)

This past week I feel like I learned a lot about humility and what it takes to be truly humble. I feel like the Lord has been trying to teach my humility for a really long time now but I am just stubborn! what can I say I'm a Boudreaux right :) but as I have begun to notice my pride it's been amazing for to see how the Lord has helped me to overcome it. It hasn't been easy! and I am still working on it every single day. It's an on going process! but something that I learned this past week has been that humility is giving all the credit to God. It's recognizing that we all have gifts and abilities and they are all different. That's the point! but that my abilities are from Heavenly Father. I had to work and earn my testimony of the gospel but I have to remember that they only reason that I have it is because of the Holy Ghost. He taught me and helped me to know of truth. so really my testimony isn't something that makes me better than anyone else. it's a gift from God. He deserves all the credit! so ya humility.

This past week we had Zone training meeting and it was so great! they gave this presentation called the Mormons next door. it's way cool! I don't know if you have ever heard about it but basically it's a 20 min. presentation about members of the LDS faith. it doesn't really cover a lot of doctrine it's purely to help people understand us better as a people. They have a bunch of statistics and things that show how LDS people live longer lives and how we are a happier people and it talks about the welfare system and just all sorts of awesome stuff!! it's cool too because all of the research and findings have been done outside of the church, by non-LDS people. we are thinking about maybe doing the presentation here in Huron! so we will see :)

As part of the meeting they had us each answer 3 questions. they told us to think about the last day in our mission. What did we want to be able to say we had done? what did we want to become? and what did we want others to notice was different about is. As I thought about those questions I thought about the saying in basketball to leave it all on the court. play as hard as you can and leave it on the court. Well that's what I want to do with my mission. I want to leave it all in the field. I want to go home and know that I served as hard as I could and that I left it all here. I don't plan to bring any regrets home with me!

So as far as the work goes our ward mission leader brother taylor has been talking with us a lot about his son-in-law who is not a member of the church. His daughter Marie (who is the primary president in our ward and she is awesome!) married a non-member. so brother taylor is going to ask Tyler (the husband) this week if he will meet with us to take the lessons! so cross your fingers! (and pray!!!!) that he will say yes!!! I know that this transfer here in Huron is going to be amazing!!!!! it's finally warm and people are outside! and there is no snow!!! so how could it not be amazing :)

ok so that is everything that I can remember off the top of my head. but I am sure there was more that I wanted to write about. I am not even sure if all of this makes much sense. but when you have a limited amount of time to write sometimes you just type and don't think as much as you should :) So Dawnielle is an awesome big sister and she sends me uplifting quotes all the time and she sent me one that I have decided to make my new motto this transfer it's from President Uchtdorf it says "our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble, but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward."

ok so this is a complete rambling mess but I love you! and I hope that this makes sense in some way shape or form. life is good! The Lord is with me. This is His work. we are His children. and He love us.

Love always your favorite sister missionary
Sister Boudreaux

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

May 26 and June 2

May 26
Hello my dear family!
So this past week was a little crazy. So we did not have a baptism on Saturday like we thought that we would. all week it was happening and then not and then happening and then not. Their parents are divorced but both less active members of the church. Their mom was okay with them getting baptized but their dad wants them to go to church more and learn more. So that is where we are at! It's okay. It will happen when it needs to happen. until then we are just continuing to work with them and help them to be truly converted to the gospel. They will make it there some day!!!

That was pretty much what the majority of our week consisted of. planning a baptism and then cancelling a baptism. but it's good :) oh!! so guess who came to visit Huron! (well her mission) Sister Ransom!!! Her and her parents are doing a road trip through the mission. It was so great to get to see her. She always just makes me smile that girl. It was fun to see her parents too.

my mind is like totally blank of what to write about. it was a crazy week!! it flew by. Before I knew it, it was over!

Things are going good here. We are slowly seeing our less actives begin to make progress and become stronger in the gospel. I have been able to make some great connections with people here. Love them oodles and oodles! Many good memories and stories to bring home with me. oh goodness this is like the most boring email home ever! I apologize. I will try to think of something exciting to write about. hmmm....

we did get to go help a lady in the ward put together her new table and chairs. and I even helped! and nothing fell apart. so that was a win! it was fun to sit and talk and put everything together. and it's nice to get to wear jeans from time to time :) but I have also weirdly grown fond of wearing skirts and dresses.

Last Monday we did get to go and review the baptismal interview questions with Sammy and Gabby and the spirit was super strong. It was amazing to hear the girls tell us their simple testimonies of what they had been learning. Every time that I review with people in preparation for baptism or even just to check their progress in the gospel it amazes me to see just how much the spirit can teach us! It's those moments that help me to see that I really just a tool in the hands of the Lord. That the spirit is the real teacher and it's the one who truly converts people to the gospel. Because even if you were the best teacher in the entire world you could never convince someone to live the gospel to it's full extent without the power of the Holy Ghost. He is the real teacher and the one who will ultimately convert anyone.

Home teaching. It's a simple way to do missionary work. There was a story that my ward mission leader in my last area told us about a man who would go and try and visit this less active every month. and the man would yell at him and tell him to leave. but every month this faithful man would try again. one day there was a bad storm and one of the church buildings was being damaged and they needed men to come and help move things and try and cover the whole in the ceiling. The home teacher was asked to go and gather up people to come help. He thought about the less active and thought no he won't want to come. but the spirit told him to try. So he knocked on the door and the less active started to tell him to leave when the home teacher said. wait. I'm not here for home teaching I need your help. after he explained the situation the man said he would come and help. The work was miserable and the home teacher thought "great. this is awful! He is never going to come to anything ever again." but much to his surprise a few weeks later the man came to church. and eventually became an active member again. He later shared his testimony and said that as he helped with the building that day he felt good inside. It was a feeling he hadn't had for a long time. He felt not only wanted but needed. (this is of course in my own words but it's the general idea of the story :) ) I love the idea of it though! people want to feel needed and wanted. I have shared this story with many members and it has touched many hearts :) hope that helps! if not sorry!! :)

This morning in my studies I was reading out of Alma 5-7. Last January President Anderson committed all of us missionaries to read the Book of Mormon before July 1st and to look for evidences that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was being taught. I decided to take a Book of Mormon (one of the ones that we give out) and highlight the different aspects of the Gospel of Christ (Faith, repentance, baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end) I am also marking where it talks about justice and mercy and how Christ is able to help us heal spiritually and over come sin as we live the Gospel of Christ. Today I had a really great expierence as I read those chapters. literally almost every single verse was being marked for one thing or another. In chapter 7 he talks about the Atonement and talks about how Christ can succor His people and help them in their times of hardship. right after that in the next 3 verses he explains the entire gospel of  Christ. In the 3 chapters I studied this morning the Gospel of Jesus Christ is simply and beautifully explained. In the plainest terms he can use he explains it. and it explains it multiple different ways! The Book of Mormon is true!!! anyone who reads it with real intent and an open heart will know it. It is truly the most amazing book that has ever been written. without it I don't know where I would be in my life. Definatly not here. but with it I know that I can return to live with my Father in Heaven again if I will follow what it teaches. I just love the Book of Mormon!!! If you are not  currently reading it every single day then start!!!!! a single verse is a good place to start. it has the power to change lives. but only if we let it.

I love to study as a missionary! I feel like the spirit helps me learn so much!!!! well life is good. Missionary work is hard but if it was easy it wouldn't be nearly as worth it. I love you all!!! Thank you for all that you do for me!! I love you all dearly!!

Love always
Sister Boudreaux

June 2
well hello dear family!!!!
so this past week has been pretty much like all the others :) same old same old. we have been focusing on doing all that we can to talk to as many people as we can everyday. and with the weather being nice it's much easier to find people outside! I will be honest at first just walking up to people and talking to them was hard. when you go tracting you can mentally prepare yourself before they open the door. but as you street contact people they are just right there! they can see you coming! but we have had some really great experience's as we have been able to just talk with everyone that we could. On Saturday it was lightly raining and we were out walking. There was a man out on his porch with his little girl. They looked to be Karen but I thought well why not talk with them! so we went up and introduced ourselves and they invited us right into their home. He and his wife sat down and were so incredibly nice to us. They are from Burma and speak Burmese (which is a little different than the Karen language. they are from the same country but Burmese is more of the traditional language. I have been learning more about the people as I have been talking with Elder Zaw. He answers all my questions for me) They were Christian and spoke pretty good English. We were able to share a simple truth with them about the Restoration and then we got their information, set a return appointment and gave the information over to the Elders. I am excited for them to be able to teach them because they were such nice people and I know that the Elder's will be able to teach them in a way that I can't.

The second miracle we saw while out street contacting happened at about 8:30 on Saturday night. We had about an half an hour before we needed to be home and so we picked a street and started to walk down it talking to anyone we could as we went. Near the end of the street there were 4 woman sitting outside. At first it was super awkward when we went to walk up because they were like laughing and one got up and left and came back part way through and it was just an awkward situation. but I was like well we are already here! might as well just keep talking! so we did. and they told us they were Catholic (but I am guessing they are not super active... seeing as they asked us if there was a Catholic church here in town....) but we were able to bear a simple testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel and ask if we could teach them about it sometime. By this point in time they had all quieted down and they were honestly listening. You could feel the spirit. One of the woman looked at me and asked "well does it matter that we are Catholic" I could feel the spirit working though me as I answered. I told her No that we are all children of God and He loves all of us. That each and everyone of us are important to Him. After that we gave them our phone number and promised to stop by again sometime. I don't know if we will ever get in to teach them again but I know that while we stood there that night talking with them, they felt the spirit. and we bore testimony that God loved them and the Church of Christ has been restored to the earth. It may seem like a small thing but to me it was a miracle. The Lord blesses those who work diligently. And He will lead you along.

I feel like this week went super fast! (well they all feel like they go super fast) I don't know what else to even write home about. Last night I was able to talk with Sister Anderson over the phone for a little bit and at one point in time she told me that I would live a long life because I know how to smile and laugh. I thought that was a great compliment! Life is just too short to not laugh and enjoy it!! I have had times in my mission (well even just this past week!) when it is so easy to sit and complain about everything that is going wrong. that is what our natural selves tell us to do! and yet when we sit and complain there are always more things to complain about. the list never ends!!! but then we just get all grouchy and grumpy and it is so much harder to see the blessings. I would much rather just try to be happy and see the good! (not that I am perfect at it but I am trying!! :) )

I am contemplating cutting my hair again. maybe bangs this time. I don't really know. I have also started to do Yoga (I bought a yoga DVD) and I am really enjoying it! I have also started to BUY vegetables. and eat them all by myself! I keep having experiences on my mission where I am like oh my goodness if my family could see me right now they would be shocked!!! and I am trying to be humble enough to admit that I was wrong about a lot of things :) but it's been amazing to see how the Lord has helped me to see those things but done it in such a loving way.

I don't know what else to write home about. Sister Maisey and I are doing well! I love her :) it's been funny because the longer we serve together the more we realize that we are very much alike. we are very different in some sense but very much alike in others. it's been a good experience to be around someone who is so much like me though because it has helped me to see things about myself that I would like to change. things that will make me better. it's funny because there have been moments when she will say or do something and I am like ah! why would she do or say that?? and then like a second later I am like oh my goodness! that is totally something that I would have said or done! and then I have to swallow a huge humility pill and get over it! and see that I am not perfect so why on earth would I judge others. I don't know if that all made very much sense.... but it does to me!! :)

well I love you all!! thank you for the letters and support! they totally brighten my days :) this week is the week of transfers. I have no idea what is going to happen but just to be safe if you are planning on sending anything send it to the mission office or wait till next week to send it directly to me :) Glad to hear everyone is healthy and happy!!

Love always your favorite sister missionary
Sister Boudreaux :)