December 30, 2015 Week #75 Feliz Año Nuevo!

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Singing Happy Birthday to Dora with the Skriloffs and the Brants!

Hola hola hola–Feliz Navidad!

Christmas was wonderful.  I love Christmas time, and how special it is as a missionary. On His team and trying even more to do as He did.

There is such a special spirit that accompanies serving others.

Christ’s whole LIFE was service. Taking people by the hand and raising them up.  Not just telling them to “get up.”  Not just words….actions do speak louder.

Ha, on Christmas Eve we were giving out free hot chocolate with Books of Mormon and showing people the new video. It was so warm though! New York had some freak heat thing and it was in the high 60s. We should have been passing out lemonade!  Ha.  A tender mercy for me was seeing Polo again.  We tracted into him a couple of weeks ago and the elders teach him now.  He walked past and said, “Yo les conozco… (I know them…)” Ha!  It was so great to see him again.  He is doing well.

On Christmas we visited with a less active member.  Just stopped by for a quick visit, not wanting to take up her time.  She received us so warmly and was so lonely.   We talked about the birth of Jesus Christ and how all of eternity hangs on it.  Her capacity to love and empathize with others is incredible, and I appreciated seeing her love for the Savior.  Oh, that tender Babe in Bethlehem.

I can’t believe I’ve come to January and it’s my turn to return home.

Ha, family and friends almost seem like a dream–a good dream, but one that has been so distant for so long! I’ve heard of people saying that when you get home the mission feels like a dream.  Hmmmm…….I don’t want that.  It’s a part of me.  Prayer, scripture study, service, sacrifice (Jacob Bryson’s homecoming?) sums it up for me.  That was my time in New York, and I plan on that being the rest of my time on planet earth and beyond!  The Bronx and Poughkeepsie are sacred to me because I served and loved God’s children here with more real intent and prayer and purpose and consistency than anywhere else at any other time in my life.  I love these people!

But, it will only get better. I’m sure of it.

Let the adventure continue!

Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full. 2 John 1:12

Love love love. And more!

Hermana Boud

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December 23, 2015 Week #74 Feliz Navidad mis queridos!

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Our Christmas mission devotional with Sister Thompson!

Hola hola hola

Still here!  This week was so great.  It’s been crazy because when we leave, our area will close, or rather get absorbed by the elders working in our area.  All our investigators will be passed off and we have been hurrying to do our exchanges with our sisters in preparation for us leaving.  Crazy!

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Fink-asaurus is still a lot taller than me!

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She plays volleyball f0r BYU Hawaii

We have a mission-wide goal of finding 1,000 new investigators in the month 0f December. Last week was ROUGH, tracting and finding.  We had so many people talk to us and hold the Book of Mormon, and then giving it back and not take our cards and not do anything.  It was such a let down every time!  So many solid contacts and then they would just turn away and shut off so quickly.  It was really weird, actually–especially that it happened several times. Sister Thompson and I were planning on Saturday night for Sunday and we had zero new investigators (NI). Looking at the next day and seeing 8 hours of meetings left us with a little over three hours to find five new investigators (our goal for the week).

It was kind of dim.

But I had been praying all week that we would be able to find interested people, and I the faith–or at least a lot of hope–that something would happen.  After church, we quickly ate and went to Poughkeepsie and got into some small apartment buildings. We knocked on the four doors surrounding the small stairwell on each floor and caroled.  No one opened the door. Except Maribel, a kind Spanish young woman.  She listened and when we finished our verse we showed her the Christmas video and introduced the Book of Mormon.  She was so kind, and scooped up her little four year old in her arms to watch with her.  She took the Book of Mormon gratefully and told us to come back the following Sunday (her only day off).  What a miracle that she only has Sunday’s off!  No one seems to have Sunday’s off.  I am excited for the elders to start teaching her. We were so stoked that we found one!

To give a little more context: On Saturday while on a split with Sister Moe, we had literally 12 minutes before an appointment. I remember vividly the desire to just go a little early and write up our lesson reports. But I desperately wanted some new investigators. So I just pulled over on a random street–Oakley St. in Poughkeepsie. Knocked on 3 or 4 doors. One opened–a man named Omar who was just leaving and obviously not interested, more startled than anything.  We gave him a Restoration Pamphlet and asked if there would be another good time to come. “Tomorrow.”

So we went by “tomorrow.”  But before going, I had the desire to just not go and try some other “more promising” lookups to achieve our goal of five new investigators. We had one with Maribel.  Just four more. But then, we just decided to go (now I’m back with Sister Thompson). We knocked on the door.  No answer.  Knocked again, harder.  Someone came to the door, looked at us, then left.  DANG.  I started writing a note for them, preparing to leave a Book of Mormon on the porch. The girls then came to the side window and we asked for Omar.  “There is no Omar here.”  With a little more probing, there was an Omar there, and they went to go get him.  He came out and we asked if we could show the family the Christmas video.  We got invited in and sat down with him and his two daughters and niece. We started A Savior is Born and then people just started filing in!  Saphrina came in and then Claudia.

Then more kids. There were eight people in all–only little Leon was younger than 8. We introduced the Book of Mormon and taught a little about the Restoration.  We testified it was true and everything was so quiet and peaceful.  The spirit was there with us. That all felt so good.  It was an awesome first lesson.

They are ALL new investigators and I am so stoked!!! I’m so sad I leave in a 2 weeks….I can’t keep teaching them.  But I’m so grateful that we have elders to pass them off to.  It was such a Christmas miracle.  I floated out of that lesson and the moment we got to the car we prayed in gratitude for that family and for helping us find them.  Such a Christmas miracle!

God is so good.

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Bishop and Sister Berardi. Bishop Berardi has reshaped my perception of looking after “the one.”

I do believe the Lord will sustain us in our efforts to achieve our goals.  He will make all things work out for our good.  Always. I love Him.

I’m so grateful to be a missionary during Christmas time.  A friend’s email suggested that Christmas is actually just a Spanglish term–Christ Más. Más (or more) of Christ. I feel that.  More Christ.  More joy, more love, more family, more home.

Love you all so much!  Love our Savior more.

Hermana Boud

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Splits!

December 16, 2015 Week #73 Life is Good

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Hola hola hola

ROSA GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!!  Remember her?? From Olmstead?  We found her! Or, rather, she found us.  Her boyfriend’s mom was an active member and her interest was sparked as they talked and she shared her testimony with Rosa.  She came to church with Rosana (her then 6 year old daughter) and we met her there and began teaching her.  Her boyfriend’s mom told her that we don’t drink coffee, and in the first week of us meeting her she quit coffee, unbeknownst to Hermana Geiger and me.  When we got to teach the Word of Wisdom, she explained that she had already quit coffee and explained that the migraines she had the first week we met her were because of the coffee.  She was so cool….she IS so cool!  And her boyfriend recently moved out and now she is baptized.

Tears came to my eyes when I heard the news.  I am so grateful for her and her faith. Her example.  She was so kind.

I am so happy.

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Awesome week.  So much has happened!  And Christmas is next week….what the heck (at least that is how I feel).  Sister Thompson is the bomb, and we’re having a lot of fun as we figure out the English/Spanish teaching thing again.  We’ve seen some miracles.

On Sunday night we had our combined Ward Christmas devotional. So many people came and brought their friends!  It was a huge success, and more than anything, the Spirit was there. I love music, and my heart was touched as I heard so many different people testifying of their Savior through song.  So many instruments and styles and spirit.  I was sitting on the stand with the choir and was able to look out at Oscar and Christina and Joanne and everyone.  That was pretty neat….I felt like a fly on the wall as they felt the spirit and listened to those words.   I very much enjoyed watching their faces and seeing them smile or close their eyes or tilt their head….I am happy that they felt the Spirit. That is what it’s all about.

I had a tender experience while tracting this week.  We met man named Polo.  He is from Mexico and away from his family for the holidays. It’s been a while since he has seen them.  As we talked, he explained that he used to fill the hole in his heart – from missing his family and the stress of work – with alcohol and drugs.  He was a major alcoholic, but then explained how he had been sober for 18 years. He said the alcohol would never actually help him; in fact, it only made things worse afterwards. Then, he explained a little bit about his faith in Jesus Christ and how it’s helped him move forward. Proudly, he explained that he is now someone that is helping other people in AA struggling with the same problems he had. It felt good to give him a Book of Mormon and share my testimony with him.  That book has increased my faith in Jesus Christ, and I know it’ll do the same for him.

Yesterday we had a returning missionary meeting at the Mission Home. President and Sister Smith gave us a advice about the future and we counseled together on how we can use what we’ve learned and felt in the mission field to bless others as we go home. As I listened and reflected in that meeting, I had the strongest impression that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet called by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The Restoration really did happen, and we will never again have an apostasy on the earth. Thomas S. Monson will not lead us astray, and I sustain our dear prophet.  I am so grateful we have a living prophet, and that we will never have an apostasy again.

Before I came out to serve, I didn’t realize that one of the greatest blessings I would receive while serving as a missionary would be that my own testimony would increase and strengthen tenfold, and that I would come to learn to recognize the voice of the spirit.  What a blessing! I am so grateful for our Savior. I know He lives and loves us.  He is so kind.

So kind.

Life is so good.  I love my mission.  And I love the Lord. And I love you. Vamos!

Hermana Boud

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Time for a haircut.

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Me. A missionary. 🙂

December 9, 2015 week #72 Feliz diciembre

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Hola hola hola

Awesome week.  Transfers today–hard to say goodbye to Hermana Hutchison as she flies home tomorrow. Can’t believe it!  I love her. I’m so grateful we served together.

Blessed.

I will be in Poughkeepsie with Sister Thompson (English) for the last three weeks and then we’ll both head home mid-transfer on January 1. I’m excited to be up here – especially with “A Savior is Born.”  So stoked! Share it, please.  There is a follow up video – an animation of what the world would be like without a savior.  It is powerful – and my heart is touched so deeply every time when it says “He understands you.  He heals us.” He does. I know that. I love that, and I love that people are generally more open to being understood and healed around this time of year.

The other night we were tracting and no one was opening the door.  In all the doors we knocked, one guy opened the door.  He was a born again Christian, and not interested.  “Good job girls.” Thanks.

We had three cards left when we finished the street.  We decided to turn the corner and keep going, and passed the deli on the corner.  We walked passed it entirely, and then stopped and saw that there was a little side door with a huge “beware of dog” sign on it.  We rang the doorbell and after a minute, a woman opened the second story window and called down to us.  We stood there for about fifteen minutes getting to know her and explaining who we are and why we were there. Jaquelyn explained that she had recently moved here and was looking for a church, especially after talking with a local minister and he shutting her down hard because she hadn’t yet donated to his church. She cried a little as she told us, and her sincerity touched my heart. We slipped a Book of Mormon in her mail slot and she gladly accepted it.

I’m so stoked to see her soon!

This weekend Hermana Hutchison and I made a bunch of hot chocolate and went to Casa Latina to hand it out free to everyone in an effort to share the new initiative.  It was SO fun!  Ha! Plus we found a bunch of Spanish people, which can be few up here. We had a blast, but more than anything it was so great to spread some holiday cheer.  Free hot chocolate really surprised everyone, and we were met with warm smiles and “Merry Christmas” as we handed out everything we had.

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Passing out hot chocolate at the market!

We caught just a bit of the Christmas devotional – have been listening to it in the mornings.  I was touched by the story of the man with the wheelchair.  Spending all his life in a chair or bed – unable to do anything on his own, and wanting so badly to…be free.  When he heard of a local wheelchair drive, we waited and waited in line, so anxious and hoping that there would be a wheelchair for him after spending his life – now an adult – home bound.  It was his turn and he sat down and took off.  Slowly, then faster, then throwing wheelies and going all over.  Ecstatic.  Then, he came back, and got out of the chair and have it back – his turn being over, not realizing that the chair was his to keep.

I picture how hard that must have been (probably for me because of my selfishness!) to give that chair back.  And how he did so…so willingly, and with so much gratitude that he could experience that for even a few minutes.

And when they told him that it was his, his eyes welled up with tears.  So grateful.  So…full.  Gratitude is a virtue, and that story warmed my soul.  Am I that grateful for anything? For my Savior, most of all? I am reminded of the Nephites, who went and touched his hands and his feet and side, one by one.  Anxiously waiting in line, waiting my turn, ready to meet my savior. And then having my turn, my moment, my time – “popping wheelies” and rejoicing exceedingly for just that time I have with Him – only to return Him.  Still hold that memory in my heart, but not realizing that He is mine to keep.  “My Jesus” as Nephi calls Him (2 Nephi 33). As I think of my life and my most spiritual and touching and personal moments with God, I can see in myself that sometimes I just wait in line and then have my turn and then go back to normal life.  Being healed, yes, but not taking that Gift with me. Loving and honoring the memory for sure!  But not embracing the Gift forever.  Do my eyes well with tears when I realize that He is not just there after waiting in line, or after goofing up, or after a broken heart? But that he is always there?

Like that little video said–“He understands you.  He heals us.”  And He does so constantly and perfectly, if we let Him.

Ponder his birth and his life.  And let’s say thank you forever, shall we?

Love you all. Happy happy December!  Only to get happier.

Mm hmm.

Hermana Boud

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A member, Becca, just got engaged! So stoked for her!

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Long live the Poke Zone

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My zone gave this to me at our last zone conference because I leave mid-cycle. Ha!

December 2, 2015 Week #71 ¡vamos adelante!

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Madi Clark- my #1 sidekick at church. Long live the Clarks!

Hola hola hola

Natalie and PJ–CONGRATULATIONS!!! I love your little baby girl.  I love her. I love you. I’m so grateful that everything went well and all are well and safe and healthy.  Families are forever, and so so beautiful. I send my warmest welcome and love to that little girl.  She will be well loved and looked after in her mortal adventure.

Happy Thanksgiving! Last week I hardly realized that it was the following day. Life is such a blur recently….a good blur.  I find myself trying to slow down the clock so I can step back and enjoy the magic of it all, but, alas, time speeds on and here we are left to watch the wonder it leaves behind.  So with that, I send my Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  We had a wonderful one. It was with an English family, so that was weird. Ha!  It was so fancy and traditional and delicious and…patriotic, even.  As I sat there enjoying the Caffaro family and their DELICIOUS food, I realized that it was my third year of missing Thanksgiving at home.  And I thought of you all and missed you for a minute, and then realized how grateful I should be that I have a family and a home to miss.

Blessed.

Before dinner, they have a tradition of singing the Thanksgiving Hymn and reading a short story about the pilgrims–who celebrated the five kernels of corn they had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner their first year or so (or more?) after arriving in the Americas. And with those five kernels of corn, they truly lived in thanksgiving daily.  “Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me.”

We had a total miracle, too, with Oscar and Cristina and Yesica and Hugo this week.  We saw Oscar and Cristina on Wednesday night and, after asking about Thanksgiving, realized that they had no plans to do anything.  With that in mind, we shot a text to a family in our ward–Brother Ashworth (who Cristina and particularly Oscar have gotten to know and love)–and just gave him Oscar’s phone number and asked to invite them over for Thanksgiving.  It was such short notice, we didn’t know if anything would end up happening.   We didn’t hear anything and were a little bummed thinking that nothing played out.

On Sunday, Brother Ashworth saw us in the hall and quickly said, “Thanks for the text,” before rushing to class.  What did that mean…? Later, we found out that he had called Oscar and invited them over.  And on top of that, Yesica and Hugo came, and the two couples brought their kids, and they had an AMAZING time at the Ashworth’s and played Pictionary and games and talked and laughed.  When I heard that, my eyes welled up with tears at seeing the quiet kindness of the Ashworths. They hadn’t texted back and explained everything or worn that invitation of their sleeve or anything.  It was just casual and simple and so so much fun.  So so effective and kind and, more than anything, powerful to me.  As a missionary looking at it, I feel overwhelming gratitude for them and that invitation.  And looking ahead, I will for SURE be inviting people over for holidays and Sunday dinners and anything, really.  Have an open door…that really is such a simple thing and means so much and goes so far.  That is what I admire most about our dear cousins the Saunders.  Neighbors and friends and family and ward members and so forth are all coming over all the time. The door is open, and there is usually a cookie or two offered to everyone that walks through that door.  Talk about warmth and missionary work.  Building and edifying where you stand.

My heart is full as I reflect all the doors that have been opened to me both on and off my mission.  It’s been my leaders and friends and friends’ parents and families and teachers that have had that open door that’s made the biggest impact on my life. I’m so grateful for them, and I am excited to pay it forward everyday of my life.

Have I told you about Isabel? She is a 93 year old Jamaican woman with whom we meet and teach, and who is getting ready for baptism.  WOW. NINETY THREE YEARS OLD.  She has been coming to church for the past three weeks and is a star! So sharp and funny…so kind.  We are excited for her baptism, though I’ll admit that I am also a little terrified because she is so small (4 ft. some 8 or 9 inches, must be…) and old and fragile.  She sure is a go-getter, though. She has to read the large print Book of Mormon, and it is several pounds.  It warms my soul to come over and see her sitting there with that giant book on her lap reading.  Trying to understand and find her Jesus. I love dear Isabel.  On Saturday we taught about the word of wisdom and law of chastity. On Monday, after talking about baptism and clearing up some questions, she got quiet and looked at us, and then asked, “OK, so about this black tea and coffee.  What is so bad about it that I can’t drink it?” I love her thick Jamaican accent.  We talked about it and before we knew it, she went to the kitchen and gave us her little bottle of coffee grounds.  She said it would be hard, but she wants to obey God.  “And I know He will help me if I pray, cause He always does…..yes, ma’am.”

We saw her the next day and she said she missed it.  But she would be ok and keep going.

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Isabel: most faithful and lively 93-year-old I’ve ever met. With AND without coffee.

Excited for December. So excited for this month and Christmas. The “A Savior is Born” video came out this week and it is beautiful.  Did you see that it is kids that are teaching and talking and bringing the spirit? Kids who know and love their savior.  KIDS. You kids–can I still say us, kids?–really have power. We have the Spirit! And we can share it better than anyone.

So let’s do it.

Love love love. Oh, so much.  Especially the new arrival.  Welcome.

Hermana Boud

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P.S. This is what I look like. Don’t forget.

November 25, 2015 Week # 70 Acción de gracias

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Hola hola hola

This week has been a blur.  Sister Hutchison’s birthday was on Friday and it was a blast.  We saw a bunch of people and I enjoyed watching her receive her birthday wishes.   What a blast!

I can’t even believe that a Thanksgiving is tomorrow.  When did that happen?  The year has flown by. And here we are again.  I have so much for which to be grateful.  So much.  Especially as I look back on this whole year and see the Lord’s hand in it again and again.  From the Bronx up to Poughkeepsie….it’s been quite the journey, and I know Heavenly Father and my Savior have been there every step.

We had some awesome lessons with Joanne this week.  The spirit is so strong and she can feel it.  I feel so blessed that I’ve been able to be a part of her conversion.  She was not very sensitive to the spirit when I first got here. And as time has gone on and I’ve gotten to know her more and see her grow and come to know her Savior…its just been a beautiful journey.  She said recently, “You know, I really can feel the spirit. Whenever I pray and ask God for it, it comes.”  We questioned a little further to see what the difference has been and she responded, “I’ve just learned to recognize it. I can feel it now.”

That was the coolest thing to hear, and I can tell when she is feeling the Spirit. I can see it on her face when she feels that peace and that pleasing voice that pierces to the very soul.  Her eyes get glossy with tears and she sparkles.

What a blessing to be a fly on the wall for that learning process.  I love Joanne!

Today was a great day.  I was on a split with sister Gardner and we toured around the city for a bit.  It was so fun to be back in the city, even to just walk around (all we did). This was really neat: we stepped into a little hot chocolate and cookie store (heehee). Sister Gardner turned around and the lady behind her had a Broncos beanie on. She asked if she was from Denver, to which the woman responded, “Yes!” Then looked at our name tags and said, “Missionaries!”  She was a member there with her family, recently moved from Colorado.  Their seventh grader named Hallie had just gone to the temple for the first time and done baptisms.  It was such a tender mercy to meet that family, who insisted on buying our hot chocolate, and wished us well.

I am grateful for my membership in this Church! I love this gospel. And it makes me SO happy to see fellow saints with their families, going to the temple, serving, living and growing and progressing. All of us together–love that!

I’m reading in 3 Nephi and was really touched by chapter 9.  After these people, our dear Nephites, are falling and hardening again and again even after SO MANY signs have been given.  Sister Gardner and I talked about that today….how often we forget! How closed-minded we can be to all the many signs and blessings we have in our lives.  As I thought about all the signs they had been given, I reflected on all those that have been given to me.  But the greatest of all being the spirit. That quiet witness of the quiet miracle of our Savior, who “opened not his mouth” in the midst of so much pain and sorrow.  Who gave His all….and who did it so openly and metabolized all negativity into hope and love.

He is the Gift.  He is the miracle.

I’m grateful for that little babe in Bethlehem.

And for each of you.  I can feel your prayers, and they hold me up.

Thank you! I love you! Oh so much.

Hermana Boud

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This is Isabel…she is SO small. And I love her.

 

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November 18, 2015 Week #69 Hola

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At the summit of Breakneck Ridge Trail. Again.

HOLA

Sabbath day. It’s been on my mind! We taught the Relief Society class on Sunday and in my preparation for it (President Benson’s chapter 22 “Carrying the Gospel to All the World”), I came across these lines:

“The world wants to be rich, but won’t pay their tithing.  They want to be healthy, but won’t live the Word of Wisdom. They want world peace, but won’t keep the sabbath day holy.”

How interesting that world peace is coupled with keeping that commandment… Wasn’t there a law irrevocably decreed before the foundation of the world upon which all blessings are predicated? And when we receive any blessing [world peace] it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

Hmm.

What a gift the sabbath day is!  To be able to sit back and reflect on the “captivity of our fathers.”  Think about our Savior and how He delivered them and will deliver me and will comfort and lift and succor me in the exact way I need.  Commune with Him.  What a gift to have a whole DAY dedicated exactly to the preservation and edification if that holy relationship with God.

We have found some awesome new investigators this week–I am stoked, especially that a few of them have family behind their doors. I’m excited to follow up with them and teach about the restored gospel…..the message we bring has such a special spirit.

I know it is true.

One new investigator, named Amanda, is a star.  She had several questions about religion in general. A lot of people I’ve met have so many questions about religion in general…..they’ve mostly all been baptized in one church or another when they were babies, but it has no meaning to them, especially as they get older and are on their own.

Not really having gone to church as kids, their baptism seems hollow to them and they feel obligated to “be” Catholic, or evangelical, etc. I am always struck with how much each of them, though, feel that there is a God and that He is good, and are just confused with all the religions there are.  Everyone seems to be a “modern-day” Joseph Smith. Which is SO cool because the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and this is what will bring lasting peace and happiness. I love carrying this message. And I love being a fly on the wall when people feel the Spirit.   Their countenances change.  That’s what happened with Amanda.  A few answers, a few minutes, and the Spirit is there and there is peace.

So cool.

This week it really hit me how simple the gospel is. Hermana Hutchison is the most simple disciple.  She just believes. She just reads her scriptures and prays and goes to church.  I’m so glad those are the primary answers that everyone knows, because those are the things that will take us Home.  Just read.  Just pray.  Just go to church.

Answers and light and understanding DO come.  After the trial of your faith.

It will all be ok.

Love you! Duh.

Hermana Boud

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They meant it when they said BREAK NECK. They just left out the “your”.

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Ta Da!

November 11, 2015 week #68 siembra gozo

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Hola hola hola

Life is so good!  The year is turning over and all is getting chilly. Ha, I’m breaking out the scarves and gloves and boots and I’m happy to do so.  It is so fun to live in a place where each season is so….real.   I’ve loved watching the snow melt, the flowers bloom, the sun shine, the leaves turn, and now the days growing short.  It’s beautiful.  There really is a time and season for all things.

I love this beautiful earth.

We had zone conference this week, and I felt such a reverence for President Smith as he taught us.  Talk about a boost running into the final quarter of the year.  Also, I thought this was pretty cool–I come home on January 1st.  We are in the harvest now (ignoring winter).  The fall.  The harvest. The Book of Mormon is the sickle, and people are coming to Christ–especially in this holiday season where people’s hearts are softening and their thoughts turn, at least in part, more toward Him. I am so stoked to go go go this November and December! Woo!

By the way, I love each of you so much.

We have had a bunch of meetings recently. It’s a little crazy. Multiple MLCs and visits from visiting general authorities. Zone conference, etc.  For zone conference, we had to prepare a talk about the sabbath day. And I LOVED my preparation for it.  The Bible Dictionary tells us that the sabbath day was first instituted in commemoration for the Lord’s day of rest after the creation.  He rested from His labors, and we remember Him and His hand on that day.  Another reason, which I found SO COOL, was that it was also a time to remember Israel’s deliverance from Egyptian bondage. Hmm, does that have to do with “remembering the captivity of our fathers”?  I’ve read that again and again in the scriptures, and thought it meant just remembering them….honoring them.  And, I think that is true, but I didn’t realize that it could have to do with honoring the sabbath day.  From where did Nephi get all of his blessings? Obedience? Yes.  Keeping the sabbath day holy? I think yes.  He told his brothers,

2 Therefore let us go up; let us be strong like unto Moses; for he truly spake unto the waters of the Red Sea and they divided hither and thither, and our fathers came through, out of captivity, on dry ground, and the armies of Pharaoh did follow and were drowned in the waters of the Red Sea.

3 Now behold ye know that this is true; and ye also know that an angel hath spoken unto you; wherefore can ye doubt? Let us go up; the Lord is able to deliver us, even as our fathers, and to destroy Laban, even as the Egyptians (1 Nephi 4:2-3).

Sounds like he was remembering the captivity of his fathers…..keeping the sabbath day holy. Alma asks

6 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, you that belong to this church, have you sufficiently retained in remembrance the captivity of your fathers? Yea, and have you sufficiently retained in remembrance his mercy and long-suffering towards them? And moreover, have ye sufficiently retained in remembrance that he has delivered their souls from hell? (Alma 5:6).

Perhaps keeping the sabbath day holy is where he got his “angelic zeal” referred to in chapter 29:

11 Yea, and I also remember the captivity of my fathers; for I surely do know that the Lord did deliver them out of bondage, and by this did establish his church; yea, the Lord God, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, did deliver them out of bondage.

12 Yea, I have always remembered the captivity of my fathers; and that same God who delivered them out of the hands of the Egyptians did deliver them out of bondage.

13 Yea, and that same God did establish his church among them; yea, and that same God hath called me by a holy calling, to preach the word unto this people, and hath given me much success, in the which my joy  is full.

Talk about magnifying his calling–and I’d bet that part of that spiritual power he had was due to his reverence for the sabbath day.

And the Doctrine and Covenants (section 59) tells us that keeping the sabbath day holy will keep us unspotted from the world.  I am reminded of Moroni’s last words:

33 And again, if ye by the grace of God are perfect in Christ, and deny not his power, then are ye sanctified in Christ by the grace of God, through the shedding of the blood of Christ, which is in the covenant of the Father unto the remission of your sins, that ye become holy, without spot (Moroni 10:33).

That without spot business–I know that comes from the sacrament. Taking that piece of bread and that cup of water. Sanctifying…unto the SOULS of all those who partake of it. Let’s keep our souls without spot.

The last thing in the Bible Dictionary is that the sabbath day is a day to remember and honor the Lord Jesus Christ’s Atonement.  His broken body and spilled blood that He willingly gave for us. So we can be without spot. Sacrament meeting is about 70 minutes long.  10 minutes for Ward or stake business….usually.  Then we have an hour. One hour.

One hour.

Without spot.

Let’s watch with Him, shall we?

I love you all!  I love the sabbath day. It is a gift. It really is a delight.  How blessed we are to have a day to remember the creation and the Lord’s example of rest.  To remember the captivity of our fathers.  To remember the atonement of Jesus Christ.

Have a great week!

Hermana Boud

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November 4, 2015 Week #67 happy november

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At Westpoint!

Such a good week.

I am so tired.  Daylight savings has saved me.  Ha! Halloween was awesome.  We had to be in early–at 6:30–so that was a blessing and also a bummer because our week was shortened a little. BUT it was really fun to give candy to our neighborhood trick-or-treaters.  We had probably 5 doorbell rings, and I was STOKED for each one! Ha. Hermana Hutchison kept laughing at how stoked I was to see them.  So fun to call kids out that came twice, ha!  Bless their hearts, I just like to yank their chains.

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All of us on a tour of Westpoint

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Yeah, baby!

We had MLC (missionary leadership council) on Friday and it was excellent.  It was different….usually we go over how we are doing as a mission and then have some specific trainings about obedience or how to begin teaching or the doctrine of Christ, but this time it–to me–was all about goals.  Having a vision. Setting goals.  Making plans to accomplish those goals.  Being accountable. President Smith talked about the temple and how it is there that we learn so much about returning and reporting. We learn how heaven works–through plans and then reporting on how that plan is carried out.  As I think about it now, that was the first thing that Christ said to Mary when He came to her in the empty tomb:

“Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:15).

He was going to return and report.  I always wondered why she couldn’t touch Him….but it was probably because He was on His way to Father. Clean and fresh and gloriously perfect.  His body no longer bruised and broken.  And he was going to report to Father, and show Him the fruits of His atonement–aka the resurrection.

Anyway, just a thought on that one.

Back to the goal-setting, anyone that knows me knows I am a LIST girl. I like lists. I like plans and writing it out and thinking on paper and drafting again and again.  I LOVE it. And as President spoke, I felt a fire light in me to set some serious goals.  To make some great plans, and to go for it. With God, all things are possible.  That I know. And He worketh according to our faith.  In Preach My Gospel, it says that goals reflect the desires of our hearts and setting goals is an act of faith.  So why not include faith (therefore Father) in every aspect of the goal?  Praying along the way. Reporting along the way. Repenting and improving along the way until we reach our celestial goal. I felt such a special spirit as President explained about that. It just ramped up those thoughts of Moses, again (that I shared last week). “Where goest thou?”

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Hmm.

We’ve seen the Lord’s hand all day every day here.

Por ejemplo:

We finally found a long lost investigator named Theresa.  I’ve stared at her name a long time and have called and texted and dropped by and NEVER have found her. She had called back once a few months ago and asked for some help with her yard. We jumped on that, but only to never hear from her again.  How strange……ANYWAY, I about gave up calling and texting. And then this week she texted back and said we could come on Sunday. We went over–my first time to meet her in a non-weeding setting–and we talked.  As we did so, we found out that she had already read the Book of Mormon.  “Do you think it is true?” we asked.  “Well, yeah.”  “Well, will you be baptized?” “Ok.  The only reason I haven’t converted is because I can’t come to church.”

WHAAAAAA??? Why.  “Because I CANNOT WEAR DRESSES OR SKIRTS.” Wow.  It was like I met the 3-15 year-old-Melissa-Jo in a grown up’s body. I never thought I’d see the day. We talked through it with Theresa and told her she didn’t need to come in a dress if it made her that uncomfortable. She insisted that she still couldn’t come. For a half an hour she told us that.  She said, “Look. I know that Mormons believe that God doesn’t love you if you don’t wear a dress or a skirt!” Unfortunately, that is true doctrine, so we just left it at that.

PSYCH.

We corrected that horrifically FALSE doctrine and then worked through it. We expect to see her on Sunday.

Angela is a new investigator from Jordan (my heart is still in the Middle East).  She is the best!  Ha. We found her last week and downloaded the gospel library on her phone and showed her how to listen to it. We came back last Wednesday and asked her if she had listened to or read any of the Book of Mormon.  She responded with a resounding “YES!”  Really?  (Not many actually do…) “yes!  I listened to ALL of it.”  Are you kidding me.  I was so thrown off. It had been several days, and she isn’t working right now, so it is totally possible that she listened to all of it.  I probed a little and said, “Well, tell us about it!  What was your favorite part?”  She responded, “Easy.  The part where the guy builds the ship.”  Nephi? Sweeeet! “Yeah, he builds it and everyone is against him, but he obeys God, and then all the animals come…”  Hmmm.  Not Nephi.  Noah. We told her that that was the Bible and then she looked at us heart broken. She had just clicked on the first book of scripture and began to listen–this the Old Testament.  Ha!  Bless her heart!  She had listened to most of the Old Testament but the time we saw her!  Ha!  I love her.  So much.  She wanted to come to stake conference so badly, so we got a ride and she came.  She loved it. She wasn’t feeling well, but wanted so badly to come.  She made it for about forty minutes through, then had to go outside…..BUT another miracle happened because after a few minutes an AWESOME couple was leaving that lived near her that could take her home.  It was just perfect with the timing that she went out and we went out to follow and the couple went out to leave. And the Spirit that Angela felt was real.  She was writing notes and copying down the words to “the Lord is My Light.”  I love Angela.  What a blessing to get her all the way there and all the way back without a problem, even with her being sick!

Celin and her son, and Cristina, and Yesica, and their kids, and their sister, and their sister’s son all came to the combined ward activity on Friday night (the Trunk-or-Treat). It was a grand success. And there was a pie contest. So that was also a plus (I love pie.  All day).

Just so many good things.  All of our lessons are going well and people are improving. Learning. Progressing.  Oscar and Cristina are doing well.  I am hoping and praying that they will open their hearts to the Spirit and choose to believe and COME UNTO HIM.  In His way.

2 Nephi 33:4

Love you.  Oh so much. Really.

Also, I love flowers.  The leaves are now just kind of brown and dead and falling.  Which is still awesome because it is still beautiful and a part of the seasons.  I just love flowers though. The Bronx had no plants at all, and so Poughkeepsie is great being that there are TONS of trees and life around us.  TONS!!!  I am just missing the flowers.

Springtime.  We shall see.  Enjoy them if you’ve got them!

Love you.  Duh.

Hermana Boud

P.S. We won the costume contest at the ward Trunk-or-Treat.  No big deal.

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October 28, 2015 Week #66 MMMM!

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I love fall. (Can you see me in there? I’m camouflaged. Like a chameleon. )

Transfer news: staying here with Hermana Hutchison. We are STOKED. It’s her last cycle.

Hola hola hola

This was the best week.  Miracles and so many people and just….awesome experiences. I feel good. I am so tired.  But I feel good.  I really do account the Lord’s goodness and grace to the fact that I haven’t fallen asleep during lessons or while driving or just passed out on my breakfast plate in the mornings. I really do believe that if we are just obedient and try, He will sustain us in our efforts and give us the strength to overcome and go and do. 1 Nephi 7:17–my “ponderizing” scripture this week (I’ve found ponderizing hard…I have so many things swirling around in my head…to stick with one scripture has been tough! Ha).

But it came to pass that I prayed unto the Lord, saying: O Lord, according to my faith which is in thee, wilt thou deliver me from the hands of my brethren; yea, even give me strength that I may burst these bands with which I am bound.

Give me the strength so I can burst these cords which subject me.  I love that. Nephi using the enabling power of the atonement. Not just putting off his natural man, but also BECOMING a saint through the atonement of Christ. I so often just put off the natural man and then am left empty and hungry. My soul is hungry. If we put off the natural man–what we are–then we are just blank!  And how easy it is, then, for other problems to arise and the natural man to return, and this time with a vengeance. I’ve been trying to focus on that second half–becoming a saint through the atonement of Christ–a lot. Being meek and submissive and humble and patient and full of love and willing to submit to all things the Father sees fit to inflict upon me.  Life is richer and filler that way. To get back to Nephi–he prayed for the STRENGTH (aka grace) to break the cords which bound him (natural man? Lack of being a saint?).  He prayed for the strength to change his circumstances–he didn’t pray for his circumstances to be changed. He prayed so that he would be able to be an agent unto himself and ACT and not be acted upon.  Love that. Love Nephi.

Yesica and Hugo got married on Saturday. Our sweet and humble Bishop Berardi performed the service in our chapel with all of 8 family members and 4 missionaries there. When they stood and took each other’s right hands, such a sweet and delicate and kind–kind–spirit entered the room.  It was tangible and my heart was touched. I loved that Hugo’s first response to the vows was “yes”–not the typical “I do.”  Love that. I’m excited for them to go to the temple and be sealed in a year’s time.

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Yesica and Hugo at the wedding!

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Yes, wearing your hair like Princess Leah is appropriate at weddings. 🙂

Laura and Scott are doing well, though they received some bad news this week regarding finances/medical bills, etc.  I am a little worried about it, but I believe that it will all be ok. Laura–especially–loves the Plan of Salvation.  She tore through the Plan of Salvation pamphlet with notes and questions.  She LOVES the Fall of Adam and Eve–that they did it together. That they together partook.  It’s got me thinking about the Fall and I’ve been studying it more to be able to explain it better and testify with more power when I teach. I have learned so much!  I honestly didn’t understand too much, and I still don’t. But something that I love about the gospel is that when we study and ask questions, there ARE answers and more light. More truth. And it comes really just line upon line. Here a little and there a little.  I’ve felt the spirit testify not only of the reality of the godhead and of the divine nature within us and us being made in the image of God, but also–and more powerfully–I have felt the spirit testify of the essentiality (is that a word? I feel like I make up words in English now because I’m used to Spanish having a word for everything…?) of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The fact that we really did and really do need a savior. One thing–Moses 4 versus Genesis 3. In Genesis, God asks Adam “where art thou?”  And in Moses He asks, “where GOEST thou?”  Was God seriously asking what bush Adam was behind???? I don’t think so.  He doesn’t so much care who we are now, but who we become.  If we are moving forward or not–where we are going. With the decisions we are making, He cares about which way we are facing and where we are going. Where GOEST thou if you keep eyeing that pornography? Where GOEST thou if you keep turning it off?  If you keep reading your scriptures, or not? If you keep paying you tithing, or not?  If you keep loving Him and keeping His commandments, or not?  Where goest thou….I though that was so cool.

In other news, this week I’ve met three families from Jordan. How cool is that!? I wish with all my heart I had learned more Arabic while I was there.  They are such good people. So kind and hospitable. That was something I loved about Israel and Jordan–wherever you walked, people would be sitting in their shops or outside their homes or just walking, and they invited you in and immediately offered juice. Invited you and your whole family over for dinner. Introduced you to all their family and friends. So kind. I love them.  One of these families are new investigators, and live right next to the church.

STOKED! I hope we are all going to God. Looking to God and LIVING.  Because that’s the best.

I love you!  Everything is wonderful.

Love. Love love. Love. Love LOVE.

Hermana Boud

Walkway over the Hudson

Walkway over the Hudson

The Poke Zone

The Poke Zone