Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Week 17

I have very little to say


Well, I talked to my family on Friday, so there's not much to say.

We had an extremely slow week, bc Christmas. Christmas Eve we had in the
morning a gift exchange with our whole zone, I ended up with a piƱata
and maracas because I'm mexican now. President invited us to his
house, but we ended up late to dinner, and in turn couldn't make it to
his house, so that was super sad. Christmas morning we had members
invite us over for lunch, and they bought us ties, and had turkey with
them. It was really nice of them. But we didn't have dinner, and
neither did the sister missionaries, and I felt really bad, and
refused to spend Christmas in our apartment, so we searched for an
open place, bought some pizza, and went to the church and played phase
10. So thanks for dinner Derrick, that one was on you hahaha.

For all of you at home, never let missionaries spend Christmas dinner alone,
it's sad. It wasn't too bad tho.

Uhh yeah. Basically nothing happened
this week so that's cool. Only 9 more days until Mexico whipee.

I'll put in some photos of glorious California for you all.




Week 16

This will be my most interesting email of my mission


So to fulfill my title, here goes nothing. For all of you in missions
in South America, don't judge, b
ecause you don't understand how much
slower normal work is haha.

Idk if I should start with the fact that I was in Las Vegas last
Monday or that we had the most successful week of my mission or what,
but yeah.

So last Monday I went to Las Vegas. I should've had a party, but I
didn't. I didn't plan well enough haha. So Sacramento is super dumb
with visas and missionaries and they're on a mega power trip, so we
called the mission travel office lady, and she set me up for a flight
to Las Vegas. I was very confused, but said ok cool, Las Vegas, send
me home. My parents got a nice scary email that said I'm getting sent
home haha. But basically Monday morning I flew into Vegas around 9 or
so in the morning. Aidan picked me up, don't worry I got permission,
we went to the consulate, got my visa, then had like 5 or 6 hours to
waste. Sat outside my house, while Aidan ran in to grab some books,
then went to bdubs. Basically last Monday was easily the weirdest day
of my life. The whole day I couldn't stop saying "this is weird" and
stuff like that. Definitely weird, but it was fun. Fun day, sorry for
not visiting anyone, I decided to try and be a good boy. I also lost
my iPod somewhere in Las Vegas, so if someone finds an iPod filled
with church music lemme know. But yeah interesting day, I won't go
into too much detail. Oh I leave January 6th to Mexico at 1 in the
morning.

On to the more important part of this week. Escalante and I had the
best week we could ever ask for. We had 19 lessons (might be this
wards record), 3 people at sacrament meeting, and 5 new investigators.
Now for all of you in South America, just let me have my happiness
before you tell me your lowest is 19 lessons. For us it was huge to
have this much success. The work has really picked up big time since
this last transfer for one reason or another. Everything is finally
starting to pick up with this ward... Right when I leave. The ward
mission leader is picking up, and doesn't seem to dislike us elders
anymore, and we had lunch with him after a meeting with him. He told
me he likes Eminem, he's a cool Mexican. But yeah he's really starting
to pick up for us. Starting to really work with us more. He's going to
give a talk next week to kind of rile up the ward to work with us. So
that's good. Our ward is a good ward, I just think there has been a
lot of wrong in the past with missionaries and members and members
between members. So if we can fix the ward then we can baptize, and
they can see that. Today we had a full class in priesthood, and lots
of not full less actives but basically less actives came, so that was
awesome.

We have lots of investigators right now as well, and I think 5 or 6 of
them are progressing which is a miracle once again. No one on date,
but we're so close. We're thinking about Enrique our neighbor the
Saturday before I leave, but he just needs to accept it. He came with
his wife to church and they both stayed for all 3 hours. It was
awesome. I'm their favorite huerito or white person. He told me that
when he gets baptized he wants me to do it, so I'll always remember
him when I get rich lol. Works for me.

I also got to baptize an 8 year old that the sisters were teaching
because they thought she was 9 haha. For some reason she chose me,
probably because I'm white. So that was amazing. We had an
investigator come as well which was super cool. We didn't even think
he would, but he did. So I'll throw some pics in.

Now I'll tell some funny stories bc why not. So we had a lesson with
this old guy, and he was telling us about his life and he said "when I
was 10 years old, I already knew the women, and already wanted to do
things with them. One day I found one that would fulfill my needs." So
that was funny. One of the sister missionaries that's serving here has
been dear janed two times, and somehow has a new boy writing her.
Every day here I'm glad I'm able to talk. You can get some funny
stories out of people if you know how to work their attitudes haha.
Every person has a funny story somewhere. Oh both of my suits need to
be dry cleaned, because somehow the back of my blue one is covered in
chocolate, and for some reason one of the youth put cupcake on my
other, so I won't have a suit for our zone conference. That'll be
awkward. I'm sure there's other funny stories, but I forget.
Life is good, my Spanish sucks, my companion speaks perfect Spanish,
but nothing works to get him to speak it to me, but life is good. I'll
get Spanish eventually.

I think that's all of my fun for this week. Have an amazing Christmas
everyone, I hope it's amazing for you all. Read some books. The best
part of Christmas is the tamales.

Love you all
Elder Hodson 2






Saturday, December 19, 2015

Travel Plans

Dear Elder Hodson,
 
Well, your travel plans have arrived and you will be going to the Mexico Xalapa Mission finally on the 6th of January.
The 5th is our transfer day when the missionaries depart for home and the new missionaries arrive.
We will see what will be the best for you that day, but possibly another day with me as your companion. Which makes me so happy!
 
Your flight is at 1:12AM on the 6th so we have to have you to the airport on the 5th at 11:45pm to check your luggage and get you to your gate on time.
Almost another “sleep over”.  We will discuss the plans in detail before that date.
 
President Greet is anxious for your arrival.
Know that you will always be a part of the California Roseville Mission and one of mine as well.
 
Love to you and your family.
 
Best regards,
President Michael F. Marston

California Roseville Mission

Monday, December 14, 2015

Consulado de Mexico en Las Vegas

Aidan Vance was Hunters companion for the day while he spent a few hours here in
Vegas so he could get his Visa finished! 
Good to go to Mexico finally!   
 

 

Visa Status Update from Pres. Marston

Dear Brother and Sister Hodson,
 
You may have already heard from your son that we [The Church] ran into some visa issues here at the Sacramento consulate.
There arose a bit of a conflict which will necessitate Elder Hodson to fly to  Las Vegas on Monday and work out the concerns with his visa there.
While he will be flying in to Las Vegas in the morning and leaving again in the afternoon he will be under the companionship of the Holy Ghost and missionaries there in Las Vegas.
He is a missionary that can be trusted and obedient while he travels alone for those few hours.  The only happens very rarely nevertheless it has happed to Elder Hodson.
He will be staying with us (Sister Marston and I) at the mission home on Sunday and I’ll take him to the airport in the morning and pick him up in the afternoon.
It is P-Day in our mission on Monday so he won’t be available to email home as usual.   So I let him email home today.
 
This whole experience will be a good story to tell when all is said and done and he is on his way to Mexico the first of January 2016.
 
If it were up to me, I would keep him here in California in a heart-beat.  He is a wonderful missionary, hard working, happy and eager to fulfill his purpose as a missionary.
He will always be a part of our mission and we feel blessed to have had him here for the few months.
 
I love him and trust him and pray for him.
 
It is a blessing that he will be here with us during the Holiday season.
 
PS:  We will text you a picture of him at the airport on Monday as that might be as close to him as you can get.  (There is a temptation there, I know, but resist!)
 
 
Best regards,
President Michael F. Marston

Im coming home....

....to Las Vegas to get my visa on Monday hahahahahah. So we're currently
not on good standards with the Sacramento consulate apparently, and
the lady there is being a really not nice lady, and is on a bit of a
power trip because of some stuff that happened with another missionary
and a lady that worked there, so they basically are trying to make it
as hard as possible for us to get a visa. So we called the church
travel office lady and told her everything that happened, and this
lady doesn't mess around, so she just said alright we're going to buy
you a plane ticket to Las Vegas and you'll just get your visa there.
So president is sending me home. But I fly back to California around
4:30. I have really hilarious luck. Our mission president is super
cool though, and we were talking for the drive back and just cracking
jokes about going home, and what I should say to you guys. He gave me
permission to write though don't worry. So Monday I'll fly to Las
Vegas in the morning, taxi to the consulate, then taxi back and fly
home apparently. President is really funny though, I said to him oh
I'll just have my parents drive me, he said well you shouldn't but I
guess you're going to Mexico either way. He said later we'll just tell
them to drop you off the packages later. But yeah probably shouldn't
do that.

Dad if you can, send me something nice to give him for me,
because he's done a ton to help. Yeah so I'll be a solo missionary
Monday. Living the Vegas life as a missionary. He told me to buy him
something from the airport as well. Uhh what else do I need to tell
you. I probably won't email on Monday because well I'll be in Las
Vegas, but he's going to give me his phone so. Basically all rules are
going out the window and I have really funny luck. I've been dying
laughing all day because I'm going to Las Vegas. I'm going to take
pictures walking down the escalator with no one to greet me. Going to
be the funniest day of my life. But yeah if you guys have any
questions for me just lemme know and I'll email you back. Simply put
just flying to Vegas because of a power trip in Sacramento.

Also I opened your package, and holy mother of candy. And 6 chipotle gift
cards, thank you guys so much.

Love you
Lemme know if you have questions.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 13

One big jump!


So basically this week is going to be a couple of funny stories.
But before that, we didn't have much success with our investigators
this week, bc of thanksgiving, but we have a ton of lessons set this
next week. It's a whole lot easier being in a duo, and my companion
actually wants to work, so we tracted a ton,and I feel like we did
more in a week of a duo than 6 weeks in a trio, and he agrees as well.
Driving is also great, besides the fact that we have a little thing
called tiwi that makes it so if we drive dumb, it tells our president
haha.

Story time
First story. On thanksgiving morning we did service as a zone in a
park, just picking up trash and stuff. In the middle of the park
there's a small river with like two feet of water, but it's about 8
feet deep, and 6 or 7 feet across. Boys being boys, we started messing
around prodding someone to jump it, but jokingly. Then a random new
elder comes up, and says I'll do it. This kid is like 6,8 and a little
chubby, and a little uncoordinated. So he backs up to get a running
start, and we all think he's joking. Then he starts running, and at
the last second slips, and smacks into the other side, and his legs
got soaked in water. Everyone was just in shock, and he got up and
out, then laid down on the grass. They went to the hospital, and he
dislocated his shoulder so they put that back in. That was pretty
dumb, but funny.

Second story, we were searching for wifi, because there's a thing
called xfinity where in certain parts of Cali, you just have wifi. So
we found wifi in front of a random house, and after like 15 seconds, a
lady walked outside and started yelling at us. I said "oh we're just
looking for wifi for the gps" then she responds very angrily "oh
you're trying to steal wifi huh?! Get out of here! " then just kept
yelling that at us, and I started laughing, and drove away, and as we
drove away she was repeating our license number. If a cop ever finds
me for stealing wifi I'll cry laughing.

No other really good stories. Basically it. Works a little slow here
at times, but we tract a ton. Only 5 more weeks. Not much to talk
about though, our investigators are all scheduled this week at least,
so pray for them to accept baptismal dates. This area desperately
needs a baptism, the ward especially.

Love you all! Don't jump rivers!

Zone Conference

Antelope Roseville Citrus Heights Zones in Antelope
 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Week 12

I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY

I have lots of things to tell you my friends, so bear with me.
First............... I GOT MY VISAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA WOOO PARTY thank you
everyone for the prayers and the positive words of inspiration.

So in a week or two president and I are going to go to the consulate to
start the visa stuff, and all that. I basically gave up on the idea of
getting my visa, but pres pulled through for me. He's the man. So in a
few weeks I'll have my visa, but president said he didn't want to have
to keep me in a trio, or send me to Mexico during Christmas, so he's
going to keep me for the rest of this transfer here. Basically super
awesome, and I'm overflowing with joy. So January 6th will probably
end up being my flying out date. Exciting.

Second......... Soto got transferred to Chico, and it's just me and
elder escalante left here, so the big news is I'm the driver now!
Basically all of my dreams came true. I'm not in a trio, I don't have
to be car sick 24/7, and I got my visa. Elder soto is going to be
district leader in Chico, and escalante is district leader right now
so I'm not even listed as being trained right now I don't think. I'm
so happy haha. But yeah I'm the driver, and I'll actually be able to
talk in lessons now, and we're going to be on time for things now.

Third............ My actual birthday was just ok... But the two days
after were amazing ! We had a really long trainer trainee meeting on
my birthday, so we missed our lesson we had planned, that was lame.
But the day after we had 3 lessons, and dinner with one of my favorite
families. Thanks to everyone who sent me stuff, I'll send you
individual emails later.

Fourth........... My Spanish is improving a lot. I got to go to the
temple last week, and while I was there I prayed for help with my
Spanish, and to find better ways to learn. So I started reading a ton
of stuff in Spanish. It works so much better for me to read
everything, than to try and actually study in grammar books. This
morning I actually understood all the scriptures I was reading. Pretty
amazing blessings, and a true fulfillment of the gift of tongues.
Fifth....... I'll get to baptize a girl that the sisters are teaching,
because she's been asking me to baptize her for like 3 weeks! She's
10, but she's smart, and remembers everything the sisters teach her.
And she is going to break this wards curse. There hasn't been a
baptism here in a year.

Some other random thoughts for the week. I was talking to my Mexican
mom in the ward, and she basically said you white people are crazy.
You guys don't care if you sound like idiots when you talk in Spanish,
you just do it anyway. It's true. Latinos are afraid to speak in
English, but us white people ain't care. My other Mexican mom in the
ward, was there when I opened my present from my parents, and it had
tons of stuff in it, so she kept calling me "el divino" which
basically means the favorite child. True things.

Our investigators are still moving along. Our neighbors are taking
their time, but they keep the commitments, besides church yesterday,
because they went to Vegas. Our family that was supposed to get
deported, are super good. They're the highest on my list to get
baptized. They've had a lot of trials, but God has given them a way
through them all. Really excited for them. We have a couple other
families, but nothing crazy with them yet, but this week were gonna
have a baptismal date I'm feeling it.

I'm just super excited, and super grateful this week. Lots of good has
happened, and the heavens have been opened. Keep the faith up that my
visa will go through smoothly. I love you all! The world is a good
place.

Elder Hodson.
I'll send more pictures later when I get them.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Week 11

4 Cheese Cake
 
 
So this week was good. We had a few really good lessons. One was with
some new investigators. They're in their young twenties and have a
little 3 year old boy. We taught the first lesson, and they were
really interested. The entire lesson, the kid was being rambunctious
so I was half playing with the kid, and half teaching haha. By the end
of the lesson he was my best friend.

We had another couple of lessons with our neighbors as well! We ended
up having family home evening with them in the bishops house, and
apparently they knew each other from a party a few years back haha,
but it went really well.

The dad of the family that was supposed to get deported, ended up only
getting 70 days of community service, and the family is super close
and grateful for that right now. The son who used to not believe in
God, now believes in God, so that was a huge miracle. Now it's just
getting them to want to be married.

I'll explain the 4 cheese cake now. There's a cake called tres leches,
and it's a cake that Latinos always buy, and it's usually not too bad.
We were doing service for a lady, and she is really nice, and after
she offered us this kind of cake. So my companion loves tres leches
and said oh yeah this is my favorite, so she gives us all a piece. We
all took a bite, then immediately looked each other. The cake was
expired and tasted like expired sour milk. So first soto said oh I
think I forgot something outside, took his cake with him, and threw it
on the grass hahaha. Then I took mine with me to look for the same
thing, and threw it in their trash outside. Then escalante, who can be
a little dumb, took the cake, and another plate, and shoved it in the
front of his pants, walked outside to grab his change of clothes, and
put it in the car. And all this time, the sister of the persons house
we were at, was just casually eating the cake like nothing. It was a
quality time.

We also had zone conference, and of course I got called on to give the
first talk haha. It went well though. I just spoke on patience, which
is the ultimate character I need to have right now waiting for Mexico.
We also got to go to the Sacramento temple this week as well. It was
super nice there, lots of floral in that temple.
My sleep talking is happening more often too haha. Apparently I asked
soto at like 3 am if he was from Guatemala, then told him I'll explain
everything in the morning. Sleeping is always fun when you have me to
sleep talk.

Besides that all is well with me. Just here in limbo waiting for a
visa. I met an elder the other day, who has been here for 23 months
waiting for a visa to Brazil. Needless to say he's an English
missionary now. Fun week though.

Love you all!
 
 
 

The Character of Christ

So for Everyone that's been to the Mtc, you've probably already seen
the video, but somehow our president got the pdf, so if you want to
reread it, here it is!
For you that haven't, this is a super good talk by Bednar at the Mtc,
and it shows the characteristics of Christs love, and it's really
inspirational. It's like the Mtc famous video.
Enjoy!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Week 10

Bueno
 
 
So this week was good. We had exchanges this week, and escalante went
to another area, and we got elder baba with us for the day. He is from
Japan, and he was pretty cool. It's cool to have other people in our
area for the day.

We had a couple of miracles this week. The first is we had a super
good lesson with one of our families, and by the end of it they were
crying, because we were talking about families, and the dad has some
legal problems and might get sent back to El Salvador. They are a
super unified family, and it was a really good lesson. We invited to
be baptized, and they all said yes once they learn more.

Another is Saturday night, we just decided to knock on our neighbors
door to say what's up, and he let us in. He made us some chili beans,
and we talked about his family, because they have some problems, and
basically referred his sister in law to us! Then after all that
awesome, we watched the entire 1 hour restoration video with him, he
really enjoys talking about the church. Then yesterday he invited us
for dinner, so we had dinner with his family, and after they asked us
a bunch of questions about the church, and some of the questions of
the soul. We answered them with the Book of Mormon, to show him the
Book of Mormon has answers. Then a member of our ward came and talked
to him for a while, so we got some fellow shipping too. Our neighbors
are awesome haha.

Besides that our ward is getting better, and there's a little candle
under them now, but we're trying to throw some gas on there.
Definitely improving though.

Still no news on the visa sadly. Still hoping though haha. One day
it's going to happen, keep praying for me haha. Oh and we went to a
quinceaƱera on Saturday too haha. I'll put some pictures in.

Love you all!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A few more pics...





Week 9

Proverbs 24:10


So the longer I stay here in California, the more anxious i get for
Mexico. Just sitting here casually praying I get my visa before this
transfer is over. If I don't, then I guess I'll just keep on trucking
on.

So this week we ended up finally getting a new progressing
investigator... And he's our neighbor haha. So he can't run away from
us. On the second visit with him, he had read the first three chapters
of the Book of Mormon! It was awesome. It's nice to have someone
follow up on commitments. I feel like that's gonna be a huge problem,
finding people that can keep commitments. Oh well, all in time.

We have to drop our one person on baptism. Because he isn't keeping
commitments, and would rather play soccer on Sunday's. We will keep
visiting him every once in a while, but he's not progressing anymore.
We haven't had much else this week. Lots of bailing on lessons. We're
trying to be more on time, because twice this week we missed
appointments because we were late. People call us Mexicans. It's hard
to be on time always, but we're working on it. I hate being late, I
think that's something my dad taught me.

We had a miracle on Tuesday, we went to an expensive Peruvian
restaurant, and we just wanted to check the prices, and as we were
walking out, someone asked us if we had eaten, and we said no, so they
invited us to eat with them. They were super nice, and super cool. I
think I said thank you like 30 times I felt bad they paid for us haha.
Not much else has happened. Still just trying to find ways to pick up
new investigators, and keep my companions motivated. Let me know your
ideas!

And one of the days we had service at a catholic food bank, and they
gave us a ton of bread and some flowers, I'll put our gains in the
pictures.

Love you all, have a good week!





Thursday, October 29, 2015

Week 8

When in the States


Dear friendlies,

So this pday, we went to lululemon to buy some pants, and it was the
weirdest thing in the world to be in a mall while on a mission haha.
But the pants are the best things in the world. I'll put a picture in
later.

Uhh this week was good. We were supposed to have one investigator at
church, but he flaked out and went to soccer instead, which was a
little annoying.

Last week I was really bored, so I stole I think Riley's idea, and we
called every single person on the area book, and we ended up with 3
new appointments. Granted two of them flaked, but we have one new
family. All they need is to get married, so we're hopeful. We also
taught our neighbor, and he seemed to like it. He's already seen the
hand of God in his life, he just doesn't go to church. He's a cool
guy. But yeah a lot more to do this past week. We knocked one door,
and they were playing I'm a Barbie girl in the background, it was
hilarious.

My companions are still funny guys, they're getting better in some
departments, and the same in others. But we're working on it. If
anyone has some motivation ideas let me know.
I've eaten 3 chiles de Arbol this week. Super hot. My comp soto puked
when he ate one of them. It was so funny. I can handle hotter than my
companions.

Spanish is going slowly, because my comps still talk in English, but I
figure if I don't get it here, I for sure will in Mexico.
No news on my visa though.

This week was good though. Still searching for more to do though. I
did find a good scripture, it's proverbs 16:32 "32 He that is slow to
anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he
that taketh a city."

Not much else to report.




Friday, October 23, 2015

Week 7

The greeie/gringo life

 
Hello family and friendlies,

Oh before I talk about the Roseville mission, I gotta say that I saw
Benson elhert before I left the Mtc!!! It was crazy, I haven't seen
him since the good old days. He's going to Argentina which is super
cool. It was fun to talk to him, but the pictures are on my camera,
and I'm a fancy iPad missionary now.

So how does one explain the mission I'm in.

First I got two native companions, one is elder Escalante from Peru,
and the other is elder soto from Guatemala. They're both fluent in
English, so I just talk in Spanish to them and they respond in English
and we correct each other. Idk if it's better this way, but it works.
But they're both super funny, and we joke around a ton. Riddles with
them is hilarious, so if anyone has some good ones let me know.

Sometimes I feel like I'm the trainer and they're the greenies hahaha.
They're good guys though, I'll definitely have a ton of stories about
them by the time I leave here. They're like nacho and estaban from
nacho libre basically. "I am going to batize you."

So I'm pretty pampered here as well haha, so don't worry about that. I
got an iPad, which is kind of annoying cause I'll have to give it up
when I leave which is super sad. Also have a car, and like the biggest
area in the mission because we're Spanish. We drive a ton which is
kind of lame. My apartment is pretty nice, we have ac and hot water so
it's already better than Mexico haha.

For everyone wondering yes, I did get chipotle. I also got Taco Bell
on the way from the airport to the mission office, because I was with
the aps haha.

This week was kind of terrible investigator wise which sucked. We
taught like one lesson, and every single time we tried finding they
weren't home or had an excuse. It was pretty annoying. We did manage
to find one new potential investigator. She seemed pretty interested,
so hopefully it will work out. We have an appointment tomorrow with
her I think. I think we have one baptism date with a 16 year old, but
we have to move it, because he didn't come to church. He always has
soccer on Sunday's.

Spanish is hard to learn here, because everyone speaks Spanglish or
English to us, so I'm pretty excited for Mexico in that aspect, so I
can be forced to learn.

Overall a pretty good week. It's a lot of work, but nothing we can't
do. Pretty excited for this week, hopefully we get some more work than
this week.

Love you all!
Elder Hodson 2
 
 

 Sent from my iPad