"After all that has been said, the greatest and most important duty is to preach the Gospel." - Joseph Smith

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Last P-Day en el CCM

Howdy y'all!

Well guess what? Right after I emailed last week I got my travel plans in the mail! Today is the last P-Day in America! I leave the MTC at 2:30 AM on Monday, and have a lay-over in DALLAS! Can't wait to be in Texas again, even if it's just for a couple of hours, and then I'll be arriving in Chihuahua by 12:00!Mis compañeras y yo are so excited. I heard us called a "triceracomps" yesterday. You know, because we're a trio, ha. We're excited that we're all going to the same mission, it's really fun to think that I'll probably see Hermana Bartholomew around and I would just die from excitement if I was ever companions with Hermana Brown again!

We've all bonded this week. Maw sent me some salsa and it was so great to have the taste of Texas! Every night we sat down and had a pow-wow over the salsa and some chips. It was great.
Our awesome investigator, Nayeli, also brought us some delicious cheesecake, too! It was so good! She's so great, I will really miss her!

Oh, so one of my teachers this week was like. "Hermana Dudley, is it true that Texas has a state pledge?" And I was like, "You're darn right we do." My district thought that was crazy, but we all know Texas deserves some respect.

Everything this week has been great. My two companions had a bit of a disagreement, and I got to kind of observe that, but nothing lasting. I lifted weights with a Hermana from England. My legs are screaming at me today, ha, but I like it. Chief Justice brought us IN-N-OUT and I saw my friends, The Nallys! Everything has been great. We had some fiery devotionals, which I loved. I actually want to share my favorite quote with all y'all, give y'all some food for thought.

Elder Stanley G. Ellis: "Pray as if everything depends on the Lord, because it does, then get up and work as if everything depends on you." BOOM. Love it.

This guy gave an awesome talk. We actually found out that a General Authority, probably Bednar, will be coming to speak at the end of April. I'm a little bummed that I'll miss that, but I'm so stoked to get to Chihuahua. I'll get to watch conference there, which will be awesome!
But anyways, think about this quote, analyze it, then apply it.

I love y'all! My next email will be from Mexico!

Con Amor,

Hermana Dudley


 I don't know what I was doing in the first two...but me and Hermana Brown in the last one!

HAHAHAH! This was a fun picture. 
Elder Scullin and  Elder Temple are some characters. 

This is the district and Chief Justice! This guy seriously loves me. He calls me Hermana Texas and likes to tell people to come up and ask me if I'm from Oklahoma. He's great though.

The taste of Texas...so great I have to mess up my face to express it. 
This was the Temple this morning!

Here is Hermana Brown and her hat...that she slept in:)

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I've Been a Missionary for Over a Month Now!!!!!!

Howdy Friends!

So, last week, right after I emailed y'all, I actually experienced my first hard time here at the MTC. It was actually really stupid, I wanted to print off some pictures and I didn't get to and that somehow morphed into our lesson being terrible. But it's okay, it was a good experience to learn from.

Actually, it was really tame compared to some of my district members. I'm pretty much the only one that hasn't had a real break down. Ha. Maybe there's something wrong with me? But, this week has been a little rough for our district. But we've truly learned so much. One of our teachers, Hermano Beatty, asked us this question: " Dónde está su fuego?" That kind of shaped our whole week, we're all trying really hard to teach with FUEGO.

One night we really felt the fuego of the spirit, though. Hermana Bartholomew sprained her ankle really badly and had to have crutches for a couple of days. She was having a really hard time with it. I actually took responsibility. See, I had prayed for opportunities to serve my companions and then all of a sudden, BAM, opportunity. Ha. But anyways, she asked Elder Temple to give her a blessing. It was his first, but the Spirit was so strong. It was incredible. I am so grateful for this restored gospel and for the priesthood! Plus, it was a good bonding experience for the district. We're so close, it's awesome! Last week, there was a break in across from our apartments, so our Branch President told our Elders, "Elders, you take care of your Hermanas." They replied, "Always," and now they walk us home at night so we don't get attacked. We're all just great friends. I love our Branch President, too. He was the Mission President of the Chile Concepcion South Mission, Aaron's Mission, right before the current president. It's cool because he shares a lot of great advice and stories. In our council meeting this week he said "We think y'all are a Celestial Branch, so when we hear good things it's just icing on the cake."

Sometimes, the branch is not Celestial, ha. The other night the new district decided to run up and down the stairs like elephants. It was so dumb. But turned out to be a good opportunity for us to use our callings as Sister Training Leaders. We had a meeting with the Zone Leaders. All of it is cleared up now, but we definitely learned a lot.

Oh, so next week I'm going to send a picture of Chief Justice. Today he told us that he's going to bring us In and Out Burger tomorrow. I've never had it, but everyone says it's really good. And we'll definitely be the envy of the whole cafeteria when he brings us non-MTC food, ha. It's just kind of funny. I just started talking to him one day and now we're best buddies and look at the connections! I got to meet President Nally, the President of the MTC, too. Chief Justice thinks it's funny to tell people I'm from Oklahoma, so Nally was like, hey, you like you're from Oklahoma. I told him he was sadly misinformed, ha. But he's so nice! President Nally even complimented our whole branch! Talking to people is such a fun thing, you learn so much!

Oh, one of our investigators, Nayelli, is the coolest person! We're not technically meeting her anymore, because they changed our schedule, but she still wants to meet with us! And she's going to bring us cheesecake! It's been such a great experience getting to know her! I think it's such a great preview to what it will be like in Mexico. Actually getting to know and love people is the whole point of a mission and I can't wait to love them! I already do!

Quotes from this week:
"Para Claro" significa "for sure."
"We go forth enlisted in Helaman's Army" from this song we sing. I love it! I love it! I love it!
"You're not just from Texas, you are Texas." Hermana Brown told me this last night and I just about died!

I love the MTC and all I'm learning. The mission is seriously the best decision I have ever made. I'm growing so much closer to Christ and coming to understand Him more and more. He is truly the center of everything. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve Him and hasten His work. Here's some wonderful food for thought: "As instruments in the Master's hands, we must practice the great song of conversion." Hermano Beatty told us this week. It's important to remember that we must convert ourselves before we can successfully convert others. We're all instruments, but it's up to us to learn how the Master plays and better tune ourselves.

Con Mucho Amor Para Siempre,
Hermana Dudley

P.S. Oh, I found out that we will not be knocking doors in Mexico. Hermano Roberts went to Mexico and said they were not allowed to do so.


This is the apartment we never actually get to be in. I sleep on the top bunk. There have been a few bruises because of this.

I got my hair cut today! Just a trim. And burger supreme is where we eat on p-days! I get the BBQ burger, add jalapeños. Hermana Brown carried Hermana Bartholomew the Cripple. I volunteered, but they wouldn't let me ever try to carry her.

Results of the cripple.

We got a little artsy in our photo taking.

This is our investigator Nayelli! Ella es tan legítimo! And our Saint Patrick's Day Celebration! Hermana Bart's Mom sent us stuff!

District Selfie on Sunday walk! Hermana Bartholomew is on her little cart, ha. And a picture of me and a picture of the Nallys. I know them in person, but for some reason I never have my camera when it matters. ha.

Pday Picnic! Cupcakes! You can send packages of cupcakes and these were so good! I had a red velvet one, yum! Hermana Brown's friend made her a vegan cake. It sounds gross, but was actually delicious!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

3 Weeks Down!

Howdy a todos!

This has been an incredible week! I can't believe how fast it has flown by and how much has happened! I've now been a missionary for over 3 weeks and will be in Mexico in less than 3 weeks! Whoop!

Disclaimer: Sorry for terrible grammar, I'm trying to type as fast as possible, and learning another language kind of messes up your old one at first, ha.

Here's the low down: I have good days, and great days, but I have yet to have a bad day. I don't know how I could have a bad day, the Spirit here is so strong! In all honesty, I've been surprised at how easy this transition has been for me. Of course there are challenges, but the things that everyone complains about don't bother me at all! I don't even have those phantom vibrations from my cell phone, ha. And the food isn't too bad once your body adjusts to it. On Sunday, I had to give a talk in Sacrament meeting, and I was so excited! I spoke on the Book of Mormon, completely in Spanish. It was so legítimo! Ah, like, I can't even describe how cool it is to testify in Spanish! Oh, and I forgot to tell y'all last week that I've been called as a Sister Training Leader. It's kind of funny because my companionship is the only sister companionship in the Zone, ha. We just got 6 new elders last night, but before that there were only 12 of us. So we're all pretty close, it's great. We went to pick up the new elders last night and wound up helping all the new missionaries because we were the only leaders to show up! It was mass confusion, definitely of man and not of God.

Oh, we have two patos (ducks)! They live in the little creek outside of our classrooms. I named them Laman and Lemual. Hermana Brown and I snuck some bread out of the cafeteria to feed them the other morning. And then in our lesson with Nayelli (our super great investigator whom we love!) we were trying to tell her about it. But instead of saying we fed them, which uses the verb "alimentar" we said "nosotros comimos" them, which means we ate them! And Nayelli got this terrible look on her face! Ha, it was so funny!

I had the most incredible experience with our investigator, Emilio. He kept saying that we only believe in the church, we only believe in Christ. It kind of offended me, so I jumped into the conversation and I was like, "Emilio, no cree en Cristo. Mi testimonio no es un idea. Yo sé que Cristo vive. Yo sé que Cristo es mi Salvador." It shocked him a little, but in a good way. The Spirit was so strong and my Spanish actually flowed and my companions were like "Dang, Texas, you were on fire!" It was so cool!!!!!

Another great experience that built my testimony so much occurred on Sunday. For choir we sang a song about the Atonement. When we performed it it sounded beautiful. Our Choir director, Brother Keck, was so passionate and had tears streaming down his face. I've never felt a testimony so strongly. He didn't say anything, but I could feel his love for His Savior. I know that he is truly converted to the Lord and I was so grateful for his example. I even sent him a thank you note. It was such a beautiful moment.

I've also learned that obedience is so important! Earlier this week we had a two hour study block. Normally, our district does so well at keeping focused, and we actually all really love our studies. But that day was just off. We wound up having a push up contest. It was fun, but I have never felt so terrible. Afterwards I realized how important those two hours could have been. I felt like I had willingly given up two hours with God. It was the most terrible feeling and I will not allow that to happen again!

Oh, I got the coolest maroon hymnal cover! It's adorable! I found out that "Con Valor Marchemos" (onward Christian Soldiers" sounds so much cooler in Spanish! And I've actually found some Aggie connections here. The cafeteria manager and I are besties, he comes and gives me the weather report. He calls me "Sister Texas A&M" and his stake president went there. So the other day he was on the phone with him and he held the speaker out so I could yell "Howdy!" I miss howdy, so that was an awesome thing, ha!

Oh, it snowed here on Tuesday! It was pretty exciting. Everyone was like "Hey, Texas, have you seen snow before?" Ha. It didn't stick long, but I got some good pictures!

Also, my companion Hermana Brown has a cousin in our mission and he said that our missions will probably be cut by about two or three weeks. So I may be home like the end of July or first of August of 2015. Just a heads up.

Here are some great quotes from this week:
  • "Repetilo más despacio, por favor." This one is golden.
  • "I know we're supposed to get lost in the work, but right now I'm just lost." HAHA! Elder Temple has daily rants, and this was one of the best ones. 
  • "Todo día, cada día" (All day, erry day) "Sabe" (You Know) "legítimo" (legitimate) Hermana Brown is a beast at basketball, and we needed Spanish trash talk. So here it is, ha.
And when I'm on main campus, I find myself puffing out my chest because I'm so proud of my Spanish name tag! I don't speak the language, I don't know Chihuahua yet, but I already have so much love and excitement for that place and those people! I know there will be so many challenges, but I have so much hope and faith for being able to endure them! I have really come to love John 16:33 "...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." I have such a strong testimony of this. I know that My Savior lives and that through him everything is possible. I know that He has known everything I will face. I know that He is the light and the way and I'm so grateful for Him. I love my brother, Jesus Christ. I know He loves me and I know He loves each of you.

Con Mucho Amor Para Siempre,
Hermana Dudley


Provo P-Day!

Push Up Contest
This is from Sunday when I spoke. The elder right next to me, Elder Carrol, spoke too.

The Zone! Goofy picture on Sunday walk!
Nuestros Patos!
Laman (green head) and Lemuel (brown head)

Selfie on the Bus
These bubbles are our gyms!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Que Pasa, Calabaza?

Howdy Friends!
"Que pasa, calabaza" means what's up pumpkin in Mexico, ha.

First of all, I love y'all! It's amazing how my love and appreciation for every single one of you has grown exponentially since I've been here! And also my love of Texas. I shall never leave Texas again once I return. I tell everyone it's the promised land. When mis companeras wrote home to their families about me they described me as a redhead who loves Texas and cookies, ha. That’s pretty accurate. I also really miss my Aggies. These BYU students drive me crazy. I need to hear "howdy," "whoop," and "gig 'em."

Let's see, it's so busy here. I have so much I want to tell y'all, but it's just unrealistic. We're in class for 10 hours a day, but I love it. I have learned so much! My Spanish has a long way to go, but it's come a long way. The other day I said a sentence in Spanish on accident, and I was like, whoa, that was legit espanol...it was so cool! I also have the first vision memorized in Spanish! I love it. I can feel the Spirit each and every time we recite it.  As far as the language, I'm not too worried. I am working hard to learn it as best I can, but I also know that as long as I put forth my best the Lord will help me with the rest. Spanish can be hard to comprehend sometimes because we have to translate it in our minds. But the language that we all understand with our hearts is that of the Spirit, and I know that as long as I do all I can, I will be able to teach with that universal language. I know that all I need to truly do is "perderse en la obra" and the gift of tongues will be given.

So we've been teaching investigators since our second day here. It's challenging sometimes, but I'm so grateful for the opportunity. We learn so much. We learn from our mistakes and from the Spirit and from the examples of our teachers. I know that my teachers are truly inspired. They have helped me and directed me to so much revelation and growth! I cannot even describe how much I have grown in just these two weeks. It makes my head spin when I think of how much I still have the chance to learn! I've come to better understand my Savior and my personal relationship with my Heavenly Father and I know that everyone has that ability. Yo sé que Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial y JesuCristo es nuestro Salvador. Sé que tenemos profetas reales en el mundo hoy. Estoy muy agradecido por la oportunidad para servir una mision y estoy MUY animada para ir a CHIHUAHUA!!! AY CHIHUAHUA!!

Seriously, I love it. There are some trials. For example, my companion had a bit of a break down yesterday and I didn't know how to handle it. How do you deal with crying girls? I don't know. But it wound up being a good thing because my other companion and I came together and comforted her and we got all amped and sang a song in Spanish and it was great. Oh, I love the Gospel. Man, I love Spanish. But holy cow, do I love the Gospel in Spanish. It's so beautiful. Hymns in Spanish? Coolest thing ever. On fast and testimony meeting I bore my testimony in Spanish!!!!!!! That was the highlight of el CCM so far. It was amazing. I can't wait to be able to teach people and tell them what I know.

I love y'all so much. I'm going to try and send pictures, too. You're all in my prayers every day!

Con amor,
Hermana Dudley


It only allows us to send like 3 pictures at a time. Lame. But I'm excited. I don't actually have a ton of pictures because my camera was broken but then we prayed and a week later it works! SO here are some candid shots!

Here is a picture of my companionship on our Sunday walk! Hermana Bartholomew is the blonde! She's 19, from Lehi, UT. Kind of the typical girl, ha. Boy crazy and dramatic and loud, but I love her. She braids my hair and truly is growing so much! Hermana Brown is 24 and is way more mature than all of us, but so much fun and a great example. We all balance each other out.

Then there is of course the cliche map picture. We're all going to the same mission!

Elder Schaeler is the tall one. He is going ot Merida. He's from Arizona. He can wiggle his ears. Elder Temple is the blonde one, he's going to Ciudad Juearez, from Chicago and is our District Leader. His voice reminds me of Kronk from Emperor's New Groove. Elder Scullin is going to Monterrey. He's hilarious. Like,. so funny. Never on purpose. He's from California.

P-Day Provo Temple Trip!

Selfies!! The Trio:) and also Elder Scullin, who is hilarious. He has a weirdly high voice and generally talks himself into some sort of a bad situation.