Thursday, September 29, 2011

Elder Hodson is in Brazil!

After 30 hours of traveling, Spencer made it to Brazil last night. He e-mailed us today to say he is there and ready to get busy teaching people about Christ.

He said it is hot there but he loves it. He also said his mission president is super nice.

It is nice to know that he made it there safely. He thinks his P-day will still be on Monday, so we will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Spencer got his Visa!

Spencer called us Monday night to tell us he got his Visa! So instead of going to Spokane, WA he left early Tuesday morning for Brazil. It is now Wed. and he is still traveling! Fortaleza Brazil is 4 hours ahead of us and he is supposed to arrive at 6:30 pm, so he should be there soon!

Spencer is really excited to be going to Brazil...finally! He can't wait to get out there and spread the gospel. His Portuguese is coming along and he said he hopes to be fluent in about 3 months.

We are so happy for him and can't wait to hear about all of his experiences in Brazil.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Leaving the MTC!

Spencer will be leaving the MTC this Wednesday and going to Spokane, WA while he continues to wait for his Visa to Brazil!

Here is his last letter from the MTC!


I'm going to Spokane, WA!!! I'm super excited. I did not think i would be going there at all. Everyone in my district was getting places like N. Carolina, Long Beach, Florida, and stuff like that - so I was thinking I would be going someplace warm. Then, i got called to Spokane which is like right next to Canada. But, I'm not worried. I hear that there are great missionaries up there and that the mission president is awesome! I talked to a sister that is from the area. She said that going teaching with the missionaries and talking to the mission president is what motivated to serve a mission. She couldn't stop talking about how great it's going to be! I'm super pumped!
Our last Friday here we did in-field orientation which is basically a huge all day pep talk. I am SOOOOO excited to get out there. I don't care where. I just want to go. I want to talk to everyone. I know it's going to be great i can just feel it. I know not everyone will want to hear but I know I will find people to teach in WA for however long I'm there. I just want to do the best I can.
Ha I can't really stand not doing anything anymore. It was P-day today and so we had like hours of nothing to do. It was super boring. So I started to clean our room. Weird huh? It didn't feel right... but now we have a clean room.
So, my companion left on Fri. He's in Anaheim now. One of my roommates left too. So, I'm paired up with my other roommate now, Elder Smith. He's awesome! I love to study and work with him. At first we needed some practice teaching together but we're getting pretty good now. He's just as excited as I am to get to the field and has a lot more faith. i just love how he pushes me. He'll be in Fortaleza with me so maybe we'll be companions there too.
Ok so super cool - another apostle was here this week! Elder Nelson came and talked about the Book of Mormon. It was absolutely awesome and I wish I had time to talk about it. I was in the choir with Elder McNeil. It was a lot of fun. We sang "Consider the Lilies". I love that song. Especially now that I'm a missionary. I'm gonna need his help and support a whole lot pretty soon.
President Brown, our MTC pres, spoke to us yesterday at mission conference - which we have every fast Sunday fir about two hours - and had a cool object lesson. Two people who he introduced to the gospel 51 years ago had come by the MTC on Thurs. to see him. he had not seen them since he had taught them, excpet once in 1972. He lwt them come up and talk about how much 'Elder' Brown meant to them. He wasn't the one who baptized them, they had move before he had the chance, but he was the one to knock on their door. Because these people had joined the church many were blessed. they've had 4 children and 5 grandchildren serve missions. I just can't wait to help people as a missionary and bring them the joy that is in the restored gopel of Jesus Christ. Oh and they know Jimmer because they are from Glen Falls NY - his hometown!
But we are just so different from any other church. There are so many reasons from priesthood authority to revelation and or knowledge of who God is and the Plan of Salvation. I could talk about all of them for a long time. But the biggest difference between us and other churches is that we can bring others to God through making covenants with Him. We are not just another church that is trying to make peoples lives better and teach them to love one another. It's not just about service, feeling content with life, and reading about Jesus. We have all of that, everything that any other church can offer, and so much more. We have ordinances that will bind us to Jesus Christ. If we are faithful they will carry us into the Celestial Kingdom of God where we can live will our families forever and become like Jesus Christ, having a fullness of joy (3 Nephi 28:10 I think). that's why it's so important for me to be out here. Eternity is a long time. The work done now will have very lasting effects in the lives of others.

love you,
Elder Hodson

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Last week at the MTC!

Wow, Spencer only has one week left at the MTC! It has gone by fast. He got an online visa, which means his Visa is coming, but it isn't here yet.

So, he will be assigned to go somewhere in the States while he waits for his Visa to come and he gets to call us on Thursday to tell us where he will be going! We are very excited to talk to him, even though it is only for five minutes.  I will post his temporary destination when we find out.

Here is one of Spencer's experiences from last week:

Ok, so here's one of my cool experiences of this week. I was in TRC, where we get to teach real people, like volunteers that come. They're usually members. So this week Elder McNeil and I got an older sister missionary. We were to teach her about recieveing revelation through prayer. Now, with members it's different than with investigators, obviously. We wanted to help her stretch and really come closer to Christ. With investigators it's easier becuase you start off by commiting them to pray once, and then everday, and that kind of thing. Well, she's been a member her whole life (I think). She served a mission with her husband in Brazil (I think she works here at the MTC now, her name is Sister Hassard and she's actuallyy in Cam and jackie's ward!) Anyway, we weren't sure how exactly to help her in any way she couldn't already help herself. But we wanted to do a good job because TRC is the only chance we get to teach real people.
We shared a lot of scriptures with her. We had 40 min so we wanted to let her do most of the talking and really, really use the scriptures. We talked about how prayer brings down treasure from heaven, greater treasures than we can ever gain through wordly pursuits. She talked about how that had helped her with her son who isn't always 'on the straight and narrow'. We talked about the Brother of Jared and Enos. The Spirit was so strong the whole time we were there. She told us how she had been called as a Relief Society President in Brazil just a few weeks in to her mission. She did not know much Portuguese and knew that the Lord's help was required. She said prayer had helped her so much. She related to us a story about how her mission president had challenged her to prayer for an hour straight and how much of a blessing it had been. She said she's never done it before or since but it was a great experience.
We finished talking about how faith is necessary for prayer and how it can bring miracles into our lives. After I bore my testimony, and Elder McNeil was giving his, I felt the Spirit so strongly telling me to challenge her to pray for an hour again. Ha I was a little nervous. She had mentioned how she didn't really want to do it again because it was so hard. But, I listened and I challenged her to pray for an hour and pay attention to the feelings she had afterward. At first she kinda laughed it off and said that last time she had had her husbands help but I just looked into her eyes and promised her the Spirit she would feel, the blessings that would come, and how her relationship with God would improve. She was quiet for a moment and the Spirit just exploded in the room. She looked back at me and quietly said she would.
I was so happy!!! Just to see someone come closer to God. It really helped me realize that I am a missionary. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. When I follow the Spirit I'm doing exactly what Christ would do. I been givent the power and responsibility to bring other to Jesus Christ. The missionary purpose is to bring others unto Christ though faith repentance baptism recieving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. The key word is OTHERS. Not just investigators or non-members but every other living soul on this planet.
I have such a cool job!!! And I love it! but I have to get going, my time is about to run out. I love you so much. I'll talk to you on Thursday! 
Lot's of love,
Elder Spencer Hodson 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Letter #7

Family!!! How are you? It's so good to hear about home. I wish I was there to get better at golf. I'm actually starting to enjoy it. Tell Dad to win the whole thing.
  Thank you for writing me and supporting me. And all my friends that are writing me too. I really, really appreciate it. I kow so many good people. i'm very lucky. Oh I love hearing Elder Drennan and Elder Whites e-mails. Let me know if they got my letters. I sent one to Elder Drennan the week i got here and once I got Elder Whites address I sent him one too. That was probably a month or so ago.
Anyway, things here are great. I'm learning and loving every moment. I'm getting very excited to enter the field (where ever that may be). The excitement is just building up in me. I don't want to wait two more weeks! So I'm going to take advantage of every moment I have here to prepare for the field.
So here's something pretty cool that happened this week. it's not super big or anything. In my district we watched a talk that Elder Bednar gave at the MTC a few years ago. It was about the 20 mark note experience he had. You've probably heard of it. I'll tell it briefly. When Elder Bednar was a missionary in Germany he had the chance to escort President Packer, who was then the junior member of the Quorum of the 12, out of the mission. he could not get him a flight but got him and his wife on a train at midnight. Just as the train was about to take off, Elder Bednar handed President Packer 20 marks. Now, years later when president Packer brought that up to Elder Bednar, Elder Bednar did not ever remember giving him the money. He did not know why he would have even done it.
Anyway, President Packers train passed from Western Germany into Eastern Germany (it was controlled by Communist Russia at the time). They were not going to accept tge passport of Elder Packer's wife. Elder Packer didn't know what to do. He pulled the 20 mark note out of his pocket, gave it to the guard and they let them go through. only after he got off did he learn the severity of the predicament he had been in. The government had been taking people off the train and keeping them in Germany. It was a miracle that they made it through.
Now, Elder Bednar taught about inspiration from the Spirit. He said that often times this is how the Spirit works. It will guide our steps without us evening realizing it. We will be in the right place at the right time and if we do the best to follow our own judgment things will work out. he gave them the money because he thought they might get hungry on the train and not have any german money. the Lord was watching out for his servant.
So, now to me. I had to go to some building meeting with my companion, Elder McNeil. My Branch Presidency had told me it was in B-132, which does not exist. We looked for it for 10 min and then I decided to pray (I should've done that a lot earlier). I felt like we should check down a certain hallway for the room ( i was still searching for B-132). We went down and there were no doors so I figured I was just dumb and didn't know what i was thinking.
But, then we say President Brown walking down the hall toward us. he's the MTC President. Some elders in front of us introduced themselves ans since he thought we were with them he shook our hands too. Then I just asked him if he could help me find the room. He kinda chuckled and said he didn't think they had a B-132 but he helped us find the room where they were having the meeting. 
I thought it was sweet because not only did we get to make it to the meeting but we also got to hang out with the MTC President for a couple min. He's a great man. I love him a lot. I can tell he loves the missionaries too because he took time out of his schedule, on a hurt knee, to take a quest to find an imaginary room with two normal elders. How cool is he?
Anyway, i love you so much. The Church is true. the gospel of Jesus Christ is what brings happiness. Be good. Do work.
Elder Spencer Hodson

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Elder Hodson: Letter 6

Ok hey!


I got my online visa!!! Which means hopefully in the next couple weeks I'll have my visa and be off to Brazil. We don't really know when it will come but my expected departure date that we put on the online application is in about a week and a half.
I appreciate the advice from Mosiah. But I don't want to slow down. I love this work and it makes me so happy to do it. I don't even like to rest during P-day. There's so much to learn and so much to become. It takes time and effort and I don't want to waste a second. I will though, take the appropriate time to rest. I will get to bed everyday on time. I've been praying later than I should lately. I understand that I need rest and to be obedient. But I don't want to slow my pace at all. I am learning so much and I want that learning and growing to continue forever.
I've had some cool experiences this week. I got to here Elder Holland speak on Tuesday. Man, can he put things into perspective. I just love being a missionary and he has inspired me even more, which I didn't think was possible. But, we are ushering in Christ's Second Coming. We are preparing others to recieve Him now so that He will recieve them then.
I've learned a lot from serving already. I get to have interviews with the Senior companions each week and I love to get to know them better and help them find answers to questions they have and encourage and lift them up to be the best that they can be. Our study time is going great in the classroom. We keep it reverent. We have a rule that whenever the picture of Enos praying goes up on the front board, no one is to talk. It's a miracle that it works but it's only because we are all commited to it. Oh man, do I love my district.
Also, I've had the chance to serve some random people that I'll probably never see again. One of them was during laundry. this little elder from like Malaysia just asked me to help him figure out how to use the washer. I loved it!!! He appreciated my help so much. Another day I was practicing the piano and some elders from Tonga and Bolivia came in just to listen. Then they sang. They thought I played beautiful!!! Can you believe that? Ha and then I think this was like the best thing that happened all week. I was coming back from the field after playing soccer and Elder Huntley (I was on splits) and I were asked by this little South Korean to help him find the TRC. He didn't speak Endlish very well abd had a HUGE Asian accent. I think there was something a little off with him mentally too. I'm not really sure though. He walked super slow so I was able to talk to him for a few minutes. He just got to America less than a year ago and comes to the MTC every Saturday. When we brought him to the door he gave me a little bow and wouldn't leave. Haha I had to like walk around the corner while Elder Huntely held the dooropen for him. He finally went inside and i probably won't ever see him again but I just love him so much. i can't remember his name but he was just so happy. he was smiling and grateful the whole time. I can't wait to get to Brazil.
While my time is almost up and I have to leave. Thank you for the package. It made me so happy it was ridiculous. I love you so much. Always do what's right and God will bless you wether it be in life or death. The gospel is true. Service is the key to happinesss. Write me some more. Tell Alex i say hi and happy birthday and I miss him.
Elder Hodson

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