Monday, March 31, 2014

Hold the cheese, I'm going to Valdez??

Sounds like the California was fantastic! I appreciate the pictures, they always make me happy. J And to answer mom’s question, no earthquake was felt by me. I only felt one earthquake on my mission, and it was so tiny that if I would have sneezed I would have missed it… haha. It is the 50th anniversary for the big earthquake in Anchorage though! The Brother A (our landlord) was here for it so they had a big reunion for everyone that survived it and they were telling us about it. It’s amazing how destructive it was, and now, 50 years later, you would never know. It reminds me of the atonement. Things in our life can seem completely torn apart and like they can’t be fixed, but the atonement can heal anything and make it so it’s even better than it was before!
BIG NEWS: I’M GOING TO VALDEZ. Yeah. You read that right!! Valdez is a little town far away from other missionaries, so it will be similar to Sitka in a lot of ways, except Valdez has less than half of the total population in Sitka. I hear it’s about 4,000 people which is about the size of Manti! I should feel right at home! Right now the sisters are struggling a lot with teaching. We just picked up Sister Dotson (my new comp!) from the airport this morning and we have been talking about new ideas and things we’ll try! I feel a huge urgency to get there! Valdez was actually the place I’d been thinking about all week, it was like the spirit was preparing me to go there, and I was thrilled to get the call! I’m determined to find the prepared people, the Lord is hastening His work after all!
We’ll also be flying out Wednesday morning, which means I get the wonderful task of once again making sure my bags are all under 50 pounds. Sigh. Haha J I was just realizing that I’ve flown in between every single area I’ve served in. Making sure those bags are underweight is always so stressful! I guess it is adventurous to have been able to fly so often, but I can see a lot of advantages to driving!
General Conference this weekend! That’s what I’m talking about! I’m so excited! J Always a great boost for the next six months. I’ve almost read all the conference addressed from last conference (I just have the priesthood session ones left!) and it’s been making me excited! Something else I’ve started reading is “Jesus the Christ”! I’ve never felt like I’ve really had time to dive into it yet on my mission, but I’ve had some time to study more during lunch this week, and it’s been amazing! I’ve been learning so much! I probably don’t understand half of it, but the things I’m picking up on are really changing my perspective! I recommend it to those who haven’t read it yet!
The Sugar fast is still going strong! J I think I’ll do it until the end of my mission. I have felt such a huge positive difference in my energy! I think we’re hitting four week on Wednesday! Sister Bullen and I were joking about doing it lifelong and seeing who breaks first. J 
It seems like it’s been really warm lately! Maybe it’s just sunnier? Haha I walked outside with just a cardigan the past two mornings and commented on how nice it felt, only to have the car thermometer read 22 degrees… in conclusion: the Utah August sun will probably kill me. Hahaha
Yesterday church was exciting! We had four investigators there, it was a really good note to end on. They announced in sacrament meeting that I was leaving and so after the meeting I got lots of hugs and tears were shed on both ends. I’ve loved serving in this ward. It’s a little strange since I’ve served here longer than any other area, I feel like I’m like leaving my home ward! I’ll miss these people a lot, but I do feel ready for a new adventure!
Thanks for the emails and a big thank you for some of the handwritten letters this week, they make a big difference! J
You all are the best!
One more thought before I end this, I have been reading in Mosiah in my Book of Mormon reading and Mosiah 2:36 really stood out to me. It reads, “And now, I say unto you, my brethren, that after ye have known and have been taught all these things, if ye should transgress and go contrary to that which has been spoken, that ye do withdraw yourselves from the Spirit of the Lord that it may have no place to you to guide you in wisdom’s paths, that ye may be blessed, prospered, and preserved.” In a world of shifting values, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and God’s commandments will not change. It is society that withdraws from the peace and happiness we can find. It is through the gospel we find access to the atonement! I was recently reading a conference address by President Packer and he said something along the lines of, tolerance that begins as a virtue can quickly become a vice. As we’re tolerant and loving to all God’s children, we must never abandon God and the loving commandments He gives us for the peace of the world!
I know this is Christ’s kingdom once again established on this earth, never to leave again! We have the blessing of hearing from living prophets and apostles this weekend! How amazing is that?? Do we always consider what a blessing that is? I know it’s true.
I love you all so much, thank you for the love and support!
Sister Hedelius

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Pi+.1 day!

Hi family!

So I feel like I'm running out of things to talk about so.. feel free to ask me questions to give me some direction here!!! Hahaha

Mom did ask about transfers and they'll be next week actually! There's a good chance I'll be getting the boot since I've been here 15 weeks. It makes me sad.. :/ but I'm grateful to know I'll be leaving here with no regrets. I don't know if I can honestly say that about any other area, but I know I've worked my hardest here, and whatever happens to these people now is in God's hands.

I love this gospel and the joy it brings both to me and the people I'm blessed to be associated with. Yesterday I just read in 2 Nephi 33:, "And now I, Nephi, cannot write all the things which were taught among my people; neither am I might in writing" I feel like I can relate with Nephi, I can't write all that is in my heart, memories, or thoughts, but I can say this much, "I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayer for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it persuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus; and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life eternal." I know we're not alone in this work. It's that knowledge that gets me through each day, each hour, and each lesson. I know the atonement is a real power, and the strength we each need is found in this gospel.

I love you all so much! Thanks for the many prayers, thoughts, letters, and packages. Know they each make a big difference!

Have a happy week and keep on pressing forward!


Sister Hedelius

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. P-Day!

Sister Hedelius here, reporting on the life of the typical sister missionary here in Alaska! It’s happy and it’s going forward!
Our trip to Soldotna did go through, luckily Sister Bullen loves to drive so I got to chill and take pictures as she drove. J I’ll probably be sending my SD card home one of these weeks so you can all appreciate the beauty found along the Kenai Peninsula! J It was a fun exchange! I got to see one of my BFFs Sister Lind! She’s hilarious, and the exchange did include a round of restoration Jenga after nightly planning and… she beat me again! Don’t worry… I’ll come back one of these times!
C and S did come to church! It seemed to be one of those Sundays when nothing was centered on the gospel in any of the talks.. ugh.. I was praying so hard the whole time that they’d want to stay.. And they did! They said they’ll come back! Something cool that C mentioned she liked was all the learning. She says she’s use to going to church and just listening but she liked the classes and the participation.. Something I had never thought of but it’s true! It reminds me of what Elder Bednar always talks about with acting on not being acted upon. I’m grateful we’re given the opportunity to act in church! We’re going over to C’s today right after emails for lunch which will be fun. J We’ll be able to talk to her more about any questions etc!
We got to call the new sister that’s coming out next transfer, Sister Lethco last night! I was thinking about back when I got my call from President Beesley and everything that I was thinking of and that when through my mind. I’m just so grateful for this time I’ve had to serve a mission. I’ve loved it. It’s the best thing in the world. I’m always so excited to see the new missionaries that come into the mission with such a determination to be their best and serve God will all their might. It’s inspiring.
The no sugar diet is still going on! I’m actually really enjoying it. I can feel a difference in my energy! I love hearing the response from member too when we tell them why we’re not eating sugar. It makes them ask more about our investigators which is my favorite thing to talk about!
We got dumped on this last week! It took us like 30 minutes to find our car that had been buried in the snow! We eventually got out though and those Anchorage snow plows are really good at their job! It seems like they know what they’re doing or something.. haha J
Sounds like spring has hit you! That’s crazy to think of as I look out the window at the still very snowy mountains… J spring sounds nice, but I’m still enjoying the cooler weather. It’s been in the 20s and 30s so pretty warm. I’ve only had to wear my coat like 60% of the days. J
 I’ve been thinking about the Book of Mormon a lot and I hope you’re all reading it! It seems like the more the work is hastening, the harder the adversary is working at destroying the gospel. I love in Preach My Gospel it quotes the June 1933 Ensigns and says, “Those who have read [the Book of Mormon] prayerfully, be they rich or poor, learned or unlearned, have grown under its power…. Without reservation I promise you that if you will prayerfully read the Book of Mormon, regardless of how many times you previously have read it, there will come into your hearts…the Spirit of the Lord. There will come a strengthened resolution to walk in obedience to his commandments, and there will come a stronger testimony of the living reality of the Son of God.” I know that conversion is something we must work at every day! Keep reading, it’s important!
I love my Savior and His gospel, and I love all of you! Thank you for the prayers and support! I always appreciate your handwritten letters especially, those mean so much to me!
Keep doing well, and have a happy week!

Sister Hedelius

Monday, March 10, 2014

The stone is rolling forward!

How's missionary work going you ask?? AMAZING! The work hasn't just picked up this past week, it's rolling quick and Sister Bullen and I are sprinting behind trying to catch up!!!

We started teaching three new people this week which is always good news! We were on exchanges Wednesday and Sister Landon (the sister I was with) and I were working in my area for the day. We both felt impressed to stop by a lady we hadn't met before named M.V. We did and she let us in and we had a great visit. Her husband, D, isn't a member but wasn't there the first visit, but he was the second! We sat down and started to talk and he was asking all the golden question, why did we choose our religion over any other, what do we believe about those who die etc. He has lots of questions, but says he isn't super interested… we'll see what a couple more visits does for his interest level. :)

Another day this week we just were calling members on base to get to know them. We're not allowed to just knock on their doors so we had to have appointments. We made an appointment with a girl named B and her boyfriend was at the lesson with us! He said he “use” to be a Mormon but his habits had taken him away. Apparently he went to seminary all four years, and was thinking about going on a mission but never go baptized!! We’ll continue teaching both of them this week!

Do ya’ll remember "P"? I think I mentioned this before but she requested sisters teach her so Sister Bullen and I get to continue to teach her! We had a lesson with her this week in the temple which was incredible! She is just the best and I love her so much. She’s giving up coffee and a couple other things, and so Sister Bullen and I are giving up sugary foods with her… cookies, candies, ice cream etc. It’s been hard but when either of us feel weak we just say, “We’re doing it for Pam!” and it helps! J Prayer has also helped us a lot and I feel a positive difference in my energy already! Funny story actually, I lent my sewing kit to the elders in our ward a couple weeks ago and they had returned it but I hadn’t opened it or anything… but this week I opened it to sew a rip in my skirt, and they had left a bunch of candy in it thanking me! Haha the gesture was very kind… but the timing wasn’t… haha J BUT I didn’t cave... J I just gave it to the little girl that lives upstairs!

We also saw B yesterday and she’s progressing well! We watch the restoration with her and she said, “now I really know… before I wasn’t quite sure, but today I believe!” She’s still pretty sick, so keep her in your prayers so she can get better!

A couple of the less active sisters we work with came to church out of the blue yesterday! Happy day! I about cried! Sister M and Sister R if I’ve mentioned them before? Sister R sat by me and offered for me to hold her baby… sad day.. we’re not allowed to as missionaries! He still sat next to me on the seat though and he was so happy all through sacrament meeting! I was so impressed!

The crowing event of the whole week happened last night though when we met with C. and S. R. again! We taught the plan of salvation and one of the sisters in the ward that has been married in the temple for 20+ years came. As we taught and she bore testimony so much light filled the room! S, who has been less active for five years, began remembering parts of the plan of salvation and when we mentioned eternal families C’s eyes got big! We’ll be having a lesson at the church this week and they’re planning on coming to church Sunday! It’s so happy!!!

We might be taking off to Soldotna today depending on the weather! One of the missionaries is sick so President Beesley is tied down or we’d all travel together… pray for good weather!

 Have a good week! One of my new favorite scriptures I found this week is 2 Nephi 5:27 “And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness.” We have two purposes in this this life, to prepare to return to live with our Heavenly Father, and to be happy (2 Nephi 2:25) and the gospel helps us achieve both! Don’t forget to live after the manner of happiness and find those little truths in the gospel that bring you so much joy!

I love this gospel and I love sharing it. Keep praying for opportunities to share these truths with others! (D&C 18:15-16)

You are the best!


Sister Hedelius

Monday, March 3, 2014

"March"ing forward!

Hey all, 
Hi from Alaska! SO! The Iditarod!  I did end up helping after all! They needed more volunteers and so we jumped on it! It fun but cold! It was neat because the volunteers got to go back behind the fence where the mushers and dogs were! We were right close to the action! It was fun and for those of you who were wondering, I DID get another hat this year. J
Fun news, Sister Bullen and I get to travel down to Soldotna next Monday for exchanges! We’ll be leaving Monday afternoon and getting back Wednesday afternoon! We’ve decided one of us will drive down and the other will drive back so we can both take pictures! J Should be fun!
So I failed to mention a couple fun stories from last week so I thought I’d include them this week!
First story: Bishop mentioned a part member family that would be open to us coming over! So, we stopped by right after seeing him and sure enough they let us right in! The wife isn’t a member and she’s super open to talking to us, we just shared a Christ-centered thought and she said she loved it and agreed with it. We stopped by again this week and she talked about how she felt we really connected and she has been telling everyone about us!! Haha she is so cute! She’s got some incredible faith and I can’t wait to teach her more! Her name is "S"!
Second story: Sister R is a less active that has been struggling with some anti-literature she’s read. When we met with her Sister Bullen asked if she had any anti material and she pulled out a book that she had read… Sister Bullen invited her to burn it, but she wasn't allowed to have fires in her apartment so she gave it to us to burn, and burn it did! The next time we met with her there was a completely different spirit about her and she mentioned that she also got rid of all the stuff on her computer too! There is just such a different light when we focus our efforts on the scriptures and the truth in them!
I love you all so much, a quote I really like that I read this morning from Elder Edward Dube’s conference message, it says, “In the sight of the Lord, it is not so much what we have done or where we have been but much more where we are willing to go.” I know as we focus on continuing forward in the path the Lord would have us go, we will be His tools in touching the hearts of His children.
Take care and keep on keeping on!

Sister Hedelius1