Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Dear Weasley Family & Friends,
    "And that's my point: all great things worth having require great sacrifice worth giving." - The Bronze Horseman
           This is REAL. This is HAPPENING! TODAY IS P-DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeekkkkk! I have been waiting all week for this moment. I could hardly sleep last night because I was so excited! I thought that me and my compy compy had the earliest alarm set, so when an alarm went off I just jumped out of bed. Once I had my clothes on and was grabbing my laundry I realized it was 5:45am. I didn't even care. I was like let's get this show to the computer lab right NOW! Can't even process real thoughts right now, because I just have so much to tell you all!!
            But I will try to break it all down for you! So first off you all probs want to know my schedule and what it is like. I will give you a break down of it. I usually wake up at 5:45 or 6 at the latest. It's funny, but it isn't hard to do that here. Am I tired? Of course, but there is just so much to do and not enough time. Here is what my basic schedule looks like:
   6 am- arise and prepare
   7-7:30 - additional study time (mostly focus on language and the lesson we are teaching that day)
   7:30-8 - Breakfast
   8-9 - personal study time (I try to have like a scripture reading party, but usually I am just too nervous for the lesson so I do more language study) 
   9-12- classroom time (sometimes our teachers come in and other times we teach our investigator)
   12:15-1- lunch
   1-2:15- language
   2:15-5:15- classroom time (more language, a little bit of gospel)
   5:15-6 - dinner
   6:10-7 gym (this moves around)
   7-7:35- get ready for next activity
   7:35-8:35- TALL (online cooleyo language learning program)
   8:35-9 - additional study time (usually end up talking to the Elders, but I try to do some reading or language study)
   9-9:30 - compy comp planning time
   9:30-10:15- compy comp prayer, compy comp reading of BOM in Norsk, get ready for bed, personal time, personal prayer 
   10:15-10:30- bed time, lights out
And then............. I get up and do it all over again. Except Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Tuesdays are service days so we serve in the morning and only have 1 set of classroom time. We also have devotional. Thursdays as you can see are my pdays so I have laundry, naps, letters, emails, Temple visit, and other stuff to do. Sundays are church meetings all day and devotional at night. Its fab. My schedule is perfectly set up so that every other day or so we have something different. Helps you to keep your mind.
          As you can see we do language all the time. Everyone told me that we would hardly do any langyage, BUT that's not the case. Sometimes I want to literally shoot myself in the face because of all the Norsk coming into my brain. The last group that sent off didn't have time for everything they wanted, so they are "fire hosing" us the first 2 weeks, and then the last bit we will just do tons of verbs and lots of practice. This is real. The schedule is crazy, but it's great. I don't feel like it's hard to follow at all. Sometimes its hard to stay on track, but everything is planned. I will tell you that there is no one inforcing the rules. You spend the whole time with your compy compy or district and just have to motivate yourself unless you have class time and your teachers are there. #letsgoofoff 
     Quote of the week:
        - Elder Gustafson is walking all werid beside me
        Me: Elder, are you okay?
     Elder G: Yeah, there is just something werid poking me in my pants.....
       Me: Um.......
        So the first week.... um... to sum it all up? LIFE IS ROUGH! I have never been on such a roll-a-coster in my life. One minute I'm up, the next I'm down. I'm on cloud nine and then my lesson sucks, and I want to cry. The first day wasn't bad. I was so busy that I didn't have time to even process anything. The second day... oh let me tell you. I had time to process it, and I had time to cry. Seriously the lang. was so tough. We went over so much that day and I was just like this isn't real life. PEOPLE THIS IS NOT A DRILL. I don't know what you are saying! Our teachers only speak to us in Norsk, which is tough, but it pushes you. I cried off and on all day long that day. But each day got better. Sunday is always amazing. It's so uplifting and you get to take a break from everything. So that helps. The food is actually way good. They have BYU ice cream every Wednesday and Sunday. After my rough week I def had 3 bowls of ice cream in ONE day. #thankgoodnessforgymtime. Love gym time. I take my flash crads with me and hit either the bike or the eliptical. I aint got time to take a break from this Norsk stuff. Lines in the lunch room aren't bad at all. I mean it's busy, but you just have to be stern. #getoutofmywayelders.
      There are so many girls here. Why aren't they married? They are all so cute. Their clothes look just like mine! Actually some of them are cuter. On Sunday we had this "what you can't wear meeting, where I am going to make you feel guilty". It was rough. We all came out and were like "Great. We have to throw everything away!" But we decided that it was between us and the Lord, and we liked out clothes too much, so we kept them. #whycantiwearalongdress Honestaly. I am going to Norway. I need to be able to wear sweat pants AND leggins under my clothes. People these days....
       There are 6 people in my room.... Spoiler alert: The rooms are built for 4. It's close quaters, but it's not bad at all. We are hardly in there, so there isn't my time to get annoyed. We have 3 sets of companionships in there. Love all the girls to death. As far as crying goes, it's been okay. Girls have only cried them self to sleep like 6 out of the 7 nights we have been here. It's a quiet cry though, so thats good. Hahaha. I think that most of the time we are crying from our prayers. More of a good cry. You don't have much time to think about home in prisIon.... I mean... the MTC....
        What's the difference between prision and the MTC?
        In prision you get visitors and a phone call.
        I will be in the MTC till May 27th. Not sure when we leave for surzies. I will get travel arrangements the week before I leave. Now for some trivia on my mission. Transvers are 12 weeks long because of the fact that we fly EVERYWHERE. We fly to transver. We fly for district conferences, and zone conferences. One of the teachers that just got back said he flew over 75 times. We are one of the most expensive missions in the world. The 10,000 dollars we pay is used up in the first 3 months. #thankscheapmexicomissionforpayingforNorway
         Real Talk (Miracles!!!):   Okay so have you ever heard the term "Baptisim by fire"? Okay well this is real. This is their idea of a "good idea" here at the MTC/Hogwarts/Hunger Games arena. So on our 3rd day here, aka Friday, aka less than 48 hours from being here they decide that it is time that we have our first lesson with our investigator. Okay so that's okay right. Well.... it has to be in full Norsk, and we get to use NO notes. So we are freaking out. The thing is that we weren't freaking out enough, because if we had known what was coming I think we would have left to go home right then. So, we prepare this lesson. We decide that its a good idea to teach the full Apostasy, Restoration, and I don't even know, that's how crazy it was. Well we memorize it all. We are so nervous. We knock and walk into the "house" and meet ARMAND JOHANSEN. Let me tell you something Armand may or may not be the devils child. I'm not kidding. Me and the compy comp were sure everytime he just starred at us (aka, always) that he was sucking our souls. It was rough.
      He is just so blah. He would never smile. Never really show emotion. Looked at us like we were dumb. We LITERALLY cried in our first lesson. But let's take a second to look at the good. We taught everything we wanted to teach, in Norsk, bore our testimonies, and prayed and we had only been at the Hunger Games Arena for 48 hours. It was amazing. But understanding him was hard. And he was so scary! I would get sick to my stomach everytime I saw him. Our second lesson went better. The third was okay. The Spirit was strong and I was basically able to understand everything he was saying, and speak back. In the middle of me talking he stopped me and asked me if I had ever lived in Russia. I was like is this real life? I said um yes sir I did! Only in Norsk! And he was like yeah, you speak Norsk like one. Well isn't that nice. #whydoyouhatemearmand
       Let me tell you about our 4th lesson with him. It was amazing. We walked in there even though we wanted to throw up. Background story: Armand doesn't believe that God loves him. We said a prayer and then sang I am a child of God in Norsk. We asked him how he felt and he said he felt peacful. My compy comp up to this point was having trouble with the language, but she was so great. She talked about what prayer meant to her and asked him questions. I looked at her and just started crying because I was so proud. It was amazing. Then it was my turn. I shared my entire experience with him about my cancer, and how I felt so alone on treatment. I told him that I prayed and I felt Christ's arms around me. I said I know that God loves me. I know that God loves you. Jesus Christ atoned for you, so that you are never alone. You are God's son. He knows your sucesses and he knows your trials. He knows you. He cares about you. He loves YOU. Of course I had dramatic pauses that were steller. I was crying, and I looked up and he was crying. I was so happy. We had finally made a break through. I get chills just writing it. All the word came to me I needed. His face when I said I had "kreft" was priceless. He asked three times to make sure I knew what I was saying. Finally I was like "Ya, jeg har kreft!" Guys, for real I have never felt so close to the Spirit in my life. I don't even know half the things I said. It was such a humbling experience.
        Of course the next lesson we go in and it sucks. It was our 5th and final lesson. Now up to this point we know that Armand is actually a teacher, and will later teach us, but we had never seen that side of him. He was always Armand to us. The personality of a door, the no smile, I am going to suck out your soul. Well we come out of the last lesson and Armand comes down and is like okay everyone group meeting. Were upset from our lesson. You have no idea how hard it is to sit and not understand what is going on. Or to study all day and not be able to say what you want, not even the things you studied. It's not bad, it's just life here, but please homeboy give me a second to be upset before we have a rally. So he comes in and completely drops the Armand act and becomes Brother Diego (I don't know his real name so I call him that). Let me tell you something Brother Diego is not the jerk we saw who hated us. He is the exact opposite. He is super loud and smilely and sarcastic. Now I think I would have loved him, if I hadn't just had the hardest week of my life with him as Armand, so I sat in the corner and I was just pissed. I was like come on! Are you serious! I cried over you! He is crazy y'all. So much personality and I was snorting laughing so hard. But for real, I think I'm going to hit him in the face. I feel we would be even then. So, I am sure once the memories of how terrified I was/ me crying in every lesson because I can't remember anything go away, then I will love him to death. Right now though?....... #prayingforcharity
         My compy comp is Sister McArthur. I love her to death. I had no idea you could love so many people so fast. She is so cute. My district is great too. The Elders here Elder Gustafson & Elder Schultz are like my best friends. They make me laugh so hard. We all have such a good time. They call me sister Katniss here! Love it
   I have to go! Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor. I will send pics next week!
Love you all,
Sister Hodgkiss
Shout Outs this week:
Cor & Ash: Happy 1st Annv.
Lori: Happy Birthday!
Jordan & Lins: Good luck this week! Can't wait to hear!
Darrin & Annie: Happy 11th Annv.


Letter # 1—April 17, 2013

     I made it to Hogwarts safely.  It was really hard saying good-bye to you guys at platform 9 ¾, but after we parted, things got so busy I haven’t really had time to cry.  Maybe I won’t…or maybe it will come later. We are learning new spells. I will conquer the dark side! Voldemort won’t win!
     Real talk now. Things are going well here. Its my first night here in the MTC aka Hogwarts, and I’m feeling pretty good.  I have moved all my stuff in and my part of the room is so cute. I will send pictures on my p-day. Oh btw my p-day is Thurs. I don’t get one this week, but I will have one next week. I’m sad I have to wait so long, but what can you do?
     So after we said goodbye, I walked into a building accompanied by another sister and went through this like station thing to get all my stuff. PEOPLE…THIS IS NOT A DRILL! These people are organized! Impressive! I got my packet and this lady pinned my name tag on me. Super surreal moment. I looked down and it was just like BAM! IM A MISSIONARY! And it’s way cool because it is all in Norsk! Can’t read a thing besides my own name.
      From there I went to my room, dropped my stuff off and then went to my classroom and met my teachers. OKAY> First off I’m not sure if they forgot English or something, but they spoke Norwegian the whole time! WOW! The worry set in. You just kinda feel really stupid. I did allot of nervous laughing. The good thing? Everyone else is just as lost and feels just as stupid. Great Bonding!
     There are 2 different districts going to Norway with me. Guess what? There is a total of 21 missionaries between both districts and only 4 are boys! We have 17 girls! It’s awesome. Before the mission age change came, there were only 8 girls that were going or had their call to Norway. Now its growing there! There is work for us sisters to do and its exciting! Over 500 new missionaries came today. 253 Elders and 259 sisters! So amazing! The first time ever the sisters had more than the Elders on that Wed.
     After class time, we went to a meeting to meet our President. The presidency spoke and we sang “Called to Serve”. I wanted to cry my eyes out all day because I have my “new missionary” dot on so people were welcoming me to the MTC. The crazy thing? People were doing it in every language you could think of. It was sweet! After the meeting we had dinner. I stuck to the fruit after eating like we did these last few days. My compy comp and I left and went back to our dorm.
            Oh, that reminds me! My compy-comp! She is presh. Little thing with blond hair. Her name is Sister Mcarthur and she is from St. George, Ut. Way cute girl. I would tell you more, but today was information overload, so I can’t remember. I’ll get back to you guys on that. She is 19—I’m old here—honestly she is great so far.  Allot like me in how well prepared she feels she is. I’ll just call her Ron from now on.
            Lets have a chit-chat: These girls all brought more luggage than I did! GASP!! And they brought tons of shoes like I did AND tons of clothes! I knew I wasn’t the only heathen! Also MTC beds are way comfy! And Hogwarts is HUGE!! Didn’t expect it to be so big!
            So after din-din and heading to our room, we ended up spending some time unpacking. Then we took a looky at the clock and realized we needed to head to another building for a “teaching experience”.  It was pretty cool. They divided us up and we went into one room. There was a part at the front that was set up as a “house”. A person came in and was an investigator with this whole background. A companion of sisters came in and started the conversation out with the investigator. Then they left and we had to teach them acting as 2 people. It was crazy spiritual and really scarey. I never took the mike because I was too nervous, but it taught me that this work isn’t for groups, this work is for individuals. Just like the Atonement. It’s infinite, but it’s intimate. It was crazy how much love I already had for these “investigators”. Makes me excitied for Norway.
            After the first room, we moved to 2 other rooms that showed us different situations and different people. We all finished in tears. People shared very raw experiences and emotions and testimonies. We all don’t know each other, but it some how didn’t matter because we’re all here for the same reason. We love the Savior more than “all this”.  We finished up there and went back to our classrooms to meet our Zone Leader. They were nice and we had a brief meeting with them.  After that we went back to our rooms and finished unpacking and got ready for bed. Now I’m just writing you this before scriptures and nighty-night.
            I’m not crazy obsessed yet, but I know that this is where I need to be. I’m slowly falling more and more in love with this work. Gosh dangit! These people are going to convert me!! Norwegian is tough. Sounds like crazy talk, but I know the Lord is going to bless me. This is where I rely solely on faith. This is where I rely on the miracles of the Lord. I love you guys Thank-you for all you do and have done. Don’t worry about me, I’m just fighting the dark arts. KEEP IT REAL! KEEP IT CLASSY! AND MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOR.
                                                                        Sister Hodgkiss
Quote of the week: “Did I miss any countries?” mission MTC president asked
                        “MERICA!”-random elder
outside facts: There were only a total of 50 missionaries in Norway as of October. They haven’t had over 50 in the past 50 years. They are bringing the number up to 250!!! 52 elders and 8 sisters in my group.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Packing List

     Hey y'all! I thought I would give you a quick post before I head off for Norway! I was super stressed when I was getting ready to leave because I just wasn't sure what I should bring. I knew what I WANTED to bring, but I wasn't sure what I NEEDED to bring, or what other girls were bringing.  When I started to pack, I realized that it would be SUPER helpful if someone would have posted their list, so I sat down with my computer and posted mine! I hope that it comes in handy. I am sure I am going to learn REAL quick what I do and don't need! Best of luck to all of you that are serving missions! You're going to be great! 
1 pair of running shoes
2 pairs of oxfords
1 pair of toms
1 pair of combat boots
1 pair of rain boots
1 set of sticky notes
1 set of flash cards
1 Norwegian to English pocket dictionary
1 set of thank you notes with name on it
2 journals
3 pocket notebooks
1 missionary companion by Richard j allen
1 set of scripture markers
2  two year planners with family and friends birthdays and annavaeries already marked
1 family proclamation in Norwegian
1 five pocket accordion file holder
1 patriarchal blessing
1 small shutterfly book of family pictures
1 quad of scriptures in english
1 quad of scriptures in Norwegian
2 bars of dove soap
1 razor
2 new razor heads
104 tampons
1 small first aid kit
1 box of band aids
1 Neosporin on the go for backpack
1 set of Mary Kat soft hands and lips
604 Calcium + Vitiam D pills
500 Tylenol pills
250 simply right womens vitamins
1 ariborne
1 can of dry shampoo
6 pair of flat no show socks
8 pairs of no show socks
3 pairs of ankle socks
3 pairs of tights
24 pills of Nyquil flu
24 pills of Zquil
24 hair elastics
100 q-tips
1 tube of toothpaste
1 nail cliper
8 packs of nail polish remover wipes
1 bottle of black nail polish
3 bottles of travel shampoo
3 bottles of travel conditioner
1 bottle of travel hair spray
1 travel lotion
1 bottle of sun screen
1 lofa
1 toiletry bag
4 skinny belts
3 slip extenders
2 pair of workout bottoms
1 workout sweatshirt
1 towel
1 face towel
1 blanket with family pictures
1 set of twin size sheets
9 skirts
7 dresses
22 shirts
8 cardigans
2 blazers
5 t-shirts
1 light coat
1 bag of make up
1 jar of Cetaphil
1 sentportable
1 Ipod full of church music
1 Cannon camera
24 Stamps
1 box of envelopes
1 package of paper
Multiple pens 
May the odds be ever in your favor,
Sister Hodgkiss