Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Dear Weasley Family and Friends,
            "Push harder than you did today if you want a different tomorrow." 
    I saw this on the outside of a store downtown. I'm not really sure why it is in Norsk, but I liked the quote. As you can probably see from the subject, I am staying in Trondheim. Søster Hilton will be leaving on Wednesday and my new companion, Søster Bradley, will be coming in. I don't know guys.... Not looking forward to change. I mean I know that we need change and that new companionships and new areas are good but.... What will I do without Hilty? And it's a little stressful because Søster Bradley will be senior companion even though I have been here longer, so it's like she is coming into my area, but will be the one in charge? I don't know. It's a little weird. She has been out a little over a year, so it makes sense that she will be senior companion. I am going to miss Hilton like crazy!!! We were together 3 1/2 months, and it is going to be so weird to be without her. I have learned so much about what it means to be a good missionary from her. She has completely changed my mission! We had so much fun together! Seriously every day we were laughing non-stop. I don't know what I am going to do without it. I'm a little nervous. New companionships are always hard for me, and it's been awhile since I had one. It will be good though. I imagine that I will only be in T-heim for the next 6 weeks, and then head off to somewhere else, but who knows! President always throws curve balls at me! 
       This week was a little bit of a different one. I gave a presentation about the church to 30 students, someone we gave a card to called us and asked if we could meet, Oliver read like 70 pages of the Book of Mormon in 2 days, I sang in church, I bore my testimony on General Conference, I about peed in my pants laughing last night during joint study with Elder Jones and Leighton, and I heard that Joseph Smith said "90% of the time your first impression is right." But let's just start from the top. 
       The presentation. So a week ago Søster Jørgenson, a member here, called us and asked us to give a presentation to 30 students who are learning about America this year. Of course my first instinct was to say no, but we were kinda backed into a corner because our Zone Leaders, Elder Jones and Leighton, were going to be in Oslo that day. I am not going to admit that I maybe cried to Elder Jones and asked him not to go, but that is besides the point. I was so nervous! When I do things like this I just realize where my language skills are. It seriously was terrifying. But they came, we gave a presentation about Joseph Smith and the persecution and trip to SLC, they asked millions of questions, and we survived. Elder Shanklin, who has been here 5 weeks, accidentally told them that we "chose to follow Satan's plan" of course I start laughing because I am just uncomfortable and he goes "Just let me talk Søster Hodgkiss!!" I about died from laughing. I told him afterwards why I started laughing and he was like "Well.... I hope no one caught that!" It was great. I felt like an idiot the whole time, but welcome to missionary life.
        Thursday a guy that we met on the bus a week before called us. We had no idea who he was. We had talked to him for a little bit, but he wasn't interested in religion. He asked to meet with us. We met on Friday and he bought us a cookie and hot chocolate. I liked him from the moment he did that! We talked for quiet awhile. His life is crazy. He is just like this service oriented guy. He moved to Ghana and every Friday would take out a bunch of money and then just go find people on the street and give it to them. When he talks about the things he saw there he almost starts crying. It's insane. I just kept thinking, I hope I can be like this one day! He was cool and we will see him again this week. He needs a belief in Jesus Christ pretty badly. We will see how it goes.
        We met with Oliver (the 16 yr old) on Tuesday and watched the Joseph Smith movie. He told us at the beginning that he hadn't read anymore of the Book of Mormon. We were a little bummed because he seemed so positive, but after the movie he told us that he decided that he needed to find out if it was true. We asked him if he believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said "Yes, I do." I was like say what? It was awesome! Thursday we met with him and he opened up to where he was in the Book of Mormon and he had read like 70 pages! I was shocked! Then to go even further he opened up to 2 Nephi 1:13 where it talks about there must be a law to have sin and righteousness, and he starts telling us about his insights to this scripture and how much he likes it. Then! He quotes a scripture from earlier in the Book of Mormon. I was like okay, how about you teach the lesson! He is so great! We are still working towards a baptism date, but we are really hoping to get one soon with him. He is the best! 
        With transfers coming up, some of the members were quiet anxious about finding out who was leaving. Søster Hilton and I are really close to many of the members here, pretty much best friends with 3 in particular: Ingrid, Torunn, and Pele. They are the best and I don't even want to think about leaving because I can't imagine leaving them. Torunn really wanted us to sing and we kinda forgot about it until Friday. We really felt like we didn't have time to put anything together, but decided that if she really wanted us to do it, then we should. We were going to have Elder Jones play the viola, but there just wasn't enough time to practice. So after a long long long debate we enlisted Jonesy and Leighton to sing with us. It was so pretty!! We sang Lead Kindly Light and did the 3rd verse accapella. Everyone was crying and came up to us afterward and said "Please, please, please tell me that you will be doing that again." It was great! The Elders rocked the song. They both have such pretty voices. Elder Jones did a solo, and then a duet with Søster Hilton and another one with Elder Leighton. I just sang up high with my loud church voice. Couldn't help laughing thinking about what Linsey would have said. It was really fun! What wasn't fun was baring my testimony.... 
           Okay I don't hate baring my testimony. Let me just set that straight. I just get so nervous! And for some reason they always have me talk in church last minute! Here I am minding my own business sitting in the 2nd hour of church with about 25 minutes till sacrament meeting and someone sticks their head in and says "Hodgkiss." I mean really? Can I change my name? Aaron asks me to give a 5 minute testimony about General Conference. Now mind you, at this point in my life I don't even know how to say "General Conference" på Norsk and also, if a testimony is over 1 1/2 minute it ceases to be a testimony and becomes a talk. If you want me to talk, that's fine, but let's skip all that fluffy crap and be real with one another. So for the next 45 minutes I have to sit there and worry about our song that we threw together and what I am going to say in a this "testimony" that is secretly a talk. I was so sick to my stomach! We got up and sang our song and it was amazing. I need to figure out how to send videos home! Because then you guys could hear it!!! Laaalll, and then I sit down and then I get called back up there! The good news is that I survived. I talked about the personal revelation that we can receive from conference. I told them about how this time last year I was sitting in my apartment in Russia deciding to go on a mission or not. Crazy right? One year ago, I hadn't even thought of the idea yet. I also talked about prophets and the Holy Ghost. I'm not really sure what I said. I finally got done and was walking down and made eye contact and Jonesy just gets this huge smile on his face. I've decided that as missionaries we just become each other's parents. I felt like I had just got done participating in the spelling bee and my dad was trying to tell me how great I did. It was funny! Søster Hilton gave a good-bye testimony which changed my life. I cried. And then cried all day off and on. Does she really have to go?! 
               Last night was a crazy night. One thing about mission life is that I did not realize how much fun it was going to be. We ended up having a joint study session with Elder Leighton and Jones and I guess it was just one of those nights where you can't stop laughing. Seriously, I'm laughing right now just thinking about it. It was dumb. I can't even begin to tell you what we were laughing about because it doesn't even make sense, but we were laughing so hard that we all started crying. And then we tried to study Norsk and we were all reading from books or magazines and for some reason we all had them up to our faces. First off, it was dead silent and you guys know how I feel about silence. #awks Second off, Hilton and I couldn't control ourselves and it was only made worse when every 10 seconds Elder Jones brought his magazine down by 5 cm to see what we were doing. We all were just laughing behind our books. It was ridiculous. I didn't think that missionary work would be so fun. My first 3 weeks were a nightmare and it wasn't fun at all, but with Søster Hilton, I have had such a blast. I really am going to miss her! Last night we were talking about people we know and she said "You know it's like Joseph Smith said, 90% of the time your first impression of people is right." I laughed for a good 5 minutes straight. I just don't understand how Joseph Smith went from Old/3rd grad English to modern day/ Homeboyish talk. I am confused. 
            Man, I feel like I just went into great detail about my boring life. It was an interesting week to say the least. Also.... Saturday I got a call that some how the driving school magically got me a test date. We didn't think they would be able to because it had to be before transfers because I wasn't sure if I was staying or going well.... they got me one.... for..... Tuesday. So I really need you guys to pray for me, like A LOT. I really need to pass this test because we need sisters that can drive and because I don't want to waste the missions money. Tonight Elder Jones is going with me driving and helping me learn to back up and what not. Hopefully everything goes well. I am really really nervous. I am considering making cookies for the driver guy so that maybe he will like me more. Too much? Never. 
          It looks/sounds like you guys had such a blast in Cali! I am a little bit jealous. Jordan and I are just over here actually working hard and doing something with our lives while you guys are watching a 4 year old learn how to surf. Can someone explain that one to me? Did you guys see Bruce the shark? Not okay. Not okay. I really can't wait to hear all about it though! I know you guys had so much fun! Count down till Christmas when we all get to chit chat! Speaking of that....
      Mom: I need you to tell me when your surgery is and what time you will be leaving for the hospital. Please and thank you. 
           Anywho, week 1 on October right? Talk about coming up on almost 6 months out! This time next year Mom and Dad will be preparing to come over. Crazy! It's 8:55 am here, so I will be back on later to check my email and send a few others off. Write me back if you want  I found out that I can put all these faces in my email and I pretty much want to do it like every other line... Sorry not sorry. 
  I love you guys!!!
Keep it real. Keep it classy. And may the odds be ever in your favor!
P.S. We were doing a gata stand on Saturday and all of the sudden this band comes down the street. There were probably like 60 people and they were singing and playing and dressed in these crazy clothes. Pretty much the best thing I have ever seen. Need to find out about videos!!! Love y'all! 

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