Monday, March 26, 2012

Settling in Quisqueya

    This week I was hoping for a lot of inactive and investigators to come to church. We contacted 73 people this week and contacting is when you find out there names, share a small message of the restored gospel, invite them to church, and return visit.  Ten people told us for sure they were coming. We revisited many of them on Saturday night to confirm they were coming to church. Only one inactive came to church. It was very disappointing! We are going to start calling to remind them once we get this phone situation worked out. So, we can call more than just the district leaders. We will call the people Sunday morning or walk to there homes to pick them up. I´m not exactly sure what we are going to do but I´m sure we will find a way.
    Other news, we haven't had water for a week. Our nice neighbor Oneida lets us fill our buckets and we use that bucket to clean our dishes, to shower with and flush the toilet. I really had it good in America. Í´m not sure I told you but we don´t A/C here however the frequent rain cools the temperature quite nicely. I enjoying eating cereal or studying the scriptures on the patio when it's raining to feel the cool breeze. It's relaxing!  We don't have an Iron, its a good thing we got those wrinkle free shirts or else I would be in trouble. Yes we cook for ourselves. I heard they use to have cooks like a few weeks ago. They use to go to members home to eat but we cant now cause missionaries were wasting too much time eating instead of working. I make cereal, Ramon, omelets and ham, macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, and oatmeal (soon not yet but I did buy it). Yeah, that's pretty much it so far. We don´t have siestas. I wish we did. Although the people take their siestas. The tea time I heard we have 20 Min's to grab something to eat. I just usually grab some crackers or something. I have lost 5 pounds more or less. I learned how to use the dryer it´s not that bad, it works.
    Thanks Andy for that advice. About don´t let the time pass by I still think about that. Thank you for the analogy that's pretty cool. Tell Rachel thank you for writing me. I love when people write me it makes me feel good. Something I have learned is that God knows us in Alma 40 it talks about how many hairs we have on our heads. I have been missing everyone so much. The only thing that makes me feel good is sharing the Gospel and opening my mouth. I love you all so much and think about you all a lot. That´s funny about Alex and Russ. Oklahoma. lol Well I have to go! I love you all! Keep writing me I enjoy hearing from everyone.
-Elder Cudd

Monday, March 19, 2012

Chicken and Pigs...Ohhh My!!!

I happy to hear that the Snow's emailed you. They said, they would write you to let you know we're safe. As I'm sure they told you, I'm in Quisqueya, which is in the region San Pedro De Marcoris.  I am in El Campo. We're actually the first missionaries to live in Quisqueya. The missionaries would cover 2 areas... Consuelo and Quiqueya. They normally would travel about 30 min's to just get here and take a guagua (bus) back home when done. 

My living situation is defiantly different than what I'm use too.I have chickens and even wild pigs in our back yard however they aren't our "pero".  We have a refrigerator, stove and oven. No microwave. My companion brought a blender. I put all of my food in the refrigerator. Food is pretty cheap. I had those sugar canes and we bought a big bag for 10 pesos. There are tons of colmados (little stores selling eggs and such) everywhere. We have a washer and dryer... sort of. The washer just spins very slowly in circles and I'm not sure how the dryer even works.  I just put my clothes on a line on our patio. Don't worry its a small gated patio. As of right now, there hasn't been water for 2 days. Hope it comes back soon. We take bucket showers here. The shower head doesn't work although it does leak all day and night when we had running water. I'm sure the water will be back soon.

Unfortunately, our second councilor is inactive and the president of the branch comes every other week cause of work. They say its hard to baptize in the Campos but first we are tying to get inactive's to return to church. Them who received the greater light receive the greater condemnation. So, once we help them they usually can give us referrals. Not this Saturday but the next we will have a class for English. A ton of people in this town have the desire to learn English. Maybe we will be able to meet some new people who want to learn the gospel. Well, I will be in this area for at least 3 more months. But yeah everything is going well.

Did Mataio permanently transferred to Alabama?  I talked to this way cool poly from Utah, Elder Wolfgram, on P-Day.  We talked about football and we have so much in common. It was way cool to meet him. I recently took the advice of mom to only talk in Spanish and don't think about it, just speak it. Ive done this for 2 days so far and I have learned a lot. I couldn't really do it in the MTC cause Elder Dawdle and I were at the same level but now I only talk in Spanish to Elder Wood. He's only been out for 8 months but I have learn from him. I get corrected some times, more than others, however people in the area say I speak really well especially since I just starting my mission. 

Love you all and miss you all probably more now than ever,
Elder Cudd

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Michael arrived on his mission.

Attached are photos of Elder Cudd on his arrival to the mission yesterday. One photo includes President and Sister Hernandez. The other includes his trainer and senior companion, Elder Wood, a fine missionary. Thank you for sharing your son with us at this time in this great work.

Elder Eickbush
Office Secretary
Santo Domingo East Mission

Monday, March 12, 2012

Last letter before entering the field

I have a little bit of time to write to you all. I am leaving the MTC tomorrow at 6:30am. I still don't know what region or city or even companion I am going to be with. I will find all of that out tomorrow. I love you all. Every time someone talks I take pages of notes. There's such a great blessing to write what people say. I have learned scriptures that others have wrote and so much more. I'm constantly writing feelings. It's such a great blessing to be a student of the gospel. It's exciting to be able to go back to remember what they said, how I felt and what scriptures were used. Thank you mom for the many plastic sleeves for my binder I am constantly putting important papers in there. I'm organized and it is such a great feeling. By the way, my nights are the best! I love to write in my journal, review my day and share my experiences. It's so cool. Did you all watch Jeffrey R. Holland's talk called Testimony of the Book Of Mormon? It's on and just search it. It's a short 4min Mormon message video. I recently watched the Joseph Story. it was beautiful and the spirit really touched me. It got me even more pumped than I already was to teach about Brother Joseph. I love all of you so much!
-Elder Cudd

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Teach me all I should know, do, then to be...

 We had splits last Thursday, where I actually went into the field. I went with the Elder Jenson the A.P. (Assistant to President in the East Mission) and he was CRAZY good at Spanish. A good teacher as well. He was way smooth with the discussions and we got 4 new investigators to join church that Sunday. It was way cool. He has a special glow to him and he's constantly smiling. He is a way cool guy. Tomorrow I get to follow up with him and go into the field again for another 3 or 4 hours. I'm really stoked.
              On Sunday, I fated for the Gift Of Tongues and I understood nearly all the testimonies and the whole day I was understanding words left and right. My Spanish is up and down however the more I practice speaking the better I am. I am terrible at speaking Spanish when I am cold. (Haven't spoken in a little while.) It's like I have to get warmed up before I am ready. I have to get in the mindset. And be focus.
              On Tuesday, Elder Cornish talked and he gave a devotional. He is part of the Area 70 and Quorum of the 70. He told me he actually was companions with Elder James B. Martino when they served their first missions. Elder Cornish spoke in last General Conference, it was about prayer and it was awesome. I recommend you all to watch it. So he spoke to us about Conversion and Revelation. He started off with a simple story of a boy who fell out of bed and his father asked why you fall out of bed? Boy responded, I guess I wasn't far enough in. Elder Cornish said, "Our goal is not to convert. You will aways fall. By being faithful we can be instruments of the Lord. The Lord wants to give a man revelation he gives him a question. Don't ask questions of yourself. It will be to your destruction. If you say let me model through my selfish ways as a parent because I am bigger, older, because I said so. You will raise selfish children. What does the Lord want me to do? Teach doctrine."
              What do you think the Lord wants you to do? Not what is in it for me? That's the difference between Satan's plan and God's plan. Elder Cornish said " You should not ask who should I marry?" Because you haven't done your homework yet.
              He said one of the best questions you could ever ask is " What doctrine would God want me to understand my question?" Missionaries are not to share information there is little saving power in that. According to scriptures to understand in your heart is the next step. But that won't even save you. We need people to change. The becoming is what the conversion is about. He said, If I could change the lyrics to  that children's songbook..." Teach Me To Walk In The Light"  I would put..."Teach me all I should know, do, then to be."  If you really want to learn something teach it. Ears, eyes, hands, and mouth. Hearing is the worst thing we can do. Hearing requires no faith or agency. Hearing is passive. You don't remember 20% what you hear at that moment. 10% from far off.  Less than 3% in your life. Eyes you learn more. Working and participating with hands is better but you never forget what you teach.
              I miss all of you guys! When I was on my splits last Thursday I saw small living places. Smaller and poorer I have ever seen in my life. I was always grateful for our houses at home but I am even more thankful for what we already have. Mom i don't know what city or the living conditions are yet. I'm in the field next Tuesday. Hey watch Testimony Of The Book Of Mormon by Jeffrey R. Holland!
              I love all of you guys. I will be in the field next time I write.
Love, Elder Cudd

Thursday, March 1, 2012 do something or be someone!?!

    So I'm not sure If I have told you this but I go street contacting at the University and last week was our last time doing it. I passed out 7 pamphlets and had 5 (10-15 mins) discussions with them on the Restoration. Then provided them contact info for other missionaries with a phone number on the back of the pamphlet. Tomorrow I go on exchanges for the first time and get to experience the field a little bit better with a missionary from my field. I'm really excited about that. I forgot to mention two weeks ago we went to orphanage and sang I'm a Child Of God and shook their hands. Then these 3 little girls wanted to sing a song to us and sang beautifully. A LOT better than us. This last Sunday, in district meeting we went around the room expressing what qualities they liked each missionary had. Our district is only 6 Elders including myself and my companion. So it was a very personal thing because we all knew each other pretty well. We felt the spirit very strong. Our District Leader cried and made me tear saying how much he loves each and every one of us. His name is Elder Gatherum and the other is Elder Grover including my companion Elder Dawdle they are one of my favorite best friends but everyone here is really just great Elders. My Companion is quiet and he has a girlfriend serving a mission right now too. My companion has to be one of the nicest people I have ever met. He's just a really swell guy.
    Elder Todd D. Christopherson in this Devotional we watched on Sunday said "I hope you never never come back from your mission and say I have served faithfully for 2 years, now God owes me!" He said "I hope you will never say that." "I hope you say I owe Him even more" He read Helaman 12:35 he said "Where it says yielding my heart is saying to the Lord. My desire is your desire. He said it could be hard for people because they know not what that intel but isn't that our goal to be like Him? We're fearful to yield to God fearing there will be trials. But why would we be afraid who knows and loves us best? The joy of Christ will swallow the trials and anguish. Any tribulation will be swallowed up."
    I've learned some people "go on a mission" and other "become missionaries." Some "have kids" some "become fathers." There's a difference between to do something and be someone. To be in the truth and be part of the truth. Richard G. Scott said "write your feelings down it will be one of the most treasured things you will take home." At night I try to put a lot of thought and feeling in my journal. One day I hope you all can read it. I'm still reading Jesus the Christ. It's a tough reading I have highlighted all over the book trying to understand. I'm not very far. I'm only on page 72 but I have gained so much knowledge studying it as a student and not reading it for how far but what can I learn from it. I also don't get that much time to read it. I read whenever I have a bit of time in between class.  Also, when I was at the temple when I was waiting to do baptisms I was reading. It's a beautiful book. I'm also reading the Book Of Mormon in Spanish. My goal on my mission is "nonetheless not my will but thine be done. And if ye have not charity ye are nothing."
Yo se que este iglesia es verdadero.
Yo le quiero mi salvador.
Yo se que si nosotros tenemos caridad en nuestro vidas, podriamos ser mas como Cristo
Yo se que el Libro de Mormon is verdadero.
Y yo les amo.
Yo digo estas cosas en el Nombre De JesuCristo, Amen
Elder Cudd