Monday, February 29, 2016

Cork 2/29/2016

Hello Family,
The Big Question is, am I staying or am I leaving Cork City?
Well I am leaving, I am being moved to Sligo, Ireland! I knew it was probably time to leave Cork.
Well here is how the week went:
We had dinner at Julie Mcgill's house, who is a member. She made some really good curry and rice. I know you all think that I probably wouldn’t of  liked  it but I did. It was really good. We taught their sons who are less active. I gave a message about how God loves us all and how He wants to hear from us.
We had District Meeting. It was really good.  We talked a lot about inviting and following up. For district lunch, the Wingets made us some really good sandwiches and French toast.
Later that day, we taught a man named El Shadai. He is from Ghana. We taught about the Restoration.   He liked to talk so we didn’t get all the way through our lesson, but we plan to teach the rest another time.
We taught a man named Gabriel who is from Switzerland. We taught the Restoration and he seemed to really like it. It was hard to teach because of the language barrier. I have been trying to work on teaching simply because most people we teach have English as their second language.
Later that night I went to Young Mens with Elder Brockmann while the others went to a dinner appointment. At Young Mens, they had an eating contest. You had to eat at least a liter of ice cream with a ton of sauce and chocolate. The ones who finished there portion got another half a liter. I got second place. It was fun, but I hope I don't have to do something like that for a while.
We went finding for most of the day.  We taught Lucas. We talked about scripture study with him and the importance of going to church. We told him if he studies the scriptures, prays and comes to church that he will receive his answers to his prayers. 

We went a volunteered at Cork Penny Dinners, a soup kitchen. It was fun, but it was really busy. Lots of people came and it was non- stop work.  After we worked there, we went finding for most of the day
We went to the Branch Activity night. We asked Lucas to teach a yoga class because he is really into yoga. I enjoyed it even though it was hard. I have to admit, I felt good afterwards.
We went to Branch Coordination Meeting. It was good and effective. Brother Quirke, the Branch Mission Leader, had a BBQ for us. He cooked some really good sausages.
After the meeting, we drove to Mallow which is outside Cork and we taught a man named Tendai and his family. We taught him about the Restoration. He had a lot of questions, but seems really interested in finding out the truth!  For the rest of the night we went finding.  We went to eat at one of our favorite places called Burritos and Blues.
I blessed the Sacrament for the first time on my mission and in 6 months. I love being able to bless and administer the Sacrament.
We had a great Elder’s Quorum lesson on yielding to the Lords way. Giving up our ways to match Christ's ways is always better and can bring peace and happiness to our lives.
It was a great day and very surprising when I got the moves call. I am excited to go but not very fond of packing!
I love you all
Have a great week,


                                                          6 Missionaries living in 1 Flat

Elder Swenson, Elder Brockmann, Elder Udy, Elder Christensen, Elder Van Staden, Elder Walters

Monday, February 22, 2016

Cork 2/22/2016

It’s been a long week,  but it was so awesome!
We taught our newly found investigator, Mark. We taught him all the lessons so he would be prepared for baptism on Saturday. President Donaldson Ok'ed it,  so we planned his baptism for the upcoming Saturday (the 20th).
We went to Limerick for exchanges with the Zone leaders after our district meeting.   I went with Elder Hansen and we taught 3 lessons. We taught 2 Brazilians and a French girl. It was great to learn from Elder Hansen. Our new zone leader is from Mexico so I always talk about my Mexican friends back home in Texas.
We traveled back from Limerick.  And then spent the rest of the day talking to people on the streets.  Tiring but very productive!
We taught a man named Davis from Virginia. He has a strong belief in Jesus Christ. Hopefully we can meet him again to talk more about the gospel!  Later in the night we went Tracting. It wasn’t very productive and we got a lot doors slammed in our face. 
We went on exchanges with the Tralee Elders. It was a lot of fun. That night we had 8 sleeping in our flat!  We had a branch activity that night. It was a scripture scavenger hunt. The Branch President gave us scriptures and we had to figure out the item and we had to go find it! It was fun!
The day of Marks baptism. I was excited for Mark because he has been waiting 2 years for this. I was picked to perform the baptism.   I was excited but quite nervous because it was my first time ever preforming a baptism.  We spent most of the day preparing for it because we had so little time.
When the time came to baptize Mark, I  got more nervous. But as I entered the water with Mark, the spirit helped calm my nerves.   I could really feel the spirit, as the words flowed from my mouth.    I was so grateful to help Mark towards this toward the Celestial Kingdom!
Mark was confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. He also received the Aaronic Priesthood.  After Sunday school, he left to pack for China.   Mark and his wife are leaving to teach English in China on Monday. I am so grateful that we were able to help Mark before he went back to China. I truly believe in miracles!
We went to Blarney for a car inspection.   While we were out there,  we went to Blarney Castle. I was able to see the rest of the grounds that I wasn’t able to see last time. I got some really cool pictures!
It was such an exciting week. I was looking at my picture of all of us. I am so grateful for all of you and the prayers and support as I serve the Lord.
I  hope you have a great week.

Mark's Baptism

Elder Walters, Elder Van Staden and I playing on a tree we saw today at Blarney Castle

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cork 2/15/2016

Hello Everyone!
It’s been a great week.  We have been working really hard week here in Corcaigh(Gaelic Spelling of Cork), Ireland. 
We even had a little snow this past week.  We spent over 33 hours finding, I’m tired but I feel great!  I think we walk 6-7 miles a day.  We still have 6 Elders in our apartment for 2 more weeks until our next transfer.    We have Elder Swenson from Las Vegas, Elder Walters from California, Elder Christensen from Wyoming, Elder Van Staden  from South Africa and Elder Brockman(serving mini mission) from Cork. 
We had dinner at Paul's house (the member from Nigeria). He made some hot peppa soup. It was super spicy but really good at the same time.  That night, we  drove back into the city to go finding. Since we have 6 elders in Cork now, someone had to ride in the tiny trunk for just that drive. I volunteered because I knew it would be fun!
We had district meeting. We practice role playing with trying to be more personable. I liked the practice (Even though I don’t like role plays) because we saw actual success from it in our finding!
We ate dinner at a member house named Andrea Stapleton (Branch Presidents sister). She made some really good grilled chicken and potatoes.  It was pancake Tuesday (day before Catholic Lent) so she made us some really good pancakes with butterscotch syrup for dinner. 
We had a morning of finding.   In the afternoon, we taught a woman named Jackie. She does Media Analyzing so she gave us a bunch of pictures to analyze which was cool.  We tried stopping by an investigator’s house named John, who lives on the north side, so we had to catch a bus up there. We spent the night up there tracting. 
We had a power house day of finding. We found a lot of potential investigators and also managed to not have our feet fall off!
We did finding for most of the day. We talked to two homeless ladies. One thought I looked like a bouncer so that was kind of funny. They were very interested in meeting with us. We will see how that goes.   Later that day, we taught a Romanian family. We talked to them about a living prophet that guides us. They were really interested. Elder Christensen actually knows their cousins that live in Dublin, so that was cool.
That evening we had a Branch activity. While the other missionaries were playing games, I had a huge nerf war with the primary kids, it was so fun! President Stapleton also gave me an assignment to speak on Sunday!
We taught Lucas in the city that afternoon. We testified of Prophet Thomas S. Monson and the commandments. I love testifying of truth because you can always feel the spirit!  We went street boarding that night. There was a guy playing the Saxophone while were talking to people.  I loved hearing him play.
I gave my talk.   I gave it on the Hope of Israel: Jesus Christ. I started with talking about Star Wars and the hope of the rebellion. Everyone seemed to like my Star Wars reference. I testified that Jesus Christ is the hope for all of us and that through the atonement we can receive that hope. I love talking and testifying of Jesus Christ.
We taught a man named Amaulo, from Brazil, later after church. We taught the restoration and the plan of salvation. He was really interested and he wants to come to church next Sunday.
Just as we were about to catch a bus, a man came up to talk to us. He said that he is from Cork and lives in China for work. He said he really wants to get baptized, but it’s hard because of he is always traveling back and forth from China. We talked to President Donaldson about it on the phone and he said that he could be baptized this Saturday, right before he goes back to China on Tuesday.  We are going to do an overview with him and make sure he is ready. What a miracle! This is going to be an exciting week!
It truly was a hard working week with a blessing of a wonderful miracle at the end of the week!
I miss you all
Have a great week!
Elder Joseph Udy

                                                     View Of Cork From The North Side 

Area In Cork

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cork 2/8/2016

Hello family,
I was admitted to the local hospital last week.  After many tests, it was determined that I suffer from low blood pressure and had a severe case of the flu.  I am doing a lot better. It’s good to finally be back on track with missionary work after being in the hospital for 5 days.
On Wednesday,  I got out of the hospital. I met my new companion Elder Christensen later that day. He is really nice.  He  is a cowboy from Wyoming!   I had met him before when I was traveling from the mission home to Ireland.
Our flat is really crazy right now.   They added a set of Elders to help with a member who is serving a mini mission.  We have 6 missionaries in the flat now!
We got a bunk bed for the new elders and we tried to assemble it but it is going really slow.
Elder Christensen and I went to go visit a less active member named Stephen. He lives on top of this really big hill that always takes my breath away when I climb it. He wasn't there, but I am hoping we can see him soon.
The rest of the day we spent finding in the city. It was great to finally get back out there and work after being trapped in the hospital for so long.
We went finding in the morning. It poured so hard and I was soaked. We found some really good people from pushing through all the rain though.
Later we went to visit a man named John Leslie. He self -referred himself to us. He lives on the north side so we had to drive there. But guess who got to drive, ME! It was my first time driving on the left side of the road on the right side of the car. The roundabouts were also very tricky but it was fun to drive for the first time in over 4 months. John wasn't there so we'll have to try  him another time.
In the evening we went to the Friday night branch activity that they always have. We played an intense game of Apples to Apples. It was really fun.

We had an All-Ireland Conference in Dublin, so we had to travel early.
Elder Hallstrom from the Presidency of the Seventy was there and he spoke to us. He talked a lot about our purpose as missionaries and the importance of our calling. It was very uplifting to hear him speak!
I got to meet with President Donaldson afterwards.  He wanted to see how I was doing. He is an awesome mission president and always uplifts me whenever I get to speak with him.
After traveling for 3 hours back to Cork, we went finding for the rest of the day.
We had church in the morning. I went to gospel doctrine class with my companion because we had too many missionaries in Gospel Principles. We discussed Nephi's courage. Nephi is always a great strength to me because of his example of unfailing faithfulness to the Lord.
After Church we went finding for most of the night. We met some really interesting people, including an Italian man who was yelling at us in Italian so we couldn't really understand what he was saying.
That pretty much sums up the week.
Like I said it is really great to be out of the hospital.
I hope you have a great week!
Elder Joseph Udy

                                                       Getting a Visit in the Hospital

Elder Christensen and I

Cork 1/25/16

Hello Family,
Another week has gone by so fast!

We taught Lucas, our investigator, about scripture study because he struggles with it. I told him that even sacrificing a little bit of time for scripture study will bless him and he will feel the spirit as he reads them. I shared when I start reading, the spirit allows me to read without distraction.
It was a hard day for me. I continue to struggle with illness but I continue to push on harder. I wasn't able to go out because I was told to stay in so I worked on our Area book and some cleaning so I could at least get something done!

I was still ill, but I did go out. I went on exchanges with Elder Van Staden and we did some really good finding.
We traveled to Limerick for our interviews and training/zone conference. We received some really good instruction from the zone leaders and assistants.
I had my interview with President Donaldson, I was looking forward to meeting with him. He gave me some great encouragement!
That night we all watched the Worldwide Broadcast from Salt Lake for all missionaries. It was really good. Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar and Elder Oaks talked as well as some others. They talked a lot about teaching by the Holy Ghost and teaching people not lessons!

I had my Cardiologist appointment. He told me that I might be dealing with low blood pressure episodes so they are going to put me on some tests. They are doing a 72 hour heart monitor test, a stress tests and some others. Hopefully all of those will go well!
We did some service for Branch President Stapleton. We helped build his greenhouse back up. It was pouring really hard.  There was lots of mud but it was a great experience.
We taught Lucas that night. Brandon (the one from OKC) helped teach with us. He shared his testimony about reading scriptures. His testimony is really strong!
We had church. The lesson that stuck out the most was from Elder Quorum. We studied Elder Holland’s talk about mothers. I shared how my mom has been a great example of love, sacrifice and service to me!
We had a fireside that night about the life of Jesus Christ. I felt the spirit so strong as we heard testimonies on the Savior!
Elder Van Staden and I