Thursday, October 29, 2015

Serving in Omaha, Nebraska

Elder Dudley is serving in Omaha, Nebraska and will be home in less than two weeks!!

This is his mother writing again since he continues to be very busy and has asked that I share a bit on his blog for him. I know it would be better to hear directly from him, so I will do my best to share with you what he has shared with us - his parents.
Like the title of this post shows - Elder Will Dudley is serving in Omaha, Nebraska. Following is what he shared soon after arriving there. "There are a lot of stories in Sioux Falls (previous area) I don't get to experience the rest of, but I am so excited to be here." "I am in Omaha . . . I love it so much already. . . We have already taught so many people. I can't describe every part of it that I love. We have a young ward who is active in helping us with meals and teaching. Many of them attend Creighton University. Our apartment overlooks the campus, and we have a great view of downtown." He also lives close to and has had the opportunity to attend the temple which meant a lot to him. 
Family Home Evening with one of the young couples in the ward he is serving in.
Missionaries are always on the go, working hard, and continually learning and growing. There are days filled with blessings and miracles and there are times when it's not always easy. I think we can all relate to that. I don't have a lot of stories to share with you, so I thought I would share a few "one liners" and "short thoughts" that he has shared with us. I hope I don't share thoughts that are too personal to him, but I always learn from and can relate a bit to what he shares.
From Elder Will Dudley:
"I continue to learn that I only feel successful when I pay attention to and follow the Spirit, and when I give my heart to helping each individual in the moment that we sit with them, look them in the eyes, and testify of how the gospel will bless them."
After a hard week he shared - "I refuse to let the Lord down by letting my faith slip. He will work miracles here if we are faithful." 
"We have prayed and worked more than ever the last few days, but we have hardly taught any lessons. This is doing many things for me. It is reminding me to be humble and to rely on the Lord, the only one who can actually cause the work to move forward. It is teaching me how much more missionary work is than just teaching. I feel peaceful because I have worked hard and sought the guidance of the Lord. It is drawing me near to the Lord . . . I still feel motivated to go out and work because, at the very least, it works miracles in my life and my heart."
He recently shared a short message about what he learned from October 2015 General Conference. "The confidence and peace that came to me as a result of the simple testimonies will help me greatly in my missionary work. The main messages I got were to bear simple testimony, center completely on Christ, and move forward with faith."
Well, it is starting to "sink in" to him that he is coming home, but he is giving it his all as he wraps up his two year mission that started in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission and will end in the Nebraska Omaha Mission.
I know that he would want to thank all of you who have been so supportive to him in so many ways.
So, "Thank you!" from Elder Will Dudley

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mission Assignment Change

It's been quite some time since Elder Will Dudley has posted anything in his blog since he is so busy (a good thing), so he asked me (his mom) to share a few thoughts from his recent emails with you.

First, let me explain the title of this blog post "Mission Assignment Change". On 29 April 2015 we received a letter from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Office of the First Presidency) confirming that Elder Dudley's mission assignment had been changed from the South Dakota Rapid City Mission to the Nebraska Omaha Mission. This change was brought about by a mission boundary realignment. Elder Dudley is serving in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota Zone at this time (August 2015) which is now a part of the Nebraska Omaha Mission (NOM).

In the top picture Elder Dudley and his missionary companion are teaching at a Zone Conference in Sioux Falls, SD mid-August. (Service with a smile!) They taught and practiced with the other missionaries the importance of planning, preparation and meaningful companionship study. In a recent email from Elder Dudley he wrote the following about companionships, "I have a testimony that love, not tolerance, of a companion, and a feeling of need for another, brings about miracles. If this element is gone and companions start to merely put up with each other in what they may think is "patience" it drags the work down. LIFT TOGETHER."
The second picture shows that Elder Dudley knows how to wash dishes. He helped clean up after a recent Zone Conference luncheon - with a smile.
The third picture shows Elder Dudley (second from left) with a group of missionaries helping in clean-up efforts in Bolton, SD after a tornado in May 2015. He wrote about this experience, "As we were cleaning, I found Legos, and Uno cards, books, and a piece of a little girl's tiara. It was sad to see all the destruction. We didn't get to hear how the families who lived there are doing. I was wondering about that the whole time. I couldn't even imagine what it would be like to go through that loss so unexpectedly."
A couple thoughts from Elder Will Dudley - hopefully it's ok with him:
"I had always thought of humility being the opposite of pride, so that was how I tried to overcome pride. Now, I understand that when I am feeling prideful towards others, the solution is charity."
"I fasted completely in gratitude yesterday. I have done this once before, and both times have been amazing experiences. The whole fasting period, I did not ask for anything in any of my prayers. This time it was inspired by your comments (his mission president and wife) about giving our all to the Lord. I know that I am in no position to ask anything or expect anything more than what the Lord has already blessed me with. I am now better prepared to turn my will over to the Lord and only ask for things in accordance with his will."
Lastly, I will share an experience he had in June with a man from Columbia. "He is very devoted to the Lord. He moved up here with his family because of threats on their family, focused on the children. His wife is a lawyer and would not bend her values to help those she was working with, so they became very upset, hence the threats on their family. They have been reading the Book of Mormon daily, and the father knew very quickly that he needed to join the church. His wife and daughter have been more hesitant, but now they are fairly certain about baptism. We plan to set a date with them this week. He is blind and has been praying that the Lord would send angels to his family, and that is when he came in contact with us." This story continues to progress, but I will let him share the rest with you when he returns home.
The official letter came saying that Elder William Dudley is scheduled to return home on
11 November 2015.
He wrote to us recently, "I do not think I am going home "soon". Soon is a couple of minutes or hours. In missionary work, miracles happen in moments and seconds. I know how much can happen even in a day of missionary work, so I have a LOT left of my mission." 
He loves hearing from and about friends and family! He often says, "It is great to hear all the little stories about the kids!" I know he would want me to thank you for your love and support and prayers.
I hope I did ok writing on his blog for him.
His mom, JoAnne

Thursday, April 9, 2015


I was at a meeting this week in Rapid City, and I was asked to share a short spiritual thought on the topic of accountability. I would like to condense those thoughts for you right now, and add some additional comments.

Early in my mission I was a little bit discouraged because people were not responding to our ministry as I hoped. There are a lot more details to this story, but the main point is that I had expectations for the missionary work in the area, and those expectations were not being met. The important truth that I forgot is that the people I am serving are accountable to the Lord for their choices, and so am I.

When we forget that our accountability is first to the Lord, we lose our humility before him and pride steps in. This leads us to complacency because we appear more successful than others by comparison, or it leads us to discouragement because we appear to fail according to false expectations.

We are all 100% accounted for by Heavenly Father, but our goal is to become 100% accountable to Him. In order to do this, we must come to know Him on a very personal level. Jesus Christ was able to live perfectly because He knew His Father. He walked exactly in line with God's will because He understood and was perfectly united with Him. I offer 3 suggestions to become more accountable to the Lord, which will in turn make us more righteous.

1. NOURISH YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LORD. The way that we can be accountable to the Lord in this life is by having His Spirit with us, which is the gift that God has made available to us so that we can prepare to live in His presence. If we do not learn it now, it will seem impossible later and will require much more effort and painful adjustment on our part. As we make covenants such as baptism, bound by Priesthood ordinances, we devote our life to the Lord and he rewards us with the Spirit in our lives. If we make all of our decisions based off of our covenants with the Lord, we will successfully fulfill our purpose in life.

2. SEEK THE LORD'S WILL. We must lay aside our desires, hopes, and dreams in life so that the Lord can step in and show us how He wants us to be. If we try to live up to our expectations in life, we will fall dramatically short of our potential. Because Heavenly Father loves us, he will allow us to enjoy life and do the things that we like, as long as we engrain His will as the top priority in our hearts.

3. DO ALL THAT IS IN YOUR POWER TO ACCOMPLISH HIS WILL. If you have chosen to draw your heart close to His in life, and you have sought His guidance in your decisions, it is your responsibility to move forward in faith that God will make a way for you to do what is right in His eyes. This decision to follow through with the Lord's will is the only way to bring real peace to your heart and mind. This is the peace that Jesus Christ offered His disciples:

  26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

(John 14, KJV Holy Bible)

If you do not seek to carry out the Lord's will, your heart will be troubled and you will be lost in life. You may not feel these troubling effects immediately, but unless you devote your life to the Lord, the misery will certainly come. It may come much later, when the time is shorter and the pain deeper, but it will come. Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance. I am aware that there are some in the world who do not serve the Lord or believe he is important, yet they feel comfortable. The promise is the same to them, that at some day, they will become painfully aware of their unworthiness before God and great remorse will come to their conscience. You will, at some day, feel tormented, if you ignore the Lord. I love the people that I know on this earth, and I do not wish such pains upon anyone. I hope that everyone will turn to Christ.

 39 O, my beloved brethren, remember the awfulness in transgressing against that Holy God, and also the awfulness of yielding to the enticings of that cunning one. Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal.

 40 O, my beloved brethren, give ear to my words. Remember the greatness of the Holy One of Israel. Do not say that I have spoken hard things against you; for if ye do, ye will revile against the truth; for I have spoken the words of your Maker. I know that the words of truth are hard against all uncleanness; but the righteous fear them not, for they love the truth and are not shaken.

 41 O then, my beloved brethren, come unto the Lord, the Holy One. Remember that his paths are righteous. Behold, the way for man is narrow, but it lieth in a straight course before him, and the keeper of the gate is the Holy One of Israel; and he employeth no servant there; and there is none other way save it be by the gate; for he cannot be deceived, for the Lord God is his name.

 42 And whoso knocketh, to him will he open; and the wise, and the learned, and they that are rich, who are puffed up because of their learning, and their wisdom, and their riches—yea, they are they whom he despiseth; and save they shall cast these things away, and consider themselves fools before God, and come down in the depths of humility, he will not open unto them.

(2 Nephi 9, The Book of Mormon)

Jesus Christ is the only way to be saved. If you believe that your life can be acceptable without following the Lord's narrow way that He has given, you will be brought down low. I pray that all of my loved ones can find forgiveness and keep themselves on the path set forth by God. I wish you all the greatest happiness in your lives. I love you!

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Monday, March 23, 2015

My mission summed up in a poem

I'm sorry I haven't posted in a long time. I've been really busy, and the computers here in Sioux Falls don't let me upload pictures. I love it here. About a week ago I felt like I should write a poem. I have always enjoyed poetry, but I haven't taken the time to write on my mission until now. This describes the type of service I have attempted to offer my Savior Jesus Christ. I hope you enjoy it:
A Labor of Great Care
To be diligent like the Savior
takes a lot more thought and care.
To be prepared in spirit
takes more heartfelt study and prayer.
It's more than going to work each day,
expending strength with none to spare.
It takes a lot more thought and care;
more study and earnest prayer.
To serve the Lord with heart and soul
takes consecration and obedience exact.
To impact the world in heart and soul
takes charity as the motive to act.
It's more than knocking on every door,
wearing shoes out pair by pair.
It takes a lot more thought and care;
more study and grateful prayer.
To work each day with the Master's touch
takes clean hands, and faith, to start.
To be an instument for your King
takes a willing and humble heart.
It is patience and hope; trusting the Spirit
Without fear; never rush or despair.
It takes a lot more thought and care;
more study and Christlike prayer.
Elder William R Dudley

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Elder Dudley, you don't seem yourself. Have a Snickers.

I need to make this email short, but lets just say I enjoyed this gift of candy.

On a serious note, I really wasn't doing as well as I could have been. The Lord has a way of showing us that.

Ether 12:27 - "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

In the past wee or so, I have found this to be very true. I caught myself being very prideful. I made a list of things that I was thinking or doing (or not doing) because of my pride. I then listed the opposites, which were all traits or habits of the Savior. As I have been more humble before God, I have been much more aware, painfully so, of my weaknesses and faults. The amazing part is that I feel much better about who I am as a person. It is easier to love those around me according to the Savior's command, and it is easier to sense God's influence in my life through study and prayer. He will show you things about yourself that you wouldn't otherwise recognize, let alone feel the need to change. The correction that the Lord gives is so loving that is pierces our hearts and causes us to change. It transforms the heart. I know that each of you will experience a "mighty change of heart" and greater happiness and success if you come before your Heavenly Father in humility.