Monday, April 25, 2016

Heavenly Father loves me so much

This week was hard for Señorita Ludlam, so I have been counting my blessings!

1. I am serving in Layton Utah, SPANISH speaking! I am going to be honest and admit that I really struggled this week, especially the first few days. Although I took Spanish until my Junior year of high school, I do not speak Spanish. The effort it takes to keep up with constant, rapid flow of Spanish and not speak Portuguese AND THEN translate into Spanish leaves me absolutley physically and mentally exhausted. HOWEVER. I am incredibly grateful to be exactly where I am because a) I am going to be trilingual after my mission, how cool is that?! b) I am not depressed, anxious, or in the least bit afraid of this work. There is no way that could possibly be unless Someone is helping me. :) And c) It has been made very clear to me that Heavenly Father sending me to Ogden was the plan all along because He has specific people He wants me to teach! I am not going anywhere until I find them, so I better get to work!

Ava's first night in Ogden with Hermana DeMaio
2. I had been praying for my companion before I got here, and when I saw her, I KNEW that Heavenly Father put us together just for me. ♡ Hermana DeMaio is absolutley incredible. She is a drop-dead gorgeous Italian from Chicago, rides a motorcycle, and is perfect match for me. She wakes up early with me so we can run and work out, eats healthy, loves to sing and laugh and goof around with me, and tells me things straight up, no sugar coating! And best of all? She loves to WORK! I could not ask for a more patient, talented, and golden-hearted trainer.

3. LAYTON CRACKS ME UP. You can just be walking down the sidewalk surrounded by these nice suburban houses, and then you will hear mooing from behind their fences. I saw someone casually ride their horse to Dunkin' Donuts. The mountains aren't quite to Provo standard (I am biased), but they are still so gorgeous. Honestly, the first thing I thought of when I got reassigned to Utah was, "Oh good, I don't have to leave my mountains." We spend most of our time in trailer parks because that's where the Spanish-speaking people live. They call them the "trailas" (try-lahs).

4. OH MY GOODNESS. CAN WE TALK ABOUT PORTUGUESE FOR A SECOND. I loved the language and I already loved the people when I was in the MTC, but that love just EXPLODED when I got here! Heavenly Father keeps placing Brazilians in my path because He knows that nothing could make me happier than to speak this language to these people. It makes very little sense that I took Spanish for 5 years and struggle to keep up, but I can effortlessly understand and speak Portuguese after only 6 weeks of training...could it be Irmao Read's promise coming to pass? If you are a non-member Brazilian, you better watch out because Hermana Ludlam is on the hunt and she will sniff you out.

5. We have a car. With the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Heavenly Father loves me so much.
This is my first night in Ogden with the other new sisters. The Jaggis (mission president) had a trampoline ;)  (Ava must have forgotten to attach this picture.  Maybe next week.)

Love you all!

Sister Ludlam

4380 S Orchard Ave
South Ogden UT 84403
United States

Monday, April 18, 2016


Solo Sister

1. Sister Peck left this morning to BRAZIL, so now I am the lone, lost little Brazilian, following the Elders around. I secretly love it, though.

2. My visa never came, so off to Ogden for 6 weeks! If I had told myself a few months ago that I would be reassigned to Ogden, I probably would've been a bit disappointed...but when I read Ogden Utah Mission, I got SO EXCITED. I am SO pumped to meet my new companion! I am going to love that sister into the ground.

3. OKAY ILENE AND TODD GARNER: Each week I have gotten a package (or two) from you, each one bigger than the last...but this week has gone TOO FAR. THAT WAS THE BIGGEST BOX I HAVE EVER SEEN, I didn't know Dear Elder used industrial packing boxes!? Thank you for taking care of me, you have truly blessed many souls with your gifts of love. <3 Oh, you know what I just realized? By the time Todd reads this today, he will be a Boston marathoner. My hero! *insert picture of Sister Peck next to box so you can see how big it is*
The "Que (kuh) Face"

ALSO Danny boy! Thank you for the package, I thought my wee bitty heart was going to explode! The green beans made me laugh so hard!

4. Sister Ludlam's Journey to Know Christ Update: I have a question I have been trying to answer all week. There is this quote Irmao Read showed me a while ago: "We can change our behavior. Our very desires can change. How? There is only one way. True change -permanent change- can only come through the healing, cleansing, and enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He allows you to access His power as you keep his commandments, earnestly, eagerly, and exactly. It is that simple and certain. The gospel of Jesus Christ, is a gospel of CHANGE." -President James E. Faust.

That has got to be the most chalk full of goodness quote I have ever read! I have also been seeing "you can do THIS through the atonement of Jesus Christ" everywhere, such as Mosiah 3:19:

For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be,
forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit , 
and putteth off the natural man and 
and becometh as a child.

It seems like every good thing comes "through the atonement of Jesus Christ," not just the ability to change. But how do I apply that in my life? I have so many things I want to change because the more I learn about Jesus Christ, the more I want to be like Him. But every time I try to change (or as the quote says to "follow the commandments earnestly, eagerly, and exactly") I always fall back into my old ways. So of course, I ask Irmao Read "Well how do I do that? How do I use the atonement to change?" and of course he says I have to go find the answer myself! I have been searching, but I am cheating and asking you all for help as well. Thanks <3

I love you all!!  Irma Pidge

Me, Sister Peck, Irmao Regehr, E. Rasmussen, E. Hernandez
The District and Elder Read
Sora Vann

Monday, April 11, 2016

What a Glorious Week

Hello!   What a glorious week.

Four things.
1. Irma Peck and I auditioned with "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" for any event, and we were selected to sing AT THE SUNDAY NIGHT DEVOTIONAL. What an incredible honor. I still can't believe it happened. It was the largest audience I have ever performed for so I was feeling a little sick beforehand, so I prayed "Heavenly Father, I just want to invite the Spirit and touch people. I don't care if we don't sound good as long as we can do that. Please help me feel peace!" And WHOOSH! my whole body relaxed and I couldn't stop smiling. Of course it wasn't the best performance, but I have had so many people come up to me and tell them that it touched their hearts, or it made them cry, or it was exactly what they needed to hear. Mission accomplished. :) (Hopefully, we will have a recording of this performance posted here soon.)
The District -- Last Days Together
2. The visa ordeal has been such an emotional roller coaster for poor Sister Ludlam. First, my mission portal changed, saying I was reassigned to Ogden, Utah. Second, I received a travel itinerary, which said I was laying over in Atlanta, and then going to Sao Paulo on April 20th. Third, the portal changed back to Ogden, and I check the Brazilian Consulate website which said my Visa is still in the process. Fourth, I went to the Travel Office and they said I won't know until this Thursday. SO! I'll let you all know next week where I am going! Sister Peck has her visa and is leaving the 18th! Elder Rasmussen and Elder Hernandez are copying me and going to Ogden! I'll be pumped regardless because "I'll Go Where [He] Wants Me to Go!!" I'm guessing they're sending us all to Ogden because our visas are so close and they don't want to fly us out and then right back when we get our visas a few weeks later.

3. Each day, Irmao Read changes my life. Sister Peck and I always joke that we want him to adopt us when we get back so we can stay with him forever. There are so many amazing things he did this week to share, but I will just share two.
     a. Part way through a lesson, he stopped. He did that thing where he gets silent for a few seconds. And then completely dropped the lesson and pulled up the story of when Peter walks to Jesus on the water. "And Peter answered Him and said Lord, if it be Thou, bid me to come unto Thee on the water. And He said Come. And when Peter had come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus." And then Irmao Read said something like "Can you imagine being Peter? Standing on the edge of the boat, looking down at the huge waves, and what must have been going through his mind as he took that first step? And you can't just step off a boat, you have to leap. And that is when miracles happen." I knew what was coming. "What can you do to take that first step off the boat to show your faith in the Savior?" He then challenged us to only speak Portuguese for our remaining two weeks, and promised us the miracle that we would be fluent by the time we left the MTC if we were diligent. The Spirit was so strong, I knew that wasn't a promise from Irmao Read, it was a promise from God.
     b. Teachers don't have to do this, but Irmao Read does personal check-ups on us. He began asking questions, but the love I had for him just boiled over, I couldn't contain it all. I began to cry (which I have never done here, can you believe it?? Only with Sister Peck!) and pour out the love our district has for our beloved Irmao Read. Then the questions began to come, and to each he listened lovingly, pondered silently for a moment, and then would open a scripture. The answer to one specific question I feel impressed to share: When I finished asking my question, he said "I had a feeling this scripture was your answer before you asked it." He read in the first book of the prophet Nephi. Nephi's brothers were asking him all these questions, to which he responded by asking a simple question: "Have ye inquired of the Lord?" 1 Nephi 15:8. Irmao Read then said "Your situation is so unique, and I only have the limited experience and knowledge to give your guidance. The Lord has literally felt, in every sense of the word, what you are going through, and He is all knowing. Why not ask Him?" And that was that. So I inquired of the Lord, having faith that He would respond. And I received an answer. Just that simple. As someone once said, "You have the Savior of the world on your side. If you seek His guidance, how can you fail?" I love this gospel.

4. I have felt a peace throughout this week unlike anything I have ever felt before. I have been studying and pondering Elder Holland’s talk, "Tomorrow the Lord Will Do Wonders Among You." Yes, I know this talk touched millions of lives, but boy, I think God had him say those words just for me. The MTC has been the most incredible experience I've ever had, but I would be lying if I said I have been pleased with myself during my time here. Over and over, I fail at commitments, and I feel as if I am wasting the Lord’s time. But that talk gave me so much HOPE! I WANT to be the best missionary I can be for my Savior, and that means something. Ever since hearing and studying that talk, I have felt that He is proud of me. I have always KNOWN He is proud and loves me even though I am a stink, but I felt it this week. What I would not do to always feel that love! And I can! It is not that He suddenly started loving me after I read that talk, He always has and now I am letting it in. Just let Him love you!! And read/listen to the talk here! ;)

Love your favorite missionary,

Irma Pidge

Monday, April 4, 2016

Did Conference Shake the Ground You Stand On?

Before the Zone Departure
I will have been here for a MONTH this Wednesday. Is that not the most outrageous thing you have have ever heard?! I have loved every second of it and I wish I could express the gratitude I feel for being here. I haven't much time, but I will just jot down a couple things I want to share :)

Is it just me, or did General Conference shake the ground you stand on? General Conference is when we get the opportunity to hear the words of living, modern prophets give us direction and guidance. How cool is that? They are the mouthpieces of God, and their words are what God would have us hear at this time. We are so spoiled.

Update on Sister Ludlam’s Journey to Know Christ:
It has slightly consumed me this week. I have been reading the New Testament again and just soaking it all up. There is SO MUCH I have learned this week, and like I said, it is the most gratifying and satisfying endeavor I have ever undertaken. My questions I had prepared for Conference were almost all centered around how to become best friends with Him and how to be more like Him, and OF COURSE they were all answered. Que legal (key leegow). I love this gospel.

Sisters Overbay, Andres, Peck, Vaughn, Lumlum, Nicols, Snyder
I don't know if there were 3 fires on Wednesday, or if someone was following me around and pulling the fire alarm in each building I went to, but our district got kicked out 3 times by the loudest fire alarm I have EVER HEARD. When it went off in our Residence Hall, the Soras (what we call our beloved Romanian Sister Training Leaders in our zone) were in their towels, locked out of their room, and waiting for someone to bring them a key from the front desk. When the alarm went off, a creepy monotone voice came onto the loud speaker, saying "There will be male workers in the
residence hall. Be dressed appropriately and leave the building immediately." When Sister Peck and I heard that, we both just looked at each other and yelled "THE SORAS ARE NAKED!" We ran and got them, brought them to our room, and just started throwing clothes at them. "What size are you?" "Do you have a skirt yet?" "Do you need this or that?" and it was the funniest and most stressful thing because that awful alarm was still blaring.

Whenever I get a song stuck in my head that I can't sing, I just start singing the little doorbell theme song. I don't know why it works so well. It cracks me up.

I have been sick for THREE WEEKS, and it is getting real old because Sister Peck and I want to audition with "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go" for a devotional or orientation, but we can't get through it without coughing and wheezing and keeling over. I don't know why this sickness is not going away.

I WENT TO BYU THIS WEEK! They called me to the travel office, and I thought I was going to get my Visa. Turns out, my fingerprints expired since December, and I had to re-do them. Which means...I got to sit shotgun in a police car and go to the Jesse Knight Building. ;) I would have taken a picture, but I was afraid the police officer would not like that. The experience was weird and gave me nostalgia for my school, but also reaffirmed to me that I know I am where I am supposed to be. :)

Irmao Read is my teacher, and I have never been so sure that someone I know is an angel. I wish I could accurately describe this man's countenance, but know that he radiates with light, humility, and wisdom. I'm pretty sure he is 95 years old on the inside. We all trust him enough to ask him the questions of our hearts, to which he answers by first sitting there in silence for a few moments, and then reaches for his scriptures. How a man can be so in tune with the Spirit, I do not know, but he always answers our questions in a way no one could without having the divine aid of God. I am pretty sure that when he wakes up each morning, the adversary says "oh uh, he's up again." We call him Captain Moroni (which he does NOT like) because Alma 48:17 says Yea, verily, verily I say unto you, if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men. Coming to the Provo MTC instead of the Brazilian one was worth it just to meet
The Originals: Rasmussen, Hernandez, Christensen, Ava, Peck
Irmao Read.

Crazy story: We were all enjoying the sun outside on Sunday afternoon, and these guys walked past with visitor stickers on their shirts. I look at one and say to the Soras. "I know him...I think he goes to BYU, why is he so familiar?" It bothered me until we arrived to Devotional that night and of course, Vocal Point is performing. Then I see him on the stage and shout, "Oh My Goodness. Of course. He is in Vocal Point. Why didn't I talk to him when I saw him?" And then my companion says "Sister Ludlam, that's Irmao Lemberly” (someone who has taught our district). So yeah. Turns out the main soloist from Vocal Point taught my district and I had no idea. Typical Sister Ludlam.

I love you all! God is real, and in Him, all the unfairness of life is made right. If any of you didn't get the opportunity to hear the Prophets speak, please go listen to them. It was amazing!! I have never had such an intense change of heart from General Conference, everything was SO GOOD. You can watch it here.

Many people were able to continue the tradition of eating cinnamon rolls the morning of Conference because Todd Garner sent me the biggest box I have ever seen.  Many people love the Garners! Also, Congratulations to Tanelle Smith and Todd at the marathon!


Sister Ludlam