Monday, June 24, 2013

Handwritten Letters

*Editor's note: Elder Judd was not able to email last week, so he sent us a letter in the mail.  I am transcribing parts of it to send out to friends and family.

(from a letter written on a typewriter) 
Hey family! I'm at another Elder's apartment waiting for them to finish getting ready. They have a typewriter (Elder Callister's) and he taught me how to use it. Way cool. I have a typewriter at my place too. so, expect some cool letters like this. 

I'm waiting right now so Elder Buers and I can go to the library and email you. So, technically this is my first letter home to you.

The MTC was great. I will include more deets in my email and try to be detailed. On July, 1, I will be in the Redlands Mission.  I do not know my address yet, But I will let you know right away. I'm excited to have the same mission president my entire mission (because this mission is new, the the pres is new), and I am excited to see the promises of my setting-apart blessing and patriarchal blessing fulfilled through my faithfulness and obedience. I am so grateful for  my trainer. I know he was/is an answer to my prayers. He is a great missionary. He is obedient and hardworking. He is also the District Leader. I have learned a lot from him. and even though I don't understand everything, he is still patient, and I have learned that I need to be patient with myself, with  my companions, and with the work. I've only been out a week, so I'm not expected to be a perfect missionary right now (or ever, really).

I also love this place. It looks just like the picture of the Redlands temple. Oh yeah, I got to see the temple yesterday because it is right next to the Stake Center. Really pretty. Anywho, this place looks a lot like McAllen, but nicer. 

*And then another handwritten letter:


I hope this isn't the only way I get to write to you today. Because I havenb't gotten any mail yet, I can't show that I live here, so I can't get a library card to get online. But my companion said he'll try to be really quick to give me some of his computer time.

Anywho, I'm trying to be optimistic about it. I'm serving in Redlands right now! My area covers parts of Redlands, Loma Linda, and touches San Bernardino. On July 1, the new missions will open, and I will be serving in the California Redlands Mission. My new mission president is President Van Cott, and he is new too. Because I'm in Redlands right now, I'll be pretty close to the new mission home. They are putting areas like Murrietta in the Carlsbad mission, and combining parts of the San Bernardino mission with parts of the Riverside mission to make the Redlands mission. So, it's cool that i get to open it up.  also, because all this stuff is changing right now, I will get mail kinda slow through the Riverside mission office address. So, my apartment address is: 

Elder Jacob Judd
1400 Barton Rd. #305
Redlands, CA, 92373

My first day was great. Kinda long. I got the bike. Elder Taylor is staying in Riverside. Most missionaries did. But Elders Griffes and Berry are in  Redlands. I really like Elder Berry. I hope we serve together someday. Also, I'm in a car. And Elder Buers doesn't have a license, so...yeah. You get the picture. Driving has really helped me learn the area.

Also, my first day (Wednesday after I flew in) was awesome. Several invitations to baptism. Several lessons. Great day. Next day, not so good. Tons of rejection. Lots of no's. That was a tough day for me. But since then it's leveled out. I'm getting used to it all.

Elder Buers is great. He reminds me of  a hybrid between T.J. Pitcher and Travis Huffmaster. Dad should know who that is. He will go home after he trains me, so he's been out for a while. He's from West Jordan, UT, but originally from Scotsdale, AZ. Also, Elder Harline in my district is Johnny Harline's cousin. And he's from Monument, CO and knows the Bodily's.

Also, you asked about restaurants: everything is here, Chick-fil-a, Chipotle. Anything. They have it all. And, we have dinner with friends every night. :)

Love you lots, 

Elder Jacob Judd

"I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you"

Sweet friends of the earth!

My first week in the field was great! but I have no time to write. Sad day. I'm serving in Redlands right now, and i cover parts of Redlands, Loma Linda, and a tad bit of San Berrnardino.  Because they are shifting all the missions around, I will officially be serving in the brand new California Redlands Mission starting July 1st. So excited! I love it here. It reminds me of McAllen, but much nicer. Sorry for the shortest letter ever.
Love you all,

Elder Judd

Editor's Note: I'm adding his note that Elder Judd wrote to the family, since his letter was so short this week.  He needs to provide a piece of mail with his name on it to the local library before he can get a library card, and thus the ability to use the computers there. Hopefully we'll have a longer letter next week! We spoke with Jacob last Tuesday before he left on his flight to California, and he sounded sooo great! He loved his experience at the MTC, and is excited to be out in California!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

"For behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

Hello sweet friends of the earth!
My first week in the MTC has been wonderful! It feels like I've been here forever. The spirit is so strong here, and I love it. I've seen so many people I know from BYU and everywhere. When I checked in, it was one of the friendliest welcomings I've ever experienced. When I was dropped off, my "host" who helped me carry my bags was actually from Riverside! It was so crazy. He told me later that he wasn't the next host in line to help a new missionary, but something told him, "Hey, I think I'll help this Elder." It's things like this that make me positive that the "the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen" (1 Ne. 1:20).  Everyone is so kind and enthusiastic and tries to make you feel at home.
My district is the best, and so is my Zone. There are 12 missionaries in my district, 6 Elders, 6 Sisters going to Riverside. My companion is Elder Griffes (pronounced like Griffen but with an "s") from North Carolina. He's tall, goofy, and just an awesome guy. I room with him, Elder Taylor (from SLC), and Elder Lunt (also from Utah). They're so funny. Elder Taylor loves puns and he's so good at them. It's hilarious. He is also our district leader. The other Elders are Elder Berry and Elder Tyger. Elder Berry reminds me so much of Seth Johnson. In the other district in our zone, there are 4 more Elders and 6 more Sisters also going to Riverside. And there are 4 more Elders going to Riverside, but they're in a different zone. One of them in Elder McConkie, and Bruce R. McConkie is his great uncle! Crazy stuff. Also, today is my first and only Preparation Day at the MTC, so I probably won't be able to write again until Monday the 24th. We fly out to California next Tuesday! So pumped.
Basically, everyday we have 1-2 hours to study the scriptures in the morning, then we have classes and more study time later in the day. It's such a great experience to study so much of the word of God and to learn of His goodness.  The book of Mormon is true! :)
That's all the time I have, but I hope everyone is doing good! It's great to do well, but it's better to do good. :)
Elder Judd