Monday, July 29, 2013

"Will ye not now return unto me ... that I may heal you?"

Hey people!

It has been a great, great week. I love the ward so much! the members are really catching the wave of missionary work, and it's awesome. every time we take somebody out teaching with us they tell us they feel so wonderful afterwards. It's the truth. there is no greater joy than the joy of the service of God.

We were able to teach a lot this week and were blessed with several great investigators. On Wednesday we taught a young guy named Hamad. He grew up in the Middle East but came to America when he was10. Such a great guy. Strong testifmony in the savior. but he is struggling to forgive himself of things that he has done in his past. He tells us that he will be baptized, but he's not sure when yet because he wants to be totally ready and feel forgiven. He's so sincere, it's the best.

On the same day, we were able to teach a new family and we took Bro. Nygard with us. Theresa is the grandmother of Jada and Lyndon, and she came to church last week. Jada is just old enough to be baptized, but Lyndon is a bit too young. He's got a lot of spunk. It's awesome. Theresa has met with missionaries a tiny bit in the past and has gone to church before. They love it. When they came last Sunday, Jada told Theresa, "This is it. This is the church we need to go to." So true. It is the church! We were able to teach them again Friday. I love these guys. Theresa reads the Book of Mormon to Jada and Lyndon, and they're so diligent. Mm. Love them. and I love the Nygard family. So so glad I've had the privilege to meet them.

On Saturday we met Randall. Randall is the son of Cheryl, the lady who has cancer. She had been telling us that Randall would come into town soon and that she desperately wanted him to be baptized. We finally met him and had a lesson with him and his fiance/girlfriend Dana. Randall is one of the most sincere people I've taught, and him and Dana committed to baptism. They were just in a car accident and Randall is in a neck brace. He has things in his past that he has a hard time forgiving himself for, but they just want to do the right thing now. They're sick of living lives of sin. 

Forgiveness has seemed to be a theme this week to me. It can be hard to forgive ourselves sometimes for the things we have done. But, that is the wonderful thing about the Atonement. The Lord has promised that though our sins be as scarlet, they will be as white as snow. We can be clean. We can be forgiven. We can start completely fresh through following the teachings of the Savior. It's possible. 

This Sunday was one of the best I've had. I was trying to be better at being "anxiously engaged in a good cause," and I learned that looking for opportunities to serve makes all the difference. Heavenly Father LOVES when we have desires to serve Him. So when we ask for opportunities to help, opportunities to share the gospel, opportunities to make people smile, etc, he WILL give them to us! We just have to do our part and take a step of faith forward, even when we can't see what's ahead of us. And he will be with us. He will bear us up through all things if we are willing to do his will. When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to the Lord's help. That's a promise from God.

That's all I have for this week. :)
Elder Judd

*Editor's note: I (Hannah, Jacob's sister) was in Orange County this weekend visiting a friend, so we stealthily went to his apartment and heart attacked his door. He wasn't home as it was 2 in the afternoon, but my heart was racing the entire time! I didn't want him to catch me! Here's the proof: