Monday, August 26, 2013

"press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness if hope, and a love of God and of all men"

Talofa lava!
This week was was a powerhouse of the Spirit of the Lord. So good.
On Wednesday, we went to the Redlands temple. this temple is beautiful. and the Spirit was so strong. Mm. I love temples. The temple is the place! :) We took pictures as a zone afterwards.

Having the temple trip was the best because on Thursday we had zone conference. Pres. and Sister Van Cott and the assistants to the president came and gave us training. I love the Van Cotts. Every time I hear them speak or just interact with them, I know I'm supposed to be here. He was supposed to be my mission president. They are all about working with the members and strengthening the ward, which is the best because missionary work with members is the best way to do missionary work! Elder Browning and I both left feeling inspired to work harder and work happier.

So often, I look back and regret not being a better member-missionary throughout high school and before my mission. It is so easy to invite a friend to seminary or to a church event or to read the Book of Mormon. I wish I hadn't been afraid to open my mouth. I wish I had helped the missionaries more and invited friends to meet them. The message of the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everybody! It's the best, happiest, most exciting news the world has ever known! And it's true! :)
We were also able to teach a lady named Moli, who has been an investigator for a while. Her daughter, Sabrinna was baptized right when I came into the ward. Their family is so great. Moli has been struggling to feel the importance of being baptized, and we felt like we should read thorugh a chapter of the Book of Mormon with her as our lesson. we asked her where she left off. 2 Nephi 31. Boom. THE chapter of all chapters about the doctrine of Jesus Christ (which includes faith in Jesus Christ, which leads us to repent and make promises with Heavenly Father through baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost, and then enduring to the end on the path of righteousness). It was a great lesson, and Moli and her son Omar accepted the invitation to be baptized.
The Church is true. The Book of Mormon is true. When we prayerfully read the Book of Mormon and feast upon the words of Christ every day, we draw closer to God. There is real power in reading this book! Real protection from temptation. The spirit of love will fill a home when members of a family read it together and individually. This work is true! And I love it. :)
Elder Judd

Elder Seright and Elder Langi (See-right and Long-ee). I live with them in a 4-man apartment. They and Elder Browning were from the San Bernardino mission.

The Rialto A zone
Me and elder browning
This bridge we pass all the time that I wanted a picture of.
Me and elder McCall from seattle. just a good missionary in my zone. been out a long time. from the riverside mission.

My new satchel/bag i got today at goodwill. the other missionaries in my apartment love thrift stores. Good find, eh?

Bonus pictures from first area: 
Me, Laura, Danny, and Elder Buers from my first area.
Me and Elder Buers on the day of the exchange.

Monday, August 19, 2013

"we are made alive in Christ because of our faith"

Hello family and friends!
This week has been so great. So many blessings and so much food. The members LOVE feeding missionaries. I am learning how to feast, temporally and spiritually.

Tuesday was probably the most full I've been so far, and maybe the most full I've been in my life. We had dinner with the Fata family, whom we love. (They're awesome and have a couple of sons preparing for missions and a million kids) First, here's the lesson part of the night: Before dinner we taught about how they can "catch the wave" of missionary work like Elder Nelson taught. They committed to praying for missionary opportunities and to look for the opportunities as they go about their daily lives. I also found out that one of the sons is on the school football team with a young man named John, that I was able to teach my first day in the field back in Redlands. John was super awesome and wanted to be baptized, but was too young and couldn't get permission from his parents. But the Fata's son said he would keep inviting him to activities and stuff. The whole family is super excited about missionary work and we're excited to check up next week on how everything went.

Then, we had dinner. We had rice (which is a Polynesian staple), beef ribs, casserole, polish sausage, salad, and apple soda. Delicious. We finished and were full with food-babies. But then another son came home carrying Popeye's chicken and groceries. I was scared. I thought to myself, "be strong." They insisted that we eat some chicken, so we had a few pieces. At this point, I thinking, "okay, I can't eat any more. I can't do it." But then they brought out dessert--cream cheese croissants and mega-sized muffins. I ate a croissant, which was the smaller of the two. Then they brought out plates with 2 round ice cream sandwiches for each of us. I was hesitant. I looked to Elder Browning, who had already started one. I had to eat one now. So I slowly started and finished one. I couldn't do any more. I couldn't. I had to shamefully leave the other on the plate. I had much more than a food-baby now. I had trouble breathing. It was such good food, but just a little more than I was used to. As we left, I was so full I had a tough time reaching down to put my shoes on. I was afraid I was going to meet Ralph on their doorstep. The drive home was a struggle. Elder Browning drives, and the whole time he was making me laugh so so hard. But I survived and I'm here to tell the tale.

Elder Browning is a great missionary. He is hilarious. I don't go a day without laughing until I cry. Working with him and this ward is really great. The members are so great. On Saturday they went to a Samoan session at the temple. They had us meet them there afterwards to go do missionary work with them. we split up into teams and visited members of the ward we haven't seen at church and others that needed visiting.

Gotta go, but the work is true! Heavenly Father loves us and is so mindful of us! :)

Elder Judd

Monday, August 12, 2013

"He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for He loveth the world"

It was a great last few days in Loma Linda, but a great first few days in Rialto. I had to say goodbye to the wonderful Laura and Danny, but I may see them again soon because they are planning on being baptized this Friday.
On Wednesday, we had transfers and all met at the mission office. My new companion, Elder Browning is a great guy. He is the grandson of Elder and Sister Browning, a senior missionary couple who finished their mission in my ward in Loma Linda. They went home after I had been out about 2 weeks. They made good food. :)
On Saturday, we baptized Sabrinna, who had been investigating the church with her family long before I arrived. her sister Zharra had been a member of the church for a while, and they both bore powerful testimonies at the service.
I love the people of this ward. they are so sincere and kind, and they LOVE missionaries. they feed us so much. Church on Sunday is in Samoan, so it is a completely new experience. But the spirit is the same. the power of the Priesthood is the same. The power of the atonement is the same. I love that God is no respecter of persons. I also love the church building we meet at now. The sacrament table is not in the usual spot in the corner of the chapel, but is directly in front of the pulpit. It is front and center. With this, the Savior and His sacrament are the focus. I love it.
I love serving a mission. I know this is where I'm supposed to be. I know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us.
"The most important message any of us could receive or carry is a reminder of who we are and how we are loved by our Eternal Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. When the truth and reality of this message sink deep into our hearts, we are drawn back to Them--to Their love, to Their light, and to Their arms." --Elder Patrick Kearon
Elder Judd
p.s. Thanks for everything and all your prayers. please keep me in your prayers, as I keep you in mine. I love you guys.

Monday, August 5, 2013

"come unto that God who is the Rock of your salvation"

*Editor's note: The blog is now up to date! I apologize for the delay. I just finished my first year of grad school yesterday, and I FINALLY have time to blog for both of my missionaries!

My friends and family,

Today marks 2 months that I've been on my mission. My first transfer cycle is over and my next is beginning. I was just told that i will be transferred this wednesday to the Samoan ward in Rialto! I'll be serving with Elder Browning. I am so excited, especially because i will be a giant compared to the members of that ward. ;)

This week has been SO great, and the entire transfer has been full of miracles and blessings. Our investigators are progressing on the path and are each growing closer to the Savior. Laura and Danny came back in town! They got back from vacation and are ready to continue the lessons and be baptized soon. Randall and Dana are doing so great too. They love the church and they love the lessons. Randall once asked if it was okay if he read the Book of Mormon before bed every night, just because it made him feel good and sleep better. :) They're awesome. And they know that the power of the Book of Mormon is real. It IS real! So real! I wish that everyone would study, ponder, and apply the principles found in the Book of Mormon. When we do that our families are strengthened! Our testimonies grow! Everything that we struggle with in life will dissolve into minor bumps that we easily and cheerfully can overcome through the Savior Jesus Christ. Mm. The Book of Mormon is true. It IS the word of God and it transforms lives.

This week we made a lot of visits to people in the hospital. This area covers 3 hospitals, which is pretty cool. People often contact us and send us to bless their family members in the hospitals. It has been an amazing experience to see the priesthood power of God work miracles in the lives of these individuals.

I went on another exchange with the Pioneer ward. I was with Elder Saxton on bike. He's a super cool guy from Salt Lake. I love riding my bike because I love smiling to the people I pass. Even if they don't want to talk to us, everyone feels better when somebody smiles to them, right? :)
I am so grateful to have had the privilege to serve in the Mountain View Ward. I am grateful that I had the privilege to work with such strong members and such prepared children of the Lord. I'm sad to leave these people that I love so much, but I know that this is the Lord's work and he knows what he's doing. I am excited for the missionaries who have the privilege to serve in the Mountain View Ward. They will be able to witness miracles. This ward has become sacred ground to me, as I am sure the rest of my mission will become.
I love this work. I love the Book of Mormon. I love the Savior. Families can be together forever. :)


Elder Judd


me and elder wible
me and sister packard
mtc district
mtc district again
me and the netherlands elders from my byu ward
me and my first district in the field
You're welcome! :)