Monday, September 9, 2013

"hearts are changed through faith on His name"

Hello my favorite peoples!

It was a good week in Samoa. The ward is pushing along and we had another baptism!
James was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. He's awesome. He's 50 and married to Elisapeta, who has been a member of the Church all her life. She is Samoan, but he's not. He's really into fitness and is super active. Last week at our Ward "pikiniki", he was playing rugby with the young men. (pretty impressive, my friends) They have a son named Shaun, who is 14 and also a member of the church (Shaun reminds me a lot of Tanner Bouck. they look alike and both love basketball) . James had actually been investigating the church for about 15 years, but just before I came into the ward he accepted the invitation to be baptized. It was a great baptismal service, but what stood out to me was the confirmation during the Sacrament meeting the next day. Elder Browning and I stood in to help in the Priesthood ordinance, and Bishop Afutiti performed the confirmation. As we layed our hands upon his head, I felt the power of the Priesthood bless James. I felt so excited for him, because he's already living the faithful life he should. But the covenant he made with God is what will make the difference for the rest of his eternal life.

I love covenants! :) To me, a covenant means promised blessings from Heaven, guaranteed by righteousness. James now has the promised blessing of the gift of the Holy Ghost. A member of the Godhead will now be his teacher, guide, and comfort as long as he keeps being faithful. Man, there's nothing better! When the confirmation was over, and we returned to our seats, I could envision the eternal blessings that James' family would now receive. I could picture them living happily, progressing closer to Jesus Christ, and eventually entering a Holy Temple of the Lord to make more promises with our heavenly Father. :)

This is the last week of the transfer, so I'll find out this weekend whether I'm staying in this ward or moving. I love being a missionary. everyday I learn more about myself and about His great plan for us. Ah, it's all true. God loves us. The Savior loves us. They gave us the Book of Mormon. This is the true church of the Redeemer of Israel, even Iesu Keriso—my 2 favorite words in the Samoan language. :)

Elder Judd

James and Elisapeta after the baptism!