Monday, October 21, 2013

"blessed be the name of my God, who has been mindful of us"

Malo lava, my good kinsfolk!
This has been an incredible week. Perhaps the best of my mission. I have so much to say and so many miracles I don't know if I can even type them all.
First off, Tuesday. Last Tuesday. We had a powerhouse district meeting with a training about overcoming adversity given by the great E. Browning, my comp and district leader. (Everyone should read "Adversity" in True to the Faith; it's great) Then, we went to see Poe [Poh-eh], who is LA (less-active member) and told us last week about his wife who wants to be baptized. But he had to reschedule. So we're seeing him again soon. But, later was the highlight of the day. We had just finished emailing (because we couldn't on Monday) and we realized we were driving right by the The S. family was a referral from the Sister missionaries in the other Samoan ward in the Stake. They said that the S. family had been coming to a lot of their ward's activities but lived in my ward's boundaries. We hadn't met them yet, but we felt like we should stop by their house. We didn't know what to expect when we knocked at their door. but to our surprise, they just invited us in. Immediately, I fell in love with them. They have 6 kids and they all love basketball. And they said they love the church, but Bro. S. grew up Catholic, and they don't think his parents would like it if they joined. And the whole time we were there it felt weird that they were so open with us--we found out that they had been expecting us! They said they've had missionaries come over every Tuesday night for about a year, but the last few weeks they hadn't. So it was perfect that we came over on the right day at the right time. It was beyond cool. So, we said we'd be over again next Tuesday.
Thursday. We had interviews with Pres. Van Cott in the morning, so it was like a spiritual charge up. We went to see Poe again, but he wasn't home. But later we finally got to teach Naia, who we found a  like a month ago then ran into again last week. He's 19 and looking for a job. He's super cool and said he would read the Book of Mormon. AND he lives in a complex full of Samoan families! so there are a lot of people who we may be able to teach.
We also got to visit Sai, a LA member with a nonmember wife. It was really cool because his father-in-law and next-door-neighbor, Eddy, came and dropped off Sai's mail to him. He really liked to talk, so we chatted with him and he ended up telling us of how he came from Mexico and started his family in America. I felt a deep love for him because my grandparents (who were converts when mom was 13) had a very similar story. So I told him about them and he was way interested. I don't know their whole story, so I promised Eddy I would ask my family and find out so I can talk more about them to him.

Saturday. we got to visit Sam, another LA guy with a nonmember wife. It was a miracle because we have been trying for weeks to get in with him. It was only about a 15 minute visit, but the spirit made it so powerful. We just talked for a bit and ended up talking about how he and his parents got into the church. Apparently his grandpfather joined first. But we asked if we could research his family history and bring it to him (suggested last zone conference) and he was excited about it. He seemed to have a different light about him by the time we left. He just had a genuine smile. And he told us we could come back this week!
Then we went to the baptism of an 8-year-old boy in our ward. After we had a lesson planned with Brianna F. Shes 14 and her mom has been a member for about a year. But surprise! She brought her friend Valerie! We taught them both and Valerie is so excited to be baptized in November. Brianna wants to wait a little longer, but she'll get there because Valerie is so enthusiastic.

Sunday. We now have a new ward mission leader, Bro. M. I LOVE THE M. FAMILY!! He is so great. Just this morning he called us and told us he's been watching all the 'Hastening the Work of Salvation' videos. I am SO excited to work with him. And, we met and taught the U. family who are less active and part member. they're awesome and their daughters want to serve missions. We're meeting them again tomorrow.
Monday. we had a conference with Elder William R. Walker of the 70. It was amazing. and I wish I can explain more, but I'm out of time. I'll just say that I left feeling the best I've felt in ages. This work is true. We have a prophet, Thomas S. Monson, who speaks the word of God. Jesus Christ lives and is at the helm of his Kingdom.
I love you all!
Elder Judd
P.S. If you would like to send a note of encouragement to Elder Judd, his mission home address is: 
Elder Jacob M. Judd
7000 Central Ave. 
Highland, CA 9234