Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"they are young, and their minds are firm, and they do put their trust in God continually"


This week was tough, but SO great. Last week, Pres. Van Cott challenged the whole mission to try to find 8 new investigators by our mission conference this Saturday, so we've been working and praying hard for miracles. And I've already seen them. And I love working with Elder Aguilar. He's so funny. He reminds me of Tyson Bouck and Robert Kemsley. We just have a lot of fun. Our companionship unity is out the roof.

On Monday night we stopped by Sai and found him right in the middle of a lesson with his Home Teachers! YES! Members doing their duties! :) We didn't teach him anything because he was just taught, but it really made my day to catch faithful home teachers in the very act of serving.

On Wednesday we brought Bro Taulia out with us, who is awesome. He served a mission in California too, Tongan speaking. For the next few months he's waiting to go back to Samoa, so he's got nothing going on right now. So we're bringing him out with us. HE IS AWESOME. I love having him with us because he's fluent in Samoan and he's totally a people person. And he's a great teacher with a firm testimony of the Savior.

So, when we were with him we tried to visit people that we knew would be tough to see on our own (because we don't speak Samoan). We went to San Bernardino to this small community of Samoan families E. Browning and I found, but nobody was very interested. We ran into Naia there, but it seems like he's not really into meeting with us. But we're not giving up on him. We also went to this street that a LA member told us some Samoans lived on, but he didn't know where, exactly. We went to the street and looked for a house that matched what the LA described it as. Just as we thought we found the right house, we see a Polynesian guy pulling out of his driveway on the other side of the street! He left, but we knocked at his house. His wife answered the door and let us in. Her named was Norma. We found out she used to be a member of the church, and still believes it is true, but her husband is the pastor at another church. Her husband came back home after a little while and Bro. Taulia spoke to them both in Samoan. I don't know everything that was said, but apparently Norma said that they really respect our church and are open to us stopping by whenever. So, it was cool. And even if we aren't able to teach them, meeting them opens up so many doors for us to find more Samoans.

Samoan people are cool because they seem to know all the other Samoan people around the area. So the biggest way we find people is to ask EVERYBODY to refer us to friends of theirs that we could teach.

On Thursday I went to Mission Leadership Council (MLC) for the first time. Soooo awesome. In MLC, the Mission President trains all the Zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders and we discuss the needs of the mission and the direction the work is going. Pres. Van Cott said something about faith that really stood out to me. He explained that the Spirit will tell us "no" more than it will tell us "yes". He said that Heavenly Father helps us progress like we're going through a funnel. As we act in faith, most of the time we hit walls which just bounce us slowly closer to the small end. But, as long as we're moving in faith, we're moving forward. God cannot steer a parked car. I love that.

Funny story. So on Friday we went to Redlands to try to see referral named Keith. We rang his doorbell. No answer. We rang again. No answer again, but through the windows blinds we could tell that somebody had moved around. we waited a minute, then knocked again. suddenly, an older white guy with a funny mustache opened the blinds and said, "Sorry! I don't have any clothes on so I can't open the door!" As far as we could see he was shirtless, so we believed him. And we left promptly. It was hilarious. And we found out later from the family who referred Keith that we went to the wrong home. Whoops! :)

On Saturday we stopped by Sai's place again. We read a few pages from the Book of Mormon with him. He is doing so well. He's been sober for a few weeks, and he's been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and listening to the Mormon Channel on his way to work. This guy! :) There is such a difference in Sai from what he used to be like. The power of the word of God is REAL! The Book of Mormon and the words of living prophets will have more positive influence on our lives than anything else! Sai is living evidence of that.

On Sunday, a moment that I really loved was right as Sacrament Meeting was starting. I was reading in the Book of Mormon when Elder Aguilar tapped on my shoulder and said, "Look who's here." I turned around to find Nerissa and her kids! BAH! They came! :) Oh, it made me so happy. :)

Well, that's all I have time for. This work is God's work! the Savior's church has been restored to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. If you don't believe it, read the Book of Mormon for yourself. It is a witness that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of the World and that God loves all of His children. It's just true! :)
Elder Judd