Monday, December 9, 2013

"And their hearts were swollen with joy ... because of the great goodness of God"


I get to stay another transfer in Samoa with Elder Aguilar! And I've already been serving as a missionary for 6 months! Time is going by way too fast.

On Wednesday I went on an exchange with Elder Langi. I love this guy so much. Out of all the missionaries I know in this mission, I've probably served around Elder Langi the longest. By the end of this transfer we will have lived in the same apartment for 6 months. Yeah, it's almost as if we're friends or something.

Anyway, our exchange was awesome. We brought Ross out with us and worked in San Bernardino. At the apartment complex full of Samoans that I mention all the time (which we just refer to as, "The Complex full of Samoans") we met a young guy named Satili. Just moved from Samoa. We think he's the grandson of this less active woman we've been trying to track down. But we're excited because he said we could stop by again to get to know him more. 

We also went to Loma Linda and met Spencer. Remember Skyler from a few weeks ago? Whom I recognized as soon as I met him? Well, Spencer is his brother. This family is supposed to hear the gospel, I know it. Spencer is super prepared. He's been to church many times in the past with his friend Casey, who is a member in our ward whose family started going to an English ward because the drive is too far. So basically, Spencer said we could come by again soon.
Later, we taught Nerissa and Ioga and their kids again. We were really hoping to have Sai come out with us to visit them, but we couldn't get ahold of him. We talked about covenants. It was so great. Ioga is totally warming up to us. He has so much faith in Christ. We asked him when he's felt the spirit in his life, and the moment was just sweet. It got quiet. He told us that in the moments when he's trying his best and doing everything he can during a difficult time and things still don't seem to be working out, he's felt a peace come to him and say, almost as a whisper, "Everything is going to be okay." 

It's true. The Savior has promised: "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." He will come to us as we come to Him.

Thursday was awesome too. MLC. Always the best thing ever. Then, in the evening we stopped by Sai. We found out that he had the craziest night on Wednesday, which was the reason we couldn't get ahold of him. On his long way home from work a police officer pulled him over for DUI, though he hadn't been under the influence of anything. He told the officer that he doesn't drink because he's a Mormon. the officer didn't believe him. after a breathalyzer test and everything, he proved to be clean, but the officer still arrested him. Sai told us how wrong it felt to be handcuffed, then ordered around and mocked by the officers at the station. He felt alone and mistreated and misunderstood and falsely accused. But then in a small moment during all of this, he told us, everything seemed to still as the thought came:

"This is how He felt."

He explained that more powerfully than ever before, he knew that the Savior knew him. He knew that He was there. 

I know He is there. You are never alone. I can add my personal witness to the truth the Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated:

"However late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."

I wish I could express every amazing thing that happens each week, but I'm out of time. I love you all. :)

Elder Judd

p.s. Elder Aguilar gave a powerhouse talk about covenants in Sacrament Meeting this Sunday. :)