Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"Go to work and build"

Hey all you people,

I love California and I love the Gospel. Right now I have California and the Gospel together, so you better believe life is great.

Transfers are tomorrow! And I'm staying in Samoa! But, Elder Bentley is headed out to the desert. We've worked really hard and made a lot of good memories together, so it's sad to see him go. And my new companion will be Elder Pauga! I'm pumped to work with him. When I came into this ward, I took Elder Pauga's place, so he's actually already served here for a while! Now the Lord has called him back into this Samoan ward for the last 6 weeks of his mission. 

On Wednesday, we started teaching a man who only speaks Samoan. His family was baptized a while ago and started coming to our ward, so Bishop invited him to take the lessons with us. So we had an older couple, the Lata's, helped us teach and translated for us. We did everything we could to teach simply so that our words could be translated simply. It was amazing to feel the Spirit testify with power as we bore simple testimony.

"I know that Joseph Smith saw God. Jesus is the Christ. God loves you. When you read the Book of Mormon, you feel that love. The Book of Mormon is true. I know these things by the power of the Holy Ghost."

E. Pauga is coming a the perfect time. He's fluent in Samoan and Tongan. So, now we can play a much more active role in teaching this man. And because this is Elder Pauga's last transfer, I will likely stay here after he leaves. So, Pres. Van Cott gave me official "ok go" to study Samoan! :) 

On Sunday we had a special Stake Conference that was a braodcast for Southern California. Elder Neil L. Andersen spoke and I thought of Hermana Judd, who just saw him in person. Pres. Henry B. Eyring also spoke about reaching out to our loved ones before it's too late. 

Sunday evening we had dinner with the M. family and Chanelle, their son's fiance. Chanelle is Buddhist. We shared a Mormon Message about temples. We talked about the great blessings come from Temples and how families can be together forever. Like the powerhouse missionary he is, Elder Bentley boldly asked Chanelle, "What would you be willing to do to be with your family forever?"

She said, "Well, I feel like the first thing I need to do is get baptized. But I didn't grow up with much religion, so I just want to keep coming to church to get more understanding before I do."

My soul did a backflip. We hadn't even mentioned baptism. Furthermore, we will be beginning her lessons very soon. :)

To anyone who's reading today, I hereby challenge you to read the Book of Mormon. No matter who you are, it will change you life. Jesus Christ changes lives. This is true. :)

Elder Judd