Monday, January 13, 2014

"surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God"

Hello family!

I never want to stop being a missionary. I love it.

I'm so grateful for Pres. Van Cott. We had interviews with him this week, and I walked away filled with purpose, direction, and a determination to do and be better. I firmly believe that in many cases, it is not so important where a missionary serves his mission, but who his mission president is.

I'll cut to the chase. Here's some cool stories from lenei vaiaso:

Tuesday. Out working with a soon-to-be-missionary-Ben and had a feeling to visit a less active guy (Joe L.) we hadn't planned to visit. We followed the prompting, which took us to The Complex Full of Samoans. We ran into Sofia and Moe, the 2 ladies that referred us to Joe many weeks ago. We've seen them just about every week for the last several months, but this time they had a bunch of questions – about
missionaries, temples, and pork. Testimonies borne. Lesson scheduled for tomorrow. :)

Friday, on an exchange with the famous E. McCall the great. Driving in Ontario between visits, we had a feeling to turn right. We keep driving. He see's an Ula (Samoan "Lei") hanging from the mirror of the car beside us. Driver: Polynesian female. We act quickly. We follow her to a gas station. We pretend to act natural and "look at which water we should buy" while we wait for her to finish in the restroom. She comes out and says, "Elders!" Her name was Audrey, self-proclaimed less-active from a nearby Young Single Adult ward. Her family name was one we've been trying to find for ages. Definitely Samoan. Definitely inspired. Definitely didn't buy any water.

Saturday. Stopped by Jake, who we haven't seen in forever. We talk about faith. Great discussion, and great inspired questions from E. Bentley. Jake started explaining a metaphor about driving toward your destination and what distractions can come. After talking about how keeping God's commandments gets us where we want to go, we ask:
"So what is your destination?"
He paused. He thought. He answered: "That's a good question." He told us he didn't know where he wanted to go in life. Jake has never been this open. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost, who teaches to the heart.

Later Saturday, we dropped by The Complex Full of Samoans. We found a guy named Tei chilling in the corner of the courtyard. Like Sofia and Moe, we talk to him all the time. He has a couple sons who were baptized a few years ago and moved away. He told us about his New Years' resolution to quit smoking. His kids sent him e-cigarettes to help him. We told him that the message we share could help him with that goal. Then he said:

"Well, I've met with missionaries before. And I get your thing every month."

"What thing?"

"Your magazine."

"Magazine? You mean The Ensign?" *we pull out a copy*

"Yeah, that's it. My kids order it for me. I read it every month, and I have it on my tablet for my long doctor's appointments."

Speechless. I'm still speechless. Tei reads The Ensign every month. As we left, I asked when we could sit down with him. He paused, smiled, and said "We'll see." I'm hopeful. :)

I know that God is our Father. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that They love us. :)

Elder Judd