Monday, February 24, 2014

"his soul did rejoice, and his whole heart was filled"

Hey Family!
This week has been great, as always. On Wednesday I went on an exchange to the Bloomington Ward with E. Jex. He and I came to the mission field at the same time, so it was cool talking about all the stories we've had so far as missionaries. It was a hardworking day. Props to all the bike missionaries out there. It was a whole new world.

Here's something cool that happened with Elder Jex: We went to the Jensen family to drop off brownies to them to thank them for something (I don't know what). As we were heading out from their home, we saw some young guys sitting outside the house across the street. A car rolled up, bass booming. I could feel the beat from down the street. Something told me to talk to the guys. I didn't really know what to say to start talking with them so I just complimented their bass. We met Jared and Felix. Then they just started asking questions about who we were and what we do. They thought it was crazy that we didn't party or drink or even talk to our families. Jared said he remembered how missionaries used to come to his house a long time ago. We talked about faith and the power of the Priesthood. Jared asked how anyone could know what is the real truth. We taught and testified of the Holy Ghost. It was just a classic "missionary" experience. We could sense something working in both Felix and Jared as we spoke boldly and simply. They said missionaries could come back. Though I'll probably never see them again, it felt so good to hearken to the voice of the Spirit.
Back in our area, we rushed all week to get everything prepared for Matthew's baptism on Saturday. But Friday morning he let us know that he wanted to wait to be baptized in a few weeks. It was kind of a relief to us because it was all happening so quick. There was so much he needed to understand in order to be ready to make such a sacred commitment. So we're slowing down with him, and it's going great.

We also had a lesson with John, the brand-new husband of Carol. Carol is Poe's sister, and she was baptized years ago. John used to meet with missionaries about a year ago, but moved to LA for a while. Carol and John were just married a couple weeks ago, which is awesome because they have 5 kids. The spirit in the lesson was so strong. 

We explained how the complete truth was lost after Jesus and his Apostles were killed. We explained that no one could find the Gospel anywhere. John was was just like: 


And Elder Pauga was like: 

That's where Joseph Smith comes in.  

It was real cool. Our testimonies sealed the truth we taught.

On Saturday night we met the Nu'usila family. A single sister with several young girls that go to an English ward. They lived in a tough place and the condition of their home was much less then cozy. But the spirit was the warmest I've felt in a home in a long time. For some reason, I could feel that this mother knew much of prayer and faith. Her tone of voice was kind and gentle. She just beamed with love and respect. She was genuinely happy, despite her circumstances. The experience just really impressed me.

One more thing. Thursday, we were in Riverside. We got hungry. We saw Panda Express. We ate. We started to leave. THEN, a Samoan woman and her son sat down to eat. We found out they were the Frosts. They attend a ward in Riverside. She said we could come over on Sunday. So we did.

Sunday, we go over. They have dinner ready. A man walks in wearing a tank and a lavalava. Covered in Tattoos. It's Bro. Frost. He's hilarious. Served a mission in Japan. We have dinner and discover he hasn't been to church in a long long time. But he has a testimony. We had good conversation. After dinner, instead of our own message, Bro. Frost told us he would pick a scripture, I would have to read it, and Elder Pauga would have to expound:
And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. 

It was powerful. We knew we were supposed to be there. There are no coincidences. 

And little did Bro. Frost know, we had already planned to share Helaman 5:12. :)


Elder Judd