Monday, March 31, 2014

"we did put all our seeds into the earth ... wherefore, we were blessed in abundance"

Talofa i lo'u aiga,
It's been a great week. We had lots of miracles, like always.
On Wednesday we went to visit a guy named Joe but he wasn't home. We were walking back to our car and the door of a home we parked near caught my attention. I looked to Elder Tingey and he was looking at the same door. We both felt that we needed to knock this red door, so we started towards it.
Neither of us knew what to do or say because we've never tracted, but we prayed in our hearts that we would say what these people needed to hear. A woman answered the door. We told her who we were. She told us that she was busy taking care of her mother and she didn't have any time. So we asked if we could sing her a song. She agreed, and we sang the first verse of "I am a Child of God". The Holy Ghost was there.
When we finished, she thanked us and we left. We didn't know why we needed to go to that door, and we will probably never see the woman again. But I know that God knows every person perfectly because we are His children. He is always working good in us.
Wednesday night we were working in Loma Linda. We were trying to find an apartment that a guy named Tristan lives in. Our friend, Junior T. told us about him and his family and gave us directions. It's really fun when we get referrals from Samoans because in Samoa they don't have street names or addresses. So in the islands they give directions like:
Turn right when you see the 3 coconut trees.
Make a left at the big rock.
If you pass another rock by another coconut tree you've gone too far.
We usually get directions like that when we ask for an address, but Americanized. I love it.
So, we were looking for Tristan and it was dark because it was night and all we had was a few Samoan directions and a street number for a apartment complex and no street name and Loma Linda is the land of many apartments so we didn't know where to go. But we prayed that we could find Tristan. And we felt guided to go a certain way towards a certain complex. And then we found an apartment with a bunch of shoes outside (one of the many sure signs of a Samoan home). And we knocked.
A super nice guy answered the door. But he wasn't Samoan. But he said some big polynesian guys lived in the apartment downstairs. So we knocked at that door and found Tristan and he said we could come back this Wednesday. But the moral of the story is that God hears and answers our prayers. Even when it's something small that we care about, because He cares about what we care about. God is in the details of our lives.
Jesus Christ is alive today! God loves you! God speaks to us thru prophets and his prophets are speaking this weekend!

Here is a short video about General Conference. 
Come and listen! :)
Alofa atu,
Elder Judd

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Have ye received His image in your countenances?"

My family! I love you so much. I love the Lord. I love being a missionary.

So, on Friday  the Rialto 2nd ward had their monthly fast for missionary work. And they ended the fast with a dinner at the church. And it was really cool because I could understand a lot of the Samoan prayer when we broke our fast.

But, that's not the best part. On Sunday we had a brand new family come to church! Ronny and Karinne and their 2 sons. Their neighbors invited them to church. And they want to be baptized. so we're going to teach them starting this week! :)

Then, on Sunday night, we went to visit some families that our ward tracted into. (Oh yeah, the Rialto 2nd ward is so proactive in member-missionary work that they go tracting. They are awesome.) The first was a family that was recently baptized. The mother wasn't home, but we spoke with the daughter, Elsie at the door. Then a girl named Jordan parked and came inside while we were talking. Then Elsie's brother-in-law, Phillip walked by. We talked with everyone with people walking by the door and in and out and it was just funny. But then they invited us in. They weren't interested much at all at first, but we shared scriptures, testified, shared spiritual experiences, and it was awesome. the spirit was so strong. and they all committed to reading 3 Nephi chapter 11. We've been trying to visit them for a while, so it was awesome to finally meet them.

God hears our prayers and he answers them. Fasting with prayer brings greater understanding.  

On Saturday night we were visiting members of the Rialto 2nd ward to get to know them and to invite them to pray for a list of the people we teach. We went to the Taufete'e home. We'd never met them, so when Bro, Taufete'e answered the door and looked surprised I had no idea if he spoke English. So I was struggling the entire visit to speak completely in Samoan. It was awesome. But then just after we prayed at the end, his wife came home and he was like:

Oh, this is my wife.

In English.

Real funny. But also was a testimony to me the Heavenly Father can strengthen us to do all things. Our job is to do our best, and leave unto the Lord the rest.

Alfoa atu,
Elder Judd

Editor's Note: Not sure I matched captions with the right pictures, but that's okay!
Me and Elder Pauga

Me and Deelorean, who helped us out a lot and just left for his mission in Jacksonville, Florida.

Me and Elder McCall, who just finished his mission with Elder Pauga

Me and Elder Tingey and a lady and her daughter

Monday, March 17, 2014

"plant the word in your hearts, that ye may try the experiment of its goodness"

Hey Family,

On Friday we brought Bro. Julander out to work with us. We visited Junior, a guy we met a couple weeks ago. He is very friendly and said we could come by any time. He promised us that he would come to church on March 30th. He said he had requested work off that day, but didn't know why because he doesn't usually ask for Sundays off, but then he figured this might be why. Junior is awesome. He said he's also invited a bunch of friends to come too.

On Saturday we had a special conference with the Rancho Cucamonga mission. We met Elder Neil L. Andersen and Elder Anthony Perkins. They carried the Savior's love in everything they did and said. Elder Andersen testified powerfully and clearly that he is a witness that Jesus Christ lives. 

Also at the conference, as I was walking around the chapel back to my seat, someone called out to me. It was Elder Shaeson Bringhurst! I talked to him briefly, afterwards. I had no idea he was reassigned to CA. Really great to see him. 

Yesterday, we had a another miracle. Quick backstory. We recently received new mileage allocations which is pushing Elder Tingey and I to work much harder to find rides with members and stuff. We will even start biking soon.

So, we were planning to visit Matthew yesterday because we found out he's going back to New Zealand today. But he lives about 30 minutes away. So we prayed and talked to a bunch of people at church and called everyone we could think to give us a ride. But no luck. After a long time, when we almost gave up on seeing him, we thought to call a guy named Court. We've never asked him for help before, and we don't know him super well. Court said he was free and asked who we'd be visiting. We told him. He was like:
Oh, that's my little cousin! He's actually at my house right now.

Court lives in Rialto, which is where we were. We didn't know Court knew Matthew. We didn't know Matthew was in Rialto. But, God did. 

We had a great lesson about Enduring to the End. Matthew is going to find missionaries in New Zealand and find a seminary class over there.

The Holy Ghost is REAL. :)


Elder Judd

Monday, March 10, 2014

"if he believed in God it was his privilege to serve Him"

Talofa family!

I love serving in both Samoan wards! I love Elder Tingey! I love being a missionary!
So, remember about 6 months ago when I met a family that has 6 kids and was awesome? Probably not, but I do. And because we now cover the Rialto 2nd ward, we can teach them. We re-met them last week. Their names are Diana, Jody, Kyle, Mariah, Joseph, Maria, and Kanoa. We haven't met the dad yet. We're teaching them tonight. :)

We also taught Matthew twice! He's doing so well. We taught him about baptism and the Holy Ghost. He's really funny. At the end of our last lesson we asked him what he thought about everything, and he was like:

I think it's about time I got the Holy Ghost.

It was pretty sweet, especially in a New Zealand accent.

We spent a lot of the end of the week meeting the members of the Rialto 2nd ward. along the way we met John M. I recognized his name from the Inland Empire area book. In my mind I was like:

Holy cow, I've been trying to find you for 7 months!!

But in person I was like:

It's nice to meet you.

We'll see them again this week.

We have Elder Neil L. Andersen coming this Saturday! I'm so excited to meet an Apostle of the Lord, Jesus Christ! :)

Love you all!

Elder Judd

Monday, March 3, 2014

"the light of everlastin​g life was lit up in his soul"

Ou te alofa i le lalolagi atoa!

I am really happy. I wish the whole world could know that God's light is real. It just is.

Transfers are this week and I'm really going to miss Elder Pauga. He leaves in a few hours. I've had a lot of fun with this guy. It was a privilege to serve with him and an honor to be his last companion.

I'm staying in Samoa! Elder Tingey will be my new companion. I've been told he's extremely obedient and extremely hardworking. I'm really excited to work with him. AND we will now be covering the Rialto 2nd Samoan Ward in addition to the great Inland Empire ward! Twice the Samoans. Twice the food. Twice the fun.

Just kidding about the food.

But this week has been full of miracles. Here's a few:

Wednesday. We brought out Sone, a young man from our ward who just his mission call to Houston, TX. We visited people in Loma Linda. Nobody was home. But we had a feeling to stop by Skyler's house, even though they never really let us in. (Remember Skyler? The guy who I met in my first area many months ago and didn't know was Samoan?) A new guy answered the door. His name was Al. We found out he's from Orange county and he's Skyler's cousin. He took missionary lessons out there in November and said he had his Book of Mormon in his car. while he ran and got it, we met Starla, Skyler's sister. She said Spencer was somewhere in the complex and ran to go get him. One thing led to another, and pretty soon we were all sitting Indian-style in their place listening to them explain why they knew God loved them. It was awesome. I've been trying to get to know them for months. MONTHS. We'll be meeting with them again soon.

Whoops, gotta go. Sorry for the short email!

I love you all! The gospel is true! Jesus is the Savior. God is your Father. They love you!


Elder Judd