Monday, April 28, 2014

"and He shall heal them, and they shall have peace with Him"

Talofa family!

It's been a solid week. 

On Tuesday we went to see Sasa'e. She is Bishop Wendt's sister-in-law and she's Catholic and she was meeting with missionaries a while back. It was awesome. She was really open with us and told us how she wants to learn, but she doesn't feel like people listen to her or understand. She explained how she's changed a lot over time. It was just a great visit, and she said she was glad we came. And we'll be meeting with her again this week.

We visited Sam again this week. We've seen him a lot lately. Sam is struggling with the load of being a father, a husband, an employee, and just in life. We've been trying to help him read the Book of Mormon, and this week he asked us text him to remind him. So we started to text him a scripture reference everyday. It's reminded me how much I love the Book of Mormon. Ezra Taft Benson said:

There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception.You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.

On Saturday we helped out with a Mormon Helping Hands service project. We helped mulch along a sidewalk. It was awesome. And I felt so good afterward. And it was awesome to serve alongside all these people in the wards that I love. I love service! 

Then we went to a baptism of some children in the Rialto 2nd ward. while waiting for the program to begin, I talked with a boy who sat next to me. His name is Maru and he is 8 years old. I asked him about his own baptism, his family, and what he like to do, etc. When I asked what his favorite scripture story was, I expected him to talk about a story of Nephi or Moroni or Noah or something like that. But he said:

The one when Jesus died for us on the cross and paid for our sins and then was resurrected.

I was surprised by how sober and sincere he was. Maru understands what matters most. I was even more surprised when he began to ask me questions. He asked: 

When did you begin thinking about serving a mission? 

Not really knowing the answer to that question, I told him:

I think when I was about your age. 

He said:

I began thinking about a mission when I was six.

The boy had a testimony. hearts are touched by the Spirit. The spirit strengthens faith.

Alofa atu,

Elder Judd

Monday, April 21, 2014

"cry unto him for mercy, for he is mighty to save"

Hey Family!
No time to write.
This week has been awesome. I love Elder Holcomb. He's super nice and he was a state champion football player.
On Monday night we taught Landy. She was somebody Elder Tingey taught in Colton that stopped meeting with the missionaries. But she was Samoan so we visited her. At the end of the short visit we prayed. We prayed specifically for her and her family and their specific needs. After we finished she was like:
Whoa. ... I just feel light.
She had felt the Holy Ghost. It was amazing. We taught her about the holy ghost and the Spirit became stronger and stronger as we taught and listened. She said she had never felt the way she did before in her life. It was better than anything she has ever known.
The power of the Holy Ghost is real. It teaches us truth. It fills us with light.
Happy Easter! Jesus lives! :)
Alofa atu,
Elder Judd

Monday, April 14, 2014

"teach them to withstand every temptation of the devil, with their faith on the Lord Jesus Christ"

Hey family!

Transfers are this week. I'm staying! :) By the end of this transfer, it will be 10 months in Samoa. I love these people!

Sadly, the Spirit of the Lord has called Elder Tingey to serve in Yucaipa. I'm going to miss him a lot. He is an incredible missionary.

But, Elder Holcomb is my new companion and he's from Houston! and he was in the MTC with Elder Aguilar and Elder Tingey. He's super nice and humble and I'm excited to serve with him.

So this week was full of miracles, as always. 

First off, on Friday we went to teach Henrietta. We had arranged for a member to help us, but he couldn't make it. So once again, we went searching down the street to look for a male to be present at the visit. After trying several homes, Elder Tingey thought to try the home of a semi-active family that we don't know very well. So we did. A younger man answered the door and we asked for his help. While were we explaining everything he look confused. Long story short, his name is Pigi. And he helped us visit Henrietta. And he has not been baptized. And we are now teaching him.

We taught Moli and Sabrinna on Tuesday. It was a super short visit because we had to rush to a meeting afterwards, but the spirit made it powerful. We asked them about their thoughts about General Conference and Sabrinna talked about Elder Bednar's talk about the load that we carry. they explained some sad, complicated struggles that their family is going through. I didn't know what to say--I tried to think of something that would lift them, but it seemed like their struggles were more than I could understand.

But then Elder Tingey shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon:

And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

He testified of the Savior. We testified of His Atonement. We testified of His power and love.

Because of Him, we can live again. And though I may not understand the difficulties another has faced, I am not here to testify of me. The Redeemer of Mankind understands all things and has suffered all things and He perfectly understands. He has said:

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

Alofa atu,

Elder Judd

Monday, April 7, 2014

"yea, the Son of God cometh in his glory, in his might, majesty, power, and dominion"

Hey Family!
Great week!
On Tuesday we stopped by to see Henrietta. We found her in-laws and another family at home with kids all over the place. We shared "Reclaimed". The kids were all over the place, but I prayed and asked that the people there would feel the Holy Ghost touch their heart. When it finished, we asked what they thought. Henrietta's sister-in-law said that it made her realize how grateful she is for her covenants. Then their friend, Sister L, shared her thoughts. She said she's had a hard time forgiving herself and feels like she "digs up garbage" too much. She was grateful that we came because her family wasn't planning on coming over to Henrietta's home, but came anyways. And the message was what she needed. She said that she knew Heavenly Father knew her. We testified that He does know her and love her. The Spirit testified with us that the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can clean us.
I love General Conference!

On Wednesday we met with Sa'olotoga, whom 2 weeks ago we invited to read Alma 17. He grew up in the church but never knew for himself. He looked much happier than the last time we saw him. Turned out he had read all the way to Mormon 2, over 290 pages in the Samoan Book of Mormon. It has changed his life. He even asked us to sign his copy of the Book of Mormon, telling us he would never forget us. But really, it wasn't us--the words of Christ.
I loved President Uchtdorf's talk about living with a grateful heart. I also loved President Monson's words about expressing love. Preach My Gospel teaches that spiritual power is manifest when we express love of the Lord, our family, and others.
Conference as a whole made me want to be a better person an love others more. We tried hard to help our friends make it to the stake center to watch with us, but many didn't come. But, Moli told us she would make it to the Sunday afternoon session, the last session. And she came! I was praying so hard that the Spirit would touch her heart. And as we watched, it seemed as though every message was directed towards Moli. Each talk addressed things that we feel have been questions of her soul. It was awesome.
I love the Prophets. And I love Jesus Christ. I know He lives!
Elder Judd

Also, this happened:
On wednesday we met with Sa'olotoga, whom 2 weeks ago we invited to read Alma 17. He grew up in the church but never knew for himself. He looked much happier than the last time we saw him. Turned out he had read all the way to Mormon 2, over 290 pages in the Samoan Book of Mormon. It has changed his life. He even asked us to sign his copy of the Book of Mormon, telling us he would never forget us. But really, it wasn't us--the words of Christ.