Monday, July 28, 2014

"And ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit."

Hey family!

Today we drove out to a doctor appointment for Elder Holcomb in the desert. It was a long drive, but interesting because I've never been out past Yucaipa, which is the gateway to the desert. And we drove through Palm Springs, which is the place with hundreds of windmills. I forgot my camera, but I'll send pictures next week.

On Monday we taught Sai. He has been doing really well. He has started reading the Book of Mormon again, and has come to church a couple times too. He is visibly much happier compared to a few months ago. He is huge into music and he told us about a song that he used to know long ago called "Happy Inside". He's been thinking a lot about how happy he is. He wants to do things that will make him and his family happy inside, which are the things that Heavenly Father has asked.

On Tuesday we had district meeting. It was Elder Maynes last district meeting on his mission. He was an awesome missionary.

Also on Tuesday we felt to stop by a family in our ward. the dad is a king of an island back in Samoa and not a member of the church. We talked with him about his king name because we knew someone else with that name. And after a few minutes he invited us in! The family fed us briefly, and we were able to share a scripture from the Book of Mormon. It was awesome, especially because we have never been able to meet with this family before.

Heavenly Father answers prayers. Saturday night we taught Charles. He is atheist, but has been reading passages from the Book of Mormon that we give him. However, he has said he will not pray--he doesn't believe in prayer anymore.
All day leading up to his appointment, we prayed that God would soften his heart enough that he would be willing to pray. Then we met with him. We focused on him. We learned his mom had died of cancer 2 years ago, and it was the worst experience he's ever had. We listened, then testified of the resurrection. At the end of the lesson, we again invited him to pray. He said he would give prayer another try--that night! I was happy inside. I couldn't stop smiling all night.

Many miracles this week. The gospel is true! I know that Jesus is the Son of God! 


Elder Judd

Monday, July 21, 2014

"Marvel not that all mankind ... must be born again; yea, born of God, changed"

Hey Family!

There were so many miracles this week.

We saw Rodney again. Rodney is awesome! He earnestly searches and digs in the scriptures everyday. He tells us how he gets lost in scriptures. Right now he is searching to understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

This week we started teaching Rodney about God's commandments. He has so much faith. He talked about how he knows if God gives a commandment, and we choose to obey, we will be blessed. He talked about how in the Book of Mormon, Nephi would teach his brothers God's commandments plainly. Then his brothers would get angry and say that Nephi spoke "hard things" against him. Rodney loves the "plainness" of God. 

Then we taught about the Word of Wisdom, in which God commands not to drink coffee. Rodney had just bought a tub of Folgers. He laughed and shrugged and said that he would do it. He said:

There's God's will, and there's man's will. And I know if I make excuses and say that "this is okay" then I won't be in line with the truth.

Also, remember when Elder Holcomb and I went to a bible study a few months ago? Well, we finally got to see that family again--Peleti and Julian. They are brothers-in-law. We saw them twice this week. 

On the first visit, we taught about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. They asked good questions. I remember praying for strength to know what I could say to strengthen their faith in the Savior. We testified of the Savior and of the Book of Mormon. They said they would read a chapter we gave them and pray about it. 

Our second visit was amazing. They immediately confessed that they had not read the chapter we had given. The visit became an opportunity to understand their faith more. They shared how religion and faith had played a role in their lives. I wish I could put to words everything that was felt and said, but it is enough to say that there was so much love and kindness in the room. We shared Mosiah 3:19 and spoke of the change that can happen through the Savior.

I know that we have a Creator who loves us! He is our Father! He wants us to succeed!

Elder Judd

Monday, July 14, 2014

"I give unto you to be the salt of the earth"

My family!

A lot of great things happened this week. 

It was kind of interesting this week because one of our wards had their annual ward camp at some faraway lake. So, just about every person in that ward was gone. It was funny. Then when they were back on Saturday they had a party/dinner/dance at the church and everyone was really tan and tired.

But the Lord's work carried on.

We're still teaching Taumarie, and she's still doing great. When we invited her to be baptized, she told us she's been waiting for this for a long time.

On Wednesday night we went to go see John. We haven't been able to reach John for several months, but we felt to stop by when our original plans fell through. We caught his wife, Carol, who was baptized several years ago. She was taking care of her father, who is elderly and blind and has had several strokes. Her mother died suddenly from cancer years ago. We taught them of the Plan of Salvation. 

Carol and her father told us of struggles they are facing, and I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father loved them. We testified of the resurrection and the power that the Savior has to strengthen us.
I wish I could express how much I know that is true. And I wish I could write all the wonderful things that happen each week. Things are going so well. I really love my mission. 

Heavenly Father is mindful of you!


Elder Judd

Monday, July 7, 2014

"Remember, to be carnally-minded is death, and to be spiritually-minded is life eternal."

Hello my family,

Transfers today! I'm staying in Samoa! And Elder Holcomb is staying too. All is well in these wards.

Lots happened this week, but not much time to write. 

We've been trying serve people more, so on Thursday we went near a busy street and picked up trash for few hours. It was awesome. I love service! And we met nice people while we were out. Several times people stopped to give us cold water that they bought for us.

We started teaching a young girl named Taumari. She is the cousin of an active family and just moved in with them. We taught about prophets and sang the song Follow the Prophet and the spirit was so strong, and Tau just has a sweet spirit. 

On the 4th of July we had dinner at Ola and Maria and Alex and Brandon's house with a few other awesome families in the ward. Ola is a great cook. And the whole family is doing really well. Someone in the ward who was good friend with Ola in Samoa 30 years ago told us that Ola said he's seen a difference in Alex and Brandon--they pray with the family now. The Gospel changes lives!


Elder Judd