Monday, October 20, 2014

"be the children of your Father who is in heaven"


Marty moved to another ward in the Stake this week, which was sad to us because we love him. But he is doing great so it's all okay. He is a solid missionary. He reads the Book of Mormon whenever he has down time throughout the day and shares scriptures with coworkers and prays for opportunities to share these things. He invited his boss to "Meet the Mormons" too. He has no fear!

On Tuesday afternoon to Wednesday afternoon I went on an exchange with Elder Weaver in his area. He's a great missionary and my district leader. There were so many miracles throughout the exchange. One cool moment was this: 

We went to see a less active family (meaning they don't always come to church). As we walked toward the home a voice from the semi-open garage called out to us. We walked closer and heard:


It was Collin! Sitting on the top step of a ladder with sawdust all over and a sander in one hand. The whole picture made me smile. He was doing work for the family. Just a funny moment cool to see Collin even though I wasn't serving in my ward.

We drove to Banning for a conference on Thursday with Elder David F. Evans, a special witness of Jesus Christ. He is the head of the missionary department of the church. He told us that our mission will be receiving iPads as proselyting tools in January or February. It is amazing to see the great things that are happening in the world. And one thing that impressed me from the conference was the principle of faithfulness. King Lamoni was astonished because Ammon did what he said he would do. I want the Lord to be able to trust me to do all the things I have said I will to do.

The Lord is keeping His promises! We prayed this week that we would be led to those who are prepared or that the Lord would lead them to us, and that we would be where we needed to be.

Well, yesterday afternoon we were in a Wendy's parking lot eating an early dinner that a member had given us to-go. We were planning on meeting a member there to give us a ride to a baptism at the Stake center. Just as we finished eating, a young man our age came up to us and asked:

Excuse me. Are you guys Mormons? ... One of my best friends are Mormon and I have a lot of questions. Would you come and talk with me?

Really surprised, we grabbed some copies of the Book of Mormon and followed him to his table in Wendy's. His name's CJ, he has a lot of great questions, and we'll be meeting with him again later this week. Miracle!

I know that Jesus lives. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet. I know the Book of Mormon is true.

I love you!

Elder Judd

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Who can glory too much in the Lord?"

Dear family,

I love the people of Indio. 

Andrew2 is loving the gospel. He loved the whole experience last week of attending General Conference. The leaders of the Young Men who chaperoned the trip told us that when they asked what he liked about it, he said:

I really enjoyed the last guy. ... I felt a warmth in my heart when he spoke.

The last guy was the Prophet Thomas S. Monson. The leaders helped Andrew understand that what he felt was the Holy Ghost. 

Andrew2 also told us that they had front row seats at the Priesthood session of conference. Before the session started, a man came up to him and Andrew1 and asked them if they were future missionaries. He didn't know what to say at first, but thought about it, and answered Yes. The man gave them both a special card with golden dollar as a beginning to their personal missionary savings fund. They learned afterward that the man was David L. Beck, the General Young Mens' President of the church. 

It is really cool to have the opportunity to teach Andrew because it's teaching me that this is truly the Lord's work. He is speaking and teaching Andrew through the Holy Ghost, and I as a missionary get the privilege to help just a little bit as a tool and witness the whole miracle.

Collin is doing really well too. He told us that reason that he keeps meeting with us is because he says the things we teach make him feel good. He talks fast and jokes a lot and he's just funny. He calls Elder Fife "Santa Rosa" and he calls me "Youngster". We always come away full of love after teaching him.
On Saturday we stopped by a less active family but they weren't home. But the neighbors were outside. A middle-aged gentleman named Ernesto from Uruguay was working on a project in his garage. Almost immediately he told us that he knew we were Mormon and that he has 3 sisters who are Mormon now too. Each married a returned-missionary and consistently invite him to read the Book of Mormon. He playfully told us:

I'll never be baptized Mormon! I'm catholic and I'll always be Catholic.

This Thursday Elder David F. Evans is coming to tour the mission. We have been preparing for a long time to receive guidance from his visit, so I'm excited. President Van Cott often reminds us: "Puny Preparation = Puny Revelation". It's true. 

I love serving as a missionary. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that He lives. I know that He loves me.


Elder Judd

video link to President Monson talk:

Monday, October 6, 2014

"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded"

Dear Family,

This week was incredible. Many mighty miracles. 

On Monday we had planned to be in an area we rarely go to. It takes a good drive to get there, but we had felt to be there. We went to the 3 member families that live there (we didn't know any of them). 

The first had a big gate that was locked, so we couldn't meet them.
The second had moved away about 14 years ago.
Then we went to the third. It was now dark, and their lights were out, and we almost didn't stop to meet them. But something told to go anyway. The wife heard us coming, called for her husband and invited us in. We talked, and learned that they had not been to church in a long while. They told us of some difficulties they have been having in their lives. The husband paused for a while, and told us that he felt that our visit was God giving them an answer. 

We set an appointment for them to meet the Bishop the next day. Their visit went great, they want to come back to church, and they accepted the invitation to meet with missionaries. Miracle!

On Wednesday we went to see this guy Jose (I've talked about a lot of Jose's, but this is a new one). He was busy, but we were able to schedule a return appointment with him. 

But while we were in Jose's area, we had a feeling to go see Collin. Collin came to church with a member family about a month ago, and we made an appointment to teach him, but it didn't work out and we lost contact with him. 

But we stopped by, Collin was home, and he let us in. We taught a little, set a return appointment, and it went great. The spirit was so strong, and I felt like Heavenly Father helped me to be able to focus on Collin and what he needs. He commit to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know if it's true. And then we asked:

Collin, when you come to know that the Book of Mormon is true, will you be baptized by someone who holds this priesthood?

He responded:

Yes. Definitely. I'm ready to go. We could do it next week. We could do it tonight. I'm ready!

Collin is funny. We set a date as a goal for him to be baptized, and our member friends have told us that he's really excited.

On Thursday we met Andrew2 for the first time this week and he is awesome. He is so prepared and wants the gospel in his life. He had already started reading the Book of Mormon before we even met him and he really likes it. And Andrew2 watched conference! Live!

The priests in the ward went together to Salt Lake City, UT to watch General Conference, and they invited him to come along. We are so excited to see how Andrew2 liked it. 

Last night we went to our appointment with Jose with our fearless ward mission leader, Bro. Verduzco. Turned out Jose intended for the appointment to be at 8:00am, not 8:00pm. We rescheduled. But as we were leaving, we saw a home with a moving truck outside. Some men were working to unload it. We offered to help. They only spoke spanish. They declined. But Bro. Verduzco speaks spanish. So he kept talking with them. While they spoke, Elder Fife and I just went ahead and started to help them unload. We tucked in our ties. We finished within the hour. And when they were done, we found out that one of the men had come to church before and recognized Bro. Verduzco. He allowed us to send spanish missionaries to his home.

Conference was great! Listen to the Holy Ghost, and go and do what it says. 
God will not lead us astray. I know He will not.


Elder Judd


My watch has been through a lot.