Monday, November 24, 2014

"Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer"

Dear Family,

Great week!

On Monday we prayed that we would find someone to teach. In the evening after dark we rode by a guy putting his bike and little makeshift bike trailer away. We talked with him and his name is Omar. He said we could come back.

We also taught a family I'll call the Sweetwater family. The Sweetwaters are members of the church but haven't been to church in a long while. We taught them about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They have family and siblings who have served and are serving missions. The message wasn't new to them, but as we talked with them and they shared their thoughts about it, a spirit of peace was there. We testified that Joseph Smith saw heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, and I felt God confirm that it was true--I felt a powerful peace and calmness. 
We invited Bro. Sweetwater to say the closing prayer and we knelt with their family. He looked to his wife and seemed like he didn't want to. but something moved him to say yes. It was a great prayer. And as we stood and were about to leave he said:

Kudos to you guys. You got me to pray. I've had missionaries come over here for years and they've never gotten me to pray.

I was so happy and smiley all night. Filled with joy.

On wednesday we met a samoan family that was in their garage. We didn't realize they were in the branch. We found out a son in the family had passed away that morning. Really sad. They gave us a ride to a Priesthood meeting last night, and as we drove home the remaining brothers practiced a song they wrote for their brother's funeral next week. They sing really well.

We had zone conference on Friday and it was focused on the process of conversion.

On Saturday we went to meet a family that past missionaries had been teaching, but accidentally went to the wrong address. We ended up semi-lost in the middle of the desert on sand roads. We prayed that we would not get stuck in the sand. Just really funny adventure. 

Last night we had a stake priesthood meeting. we have a really great stake president. He is really young. we sang "Praise to the Man" and the spirit was powerful and uplifting. the stake president spoke of one time the priesthood sang that song when he was a bishop. They started to sing, but were sort of lame and didn't have energy. he stopped them and said:

If we're going to sing 'Praise to the Man who communed with Jehovah' we need to sing it as if the Priesthood of God has been restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. 

They sang again, this time with vigor. 

I know that Joesph Smith is a prophet of God! 


Elder Judd

Monday, November 17, 2014

"O how you ought to thank your Heavenly King!"

Talofa Family,

My last few days in Indio were good. On Monday we met with Joe again. He really liked church and liked what he read about Joseph Smith in the Restoration pamphlet we gave him. He said:

When I read about the light that Joseph saw when he prayed, I thought about when I first opened the door the night you guys came.  You both just had a bright light with you that I could feel when you came in.

I felt a peace when Joe talked about that. Joe is just really great. 

So you know, I love Twentynine Palms. It's kind of a small town out in the middle of the desert, the far top right corner of the mission. Our boundaries go out to Arizona and the Las Vegas mission. And we cover the small town, Amboy, which the town in the movie Cars was based on. There's a marine base in 29 Palms, which is the main reason why people come live out here. And it's much colder than any area I've been in so far, mostly because we're getting into winter. It will probably snow, people say.

And my new companion is Elder Duffin. He is a really quick thinker and really sincere, and I am really excited to work with him. I feel like we're going to see a lot of miracles together and do good work.

We are working hard to meet everyone the Sister missionaries who were here were working with.  I love serving with Samoan people again.  Great things are going to happen here.


Elder Judd

Monday, November 10, 2014

"Make us thy true under-shepherds; Give us a love that is deep"

Dear Family,

Transfers are this week and I'm leaving. I'll be moving to 29 Palms, on the other side of the desert, and I'll be serving in an English ward and a Samoan branch. And I'll find out this week who my new companion will be. He will be a brand new missionary, so I'm excited! And honestly surprised. I didn't expect to be leaving at all. But I know that the Lord is in charge and knows all things and I am excited to see what great things He has prepared for me. Obviously, He wants me to learn something from Samoan people. 

This week was great. We were blessed to meet Joe, who seemed to come out of nowhere.

Joe was raised Jewish, but had Mormon roommates in college and really likes Mitt Romney. He recently moved into the area. He had a guy, Chris, come to his home to notarize something and Chris is Mormon and reminded Joe a lot of Mitt Romney. They got to talking and Chris invited Joe to meet with missionaries. So we came. And Joe is awesome. The first time we met him he said he had already stopped drinking coffee 2 days earlier because he read online that Mormons don't do that. And he came to church the next morning, 30 minutes early. 

We didn't see Collin all week, but we left a tie hanging from the handle of his front door with a note saying we hoped to see him at church. He didn't have any ties. But then he came to church the next morning, wearing the tie! It was a great little miracle.

We haven't seen Andrew 2 in a long while, and we are praying that he is doing all right. Please pray for him.
We met with Frank and Jane again and they are doing so well. Frank told us that when he was in Utah a few weeks ago he met up with an old friend he hadn't seen in years. He told his friend he had been coming back to church. His friend then gave him a lot of opposition about the church. But after a moment Frank responded:

You know what, I know the Mormon church is good because there is an empty void in my heart that is being filled with love and peace and joy.

As he told us this, I felt that his words were true. I know that Jesus Christ is at the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know it. And I know that God Loves us and that every person can know these things for himself.

I love you all!

Elder Judd


Me and Frank and Jane

Me and Elders' quorum president

Monday, November 3, 2014

"even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you"

Dear family,

Happy Halloween! This week was busy and great. 

We met with Collin again, and he's doing well. He didn't come to church last week because he was sick. but he came this week! And he seemed to really like it. At fast and testimony meeting yesterday there were many young kids who came up to bear their testimonies. They were simple and sincere. And in sunday school we were talking about baptism, and Collin commented:

I liked that kid in sacrament: "Baptism is for a second chance." Bam! That's it.

It was funny and true. Collin is just funny. He has so much goodness in him. 

On Halloween we had to be in our apartments by 6 PM, so we had our weekly planning session for the rest of the night. And a really sweet sister in the ward made us a dessert she said she always makes for the missionaries. Brain! Very realistic and funny. (see below)

We're teaching a couple who are members of the church working to become active and eventually sealed in the temple. It's the same people we met in the far corner of our area a few weeks ago when we felt to go to that area. They are so great. They were gone last week because they took a trip to SLC to visit family they hadn't seen in a long time. They loved the tours on Temple square and recently began reading the Book of Mormon and listened to the audio version as the drove.  I'll call them Jane and Frank.

This week they told us about how they felt in SLC and at church last week. Jane told us that during one video at Temple square, she felt a big "whew" feeling of peace. She didn't know how to describe it fully, but she knew it was good and that it felt good. She felt at peace with everything. Everything was going to be okay.

Frank had a similar experience while in priesthood class at church. While he sat and listened in class, he felt the most powerful and good feeling that he had ever felt in his life. He does many things that make him happy, and been in places where he has felt fellowship and love, but nothing like this. 

I know that the feelings that Jane and Frank felt are from the Holy Ghost, which come to any humble seeker of truth. God speaks to us and comforts us by the Holy Ghost.

We also had interviews with President Van Cott this week. It was great, as always. He gave me direction that I know is inspired of God. Missions go by so fast. I only have 7 months left here. I want to use the time I have to the very fullest.


Elder Judd