I should probably tell you all about my wonderful investigators. I came to Moses Lake at just the perfect time! We have 8 people on date for baptism! Isn't that awesome!? First is Ana and Walter. Ana is from McAllen! I knew it even before she told me. She just seemed like she was from the valley. I was super excited to talk to her about it and tell her about my grandparents. She speaks perfect english but Walter doesn't so we teach in Spanish for them. They are the IDEAL investigators. They really wanted a change in their lives and want to be converted to the gospel of Christ. They always pray and read to find things out for themselves. They have incredible faith and strong testimonies. Walter is so kind and thoughtful and he really wants this to be a permanent and wonderful change in his life. They were supposed to get married last week but they couldn't get a wedding license because Walter doesn't have the right ID. So we are praying that they can figure it out and get their license this week and if they do they will get married this Saturday and possibly even baptized that day too! It is super exciting. They will always be faithful members.
Then Virginia and Arturo. They are an older, married couple. Virginia is rock solid. She has a great testimony and understanding about everything. She is so committed and ready to make this step and she is getting baptized this Saturday too! Arturo is planning on getting baptized too but he still seems a little hesitant. We have talked to him about prayer and faith and we are hoping that he can commit to this step.
Claudia, Jonathan and Genaro are awesome. So Claudia is the mom and Genaro is the dad. They have four kids. Anthony is 13 and he was baptized two weeks ago! He is preparing to receive the priesthood pretty soon. We are super excited for him. Jonathan is 9 and yesterday he had a little part in the primary program singing the song, "I will go, I will do!" It was so cute. I loved it so much. Claudia and Genaro aren't married and that is what is holding them back from getting baptized. We are working to help them move towards that step but Claudia has so much faith and hope. She is so good-hearted. Love them so much!
We have really good luck with Spanish speaking investigators. We only have one investigator for our English ward and we are going to work and pray really hard to find someone this week. I know there is a family waiting to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ and have it change their lives!
So yesterday was the Primary Program in our Spanish branch and it was SO precious. All the boys had matching red ties and the girls had matching red flowers. They looked so cute. Most of the leaders in the branch are converts so they didn't grow up in primary so I think they worked SO hard to learn the songs together and put on the cutest little program. I love my Spanish branch! A lot of returned missionaries who speak Spanish get called to be in this branch to work and build it up. I love all the little efforts of everyone here.
After church we went to visit a family that we had met the previous Sunday. Only the mom was there and she was locked out. We talked for a few minutes and then she said, "ok, I have a question for you...What is the Book of Mormon?" It was a spiritual goldmine for a missionary! I opened up the Book of Mormon and talked to her about how it's a record of Jesus Christ visiting the people of America. Like the bible, it contains the words of God revealed to His prophets. We shared our favorite scriptures and explained how reading this book brought us closer to God and increased our faith. She was excited and said, "I am going to read it!" Then I asked her if she prayed to know it was true, and if she received an answer, would she be baptized? Part of the training of the new missionaries is that I take the lead in a lot of the lessons and all the invites. It can be a little daunting, but you just feel the spirit so strong that I have to ask her! We don't like to beat around the bush as missionaries. We are called to be servants to bring others unto Christ. This is His work and His glory and we try to take it seriously! She didn't initially accept but she wants us to keep coming. She wants her family to have a good influence of Christ in their lives. I am so excited! Our next appointment is tomorrow!
Well, my companion is the traveling sister so that means she coordinates the exchanges between the sisters in our area. Which is awesome and scary because we do exchanges nearly every week. Which means one of us switches spots with a different sister in a different companionship. For this first one, I stayed in Moses Lake and Hermana Hicks went to Warden. I was SO nervous because now I was in charge of the area and our investigators! But thankfully, Hermana Hicks switched with Hermana Sanchez, who was the last sister here before me. So she knew the area and all our investigators. Not to mention, her spanish is perfect. So the day went great and it was cool to see missionary work with a new companion. Lots to learn from everyone around me! We are doing another exchange tomorrow and I'm going to Leavenworth! I'm excited!
Sister Hicks is the best! We are super similar and it's really great because she always understands what I'm going through. She will encourage me and tell me of how things went for her. She's so funny too. Seriously, we are always laughing and joking. It makes hard days easier. When we have door after door shut on us, and it seems like nobody wants to hear about Christ or listen to us, it can be pretty rough. A lot harder than I thought actually. I'm surprised how hard this mission has already been. Being on this side of the fence of missionary work is just so different than I ever imagined. My perspective is so unique. I could never have imagined the things I would feel and learn as a missionary. You think you know and then you get out here and it's crazy. Crazy good and crazy bad. But I love it. I'm learning to enjoy each moment and love the people I serve.
I've still got quite a few more mountains to climb before I come home.
Well, that's all I can think of now.
Keep sending letters! I love them so much. Everyone always knows just what to say. I love you all! At the end of the day, I love being a missionary and serving the Lord. His tender mercies are endless!
P.S. Here is Sister Judd's address for the next 2-3 months if you'd like to drop her a line!
Hermana Emily Michele Judd
562 Young Rd. NE
Moses Lake, WA 98837
P.P.S. I don't mean to brag, oh wait... I always mean to brag, but she sent me my own little personal email about sisterly things and it made my day! I love that short little girl so much and I'm so glad we get to hear about her adventures each week! If you have any suggestions of some uplifting music to send her, please send them my way!