Monday, December 30, 2013

yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.



Hey loves,

Was it not just a beautiful week? I love Christmas. I love it with my whole heart. And boy, do I love being a missionary. Sister LeDoux went home today. And it's been a bit triste for all of us. But it's also been re-energizing for me. Her companion, Sister Gifford, is with us in a trio 'til the end of the transfer and so we're covering the Manito ward and the Spanish work. And we are buuuusy. And I love it. I love being busy and working and teaching and testifying. 

On Tuesday, we had lots of miracles and lots of appointments. We went to visit Mayra, a referral from one of the English members here. She was super nice but not very interested. As we were walking out of the lesson we ran into this guy, Isaac. He's like in his late 20's early 30's and he was super intrigued that we really believed in the whole Joseph Smith idea. And we told him that we help people come closer to Christ and he decided to sit down to hear us out. So we taught the Restoration and testified of Joseph Smith and as we shared the First Vision, it was just so still and sweet. He felt the spirit. It softened his heart and he just wanted more. Wanted to read the Book of Mormon and come to church and do it all. It was a tender mercy I needed. Of course we had to give him away as a referral, but the work of the Lord is the work of the Lord.

I've been feeling so happy lately. I mean, I feel happy pretty much all the time, but I feel endowed with power. I feel like things are finally clicking for me in my studies and in my teaching and finding. In terms of numbers, this is the least "successful" I've been on my mission, but in terms of spiritual strength, I feel like I'm constantly winning. My prayers are meaningful and I love talking to people. I've just determined to be the happiest, most hard-working missionary there ever was. Nothing will get me down. And so I'm rolling with the punches, going with the flow, singing 24/7. I read Alma 37 and 38 today and I could not get enough. The Book of Mormon is just the best. 

I love my Heavenly Father and I really love my Savior. And I love the Holy Ghost. I'm as happy as a clam. No reason not to be. 

I can't think of what else to tell you about this week. Here's some pictures:
I haven't sent very many pictures of Sister Walton and I so this is a little Christmas gallery for you to enjoy ;)







Editor's Note: We think she is the cutest little sister missionary there ever was!!


Monday, December 23, 2013

and he shall redeem all mankind who believe on his name

Hey all you people (*editor's note: for those not familiar, this is a reference to a SpongeBob cartoon--family inside joke),

I just love being a missionary at Christmas. It is just so happy, and SO fun! We have appointments lined up all day Christmas eve and Christmas visiting different less-actives and members and I'm pretty much as excited as it gets. 

And I think I've confirmed my decision to never bring Santa back into the Christmas picture. When it's Christ centered it's filled with love for the Savior and love for family and serving. That's where the Christmas joy comes from. 

I don't have too much time to write right now and I'm not positive when I'll get back on to finish my email but I'll just give you the run-down.

So on Monday we stopped by and visited Adriana randomly and her husband and all her kids were there and we watched the Restoration DVD and invited them to say family prayers every night and it was so sweet. They are the cutest little family and they remind me a lot of Genaro and Claudia from my Moses Lake. Then we had an appointment the next day and it was EVEN better. We sang hymns and read scriptures and watched a mormon message about families and it was like a little testimony to Adriana that these things will unite her family. So happy! But then our next appointment got snowed out and the roads were too bad to drive in so we'll have to wait 'til after Christmas to go back because they are visiting family all week. But I have a good feeling about them. I just love them so.

Juan and Ramon, our miracle church-going boys, came to the English classes this week and love the Book of Mormon and came to church again yesterday. We had a lesson after church and asked them how their reading was going and Ramon says, "Well, I felt the so peaceful as I was reading. That tells me it is true." And we were all smiling and "yaying"! And then Juan says, " I had an experience similar to that too! I just felt a tingle all the way up my arm as I was reading." So we were super excited. Ramon lost his mom in March and he hasn't been to church since but he has so much faith. He is so good-hearted. I know that is why the Lord is helping him recognize truth. We talked a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and he just loves it. They are both 21. I love YSA but I like REAALLY love Spanish-speaking YSA!

We have been praying as a Zone for each companionship individually on a specific day, and it's been filling my heart with so much love for everyone.

It was a really un-focused week for me. Sister Ledoux is going home on Sunday and Christmas and everything just has been putting me in a funk. I got a sweet little letter from Sister Rowe and it has helped me a ton. She made this little bracelet that  says. "Come home in pieces." in morse code? It's been pushing me to work as hard as I can. Somedays I feel like my mission is never going to end (in a good way, I want to stay as long as I can) and then other days I feel like I'm being swallowed up with how fast it is going. 

Anyway, Christmas party is starting soon. Hopefully I'll get back on later.

Love you!
Hermana Em

Monday, December 16, 2013

and doing these things, they did abound in the grace of God.

Howdy loves,

It was such a great week in the Washington Spokane mission. I love this place so, so, so much. I'm absolutely convinced these Washingtonians are the greatest people on the planet. The week before last week it was like beyond freezing. Like 5 degrees every day but this last week it was in the 40's so it was toasty and nice :)

We had interviews with President and Sister Mullen on Tuesday. It was so great. I had a heart to heart with Sister Mullen about the little (and big) things I'm working on right now in my missionary work. I'm trying to be more humble and have less pride. But boy, I've got a lot of pride and I know at least a little has been chiseled off in the last 15 months, but I sure do got a ways to go. She told me just to "act" like the way I want to be. She says, "Maybe you don't feel like being kind but just act kind and God will supply the feeling". She is so right. I can't change my heart, but God can. 

We've been accounting every night to our District leaders about how many people we've talked to and if we are being exactly obedient and things like that and it's been super motivating. I sometimes feel like I'm in a slump that I just can't get out of but I've been really trying more to focus on the work, focus on the people and make every opportunity a good one. I feel like my forte right now is working with our members. We've earned a lot of trust here in this area and I feel the prayers of the members.

There is a young couple that moved here for Dental school from BYU-I that we just love because they are so missionary minded and we went to their house on Monday and then afterwards we asked if they would come upstairs to carol their neighbor who speaks Spanish. They were so on-board and super excited. Members make all the difference! Maria, from Argentina, is now like our BFF :)

We had a grand miracle this week. On Friday, the Manito sisters (whom we live with) gave us a referral for Juan Miguel. He is like early 20s from El Salvador and he's studying here at a community college in Spokane. We called him Saturday evening , and because of our accountings each night, we invited him to come to church on Sunday. And he came! And brought a friend, Ramon! And stayed ALL 3 hours! And they took the bus! And they lives in OUR area. It was the craziest, most awesome thing. Church attendance is probably the hardest thing for our investigators. People always make up excuses to not come but Juan AND Ramon came! We had never even met them or anything. We sat by them during church and everyone came up to introduce themselves and ask us how teaching was going and we just looked at them like, "nope, never taught them. never met them. they just SHOWED up!" needless to say, we will be meeting with them this week. SO great! TONS of potential. miracles for Christmas!

Also, yesterday morning we were calling different people to invite them to church and we called Isabel, who we met this week and we left her a voicemail and I said (in Spanish), "Hola Isabel, we just were calling to invite you to church today. It starts at1 pm at the Indiana building in Spokane. We ask thee, Father...uhh I mean, we ask thee to come. See ya. Bye" I hung up and we died laughing. Believe it or not, she didn't come. you know you are a missionary when...


Here's some pictures:

so, the other day we taught the Bautistas and Sister McCombie came with us (and because she is a saint) she brought the little girl she babysits everyday (yes, she has 6 of her OWN kids!) and the little girl, Leann has this little reindeer and I said, "I HAD that reindeer TOO when I was growing up!" and I had to take a picture 'cause it was just a little bit of home.

Porche's baptism! 

one of her and President McCombie.



more pics: our little christmas tree! aren't the ornaments so cute? a member gave them to us and then another member gave us lights and a star so it's actually a little more decked out and already we've received a few packages to put under there :)

elder wilson is one of the senior missionaries in our spanish branch. he's a hoot. he came to our coordination meeting the other week and brought his shoe shining supplies. love it!

it really was 5 degrees! this is also us listening to the lower lights cd for the umpth time. love it!




Monday, December 9, 2013

Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.

Hey sweets,
 
I love being a missionary. Love it with my whole heart.
 
Things are already looking up. We had more lessons last week then we had TOTAL in our time on the South Hill. But we needed our South Hill transfer. I have a firm testimony of that. But I am SO grateful to cover the West stake area. We are seeing many beautiful miracles.
 
I'll start at the top:
 
Monday: The new transfer didn't officially begin 'til tuesday so our evening was stilll full of South Hill appointments. We had a couple member visits set up and some were a little further out. I knew if we tried people between the lessons we'd probably be late. But I felt impressed to try a less-active, Reyna, that we've been trying like every other day for the last month and a half and WE'VE NEVER had luck with. Satan kept telling me we shouldn't go because it wasn't going to amount to anything and he knows just how much I hate being late but we went anyway. AND she let us right in! And she felt the spirit and wants to come back. It was a small victory. We did end up being late to our next appointment and it was pretty far away and I kept thinking maybe we should just cancel and not waste our miles. That dang Satan again, planting doubts in my mind. But our member visit ended up being the most worthwhile  member visit I've had a on my whole mission. We walked into their house and before we could even sit on the couch he said, "You serve in Cheney, right? Because I've been making a list of people you could visit since I knew you'd be coming over." And then he gave us like 9 names of Spanish speakers in Cheney. Before we even said the opening prayer! I thought I would cry. Another small victory! (not to mention, they were absolutely hands down the cutest family I've ever met, and that's saying a lot because I've met the most adorable "pinterest" families ever one the South Hill) All I know is that if we hadn't had our South Hill transfer, and hadn't received training from President to have more lessons, we would have never had this lesson or received those referrals for Cheney of all places! God is good and the church is true!
 
Tuesday: Our first day to the new transfer! While we were serving in Cheney, I went on exchanges with the Sisters in Airway Heights and we did some service and I met this Hispanic lady, Adriana and got her address so we could pass by and tell her about the English classes. I forgot to ever give her info to the elders, but I remembered her immediately and so she was our first stop. And she let us right in and we sang her a Christmas hymn and taught her about the restoration and she loved it! And her husband works for Brother Christiansen (who is another member from the South Hill that we've become besties with) and so it's just perfect.
 
Wednesday: We taught the Baustistas and sweet, sweet Sister McCombie came with us. And Ernesto told us that the more he reads the Book of Mormon the more he knows there is something good about it. They are so active in their church though that I think it would be a huge sacrifice to be baptized. But God is a God of miracles and I am counting on this one before my mission time is up.
 
Thursday: MLC! My favorite time ever. Sister Haynes is a sister training leader now! My little baby all grown up! (and Sister Gardiner is training! I'm a proud momma!) I do feel like time is going so quickly because most of my missionary friends are home or headed there. And I'm not too far behind. Freaks me out.
 
Friday: LA POSADA! Shoot, I didn't take pictures. Don't hate me. But I'm just now realizing and I'm so bummed. Anyway! It was the best Christmas branch activity of ALL TIME. We should do it in all the wards. So you walk in the chapel and the nativity story was playing along with Mormon Tabernacle singing Christmas hymns and we handed everyone an electric candle and told them to wait to turn it on, and then once the seats were filled (and extra filled because MORE THAN 200 people came!) we started the program and President Condon explained the meaning of "posada" which is like when Mary and Joseph went from inn to inn to inn searching for shelter. Then we instructed everyone to remove their shoes in reverence of the Savior, and turn their candle on and small groups went one at a time to follow Mary and Joseph. And a little guitarist followed them playing acoustic beautiful versions of Silent Night and then at each door, the innkeeper would say "no hay espacio" until finally the inn keeper President Condon opens the door and lets you into the banquet hall to have a feast. It was very sweet and touching and perfect. Low lighting and ahh so great! And little cut pine trees all around!
And we took one home and decorated it and it is beautiful!
 
Wellllll I'm outta time! i'll send pictures next week.
 
I love this gospel. I love my Savior. I love having this time of year to celebrate His sacred birth. I have never felt so much peace and joy in my life.
 
love ya!
 
Hermana Judd

Monday, December 2, 2013

If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me

Hey all you people!

We went fear busting this morning and then we have an appointment at 5:15 tonight and we have not even gone shopping yet so I've got zero time so this email will probably be lame. So sorry!

I'm staying in South Hill/West Stake with Sister Walton. This last transfer flew by, didn't it? I can hardly believe that today is another transfer. And it's the Christmas transfer. You already know how much I love mission Christmastime! 

We had a good week. We are finally meeting people that speak Spanish! And yesterday we had a feeling to stop by some members from an English ward who we thought were probably out of town but we went anyway. They had literally just gotten home! And they were the cutest young married couple ever. The husband served in Chile and he is just so missionary minded. AND he just helped his upstairs neighbor move in and guess where she is from?? ARGENTINA! A Spanish speaker! 

A few weeks back the stake had a returned missionary meeting to reemphasize Elder Ballard's invitation from conference:

"We are simply asking all members to pray, knowing that if every member, young and old, will reach out to just “one” between now and Christmas, millions will feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a wonderful gift to the Savior."

I'm so impressed with how all our members are SO willing to help. I probably love visiting members the most. I mean I LOVE teaching people the gospel, but being in the homes of our sweet members fills me with true joy. 

We are finding a family this week. A family of four that is getting baptized in December. We prayed and prayed and continue to pray and we both feel it. I'm excited. The Lord is good.

In other news, Porche is getting baptized on Saturday. Porche from Cheney. YAY! She wrote me a sweet little letter telling me how grateful she was for all I did. I am filled with joy.

Thanksgiving was great. We had a traditional dinner with President Condon and then we stopped by the Rodriguez and had pork tacos. I love the Rodriguez so much. It always feels like McAllen in their home. And they are actually from Texas, so that is probably why. Lots of happiness around here. We are very happy to stay for Christmas. Miracles are so on their way. 

And so is the snow! Freezing!

Love ya!
Hermana Judd






Monday, November 25, 2013

And now, if the Lord has such great power how is it that he cannot instruct me, that I should build a ship

Hey dears,

It was a good week. The assistants came yesterday to reorganize the boundaries of all the Spanish missionary areas. So now we only cover a portion of the South Hill and all of the West Stake wards. It's a good change. I think that is how it was originally supposed to be but something got lost in translation. I'm incredibly grateful though that we had the time we did on the South Hill because I now know SO much about member missionary work and just being smart about finding. I feel like I'm so much more prepared to cover the area we have now. Or to ever cover an English ward again-but that probably won't happen. But I mean, ya never know.

Jake sent me the best letter ever this last week and I feel like we are living a very similar mission. I just love that Elder Judd so much.

Not much has happened in terms of investigators, but we are seeing little miracles everyday. I tell ya, I just love the people of Spokane. Hands down, there are no greater people. I reeeeaaaaallly love this place. It was exactly where the Lord knew I needed to be. It's like Hey Arnold. Have I ever said that before? We think it all the time. It's just little charming houses, and dreamy city scapes and it's so "Hey Arnold". I serve in "Hey Arnold", so ya know.

We have lots of visits on Thanksgiving. My personal rule is only one dinner appointment, or else we will explode but we are just stopping by to visit different families in the area. Lots of people are inviting non member friends so that is great. 

This is my very favorite time of the year to be a missionary. I remember Sister Tippetts telling me that it is fun all year to be a missionary and that is so true, but the holidays are absolutely the most perfect. Christmas carols and soft hearts and warm fireplaces. OH I love it. 

Here's some pictures to sum up our adventures this week:

Last week, a sister had us over to make candy and sing carols for pday. She makes her own honey and paints watercolor and plays the mandolin. I want to be her. Sister Walton and I agreed it may have been the happiest time of our lives! :) Their family plays like every instrument ever and so we took a picture to be our own little missionary band. This is the life I always want to live :)

Wild TURKEYS! I've never seen anything like this. We were freaking out. So much so that my eyes were closed. eep. But they are all over the place. How crazy!

Elder Cybulski, Elder Whiting and us from last night.  Elder Whiting goes home this week. It's so strange to me. Mission life is so fast. 

Also in other news I sang the harmony part to Come, Come ye Saints in Spanish at a baptism this week and I actually did a good job! I'm trying to learn the alto part for all the Christmas hymns so we will sound like angels as we carol! Who am I?? I never sing the alto part. It's always been a secret desire of my heart. Yay!





Monday, November 18, 2013

Yea, and the most joyous to the soul.

Hey sweet friends of the Earth,

I'm feeling really happy these days. We had Zone Conference this week and it was so wonderful. President Mullen has a great vision for our mission and we all feel it. He wants to double the baptisms for our mission in 14 weeks. And then keep going. We will build and build and build. I know it's possible. I feel it with my whole heart. I don't know how it will get done exactly, but Nephi had never built a ship before either. 

I really want to be Nephi. I've been thinking that every day in my studies lately. He's so obedient to the Lord and so willing to submit to Him. He is patient and kind with his brothers and he doesn't complain when the Lord sends him hard things. 

And I said: Lord, whither shall I go that I may find ore to molten, that I may make atools to construct the ship after the manner which thou hast shown unto me?

So President Mullen wants us to have 20 lessons each week. 3 lessons every day. It's completely possible. I've taught 30+ lessons in a week before. But if we aren't able to teach non-members, then those 20 lessons include members too. We just want to be teaching. We don't have very many people to teach so we've been packing our evenings full of member visits. There are only a few members of the branch that live on the South Hill but we haven't let that deter us. We have worked with the missionaries in the Stake to find out who speaks Spanish in their wards and we've been visiting all the Spanish speaking members in the Stake. It's been so fun. I seriously have loved it so much. There are lots of young husbands in law school at Gonzaga that speak Spanish and we just love them and their sweet families. Maybe it's because we are sisters, or maybe because we are different, but people just LOVE us. I think it has to do with the fact that we are Spanish speaking and so we remind all these Spanish speaking RMs of their missions and they just feel a tender spot in their heart for this Spanish work. We have seen so many blessings from teaching the members. It has made all the difference for me. 

And our sweet Hondurian family, Ernesto and Vilma are so great. Ernesto has high blood pressure and he got pretty sick this week so we weren't able to teach too much but we're headed over there tomorrow and he says he is really looking forward to talking to us. After our FHE lesson last week he said, "Thank you. Your Spanish was perfect but the lesson was even better. Beautiful!" Yay! 

We got a referral from a Peruvian sister, Marisol, in our branch for one of her best friends. We stopped by a few times but she wasn't ever there. But then on Sunday, she was making food for their Peruvian club and Marisol invited us to come. Oh it was delicious. And so productive! It was like visiting all of mom's family is McAllen. Lots of laughing. Spanish, Spanish, Spanish. Oh I loved it. And SHE asked us for our number so we could come and visit her! YAY!

We've been laughing a lot this week and just loving it. We are doing our best and that counts. 

I love this work. I love my Savior. I reeeeeally love my Savior. I am so blessed to serve a mission. It means everything to me. 

Love y'all!

Hermana Em

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

ye shall declare whatsoever thing ye declare in my name, in solemnity of heart, in the spirit of meekness, in all things

Hey y'all!

We went to the temple today. It was so beautiful. I love that place so, so much.

Welp, South Hill is kicking my butt. The Lord just loves us so much, He just has SO much for us to learn. So much patience, and mighty prayer and fasting. It's been the most humbling time of my mission. Soul-stretching, knee-digging humility. But it's been happy. And I know God knows me.

I went to MLC this week and it was incredible. It was a surge for the work and I felt so filled with the Spirit. President Mullen explained a lot about high expectations and how our Father in Heaven wants nothing but the very best for us. It was a little hard to hear because we just aren't seeing anything come to pass on the South Hill. But I also knew it was a way for us to go further, reach higher. At the start of my mission we were teaching so many lessons, seeing so many people enter the waters of baptism and I figured my whole mission would be like that. But it's actually been so different. I know I've given my very best. I've been obedient even when it was hard. And maybe I don't teach a lot, or baptize as many as I hoped, but I'm learning that this is the mission the Lord wants me to have. 

I live in a 4 sister apartment which is SO fun. Sister Ledoux (she's from Cedar Hills and I went to her farewell with Aunt Kristi and family! such a fun coincidence) is like my favorite person ever and the other day I went to bed early. Well I just laid in bed, wallowing a little bit and she sat down beside me and said, "tell me what's going on, Sister Judd" and I just unloaded a little bit, telling her how often Satan is winning with me and making me feel dumb and worthless and she asked me something that's been on my mind ever since. "Sister Judd, what would your easiest mission be?"

For me, Moses, then Othello, then Royal City, then Walla Walla. Or Yacima. Where the hispanics come by the thousands, ten thousands. That would've been easy. I mean not really. It would have had it's own set of struggles. But those struggles weren't the ones the Lord wanted me to learn.

I needed to have this broken heart, this contrite spirit. It's a confirmation of God's love. I got a blessing this week from one of my Zone Leaders, Elder Brodale and he said, "this trial is in no way a reflection of who you are, but of who the Lord knows you can become." 

I've been thinking about all this so much. And I pray every night that I can learn the things the Lord wants me to and that I can change the way He knows I can. 

I want the Atonement to change me. I want it to make me better.

I don't have too much to report except that we got the green light on the spanish work back in Cheney and so we'll be going there more often. Especially because our sweet Hondurian family is ready to hear more. We had FHE with them, the Holloways, and the McCombies last night and I'm excited for a miracle. This one is good. 

I love y'all all to pieces. I love the Gospel. I love my Savior. 

Pray for miracles on the South Hill. Good things are on their way.

Hermana Judd

pictures from mlc. 
sister white, sister ledoux, me and elder cisternas
all the missionaries i go home with. i don't know why they wanted a picture.  
me and the assistants, elder chang, elder cybulski, and elder whiting,
we all were wearing navy and polka dots :) 




extra: i just watched this video and it was incredibly poignant.


i've been thinking that the reason southhill has been so tough, is so that we'd see the bounty of potential in cheney. had we just stayed, we might have missed it. but God wants us there and he wanted us to have absolutely every reason to back and dig it out. i don't think south hill is a wrong turn, but i think it's a way for God to show us that Cheney is a right turn.

anyway, love you. 
i love God.

Monday, November 4, 2013

I would that ye should remember, that God is merciful unto all who believe on his name

Hey pals,
 

South Hill! What a place. We love it and (not so) love it. I mean we do. I think it is the most charming place I've served on my mission and that is saying a lot because Cheney was just a dreamly little place, but South Hill is so urban and so fun. And I even just love the name "South Hill". But the work has been well...not happening. It has been the slowest week of my mission and I've prayed more earnestly to find people than I ever have before. I know we are close. We must be so, so close because the Lord is hastening His work and we are trying so hard! We are doing everything we know. There is a family here. I know it. I KNOW it!
 

The Spanish branch split yesterday. I was fasting that I may have strength to make it through another week of finding and knocking (because knocking doors is my very least favorite way to do missionary work) but we just don't have a lot of options because we only have 4 active members from the branch in our area. And we've visited them all like twice already. So I prayed that God would help us, and me especially because it's just been so stressful. And then sacrament meeting was the most spiritually nourishing meeting of my life. It was kind of like on Trek when we were so hungry that first day and so the dinner we ate that night may have been the best meal there ever was. I just needed to feel the Spirit strongly and the Lord answered me. He knows us all by name. Why wouldn't he answer our prayers? So President McCombie spoke and President Mott from the East stake spoke and it was so inspiring. President McCombie said, "it started with a whisper" And in 2004, the mission president, President Ludlow felt impressed that he should bring Spanish missionaries into Spokane, when there had previously not been any Spanish missionaries in the area. And a few baptisms later, a small group of Spanish speakers started to meet together in conjunction with the Spokane 2nd ward. And then, more people came, and more and more. And the branch began. And now there are enough people in the valley that it is right to make a branch there too, so people don't have to come as far. My heart was so full that the Lord allowed me to be there at that historic moment. Because I love this Spanish branch. I will serve in this branch for most of my mission and these sweet spirits mean so much to me. I was hesitant because I am not the Lord and I don't always have His vision and I didn't know who could be called to serve as the president or anything. But just like in President Monson's talk "See Others AsThey May Become", He knows the potential of these good men. Men that will now grow in their testimonies and get to exercise their priesthood power. I just was so filled with joy when the calls came and we sustained them. Growth in the gospel. That is true joy.

 
We met with a few less-actives this week, and President and Sister Condon are so nice to me. "If anyone can touch their hearts it's Sister Judd." I needed that. I love to know that I am trusted because sometimes I don't trust myself. But I am doing things the Lord's way, paying heed to His still small voice.

 
On Sunday, we had plans to tract this run down part of town that we were certain would have Hispanics but after knocking several doors we realized there was none. But we were in that area for a reason so I said, "let's keep going." And so we did. And one trailer. A Hispanic family! They weren't actually home but all the neighbors pointed to their house. And maybe they are the only Hispanics on that part of town but they matter to God. President Mullen said something really profound this week in his email: "The Lord is not only preparing His children to accept the gospel; but, He knows who they are by name.  Since, He knows them, He can and will guide you to them."

I know that is true. Sister Walton and I prayed the other day and looked at our map and we said, "ok let's pick three streets each and if they match up we will go knock them." And we picked like all the same streets. Lacey and Pacific stood out to us specifically and what do you know! On the corner of Lacey and Pacific was another hispanic family! I keep hoping that God will magically map out the whole area for us so we can go door to door to all the Hispanics and skip all the in-betweens who don't speak Spanish, but I guess that would take the work part out of missionary work. It's character building, to say the least :)
 
President Condon says there are 22,000 hispanics in Spokane and if even 10% joined the church, we could start a Stake. How amazing! It gave me a boost. It's not like in Moses Lake where the Hispanics are everywhere. It's like one house every few blocks. Few and far between. But they are there. I feel so confident and excited. I don't know how or why or when but I know it will happen. I know the Lord is preparing a family. A family!
 
Love you all!
Here's some more pictures from last week and halloween and our trunk or treat.
 
Hermana Judd



Monday, October 28, 2013

And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man;

Queridos amigos,

Life is good. Different and difficult, but good and happy and sweet.

I just never know where to start. Welp, we moved out and moved in on Tuesday. We're living with the Manito sisters in a little apartment and it's fun. The South Hill is like a bitty New York city. Cute brick buildings and crammed apartments and the most picturesque homes with wrap around porches that you've ever seen. And the colors! It's so autumn and so cozy. Yellow leaves EVERYWHERE. We're obsessed. Like can't get over how beautiful it all is. 

We don't have any investigators yet. But we have a lot of potentials we've been trying and the members have given us a few referrals. I've been in little 'ol Cheney for so long, so being in the big city is so strange for me. Lots of Hispanics. Lots of families to meet and teach and baptize! I feel a little in over my head but I have to know that God trusts me. And I trust God. 

I know He shuffled us out of Cheney with miracles brimming from our pockets so that we'd remember him when the going gets tough. And I bottled up all the happiness I could from last week and Saturday so that I could take some extra sips now and again when I really need it. And there was so MUCH happiness on Saturday I could die.

I'll tell you right now that the baptism for Chris on Saturday was easily the most beautiful baptism there ever was. The spirit was just so strong. He was glowing. He was SO happy. We walked in and waved us down and he just had a grin plastered to his face that never left. He asked that Bishop baptize him and I think it was a really tender experience for Bishop because he was around the same age when he got baptized himself. He said the whole day was like dejavu. Oh so sweet. The service was simple and perfect. Of all the baptisms I've had a part in planning, this one meant the most to me. I wanted every detail to be special. When Chris stood in the font, my heart could have exploded with joy. He came out of the water, still smiling! And Virginia. She was ecstatic. I don't think anyone in the ward ever realized there was a happiness like this. So many of us were moved to tears because the spirit was so profound. And then Chris stood and bore his testimony and he told of his conversion experience and how he knows the church is true, he knows Joseph Smith was a prophet, and he knows that this is exactly where the Lord wants him to be. I am forever grateful the Lord let me teach him. The Elders in Cheney even took him to a lesson to teach with them that evening! We're all pointing him to a mission. To the temple! What joy!

And Anthony's baptism was right after. Also sweet. Also happy. Anthony was so grateful and just so energized. The gift of the Holy Ghost will be such a big blessing in his life. What a miracle. From the beginning to where he is now. What a huge miracle.

These things give me hope. I know there is a great work to be done here on the South Hill. We have 13 missionaries covering the Spanish branch now. How crazy is that. It's exciting for the whole ward. I'm just thrilled to be a part of it. It all feels historic. It feels like miracles are just right beyond our fingertips.

I just gotta stretch.


Love you!
Hermana Judd




Monday, October 21, 2013

and they are encircled about with the matchless bounty of his love; yea, and we have been instruments in his hands of doing this great and marvelous work

My sweet, sweet family and friends,
If you really want a sincere understanding of how I'm feeling y'all ought to read Alma 26. I've never been so happy in my whole life. This has been the sweetest, most joyful, most beautiful week of my mission. Actually of my life. The joy of the gospel is so deep and filling, my heart could burst. Joy to the roots of my hair. Love, gospel, My Savior Jesus Christ. I'm so thrilled to be here. I'm so grateful to my Heavenly Father.

Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men?

Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

First, on Tuesday evening, we sat down with Chris and we asked him how it went when he talked to his friend Nick. Nick had a few arguments against the idea but in the end, he was supportive and he was accepting. And that was what Chris needed. He said he could hardly sleep the next night and he kept thinking over and over about being baptized and then he said the sweetest thing I'll always remember. I think I'm ready to be baptized. And without missing a beat I looked at him and asked, Will you prepare yourself to be baptized on October 26th?
And he said yes!
I've been on a spiritual high ever since. I'm like about to cry even thinking about all the blessings the Lord has bestowed on us this week. Since then, Chris has taken off. He's SO thrilled to be baptized this Saturday and so are we. Because this isn't just a blessing for him. He will be active all his life. He will preside in righteousness as a priesthood leader in his home. He will be married in the temple for time and all eternity. This has been the most rewarding teaching experience of my mission. I feel so much gratitude to my Father in Heaven that He let me be a part of it all. But truly it's the Spirit. It's always the Spirit. I'm just an instrument and I'm so blessed to see it unfold. We invited Chris to stand up and bear his testimony in sacrament meeting yesterday so that the ward would see and hear him and want to attend his baptism and it was so simple and sweet. I know God is pushing me to be here and to be baptized. Last night there was another baptism in our stake and so Chris and Virginia came to see it. It was beautiful and perfect and the warmest, softest spirit filled the whole room. Chris was just grinning the whole time. Afterwards we walked him through how his service will go and I have just never felt so happy in my whole life. This is the very happiest time ever. And I'm a happy person. I physically feel like my heart will overflow because this is such a sweet time.
But this is not all. The miracles poured down from heaven this week. We went on exchanges with the Cheney 2nd sisters on Fridayand Sister Kunkel came with me to blessed 'lil Cheney YSA. We had full day of appointments and nothing fell through or anything but we had a open time between 6:30 and 7:30 and none of the people we had planned to see were home. So we stopped the car and said a prayer. We wanted to be where the Lord needed us. This girl we had met on campus came into my mind. I knew it probably wasn't a good time but I decided to follow the prompting anyway. As we drove to see her we passed another house of potentials and the lights were on so we stopped. They weren't interested but I knew just a couple houses down Christina might be home. Christina is a less-active we met on campus a few months back when Sister Gardiner was here. The fact that we ever ran into her was a miracle in and of itself and the first time we talked she said "yeah i used to go to church with my family all the time and I would really love to go back" so we got her address and phone number and for the last 3 months we've gone by to visit her like 4 times a week. No success. We always catch her roommates. It was getting to the point where I felt a little silly always stopping by. But I went anyway. And Christina answered. It was clear to see that she had been crying. She let us right in and we just told her we stopped by because God knows her and loves her. She needed that so bad. And then (because we've received TONS of great trainings on using "how to begin teaching" in every situation including less-active visits) I asked her what her experience with the church was.

"My dad was raised in the church and my mom got baptized and they were married in the temple. We went every Sunday when I was little and I loved going but we stopped going when I was around 6 or so."
My heart might have stopped.
"Christina, were you ever baptized?"
"No, but I always wanted to be."
Like WHAT??? You're NOT a less-active?? So we invited her to be baptized. And within in the first five minutes of our lesson she was on-date for November 16th. Then she scooted her chair closer to us and we taught the restoration. The spirit was so strong. It was so beautiful. After Sister Kunkel taught the First Vision we asked Christina who Joseph Smith saw in the grove and she just wept into her hands, "He saw Him." It was easily the most serene moment of my mission. She was so grateful saying over and over, "I needed this. I want this so bad. I have wanted this for so long." We took her on a church tour the next morning and it was like coming home. She was so happy to be at the church. She told us, "I can just tell this is the beginning to a beautiful journey." AMEN! And she also told us that her dad is a man that never cries but when she called him after our lesson on Friday evening and told him that she was going to be baptized, he wept. I am so touched. She has waited 16 years to return to the safety of the Gospel and to be back home with her Heavenly Father. I have never been so grateful for the gospel in my life. She came to church on Sunday and she was glowing. She was so happy. I'm so happy. It's the most amazing thing. The Lord knows each of His children. He wants them all back home!
And we have another new investigator named Erica who has been dating a member for 6 years and she comes to church everySunday. She's already met with missionaries before and she is in Helaman in the Book of Mormon and she knows it's good, but she has a lot of family pressure. I think the baptisms this Saturday will help so much. And another boy named John who has a best friend on a mission and has been coming to church and activities most of his youth. There are several more people that are just plopping on our plate. It really is an incredible and exciting time in our ward. The elders have been teaching Anthony and he is also getting baptized on Saturday. We're having two baptisms! How crazy.
We have had a feeling for the last 3 weeks that we were getting swept out because that would be best for the Spanish work and even though I'm sad that I won't get to continue teaching all these precious souls, I feel so peaceful. SO happy. I've been praying for whoever would be coming in that they would be responsible and obedient and hard working and I will just say now, the Lord does LOVE His missionaries. He always answers prayers. The first thing I asked when we got our transfer calls and I heard that Sister Walton and I would now be covering all the Spanish work on the South Hill was who would be sweeping in. Elder Brodale and his little trainee. It's the new zone leader area. (For the past two transfers President Mullen has been putting zone leaders with newbies so that we could train the newbies up right! :) I think it's a brilliant idea ) I could not have been any happier. Elder Brodale is SO hard working, and loving and obedient. Peace came to my heart. I feel so excited. And I feel so pleased. I've worked so hard. I have LOVED Cheney with my whole heart. I've given it everything. We have kept the area book updated and things are planned for the baptism this Saturday. I know this ward is in good hands.


And let's not even begin with how excited we are to be doing ONLY Spanish work. ALL the time. My little heart. The joy is too much! And we will get to go to the baptism this Saturday so it's all great. The work is hastening. There is no better time to be a missionary.

I love my Savior. I LOVE my Savior.
Love y'all!
Hermana Em


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

never look back. look ahead at what we still have to do.


Dearest loves,
Fall was made for Cheney. Or Cheney was made for fall. Either way, it is the most glorious place to be on the face of the Earth. Our walk to campus everyday is lined with burning golden, and orange and red trees. And there is this BRIGHT red crimson bush all over campus that is just delicious. Heaven!

Well, Chris is the best person ever. He knows the church is true and he wants to be baptized! He was a little nervous to set a date just because this has all happened so fast for him but we are meeting tonight and I'm pretty sure he'll be baptized on the 26th. I can't stop smiling because I just love it so much. He loved conference, loved the idea of a prophet and eternal families. We had dinner at Bishop Tait's home with Virginia and Chris and the spirit was so strong. He really recognizes it's a good thing. We asked him if the spirit had prompted him to do anything during the lesson and he said, "yeah. i need to talk to my friend Nick." Because when Chris was 16, he wasn't attending any church, but his friend Nick brought him into a Christian church. Chris has been nervous to talk to Nick because they recently had another friend start dating a Mormon girl and then get baptized, and Nick wasn't too happy. Chris knows he needs to let Nick know how he feels and that it's true. Nick will probably send their youth pastor with some anti but I feel confident that Chris will hold true. He is a true miracle. And he is going to get married in the temple and raise a family in the gospel and I could not be more thrilled. He came to church on Sunday and everything said just hit right on his circumstances. He told us it was really insightful.

Keisa told us last night that the first time we walked up to her she just felt something. Usually, she would try and hurry to get in her car if she saw missionaries approaching, but she felt good about us. And she always feels that way when we are with her. She knows it is a good thing, but she still doesn't understand a lot. But I know that she is prepared. She has good fellowship. Rickia has been calling her and texting her and Whitney invited her over for dinner. It will be a little slower with her but she is moving.

We didn't find any new investigators this week and it's been a struggle for me. This whole transfer has just been hard on me. I have felt inadequate and unprepared. I know that is Satan, working against me, but I have been battling to stay positive and continue to work hard, even though my outward results don't always reflect my effort. We are having a ward fast tomorrow that we may find more people to teach. Because the ward is so great and we are trying our best. We really need some divine intervention.

We had the Latin American festival on Saturday and it was so, so, so fun. I just wanted to stay there forever. I love the Hispanics. I love the Spanish branch and their hard work. They had a show and then dinner and it was all so great. Lots of mariachi and dancing. I was loving it.And SO MANY non-members came. There were more than 200 people there and more than half were non-members. This was the first year putting it on and so I know in a few years, it will be giant. Our Hondurian family, Ernesto and Vilma came. It was like the Luau from the District dvds. SO cool. And then on Sunday we had a graduation for all our English class students because they finished the first level. They were all dressed so nice and all the husbands got up and spoke a few words to say thanks. It was beyond precious. They were all so happy and proud that they were learning and growing. Ernesto even said, "I know that the Holy Spirit is helping me to learn and speak English." Ahh! So great.

We went over to Ernesto and Vilma's house a few times this week to do our language study. They are the best. There hearts are being softened to accept the gospel. And they love us! "Mi casa es su casa!" nos dijo Ernesto. 

We had an assignment from President Mullen to set up a jam-packed evening with members for Friday. The schedule 
went as follows:

5:00 – 6:15 – Dinner with a member and a non-member in the member’s home with a lesson afterward
6:30 – 7:00 – a lesson with an investigator with a member present (preferably in the member’s home)
7:00 – 7:30 – another lesson with an investigator with a member present (preferably in the member’s home)
7:30 – 8:30 – 2-4 visits to the homes of less actives or prospective elders to share a spiritual message and extend an invitation, accompanied by a member of the Bishopric, Elders Quorum Presidency, High Priest Group Leadership or Relief Society Presidency.
8:30 – 8:45 – 1 member visit to share a spiritual message and help with missionary efforts

We don't have very many investigators so we set up 4 less-active visits instead and then dinner with Chris and the whole evening was perfect! We had received training from the assistants on how to work with members and I feel like it will revolutionize my whole mission. We saw a lot of miracles working with our members and ward council. If I was supposed to learn one thing as a missionary it would be to a great member-misisonary when I come home. My whole perspective has completely changed on how I want to be when I come back. I will always be working to invite people to come closer to Christ!


We find out transfers on Sunday. Our feeling is that we are staying in Cheney but instead of doing the YSA we will just focus on Spanish. We don't know for sure but that has been the vibe we've been getting from President Mullen and McCombie. I'm not sure how I feel. I LOVE the YSA. I am serious when I say I could finish my mission here. I really love it. But I know that the Spanish work needs more push and I would be happy to focus just on that. It would also make me really sad because I've worked my tail off in the YSA and I just hope that whoever would sweep in would be a hard worker. Quien sabe! 


Not a lot of pictures. just some to give you an idea of the festival!





Kay love y'all! byeee

Monday, October 7, 2013

And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.


Dearest loves,

My third and (maybe last) conference on my mission! Can you believe it? So, so good. It's so much like Christmas around the mission that we listen to all our favorite Christmas hymns the whole week before just to get us EVEN more excited. And the prophet and apostles never fail us. It is always perfect.
So we have a new investigator! It's a miracle. It really is. It always is. Like the first week Sister Gardiner was here the Elders gave us this referral for this girl named Keisa from Venezuela. They only had her phone number to give us so we tried and tried AND TRIED and TRIED. To no avail. Never answered. THEN like two weeks ago we were stopping by to see a potential investigator and we walk down the steps and this girl comes out of her car. Lo and behold! Keisa! from Venezuela! It was no coincidence. It was perfect because we were handing our fliers to a Latin American festival we are having this weekend and so we had an instant connection. We set up a church tour. Couldn't make it. Then we set up another. Had to cancel. So THEN last Saturday after the Relief Society broadcast, we were sitting in our car just trying to figure out where to go and so we decided to pray. And then after the prayer, we both had the same thought: KEISA! So we stop by and she lets us right in. She opens up to us and tells us about her brother passing away this last year and how she has a lot of faith that God is there. We testified of the Plan of Salvation and she loved it. So we FINALLY took her on a church tour on Monday and she loved it. She loved how simple it all was and how she felt the spirit. We saw her a few other times and she came to conference yesterday! We didn't get to talk to her too much but she seemed to like it. She's on the track team with our Relief Society President and that helps a lot. I have the strongest testimony in member fellowship. If you don't have members to help you and be their friends, you can forget about it.

Also, Chris came to conference. He had TONS of questions written down and he took lots of notes. He really liked it. And in a lesson this week we asked him if he knew Joseph Smith was a prophet and he said, "yeah, I'm really starting to believe it." YAY! Could conference not have been more perfect?? There were so many testimonies about Joseph Smith and modern day revelation. Chris just really liked all of it. And he looked so sharp. Virginia (his member girlfriend) must have taken him shopping for some more church clothes. I mean last week he came in black pants and a striped button up and he looked totally fine but yesterday he was wearing a white shirt with a tie. I could just picture him as a little Priesthood holding husband someday! Oh, the church is true!
We also had Sisters Conference. It was the best ever. Like always. We have like 90+ sisters in the mission. I couldn't even believe it. It was SO fun to see all my little trainees. It was a little strange to see all the sisters I worked with and loved come together like two worlds colliding (All my other companions have now gone home. YIKES!) Seeing Sister Gardiner was the best. I really love that girl and miss her a lot. The theme was "Happiness is the design of our existence." So true! It was really powerful and motivating. Sister Mullen told us at the start that her desire was that we would walk out different woman, changed forever. I really do have a deeper motivation now to be even more happy and serve my Father.
So much happened this week and this is just touching on it. Anthony also watched conference, and he is temporarily living with some boys from our ward, so that is good.
Pray for the work in Cheney to keep moving forward. I want to find more people to teach. More Hispanics and prepared souls! I hope you all take Elder Ballard's challenge to invite one friend to hear the gospel before Christmas.

LOVE you!
Hermana Judd

pictures:
sisters and elders at MLC. some of my fave friends are going home at the end of this transfer. I can't even believe it. mission life is SO fast.
all my baby girls! sister walton, sister gardiner, sister haynes, and sister johnson.
sister walton and i outside of the temple. fall is glorious in washington. i looooove it.