Monday, May 20, 2013

they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts.

We are glowing. We are SO happy. This is mission life bliss.

Seriously. Since last Saturday to today it's been a complete 180 for Sister Johnson and I. I love her so much. We've been getting along swimmingly since the start but it was pretty tough that first week. It always is. Missions are hard. They are not what you expect. And I think it was almost too much for Sister Johnson to swallow. But she is incredible. She got to her lowest, close to breaking point and then she went to bed and decided to start fresh  and she's been climbing up everyday since. I'm so thoroughly impressed with all that she's done in the last week and how much her testimony has grown. She speaks up more in lessons, she is persistent in her street contacts, she tries to participate in daily and weekly planning and she is just all around more filled with the light of Christ. I'm just really grateful for Christ in all of this. Because even when I was having a hard time seeing her potential, God did. He softened my heart, inspired me to keep working hard and to be kind. And I know that helped her. And it helped me too. Missions change you. In a moment of weakness I had the thought, did God really mean to say that 19 year old girls could start coming out? But through Christ, anyone can be transformed. You only need a sincere desire to serve, and Christ will be there to lift you up. God knows exactly what He is doing. His work is hastening and He needs all the help He can get. Whomever He calls, He qualifies.

We were joking the other night that she is living proof that the Atonement is real. But it's true. We are nothing without Christ. But with Him, we have the potential to become amazing instruments in His hands.
We had Zone Conference this week and it was as amazing as it always is. I couldn't imagine it being my last Zone Conference with President and Sister Mullen. Maybe it's not. Either way I don't like thinking about it. Last week they spent a few days with Elder Holland. It was a small, intimate group of about 9 or 10 and so they really got to talk with him and have an amazing experience. President Mullen wanted to share everything that Elder Holland would have if he was there with us so he showed us a similar clip from a talk at the MTC.

It was spot on. It hit Sister Johnson and I so hard that it's motivated us completely. It was really similar to his talk in October conference about Peter and "do you love me?" but it was geared more towards missionaries. As all Elder Holland talks do it moved us and inspired us. It gave us a resurgence for the work and it will probably shape the rest of our lives too. We have walked probably more than 25 miles in the last two days. All of Cheney twice! And we didn't have one lesson. It was hard. But we were so happy. We stayed positive because we remembered why we were here. We love God. We love our Savior. This is His work. There is no other time like this in our lives. We must do all we can to serve Him right now.

I feel so grateful this week. I really love Sister Johnson dearly. My heart has been so touched this week as I've watched her really try her best to grow and improve. She bears her testimony with so much feeling. I know she means it. I know she knows it too. Christ has really been there with us this week. She's pushed herself to do better and I know she will be a powerful missionary her whole mission.

We are teaching Leslie, Jake, Porche, and Saud. Not a lot of huge lessons took place, but I know a miracle is coming. We've had too many slow days for a miracle not to take place. That's the cycle in missionary work. We are working diligently and trying our best and the Lord will bless us. What a guy.

Well, I love y'all! Have a great week!

Hermanita Judd

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