Tuesday, August 27, 2013

my soul shall be joyful in the Lord


There really are no words to describe the week I've had. So that's the best I've got.
I'd be happy to report on just one major miracle from the last three days but I've got like 28. I don't know what it was but the Lord just poured it on heavy this week. People are flying out of the woodwork. It is a thrill to be a missionary. I've been smiling myself to sleep the past three nights and to top it off we got to go to the temple today so I'm just in heaven!
Where to start? Seriously? Sister Gardiner and I's biggest dilemma this last week has been how can we even describe to our families the goodness that is God and being a missionary?? I'll do my best. You'll have to read her blog too to see if I missed any details.
Saturday. Typical college town Cheney Saturday. As in there is no one here. Everyone bails for the weekends and summer classes just ended so there has been literally NO ONE. But the Lord is merciful and His plan is always orchestrated beautifully. Our original plans for the day were shifted a little so that in the VERY MOMENT He needed us on Elm street, there we were just a walking. And across the street was our soon to be best friend, Anthony, just a walking himself.
So we cross the street. People can't dodge us. We live to talk to people. But what do you know? Anthony has this wide grin spread across his face.
"Whadya got for me?" he says. "You got pamphlets or something for me?"
Which we thought meant that he wanted us to speed up our spiel so he could get on with his walk. Wrong. He really wanted it. Wanted to hear our message. So we ask him about his religious background. His grandfather and his dad are both ministers but he doesn't have a church in Cheney.
"I'm looking for a home." he says. Cool. Church starts at 11. We give church tours. We have activities on Monday nights. Institute on Wednesday. He can't come to church this Sunday because he is helping a friend move in Spokane. But he's all for the rest of it."Can you please just take my contact info?" he begs us. The day before he saw the Elders riding their bikes and he was saying to himself, "keep coming straight, keep coming straight." because he WANTED TO TALK TO THEM. But they turn. And then we show up the next day. Hallelujah! And we set up a tour for Monday at 6. He's thrilled. WE literally scream the moment he is out of our sight and sound. SO COOL.

we'll pause that story right there.

Sunday. Typical Sunday. Most of our investigators were working or out of town so nobody comes to church. But we had set up a church tour for 6 pm earlier in the week with another street contact, Ronald. He plays for Eastern football. He's a former investigator who denies ever meeting with the missionaries so I didn't really think he had a lot of promise. But we call and he's still on for the tour. The miracle happens when he invites His friend, Kendrick (also from the football team) to come along. And what are those sweet words out of Kendrick's mouth the moment he enters our church building?
"I'm looking for a home." My new favorite phrase!
Ronald and Kendrick love the tour. LOVE IT. Kendrick practically bears his own testimony at the Sacrament table. SO sweet. And after the tour when we taught about Joseph Smith he just nodded his head and smiled. After we explained the first vision we ask him who Joseph Smith saw in the grove that day. He smiles, breathes in deeply and says, "Wow. Oh my gosh. He saw God and Jesus Christ." He knew it was true. He loved the promise in the Book of Mormon. Oh he loved it. He and Ronald both accept baptism no problem. All set for September 28th!
So are you keeping up? I'm not even close to being done.
After this miracle church tour we randomly stop to check up on a less-active,Vaughn, who always dodges us. But he lets us in. We watch "Lifting Burdens" He asks us about how someone can really be forgiven if they can't even remember all their sins? So I tell him the story of the Prodigal son. And we bear testimony over and over of God's love. I share Isaiah 53:3-5 and invite him to start praying everyday and then he looks right at me and says, "If you say one more word I'm going to start crying. Everything you've said tonight has been so powerful. I can't even believe it. I swear I'm gonna cry if you keep talking." He looks and both me and Sister Gardiner and tells us what a powerful duo we make and how we just really know how to bring the Spirit. It was the compliment I've really needed lately. Probably needed to hear that my whole mission so it's been really boosting me.

I'll quickly tell you that after all this we had a crazy storm Sunday night where all the power went out and we found 5 more miraculous people because of it. God is good and the Church is true!
Are you ready for part 2 of the Anthony story?
So yesterday our church tour. We probably couldn't breathe all day we were THAT EXCITED. On p-days 6 o' clock is here in NO time. But yesterday it was taking FOREVER. I have never felt so anxious for a lesson before. I'm usually pretty calm and collected but I just knew it was the day that would change my mission and change Anthony's life. Oh sweetness. He walks in and we ask him why he wanted to come? "I knew I didn't miss my bus for a reason. God put you in my path and I know it was not a coincidence." So the tour was incredible. We invite him to come to church. "Absolutely." We ask him if he has a few minutes to hear the restoration lesson. "I've got all day." We ask him to read the Book of Mormon and pray "I don't need to read it to know it's true. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Just look at the fruit of his labors." We invite him to be baptized on September 28th. "I want to get baptized. I will prepare for that day." We ask him when he can meet us next. "I've got all week." So we set up another lesson for today. We are meeting him today and probably the next day and the next day and the next and oh my heck I'm just SO HAPPY! He's the most prepared person I've ever met. And he's in grad school and he is the best ever. WE scream like every 20 minutes about it because we are just so grateful and blessed that the Lord lets us teach him. We ask him to pray at the end of the lesson. He tells us he likes to have a real conversation with God when he prays. "Lord, I just think it's funny that two minutes before I met these lovely missionaries I had asked you to help me find a church, to find my home. So thank you. As I continue to act in my faith, bless me to know that this is good. This is right." Amen. AMEN!
So keep him in your prayers. Joel is chugging along. We still love him with all our heart but it might not be his time. The Lord knows.
In other news, Enya has been feeding our spirits this week.
Love y'all. I LOVE being a missionary. I know this is so true. Going to the temple today just strengthened my desire for an eternal family and to help others unite their families as well! You can't get this kind of happy anywhere else. I love it.
con todo el amor en mi corazon,
Hermana Judd

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