Monday, September 30, 2013

King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

Hey Good People,
Yesterday may have been the strangest day of my mission, or actually of my life. I'm really not sure how to say this or what exactly to say so I can preserve the integrity of all involved but I'll keep it simple. You can ask me in 6 months for the details. No doubt, I'll have them engrained in my brain forever.
Anthony drank a little (or probably a lot) of alcohol late Saturday evening and came to church in an unstately condition. It was mortifying. I've never really had any drunk uncles but I can imagine he was acting something like that. No dancing on tables or anything but there was a lot of "amen" and "absolutely!" yelled after every testimony. And he clapped. And shouted for joy. And he stood at the pulpit for what may have felt like 3 hours, bearing his "testimony" as well. He invited the whole congregation to his baptism on October 12th but sadly, that won't be happening any time soon. And then as soon as the closing prayer finished he leaned over and asked Sister Walton on a date. I died inside no less than 12 times yesterday.
Bishop had a good discussion with us afterwards to reassure us that we were doing a good job, that even though we may have the spirit to help us discern, we can't read minds. It's ok that we didn't see this one coming.
If I had written this email to you on Saturday afternoon I would've said, "Anthony is doing great! Been coming to institute, volunteered at our LDS booth on campus, reading the scriptures everyday. We can't wait for his baptism!" So you must understand how this really was the VERY last thing I ever expected to happen. I'm still in shock. I'm completely heart broken. It just all came crashing, shattering, viciously down yesterday. And I'm not saying this was the end forever, because I believe with my whole heart in the healing and cleansing power of the Atonement and I know with certainty that Anthony will be baptized. Absolutely he knows it is true and He wants to take that step. But the fact of the matter is that we can't teach him anymore. We have to give him to the Elders. And it's sad. It's the right thing to do, no doubt. But my heart aches.
Conversion to the gospel of our Savior, Jesus Christ doesn't mean we go through the motions. It means we literally change our lives so that our heart can be a home to Him.

I've never had a more concrete testimony of the Word of Wisdom, that is for certain. And also, it the comforting power of our Savior. All while I was frantically watching this unfold, I also felt the spirit. There were moments in church yesterday, when the words from a testimony or the doctrine taught in the lessons just hit my heart, and amidst the turmoil I was experiencing, I felt so much warmth from the spirit.
We were sad for a moment also thinking about how Chris is now our only investigator but then we felt assured that this means God is opening up more space in our week for us to find the elect. And, thank heavens for Chris. Because he is a true miracle and I am so grateful to teach him. He really is so, SO great and I have a lot of confidence in God. We haven't taught him the Word of Wisdom yet but he already told us he is giving up alcohol and coffee. On his own. 'Cause he wants to. That's a tender mercy.
On another note, we ate dinner with Arnoldo and Guadalupe this week and it was so great. They made us Sopes and they were just so honored to have us in their "humble" home as Arnoldo kept saying. I love them. I love the hispanic people SO much.
And I went on exchanges to West Terrace with Sister Lundberg and everything from the weather, to the trailer parks we visited, to the dinner we ate reminded me of my hometown, Moses Lake. And I needed that. God knew I needed that sweet reminder of my favorite place and that tender beginning of my mission. It was a note from Him to me, letting me know that He knows me, He loves me, and He WANTS me to be happy.
We have MLC AND Sisters Conference with Sister Mullen AND General conference this week so I know that there will be several more epistles sent right to my heart, straight from my Father and Heaven and I'm so looking forward to it.

I know Satan had a big hand in yesterday, but I also know it's part of God's plan and maybe right now I can't see the bigger picture, but I know He always has something better in store.
He's so good at surprising me.
Someday Sister Walton and I will pass each other on campus at BYU and we'll hug and cry and then laugh and LAUGH and LAUGH about how insanely crazy yesterday was. Nuts, I tell ya.

I love Fall, I love pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, I love the Gospel, I LOVE my Savior and I love this great work. It fills my whole soul. Joy to the roots of my Hair.

Also, I did find my wallet. Well, some saint turned it into the Police Department. Not one penny was missing. And they gave it to me in an evidence bag which is the coolest thing ever. I guess it's God's humorous way of giving me a miracle I wanted, since clearly, Anthony won't be happening for me.
Hermana Judd

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