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