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.