Monday, March 31, 2014

and my immortal spirit may join the choirs above in singing the praises of a just god.

Editors note: This is Sister Judd's last email from her mission! She's had wonderful, life changing experiences over the last 18 months, and we're so grateful for all of your support and encouragement for our missionary. She'll be home on Monday, April 7th. We're so excited!  We'd like to invite you all to her homecoming talk
on Sunday, April 13 at 9am at the LDS Church Building in Melissa. Take HWY 75 North to Exit 46. Turn right, and drive down less than half a mile to the building on the right. 

Welp friends, this is it!

I had lots of pictures to send home but wouldn't you know it, I left my camera at my apartment. Guess you'll have to wait a week to see 'em!

Here's the week in a jiff:
Wednesday was my 18 months! I've served the full course and some extra! I saw that Hermana Brown in Honduras made pancakes to celebrate, so I convinced Sister Taylor to do the same. She's a champ! 

I went on exchanges with Sister Riley in Ponderosa and I RODE A BIKE for the first time on my mission. It was actually really awesome. I just felt so missionary-like. I mean, I served a full 18 months and even sent my bike home before I rode one. How crazy is that?

We continue to meet the most amazing members of all time. I am always touched by how good and faithful the saints are!

Ramon and Miguel went to the temple to do proxy baptisms for the first time and I got permission to go too. Oh, it was joyous. Just JOYOUS! I love those boys. And my partner in crime, Sister Walton. Love that girl with all my heart. She assures me that they are on their way to missions themselves. Does it get happier than that??

I had an epiphany the other morning as I knelt by my bed to say my morning prayers. I have worked so hard on my mission and the fruit I think that should come, often doesn't. I've learned not to get discouraged but just to trust God that I am enough. That I am who He needs me to be. In my first interview with President Mullen my very first day in Spokane, Washington, I told him that I was a happy person and that I tried to stay positive. He told me I was in good company because that is how he and Sister Mullen try to treat life. And then he shared a scripture with me that has quietly carried me through my mission. He told me that even when mission life was tough and it was hard to stay positive that I remember this scripture:

33 Wherefore, be not aweary in bwell-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work. And out of csmall things proceedeth that which is great.
 34 Behold, the Lord arequireth the bheart and a cwilling mind; and the willing and dobedient shall eeat the good of the land of Zion in these last days.
I have remembered it. I've loved it so often. But as I prayed this week, I realized that President didn't just randomly choose this scripture because it's a great missionary scripture. It's sustained me so often because this is my mission. He must've known that I'd often need the assuring voice of my Father in Heaven that my work is well-done. And that I need not get weary though things hardly turn out the way I have hoped or expected. I've been obedient and willing and I've given my heart. And I know that is enough. And He trusts me. Out of small little, Hermanita Judd He lets good things come forth. I shall ever rejoice for the privilege of being a missionary and a daughter and a sister. It's been the honor of my life.

I love my Heavenly King and I will always love His work. I simply will not let that change. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. 

My hair is longer. That might be the only recognizable difference. But oh if you could see the remodel inside. I'm different and I'm dedicated. And I'm here to stay.

Love you SO, SO MUCH!

Hermana Judd

Monday, March 24, 2014

and those who died in the faith of Christ are happy

Hey loves,

No time to write. (trying to figure out my class schedule. yikes) 

We had a wonderful week. Elder Christoffel Golden came to visit to reorganize a stake and we got to have a surprise visit with him. It was incredible. Like amazing and beautiful and (maybe even better than when Elder Anderson came?!) He is from South Africa so he just had like a magical "once upon a time" voice and he said such inspired things. AND I got to see Hermana Walton and I basically cried I was so happy to see that baby girl. 

The sun is out and Spring has officially started.

I know that I'm officially the worst at writing missionary emails ever but whadya expect???

Good news is: I've been so consistent at writing in my journal that all these final weeks are recorded with love. 

peace out my friends!

Hermana Judd

Monday, March 17, 2014

thus they went out of the world rejoicing

Hey cuties,

Another short email because i've got other fish to fry during this time but here are the highlights:

ROSA C. has and always will be my favorite person in Spokane Valley. Remember her? Hilarious less-active from Uruguay. Oh, I adore her. Anyway, last year she was hardly moving. But now she is on FIRE! She has been coming to church and making major changes in her life. She is so faithful! She has two adopted sons and she gave them the "ok!" to get baptized this week.

We brought President Lopez with us to one of our lessons and it was perfect. The Elders visit Rosa too and they assigned the boys, Gaje (sounds like gauge) and Shane, to memorize a scripture this week. They are pretty rambunctious boys and Rosa has been hesitating to let them get baptized because she was still working on her testimony and because she isn't sure if they know enough. But then president Lopez promised her that the Holy Ghost would help them, and as she continues to grow and share her testimony with the boys, they will learn to repent and change. Then sweet little 10 year old Gaje pipes up and says, "yeah just like it says in the Book of Mormon on page 116." and we just look at him bewildered. 

what does it say?

"and the father said: repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son."

I think my heart stopped. The spirit swooped in and hit me hard in the chest. He's 10! And he hit it on the head! I was speechless. The first time in a lesson that I actually teared up. Rosa teared up too because the moment was just so perfect. Then we put them on-date for April 12th. I wanted to campaign for the 5th of April but that's conference weekend and it would be better for April 12th. It was dejavu to when Sister Hicks went home and she missed the Avila's baptism by one week. But it's not about me. And i'm happy anyway.

We have appointments set up this week with all my former investigators from last year! The Salazar family, Gloria C., Daniel M., and Marta G. I'm hoping their hearts are softened and they are more prepared this time around.

Life is good. Strange and SO fast, but good. 

We went to Winco on Saturday night just for the sake of proselyting. We went in and perused and shopped and bought stuff but we went in on a secret mission to find Hispanics. It was fun. I just love being a missionary and talking to people that i'm not sure I'll ever stop. I remember thinking once in Cheney, "if only i could enroll in some classes and make some friends with my classmates and then invite them to learn about the gospel!" And then it dawned on me that that is what members are for. I know my badge gives me courage but i'm really trying to motivate my future self to talk to everybody still and find opportunities to invite even strangers! If the missionaries deserve it and if i can help it, I will always have a referral for them.

Anyway, love y'all lots.

Hermana Judd

Monday, March 10, 2014

and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them

Hey friends of the earth,

Life in the valley is sweet. There are just so many hispanics! I'm always surprised by how different I feel about the work here now compared to last year. Life is just funny, ya know?

We had tons of trainings this week. Sister Gardiner is a sister training leader now. I was beyond happy to see her at MLC this week. Such a happy reunion. That girl rocks. 

I can't think of any thing super consequential to write about. 

This is so lame, I know! But I really can't think of anything else to say.

Here's some pictures. 

Wilsons and the Spanish missionaries our last week together

Sister Walton, and our roomies, Sister Gifford and Sister Burgoyne

Spanish missionaries at MLC.

My baby girls at MLC 

Monday, March 3, 2014

For I know the plans I have for you they are plans for good to give you a future and a hope

Howdy y'all!

It's both strange and awesome to be back in the Valley. It's all about perspective, ya know? The first time I came here to the Valley, I had come from Moses Lake (the land of Promise) and I just didn't see it in the Valley. I loved the work and the people, and I always stayed positive, but it was the refiner's fire for me the first time 'round. Now I'm here again and I feel like a kid in a candy store. The work is alive. There are SO many hispanics and potential. I'm just so excited for all the miracles and blessings in store this transfer. I will forever praise my Heavenly King for letting me come back. I've been so teary eyed lately. Everything chokes me up. God is good and the church is true.

I prayed this week to know what God would have of me these last few weeks. He just wants me to give my heart. Give all of myself to the people and the area and the sisters in this zone. Sister Taylor prayed that she'd have a companion that would push her and help her improve her spanish. So that's what I'm gonna do. Because of Sister Sanchez, I've always been good about speaking my language with my companions. I'm not perfect, but I've always tried. I think that is one of the main reasons why God called me back here. And because I also know every hispanic in the Valley. Well, a ton at least. I feel like That's So Raven because we'll be walking around a neighborhood and then I'll suddenly have a memory flash through my mind and say, "here! there are hispanics here!" I don't know how I keep remembering all these different people but hopefully we'll meet some people whose hearts' have been softened in the last year.

Sister Taylor is adorable. Seriously, so cute and so loving. She loves the people she serves and she loves all the sisters. She's already been a great example to me. I miss Hermana Walton terribly though. We were just so similar and we served so long together. It's strange not to have my little buddy around. 

I love coming back to see the growth and change in this area and the people. There is the new branch here and it's a true miracle to me. Seeing how much has happened in the last year is a testament to me that this IS God's work. 

I don't have so much to say because it's been a VERY snowy week and we've stayed indoors a lot because it wasn't safe to drive. bleh. I just want to work and work and work. Being indoors drives me nuts. 

I love this gospel. I love the lessons I've learned on my mission. It's so personal and so individual and I just love the mission God has given me. 

Hermana Judd