Monday, April 16, 2018

Comin at ya live, from the 805

Dear Fam and Friends,

So you know those times when you just wish things could just kind of slow down..? Yeah well it's one of those times!  Finding joy in the journey every single day. It's the little things in life we must treasure, because in the end, the little things will not be so little.

That being said we had a wonderful week. From Zone Conference, to the TEMPLE, to Facebook! The most important of the 3: the Temple. It was such a blessing to find peace in the house of the Lord. It was a wonderful experience that I will cherish forever. I was able to go to the Fresno Temple for the first time so that was a blessing! I know and testify that the temple is where God dwells on earth. It is a place of refuge, comfort, and belonging. As we consistently make a conscious effort to attend the temple regularly, as we learn in D&C 38, we can be endowed with "Power from on high."

Zone Conference was amazing! We were able to be trained by President Nakken. That man can inspire anybody. What a blesing to have such trusted, inspiring, and loving leaders instruct and edify missionaries. 

As I sure some of you already know, we have Facebook!  What a blessing it is to have this amazing TOOL to invite others to come unto Christ. We will be using Faceook for online Proselyting Purposes ONLY. I am able to friend anyone who I know, but am not able to view anyone's posts except members and Investigators in the current area. But please accept my friend request (if you know me) so we can get our messages as wide spread as possible! You can also like and comment on my posts:) But just know that I am NOT able to respond to any comments or likes. And as for facebook messenger we are only allowed to use it with members and Investiagotrs as well. So the one common thread for contact will still be my personal email. You can follow me @Benji Judd.

This past Sunday a young woman gave a talk on virtue. This was her defintion of virtue, which I love: "Virture is a pattern of thought and behavior based on moral standards." She did a wonderful job. Viture is clean, innocent, and pure. Not just that but real, vibrant and alive! Not fake, lustful, or insecure. I know that we must be virtuous at all times in our action, dress, words, and especially our thoughts. We learn in D&C 121:

45 "Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.
46 The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion, and thy scepter an unchanging scepter of righteousness and truth; and thy dominion shall be an everlasting dominion, and without compulsory means it shall flow unto thee forever and ever."

What greater promise is there than that our "Confidnece shall wax strong in the presence of God”? Light = Confidence that stems from Virtue. While Pride = Insecurity that stems from a loss of our true identity.  Growing up I have known many people, girls and boys, who struggled knowing who they are. Let's all try to be little bit more virtuous every day! 

Confidence is quiet, Insecurities are loud.

Love, Elder Judd


Zone Conference
 

Stake Primary Missionary Activity
 





Fresno Temple Trip



Monday, April 9, 2018

100 days

Dear Fam and Friends, 

I hope all is well back in the (801). Because we're comin' at ya live from the (805). This week was great!  Besides the work, the weather has been AMAZING. After all that rain it makes everything so green! God truly did give us a wonderful place to live and I am so grateful.

Well as my subject line states, 100 days is what I got. As I have been reflecting more and more on my mission, and specifically General Conference, I find myself thinking so often about how grateful I am that I belong to the Lord's true and living church.  With that in mind, this only adds to my drive to share this knowledge we have with all of or father's children. It's time to turn up the game sliders even more!

Al and Joan are doing well. They were unable to make it to church though:( But they are still reading every day and are making progress regarding the Word of Wisdom. We set a goal with them to have Sunday be their day OR whenever the coffee runs out. They commited a long time ago that after this one can runs out, they are buying no more! So it's this Sunday or until it runs out, whatever comes first. They both want to be baptized, and understand the "Why" behind all that we teach. That's why FAITH is so crucial. As we show FAITH, we then receive the witness, according to our FAITH, and of course the will and and ways of the Lord. 

Cesar although came to church and is progressing wonderfully! He is such a good guy, who just thirsts after truth. Joseph Smith said that "A man can be saved no faster than he obtains knowledge." I know that this is true.

As seek truth, and "treasure up the words of life" and seek learning "also by faith" we, through the power of the Holy Ghost receive the witness. Which means knowledge. Which then in turn means Salvation. Bruce R. McConckie also said that "God either stands revealed, or remains forever unknown." I know that it's by FAITH that we obtain knowledge .

As I have been serving my mission I am trying to come to know God more.  I pay a price. And I plan on paying this price for time and all eternity. But I know that Lord is the pay master. I didn’t know what the price was before my mission.  And the rewards are 100 fold more than I could ever give. Cast your bread upon the water, and it comes back buttered and toasted.  Why? Because he is our Father in Heaven. He loves us, and wants us to return to him again some day. And because of this, "I stand all amazed". 


Learn 
Live
Love

Love, Elder Judd



Monday, April 2, 2018

My cup runneth over.

Well, my subject line tells it how it is. I could go on and on about why this is the case but I will do you all a favor and shorten it up. ;)

Happy late Easter everyone. I hope you all found joy in 'Beholding Him' this past weekend and will continue to 'Behold Him' every day. I am so grateful for the Atoning Sacrigice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I add my simple and sure testimony to President Uchtdorf's that the most important day to ever occur is when our Savior broke the bands of sin and death. I know He rose again the 3rd day.

I hope you all felt the strong, penetrating, simple and powerful spirit that came from the "Rushing of Revelation". It is a wonderfu time to be alive. There is an excitement in the air here in the field. The Lord is hastening his work, and the next stage of preparation has begun. President Russell M. Nelson is the LEGEND.  He is the man whom the Master has chosen. He was foreordained before the world was to be so. He is a prophet of the Living God and he speaks for Him! 

And I can't forget to give a shout out to my my man, Elder Walkalo of the Seventy! He came it visit our mission as a newly set apart General Authority and he was AMAZING. He is a big Fijian who loves everyone for who they are and you just feel perfect joy when you are in his presence. 

Meekness was an answer to one of my many prayers. And it came through one of his chosen servants. Let us all try and be a little more meek. He taught us that "Meekness is distinguished by righteous responsiveness. Meekness is strong, modest, gracious, and loving. Spiritual receptivity is what sets meekness apart. Meekness comes from desire, agency, and always wanting ton retain a remission of our sins." 

Al, Joan and Lorna were all able to watch conference! We watched it just with Al and Joann for the Saturday morning session. The spirit was so strong, it made Joan cry. People, she never cries!  Please, please pray!

As I approach my last 100 days as a full time missionary the Lord has been so good to me in providing me a sense of guidance, clarity, and direction in moving forward. All I want to do is work, work, work, work, work. And then love, love, love, love, love. The Savior lives. He is coming. And I have been called and set apart to represent him. To say and do the things he he would say and do if he were here, personally ministering to the people here. 

The Book of Mormon is the word of God. There are prophets in the land again. Hoo Rah!

Love, Elder Judd
 




 

Monday, March 26, 2018

Exchanges, chickens, and frogs

Dear Fam and Friends,

Well, we had another wet one here in ATOWN. Haha I don' know if I have ever been abel to say that my whole mission! We're here in farm country and just like I said before, all these old men have been praying for rain. And they are getting it! It's so beautiful. Heavenly Father truly did give us a good one, everything is so green.:) 

It's been so wet that the frogs are even coming out. Haha this past week Elder Cannon and I ran into two diffrent ones! The first was sitting on our PI's door, and the other just on a member's driveway. We had a fun time with the little guys.

We had two exchanges this week with the other Atascadero Elders. On Tuesday I was with Elder Jarman in A1. We had quite the rainy day, filled with puddle jumping and miracles to add the "Splash"! We found 3 SOLID PI's. And set 3 return appointments with them. So that's 3 New in the book, thanks to God above. 
On Saturday I was with Elder Riches in A2. (my area) It was a blast. From now on we are part time chicken hunters🐓...Haha so we were driving a good distance back towards our apartment. Then out of nowhere a member calls us to see if we could go jump over her fence, and rescue her chicken that she had forgot to put back in her pen. And so we were on it! Over the phone she was telling us that we needed to flap our arms like a bird and say "Here chick chick chick chick"and so we did! While it took some diligence we got the job done. #savethechicken

We had a couple of really good lessons with our Investigators this week so that was a blessing. Al and Joan are progressing a lot and are so so close! They know they need to give up coffee and they want to. They just need to take that step. But remember we are "Threshers of the Nation." Meaning it takes time which requires Pateince + Faith. 

In helping them have this desire to give up coffee, get married and be baptized is how General Conference is a miracle sent from heaven. They are seeing the light on prophets and we are praying and are confident that this weekend with be the crack in the heart they need. PLEASE PLEASE PRAY!

In preparation for this weekend I stumbled across these veres in Ether...

28 "And there came prophets in the land again, crying repentance unto them—that they must prepare the way of the Lord or there should come a curse upon the face of the land; yea, even there should be a great famine, in which they should be destroyed if they did not repent.
29 But the people believed not the words of the prophets, but they cast them out; and some of them they cast into pits and left them to perish. And it came to pass that they did all these things according to the commandment of the king, Heth."

Here we learn of a very conscious and consistency all through out the Scriptures. (Especially the BOM) 
1. The people are blessed and prosper exceedingly. 
2. They become prideful in their wealth, then great wickedness and abominations arise before the Lord and amongst the people.
3. Prophets are then sent into the Land to Preach Repentance.
4. In this proccess the Prophets are persecuted, rejected, and even killed. 
5. The Lord send a curse or famine in the land. 
6. The people are compelled to be humble, repent of their evil doings, and turn to the Lord and are blessed. 
7. Repeat:)

I pray that all of you who have not yet will pray earnestly, and in faith,  listen intently to know that President Russel M. Nelson is the Lord’s Prophet on the earth today. You are entitled to this witness. Remember this key principle.  These men speak for God. I know that this is true.

Love, Elder Judd
 
 Atascadero companionships


 Frogs!

 Here chick chick chick!

 

Monday, March 19, 2018

March Madness Mission

Well week 1 of this transfer is in the books already! Elder Cannon (Mr. Muscles) is awesome. He adds a sense of energy and excitement to the work, he's a great fit! Plus I like to eat, and he likes to cook so it works out pretty well.

Well this week flew by. We had 4 at church! Al and Joanne, Nikki and Cesar. They all loved it. We were even able to get Al and Joanne along with Cesar to stay for the Gospel Principles class which was a HUGE blessing. In fact I had even prayed specifically for that. It was a miracle indeed. The lesson was on Prophets in preparation for General Conference. The Spirit was so strong, and it left Al balling. They both are progressing day by day. Joan expressed a concern regarding Joseph Smith and how the Book of Mormon is adding to the bible and about how in the bible it tells us not to do that. We let her know of first the importance of voicing that question. We then left her with a really good cliff hanger to get her ready for next lesson. "Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon" will be the topic of our discussion. We are so ready! 

We also want to do all we can to get as many members there as we can. Members are key to conversion. President Kimball taught how our investigators need to come in a "Unity with the Saints". And I also saw the truthfulness of this message as we found Cesar our New Investigator! He is a 33 year old single guy who lives with his mom. We found him tracting week 6 of last transfer. He is a believer who has been doing some soul searching and wants "more". And he found it. We taught him this past week about Jesus Christ. We were able to do some HTBT and also invite him to church. And he came and stayed for all 3 hours! The Elders quorum did a great job at fellowshipping! 

Anyways, as I have been studying the Book of Mormon daily I have been drawn towards the brother of Jared. Aside from the Savior there is probably not a person in all of Holy Writ who had as much faith as the brother of Jared. This is a great lesson of how we can acquire a blessing from the Lord. 

As we go to the Lord seeking divine intervention he will always require us to act first. He has given us a brain, the ability and COMMANDMENT to "act, and not be acted upon". Faith is a principle of Power. The Lord told the brother of Jared you can't do it this way, you can't do it that way, you shouldn't do it this way, and you shouldn't do it that way etc…but he then put it back on the Brother of Jared. He said “ How would you do it". One of the greatest blessings I have acquired will here serving a full- time mission is the eternal truth that we are the creative source behind our own lives. We are the sons and daughters of a creator. I have a testimony that while we are here in this preparatory state, he expects us to create. To get in condition first as the brother of Jared did (Repentance) and then act, then account to the Lord for the blessing. He first was chastened by the Lord, and then according to his acts the Lord remembered mercy. 

Next week we will be combining both A1 and A2 into one. So that should be really exciting. For the first couple months we split the ward with 2 other Elders so that should be good. I love you all and please remember to do those things from day to day that will have Eternal Consequences. 

Love, Elder Judd
 
 They did it!  The Merrell Family did it!



 My Comp, Mr. Muscles

Monday, March 12, 2018

'Threshers of the Nations'

Well another transfer is in the books and I am staying in the Atascadero 2nd ward for number 2!  Man this whole mission thing really does just keep going faster and faster. 

We sure had an eventful week with finding 3 New Investigators and setting 3 New with a date! Lloyd and Rosey Hall, and then Layla. Rosey and Lloyd are both in their 70's and they actually babysit Layla who is 11. They have had her almost everyday for the last little while now. At the beginning of the transfer we first went to see Lloyd because he was originally a Potential. Anyways, we went by and he was actually in bed sick, just recently diagnosed with cancer. So his wife (Rosey) was the one who answered and well we just flat out hit it off with her right there! We set a return appointment for earlier this week and did some solid HTBT with just her... (Lloyd was in bed and Layla was gone).
   
We emphasized Jesus Christ and his role as the Savior. We were actually able to transition into the Prince of Peace (Technology miracle) which left her crying as we bore testimonies of the reality of his merits, mercy and Grace. We then were able to teach her again with Lloyd and Layla! We taught Baptism and Confirmation…the Spirit was there and we went in with a date in mind. They committed to April 21st! Please pray for Lloyds health and that Rosey and Layla will continue to show an enduring desire. We also invited them to church on Sunday. And they came! It was a wonderful sacrament meeting. Lloyd had a bad night with his health so he had to stay home. But Rosey and Layla said they loved and they are "excited for next week!" The Lord is so good. Total we had 5 at church! Al and Joanna committed to pray to find a day in April to get Baptized! So this Wednesday we will know what they have decided!

My new Companion is Elder Cannon. I heard he is a great Elder! Our whole District got flipped flopped quite a lot. So change is coming and a lot of it:) I am so excited to see what this transfer brings. I have a really really good feeling...

Some thoughts I came across as I read these verses in the Doctrine and Covenants...

12 And there are none that doeth good except those who are ready to receive the fulness of my gospel, which have sent forth unto this generation.13 Wherefore, call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thresh the nations by the power of my Spirit;14 And their arm shall be my arm, and will be their shield and their buckler; and will gird up their loins, and they shall fight manfully for me; and their enemies shall be under their feet; and will let fall the sword in their behalf, and by the fire of mine indignation will preserve them.
The word "Thresh" is what I want to focus on. This means to "Strike Repeatedly"...Which simply means regarding those who we work that we have to deliver the message more than once. Lasting conversion takes time. We are to thresh the people with the Restoration. And as we do we must remember that it takes time. The Lord's time. I want to bear my testimony that we are laying the foundation of a great work, and that out of small things proceedeth that which is good. 
We are "Threshers of the Nations”. 

Love,
Elder Judd
 
 


 

Monday, March 5, 2018

Atascadero...

Dear Family and Friends,

Nothing to much to report this week other than the Church is still true, California loves Donald Trump, and it rained! Like a lot.

To all three of those questions -  haha!

This week we went on 1 exchange this week with the Paso 2nd Ward Elders so that went well. I was able to go to Paso with Elder Deason and it was so much fun. That kid has grown so much and we had a sweet reunion. IT RAINED ALL DAY...And for the last several months everyone has been praying for rain. (Farm Country our here) and well we got it. It was so fun to get out and Proselyte all day. They are on bikes but Elder Deason has a bike that can't ride in the rain so we hit the streets on foot! Dropped a couple BOM's, found about 4 solid PI's, and were able to set about 2 return appointments. And a stop at McDonald's for lunch sure helped. And we capped off the day with a wonderful lesson with one of their Investigators! What a day!

We also had MLC this week again! Such a good meeting. I was given the assignment to give a 15 minutes discussion on "Preparing effective District Meetings."  So either my meetings are Average or they need some serious work. President Nakken enlightened us just as he does every time. The Spirit was so strong. So many stellar missionaries in one room can make for a pretty uplifting couple of hours. We really have been doing all we can as a Leadership to help all of these missionaries see the importance of these 6-9 hours. Especially when it comes to finding and teaching. The Lord has promised us many blessings as we proselyte "Morning AND NIGHT”.   My Companion and I have already seen the fruit. Please pray that we will continue to FIND.

Many of the people we began teaching we have or are going to drop them. Due to lack of commitment, and priority. "Gather out mine elect"...Is what we are here to do. But it makes me sad.

Just another quick shout out to my nephew, Henry!  Little man received his blessing this past Sunday. Well it looks like I have offically been replaced. :)

Love, Elder Judd

p.s.  Mom, the video is for you!