Monday, January 8, 2018

Elder Renlund!

Hello Everyone!

Hope all is well and that the New Year resolutions are off to a great start. Sorry for the short one today but we are low on time. 

Elder Renlund of the quorum of the 12 apostles came to visit our mission! And what an amazing experience that was. That makes 3 apostles in 17 months. Such a blessing to hear something from one who is a "Special Witness" of the Lord Jesus Christ. His testimony is still ringing in my ears and heart. We were also able to hear about our beloved prophet who passed away. The priesthood is still has the keys necessary to hasten the work of salvation. 

We picked up a new Investigator named Emma who is 15!  She has been coming to church for several weeks but was unable to be taught due to her mom, who refused to sign permission that enabled her to be taught. But with hard work, prayer, and the grace of God she gave permission for her Emma to be taught! We taught her the Restoration on Saturday and it was so good. The Young Woman are so solid in this ward and are so good at fellowshipping. Please pray for her mom that as we continue to meet that her heart will continue to soften. We will be going thru her mother to hopefully meet with her. 

God lives and he loves his children. Through the merits, mercy and Grace of his divine son that love is manifested. Jesus Christ lives. And he is coming!

Love, Elder Judd 

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

Happy 2018 everyone!

Man 2017 was the fastest year of my life. Chock full of experiences and memories that I will choose to remember for the rest of my life. It's crazy to think that this is the year that I will finish my mission. Definitely something I will take to heart as I buckle down and run to the tape these last 200 days! We had a great dinner with a member family, then we had to be in our apartment due to New years Eve. We stayed up until midnight (in my dream) and celebrated:) 

We taught 4 of our Investigators this week - one of them being a single, middle aged man named Matt Holm. He also has come to church twice already! This past Friday we taught Baptism by reading 2 Nephi 31 with some solid HTBT. We emphasized what it meant to "fulfill all righteousness". The spirit was so strong so we invited him and he accepted! Matt committed to be baptized on January 27th. Wahoo! Aren't you just smiling as you are reading this?😄

As the new year approaches this scripture has been weighing heavily on me....
Doctrine and Covenants 88:67... And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things.

I'm not going to ask you all to set a bunch of goals that will help you change or even be better. Or create this miraculous vision of where you want to be a year from now. Although all of that would be great! But rather I will just invite you to ponder this. The eyes are a symbol of one's ability to seek, understand, and focus on the things of God. Our eyes are an appendage of our heart. Which is the center of ones attitudes and desires. Therefore a good gauge for one to determine where his or her heart is would be to pay attention to his or her ability to understand the "mysteries of God". (Alma 12:9) Otherwise known as Personal Revelation etc.. This life all about a quest for light. At the end of each do you may ask your self...(In a figurative sense) "Has the image of God been illuminated into my countenance?" Meaning as we "engrave" that image...We must also seek to illuminate. As you do so I promise you that others will notice (although that's not our motive), they will be attracted and drawn to your because of the light that you carry. Which is nothing short of the light of Christ. Let 2018 be a year where Light is Illuminated. As we submit to the will of the Lord in all things, live the lives the Lord expects us to live, and master the principle of daily Repentance. I promise that with this light will also come a Joy. A Joy that is unlike all else. 

I love you all...

Elder Judd


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

"Looks Like he dropped his whole load! "

"Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal...and a happy New Year!"...2 famous quotes from 1 one of my all time favorite people, and one of my all time favorite Christmas movies!

I hope you all have had a wonderful Christmas celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. This just may have been one of my favorite Christmas's so far although I am sick🤔...But that's okay😁...Thousand Oaks is awesome! It actually is a little cooler than I imagined but luckily Santa brought me an awesome sweater! Elder Kopaunik is my new comp and he is from Sandy, UT. He is great! We actually came out together so that makes 2 in a row, with Elder Reeves!

The work here is great we have 5 investigators but I actually only have met 1 of them but that 1 came to church! Sacrament meeting was great. We had so many wonderful talks given on the Savior and what he makes possible for all of us. The spirit was so strong!

This past Friday we had our Chistmas Zone conference which was AMAZING!  It was all centered on the Savior, OF COURSE. We also had about 7 musical numbers. I was able to perform a Joy to the world/Christmas song mash up with Elder Seui, Elder Iongi, and Elder Anitoni. And yes they are all Islanders! We're all like Brothers.  2 Samoans, 1 Tongan, and then 1 white boy...our name was the "3 for 1 deal"...Elder Anitoni was on the guitar and he was so good!

As I have gone throughout the month of December I have really focused my study on the life of the Savior. In doing so I have taken President Nelson's challenge upon myself. To study his name under the topical guide. I have been both reading and marking every single scripture under "Jesus Christ ". As I have embarked on this constant study of the Savior this scripture keeps on coming to my mind. It is on John 4: 34 "Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.”  The Savior's desire to do the will of the father in all things took priority over all else. Even when he was at the early age of 12 years old he was about his “ ather's business"...Forsaking his mother and Father to do the will of his Heavenly Father.

As the new year approaches let us all try a little harder to have our hearts centered on doing all "those things that please him". (John 8:29) And it is my testimony that our Savior pleased our Father perfectly. The Savior as not just called, but chosen!

I want to bear my testimony of the birth of Jesus Christ. That he was indeed born of a young virgin named Mary, who was also visited by an angel and told she was to bear a child. In the city of David, in a town called Bethlehem this child was born. I know that this transcendent event was a fulfillment of prophecy that had been testing the faith of many believers. I know that the he lived a life in which there was no flaw. 
He established a church, taught the higher law, performed miracles, Atoned for the Sins of all mankind, was crucified, and at last was resurrected the 3rd day.  And through all of this he "he suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them."

I know that as we come to know him our ability to become as he is will increase.

I close with my testimony thay "Be therefore Perfect" is no plea or Invitation. But a commandment. With that in mind in the words of Elder Holland, “Let us become so...Eventually." 

"A thrill of Hope, dreary world rejoices"

Love, Elderr Judd 

P.S. I have the best family in the world. Just in case you all didn't know:)

Can't wait to talk to you all today!

Monday, December 18, 2017

I'm getting transferred and I'm so sad.

Well, week 6 capped and transfer 13 is under way! I have been in Camarillo or 4 1/2 month and I will not make it 6.  My heart is broken, but I am doing my best.

I am so sad to leave all of these wonderful people. Especially the Merrells. My love for this family I cannot put into words. We were so blessed to set her with a date for the 13th of January. We were so excited when she decided to set that goal. PMG teaches us that "Goals reflect the desired of our hearts, and give us a vision of what we can accomplish." I am so excited to come back and witness the baptism of both Stan and Carrie. 

In my study of Kind Benjamins sermon specially in Mosiah 2 he teaches so much about service. And you can tell just how much he loves his people. A leader seeks to inspire and uplift, rather than seeking to impress and get gain. He had an obligation to teach his people. Realizing that his end is near and that the couldn’t bear for the blood of his people to come upon his head. And his motive was Love. 

This Christmas season I invite you all to "take it upon yourself" and do all you can to serve. And #Lighttheworld with the person whom we call master, Jesus Christ the Son of God. The Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. He does not expect us to do what we can't. Only what we can. By small and simple things we can make a big difference. 

I will be going to Thousand Oaks with Elder Kopanik. I have never served with him but we came out together! So it should be a blast. 

133 West Avenida De Los Arboles #212
Thousand Oaks, California 91360

Christmas is here people! Merry Christmas!

Love, Elder Judd


Monday, December 11, 2017

Baptism by water, baptism by fire, fire!

Hello Everyone!

Well if this isn't a week to remember in the GCVM, then I don't know what is. 

To start things off we had a fire in Ventura! And then about 5 more started…It was really hard on the people here.  Hundreds of thousands of acres were burned along with hundreds of homes destroyed. All residents in Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, Filmore and Carpinteria were all evacuated. The Oxnard building which is mission headquarters has been flooded with all kinds of donations. There have been about 45 missionaries that have been unable to work like they’re used to all of this week, and we have been able to host a couple of them. 

Members and non-members have really stepped up. It is such a testimony builder. I know that God will provide. And this all just happens to occur during the #LighttheWorld initiative. This will and already has, provided a wonderful opportunity for these people to turn outwards and think of others. I know that we all to at least some degree are compelled to be humble in preparation to receive what the Lord would have us receive. My love for these people, and the missionaries has grown so much in the past week. God works his works no matter what. And they are ALWAYS for our benefit. All that is left to us is to trust.

The week finished off so amazing, with the baptism of Keith Merrell! Once again, my joy is full!  His Baptism was the best service I have ever been a part of. There were 100+ people there and the Spirit was so strong, and so piercing. The whole Deacons and Teachers quorums were there to support. And many of them participated in the program. It truly was a wonderful experience that I will remember forever.

Brother and Sister Merrell are doing great. They both want it so bad! We are so proud of them both, and they have come so far. Hopefully the first week in January will be the week! I have truly come to love and feel for this family in ways that I have never loved, or felt for anyone before. 

In John 9, the the Savior heals a blind man. His disciples questioned whether it was him or his parents who had sinned. And the Savior's answer is so profound..."Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents; but that the works of God should be made manifest in him...I must work the works of him that sent me." God had a plan all along, to glorify his name, and his Son's...For us to experience his infinite Goodness in all things. In vs. 25 we now know that this man now has a testimony of Jesus Christ. Which came because of his trial. And he was unshaken, independent of all else.

Two chapters later, in John 11 Christ raises Lazarus from the dead. Why? Why did 4 days go by? "Why weren't you here earlier?" Martha and Marry questioning these things...Why? Again the Master Teaches us..."But for the glory of God, that the son of God might be glorified thereby." By working this miracle Christ showed the people that HE is the RESURECTION and the LIFE. And vs 42..."That they may believe that thou hast sent me." 

I bear my testimony that the Lord wants us to believe in him.  I know that God has a plan, and his plan his perfect. It's sad to see what the fire has done, but now is the time. Now is the time this Christmas season to be bold and fearless because we adore him.

The Church is still true and forever will it be.

Love, Elder Judd 


 The quorums supporting Keith!
 The Merrell Family



Monday, November 27, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello fam!

How was your Thanksgiving? Well we ate some turkey, played some football, found some more Investigators, ate some more turkey, and played some more football…what a week! 

We had two exchanges this week as well. I was able to go with Elder Seui, and Elder Morgan both again. It was so much fun. I look up to both of them so much. And they are both like my brothers on the mission. Elder Reeves and his companion were able to tract into 2 new Investigators! And it turns out that they are both formers. Both Devout Catholic so that is awesome. We have a return appointment with them this Saturday. 

And the Merrells are doing great:) We taught them again this week and they came to church and stayed for all 3 hours. They are reading/praying every day, and are finding askers to questions along the way. Man don't those last 2 sentences just make you smile?!  The church Is true!

Every single day I have been spending the majority of my time in Jacob 5. Just really breaking down Jacob's Allegory of the Olive tree. Many prophets and apostles have stated that this is the "Greatest Parable taught in all of Holy writ…and there is a promise given to all who heed a conscious study of it's teachings." To the "honest seekers of truth" the holy ghost can make manifest the truth of all things. And I bear you my testimony that this is true. Because I have experienced it. I have become an agent unto myself. My testimony has become written on the "fleshy tables" of my heart. Independent, and engrained. 

I love vs...70-72 in Jacob 5. Taking about the Lord and servant of the Vinyard. The Lord being God, and the servant being the prophets. In this case us...I bear my testimony that we all have been commanded to "Go to, and labor." For the "Last time…"

I know of him who is coming, coming to save one and all. So we must be ready when he gives the call. Jesus Christ is the Savior and redeemer of the world. And he is coming back for his own. So I ask you...Will your banner be clear?
I challenge you to make it easy for him. 

I love this Gospel.

Love, Elder Judd

 The Merrill Family!

Monday, November 20, 2017

A grateful heart is a humble heart

Dear Family and Friends, 

Just another solid week in the Greatest mission in the world! I am so grateful for the chance to especially express my gratitude this month. Although it's been a daily thing! I am grateful for my family.  They are an unfailing example of Faith, Charity, and Love. I am grateful for the blessing I have to serve a mission. The opportunity to represent our Savior for these 2 years. 

And to transition, I am grateful for elect families like the Merrells:)  We taught them once this past Tuesday and Friday.  We covered Obedience, Word of Wisdom, and prayer with Scripture Study. Man it was solid. They all saw the "Lord's Law of Health" thing coming, they said. Stan and Carrie both drink coffee but that's okay! They have been trying to quit for a long time. But as we taught the "Why" behind the "What" that was when the spirit was really able to testify to there hearts. And we talked about then how we can use prayer and Scripture Study to help:)

I am confident when I say that they will find the strength to obey this commandment. And I pray that they will then RECOGNIZE his hand as they do so.

In Mathew 15 the Lord feeds the 4000...verse 15 talks about how he first "gave thanks" THEN they were fed. 
Think of this imagery. The savior and Redeemer of the world called upon his father and "gave thanks". THEN the miracle was wrought. The Savior himself acknowledged the Father in ALL things. As we so the same we to can have the Faith to bring to pass miracles in our own lives.

As we live in Sincere Humility our Heart will be changed to a grateful one. And as we acknowledge God's hand in our every day lives. He is in the details. That means be grateful for the little things.

Learn Grattitude
Live Grattitude

Love, Elder Judd 

P.S. Turkey bowl this week;)