Tuesday, November 7, 2017

First week with a phone!

Well another great week in the California Ventura mission. Week 6 is in the books and next transfer has officially begun. 

Sadly, I will be saying goodbye to the one and only Elder Hales…but that kid has served a wonderful mission and has changed lives every where he has served. He will be missed dearly but all is well! My new companion is Elder Reeves from the Pennsylvania. We actually came out together and slept in the same room together the first night in the mission! 

Well we had another fabulous week to cap things off. The Merrel family came to church again and also stayed for the 3 hour block! The word is in love with them and that is exactly what we want:) Brother Merrel actually used to work with a few members in the ward so that is cool and will also help with fellowship. 
We were unable to meet with them this week though because brother Merrell had to go out of town last minute, but hopefully we will be able to teach them twice this week:)

 The highlight of the week is when I was able to go to the temple this past Saturday. Elder Morgan and I  we're able to attend the temple with the first recent convert we taught and baptized the second transfer of our missions together. Tita  Lawrence received her endowment. And we were able to witness it. In two weeks she will fly to Denmark there to be sealed to her husband for time and all of eternity who passed away a year before her baptism 13 months ago. It was one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission. And I will remember it forever. To describe what the Gospel of Jesus Christ has done to this woman's life is impossible. She is an example of Faith, Endurance, and light. I love her. 

I bear testimony that the temple is a place we can go to find refuge. And literally gain spirtialy power that will then enable us to conquer weaknesses, and become the people that God would have us become. 

God lives, and we can draw closer to him as we abide in his home.

Love, Elder Judd


Monday, October 30, 2017

Hastening the work with a smart phone

We had a record book week! The Merrel family came to church for the first time, and stayed for all 3 hours and loved it! The Ward was all on board, and they were so excited. And what was even better that the Gospel essentials class was on the Family Proclamation....WHAT!?!? It was so good. They even signed up to feed us, and committed to church next week:) Ann was able to make it as well, so that is 3 at church. And we also have a dinner appointment tonight with a LA family that we have been trying to get with for eons! We are so excited to see how it goes...

We got asked to teach a Seminary class this morning that started at 6 a.m.!  The lesson was centered all on 2 Nephi 31. It was so good, and fun to interact with those kids.

Exciting news...We have MLC this week which is where the Leadership in the mission gets together and has like a 6 hour meeting. Anyways that is where we as leadership will be setting up our phones! So by this Thursday I will be working with my own smart phone everywhere I go:) And so I will also be emailing with it every P-day so that will be awesome.

Anyways, out of time so I want you all to know that there is a God in Heaven who is in the details of our lives! There is a  quote by Albert Einstein and it is this: "God doesn't roll the dice." It is simple I know, but yet true and uplifting. Prayers are answered, and God works through his children if his children let him. I know that faith must not be contingent upon outcomes. 

I love you all, and Moroni is on the ball.

Love, Elder Judd


Monday, October 23, 2017

We must cleanse the inner vessel first

Hi Kids!

Crazy week this week…first off we caught a possum in the church parking Lot. This one was alive and very lost. His dad was probably just run over by a car:(...Sad day.

We taught our family again and picked up the wife as a new Investigator - wahooooooo! It was soooooo good. We taught the Restoration again and emphasized eternal families.  The spirit was so strong, and they have a 13 year old kid who is the heatr and soul of the family. 

We taught Ann again and taught Alma 32 and got that woman in the scriptures. We had the lesson in President Blickenstaff's home and it was soooooo good too! The point is, you can never go wrong with that chapter.

I have been enjoying my time here so much in Camarillo. And I love my comp! Mission life is the best life that there is. 

I'll close by testifying that the families who do missionary work do 3 things:

1. Family Scripture Study
2. Family Prayer 
3. Family Home Evening.

I hope all the families reading this follow the Prophet. Just do your BEST (meaning make it happen) to establish this pattern in your homes. I want to thank my parents for doing so. And also apologize for fighting it:/

We must cleanse the inner vessel first. "Serve the Lord" in your homes, by following the counsel of his servants. As a missionary you get really good at discerning whether or not families "Serve the Lord" in their homes. By kneeling in Prayer every day, studying the scriptures for at least a few minutes a day, and then holding Family Home evening weekly.

Stress is the sum of mis-placed priorities. 

2 Nephi 25:26

Love, Elder Judd


Monday, October 16, 2017

Bounce Back Week

Had a "Bounce Back" week.

Man I love being a missionary so so much!  Have I said that a lot the last 15 months? Don't think I have said it enough.

Man changes are coming to this work because the Lord is hastening it!

We found a new Investigator named Keith and he is 13. Time for the youth to step up!  His Dad is LA so that is even better:) Hopefully we can get them both!  We also found some rockin' Potentials who are ALL families sooo "What What!”

Faith finds those forever families people. I am so excited to see what's in store for us this week.

Elder Hales and I kinda had a little motivational outburst in the middle of this past week and just decided we need to step it up. So we then "Step" and the Savior "lifts" as we exercise our faith, and hold ourselves accountable.

Technology coming soon! Here we go:) They trusts us so much, the more we recognize that the better we will be. We will be able to keep in contact with friends and fam with Social media so that is new. So many changes but in the words of our President we need to "embrace it".

Anyways the church is still (and forever will be) true, tell your friends. God knows you. Read the Book of Mormon. Every. Day. Tell your friends that as well.

Love, Elder Judd

Monday, October 9, 2017

I am grateful for prayer

Hi everyone!

Had kind of a slow week actually, haha! Missions certainly aren't all peachy-keen-daddy-o 100% of the time but some times the Lord I think just does that to keep us on our toes. To keep us humble and always looking to him. Especially when times like these come.

Unfortunately we have been having to drop a couple of our Investigators, including Fred & Becky. And then Sarah and Peter Dustin. And they are both families too :(  We have had very little time to work in our area due to some of the changes in our mission with technology. As Zone Leaders we have been running around a lot helping all the other missionaries in our Zone. And we have been spending a lot of time on our Zone theme. We have scheduled a lot of sit down with all the companionship's to follow up on the goals they have set. We learn in PMG that when "Performance is measured Performance improves." We are doing all we can to make the "Limitless Camarillo Zone" a PMG Zone.

I am grateful for Prayer. And I testify that it is indeed the Pattern the Lord has given us to communicate with him both morning and night. That will then provide an environment that will enable us to receive personal revelation more frequently in our lives. As we kneel humbly before our Heavenly Father and offer up the desires of our hearts. And account to him all that we desire to accomplish that day, I know that our footsteps indeed will be guided, but only if we're moving.

I know God does listen and then answers our prayers. According to our Faith. Which is contingent upon our ability to act on the answer he will give us.

I love you all...God bless.

Love, Elder Judd

 Yes, these are all mine.

I love these guys.

Monday, October 2, 2017

General Conference

Dear People,

Man what a great week indeed. My new companion is Elder Hales and he’s amazing, and we are off and running. He is a little farm boy from "Spanish Fark Utah.”

I hope you all loved General Conference as much as me!:)

"Live in such a way that God can work through you." - John C. Pingree Jr.  I loved that quote.

Let us all be a clean channel who God can use to bring to pass his eternal purposes! And keep in mind that to be a channel means to be trusted. And as we go forth with faith we can "Look unto him in every thought, doubt not, fear not."

Proverbs 3:27

Love, Elder Judd

p.s.  Thank you for the pictures from grandpa’s funeral.  It was hard to not be with you, but I know he is happy where he is. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Faith + Hope

Hey Hey!

Had a great one this week…a lot better from last week anyways! I know that the Lord is mindful of his servants, and knows them perfectly. The Lord blesses us sometimes in ways we don't see, or aren’t "immediate". We need to combine Faith + Hope so we can trust Him.

We were so blessed to receive some "Golden Referrals" from a family and from head quarters! So make sure and tune in next week:)

We had a lesson with Sarah and Peter Dustin this week so that was amazing. We hadn't met with them for a couple weeks but we were able to fix that:) We brought our WML so that helped ton. We taught the Restoration and emphasized Eternal Families. They have 2 cute little girls so it was so wonderful. The Spirit was strong especially as blessings were promised, and as testimonies were born.

I love being a missionary. I love the Book of Mormon . I love God.

Love, Elder Judd

p.s. Transfers coming up...Pray that we stay together and I stay in Cam!

Friday, September 15, 2017

'Full Technology Mission'

Dear fam,

We’re late because of our awesome week!

Had an awesome week this week...I have been on an absolute Spiritual High!

We had an awesome chance to have a fireside with Alex Boye in Ventura. He told his conversion story and sang a couple of songs. The dude is funny, and kinda weird. But it was wonderful missionary experience.

 I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost. Ran into some people this week who REALLY didn't like us. One guy even called me a "Pretty boy"...(My brother Parker is probably like yeah, he right).  So we ran into 2 pretty sticky situations when it comes to people bashing with us.  I know every situation is different and we are to act as we feel so inspired to.  The first experience came on exchanges with Elder Powell. We tracked into a family where the mother and father right away started to argue and say a lot of nasty things regarding Joseph Smith and the church. They denied sincere testimony along with every thing they had to offer.  The spirit was not there. And they were very active in what they believed. They were very hostile with their language and approach.  We took every different angle we could, and things were getting worse.

The second one came last night at a lesson with Elder Johnson and Elder Longi. We were teaching our investigator named Ann outside of a public library. We were wrapping up and then a man walked up and started to warn Ann that ‘we were of the devil and teaching false doctrine’. This was a lot worse than the firsts experience.  He was loud, very hostile, and said a lot of horrible, horrible things.  We were respectful, kind and loving.  But there is a fine line with that, and then defending our faith.  So we all stood up.  We didn’t say anything rude, or anything we would regret.  He wouldn’t stop, and talked about, ‘how it was his job to take people out of the Mormon church’. Then he started to walk away and told us to never come back.  And if we came back then he would come to our church and ‘preach’. So we told him when and where church was.  (Keep in mind our investigator is watching all of this). He kept yelling as he walked away, so we just apologized to Ann and finished up our lesson.

We also had a mission tour with Elder Schweitzer and Elder Wakolo of the Seventy. Man it was POWERFUL. I was able to receive some insight from the spirit which made it even more special.

To let you know what they said, in closing I would like to bear my testimony of Joseph Smith. That he was a wonderful man. A man of God. More importantly I bear witness that at the age of 14 this young boy knelt in a grove of trees not far from his farm house in Palmyra New York…and prayed to our God who then showed himself to this boy. Along with his Son, Jesus Christ. And over time through this boy prophet the Lord himself restored to the earth the FULLNESS of what the Father would have for his children while here in this preparatory state. I bear testimony that to stand for this transcendent event Joseph Smith was led to a record on golden plates. And by the very Power of God I bear testimony that Joseph Smith translated this record. Into what we have now...The Book of Mormon. I testify of this Book. That it is of God. That it is indeed the most correct of any book on earth, and that no man would get closer to God than by abiding by it's precepts. I know that a consistent study of it brings renewal, and that our ability to resist temptation will increase. I testify in the name of the Lord that because of the RESTORATION of the Gospel of Jesus Christ we have the fullness.  I know that as we live the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ the lives of our families will be blessed. And that through sacred Covenants made in the Lord’s house...We have the Authority to bind on earth and also in Heaven.  Jesus is the Christ, the Author and finisher of all that is and is to come. The Savior and Redeemer of the World suffered, lived, and died. And on the 3rd day He rose again. I know because of that we will all live again.

I speak from personal experience when I say that God over time puts certain people in our path to test us, to teach us, and some times even reveal to us our progression. And I know that in the midst of those moments as we "Look unto him in every thought", we realize that God's Hand is involved...That we will be fearless. And that God never forgets, nor forsakes. He just molds and makes. I will go ahead and close in the name of him whom I get to walk with every day, even Jesus Christ, amen.

Love, Elder Judd

P.S. We are offically a "Full technology mission”. Starting within the next couple weeks ALL MISSIONARIES  will be getting their own Smart phone. You will be getting an email shortly about the details from president. Wow it's gonna be amazing. Each missionary is to but their own phone and that stays with them. But only one comp has the Sim card and it stays in the Area come transfers.

That's awesome right?!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The week was a hot one!

Hello Hello Hello!

Had a great one and a quick one! This week there was a heat wave that passed over CAM so it was sooooo hawwt:(  (Doesn't happen that often) And plus we have been blessed every day so that helps.

We had interviews this week with President and Sister Nakken. It was a lot of fun. Due to time we were unable to sit down and talk with them. So we just took them to a lesson with 2 of our Investigators, Fred and Becky. Man that was a cool experience! We read and taught from Alma 32. Verses 1-16 is a Discourse to the Humble. Man, I wanna be like Alma. A nyways it was powerful.
And we had so so so so so so so so so so so so so much fun.

We also picked up a New Investigator this week named Ken Dawson! It was so cool:) He told us right off the bat "I'm not interested in Converting yet." And then I said, "Well that's good cause we don't Baptize Mormons!"  So here we go…

Hey I have been thinking a lot about you and grandpa and death. God decided to take both my grandpa's away.  I am sad, and it hurts. But he's also giving me a nephew in return.  The circle of life and the plan of happiness. Man I love him. God is good. God is really really good.

Love, Elder Judd