Monday, May 27, 2013

New Companion Soeur Anderson 5/27/13

Ma famille et mes amis,

Bonjour! Wow it was so good to hear such great news from all of you today! It makes me happy to read what you all are up to.:) 
Things here are going so great! Man I love being a missionary!!! 

Sister Anderson and I have been working from the Area Book (meaning old investigators and inactives) a lot this week, and we have seen so many miracles. I'll share a couple with you in particular...

So we were out in a beautiful little area of town and decided to stop past to see the Relief Society President. We gave her a quick call, went over to share a little spiritual thought, and ended up being able to teach her and her husband who has been inactive for about 15 years. From what I had read, he had meddled a lot in anti-Mormom literature and has been inactive ever since. BUT! We acted like we had no idea (we can get away with that as fairly new, young missionaries haha) and shared a little thought from Elder Hollands talk from this past General Conference. We bore a brief testimony on belief (if not yet knowledge) of the Savior, His Atonement, how the He can heal us. The Spirit truly testified of these truths, and it was incredible to be the instrument in the Lord's hands during the lesson. At the end, we asked Frère Morot if he wouldnt mind choosing someone to say the closing prayer, but he ended up saying the prayer himself. It was one of the most beautiful and sincere prayers I have ever heard since being here on my mission. It was incredible to see him perform that act of faith. We left leaving no engagements or return appointment-just kept it as a friendly pass by.:) But to our greatest surprise (and to the surprise of Soeur Morot as well!!!) we saw Frère Morot in Sacrament Meeting the next Sunday with his arm around his wife.:) It was truly a miracle to see.
Another experience we had happened on Saturday night. We had planned to make three or four pass bys of old amis, but NO ONE was there! It was pretty frustrating cause we felt like we had planned out our day by the Spirit, but at the moment we didnt know if we were supposed to be where we were. Grudgingly, we got onto the tram to go home, and I saw a really cute girl sitting a couple seats in front of me. She kept looking at me!!! haha, so I winked at her (haha yeah mom i wink at people like you do all of the time!!!) and she smiled back at me! Then a couple minutes later, she looked at Sister Anderson and waved at her! We looked at each other all surprised and, without even saying a word to each other, knew we needed to go talk to her. Even though it wasnt the stop we were planning to get off of, we got off at the same stop as this cute girl and went to go talk to her. Her name is Alexandra, and she just moved back to Angers from Paris, but turns out we had actually tried to call her earlier that day!!! She had taken some of the missionary discussions before but was lost when she moved to Paris and back. We asked if we could meet with her the next day, and she actually said that she was thinking about coming to church! (Oh my, by this point we were practically crying for joy!!! haha). We said that sounds great! explained a little more about Sacrament meeting, and told her we'd see her there. Then...the next day she came to church!!! It was so great to see her there.:) and all of the ward members were so so sweet to her. We also got the opportunity to visit Alexandra later last night and watched "Finding Faith in Christ" with one of our strongest members. The Spirit was so strong, and Alexandra opened up to us so much. She has such a strong testimony of the Savior and his Atonement, and hearing her story with meeting with the missionaries a couple months ago was very touching. The Spirit was so strong, and the feeling was just right, so we extended the invitation for Alexandra to be baptized, and she accepted.:) It was so special. Truly, the Spirit guided the lesson. What an incredible opportunity it was to merely be the tool. We have only a couple more lessons to teach, which is good cause Alexandra is in and out of town during the week, but she is scheduled to be baptized on the 22 of June.:) and we are all really looking forward to that.:) 

Well these are just two of countless other things that happened this past week (man i cant believe all that happens in just one week!!!!), but I hope they give you a little taste of what it is like to be a missionary in Angers, France.:) It is not easy! but it is so worth it.:) I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve a misssion, to serve the Lord and to serve these people. I have never ever been happier than I am now. 

Thank you again for all of the updates and stories.:) I hope you feel the same after reading these emails every week (even though they are sometimes short). After all,  we're not too far away at all.:) 

Remember that you can make a difference anytime, anywhere. Find someone to serve. And always always (of course;)) remember to smile.:) 

I love you with all of my heart.:) 

Soeur Laura Lee Judd

Monday, May 13, 2013

Transfer #2! 5/13/13

Hey family and friends!

This is Rahel and Anna (two recent converts)
I do not have tome to write much, but I just wanted to let you know that I will be getting a new companion this week! and her name is Sister Emily Anderson!!!!! I have never actually met Sister Anderson, but I  have heard lots and lots of good things. :)

This is my second transfer in the field .... so I am still a young one! And Sister Anderson is actually only going into her 3rd transfer ... haha! We are going to be a young companionship, but I cannot wait to begin serving with her! Look forward to some crazy fun stories next week! Haha.
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are. And always remember to smile.
 :) Love, Soeur Laura Lee Judd

On top of the Anjou Chateau!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Visit to Paris! 5/6/13

Ma famille et mes amis,

Bonjour! This week was so packed full of fun things! It was great!:) 

To start off my week, I actually got to go to Paris!!!! to finish up some paper work and exams for my legality here in France, and that meant that I got to see all of the other missionaries that were in the MTC with me!!!:) Oh man it was the best feeling in the world to HUG someone!!!! French people never hug! haha. French people (actually this is kinda funny haha) greet and say goodbye by touching both sides of their cheeks while making a kissing sound. It's called bisous (haha yes like the French soccer player from the Pink Panther). As sisters we can only do bisous with other women, but EVERYONE does it here!!! Even young college guys with their buddies. is kinda wierd. It's funny...but definitly good to have a hug every once in a while.:) haha. 

Anyways. I went to Paris and finally got to do a little bit of finding around Notre Dame. It was incredible! Wow! And there were so many people! I loved it. :) I spent nearly every minute of that day with Sister Johns, my MTC companion, laughing and joking and telling stories. I had so much fun with her that I cried when I had to say goodbye to her again haha. Oh I was given so many tender mercies that day.:) 

I also had exchanges for the first time this week!!!!! And oh my I loved it!!! (I am so so so jealous of all the Elders who get to do exchanges so often). We did exchanges with the other Sisters in our district, and I was lucky enough to be able to go to a little town called Cholet and work with Soeur Stahly. We taught three lessons on the day that I was there, and the contacting activities that we did there taught me so much! I also got to meet the newest convert in Cholet who actually got baptized last week. His name is Philippe, and I love him so much! His testimony is so strong already, and he is so trusting in what the Lord asks of him. And the craziest part is that he was baptized on the 28th of last month...and they Sisters had only found him on the 13th!!!!!!!!! Yeah...that's pretty cool.:) It was such a miracle for me to see. Truly there are those who are ready to hear the Gospel - we just need to find them! 

The coolest story from this past week happened on Friday... I had just gotten back from exchanges, and we were rushing to get to a rendez-vous that we had set up earlier in the week with a lady that lived about 45 minutes away by bus. We were a little behind we were running to catch the bus! but ended up missing that much!  We were a little discouraged...and we really didnt know what to do cause there wasnt going to be another bus going out there for another half hour and that had been our only lesson scheduled the entire day. We took a seat down on the bench, said a little prayer together, and decided to wait there for the next bus. After a few minutes, a lady named Sam sat down next to us, and we stroke up conversation. She was in the city looking for a job and wasnt too interested in talking about God, but was actually really curious about what we do as missionaries. After some fun explanations of we were able to teach and testify about the Plan of Salvation and a living prophet. She was truly touched, and even though she was initially disinterested, she left wanting to learn more, so we fixed a rendez-vous with her for this coming Tuesday.:) It was an incredible experience, and one that I will never forget. I was so filled with love and compassion for Sam during our entire conversation, and I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost that I knew was with us. What a blessing. 

Anyways, I hope that y'all are able to feel some of the joy that I feel as you read about special experiences I have here in France serving a mission. Is it hard? You bet it is! But it is so worth it. I testify that the word I teach is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is true, and I know it. Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, and He is at the head of missionary work. I see the hand of the Lord in my endeavors and efforts. There are miracles every day, and it is such a joy to see the Lord pushing this work forward. 

I love you with all of my heart. Thank you so much for your love and prayers of support. I am so grateful for your faith. 

Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are, even if it's just through a smile.:) 

I love you, Soeur Laura Lee Judd