Monday, June 10, 2013

Incredible week 6/10/13

Dear family and friends, 

Wow this week was so increbile!!!! and I cannot believe how quickly it went! Man life is good here! 

I know that I havent been very good about writing general emails...sorry! So i will just take the chance to tell you as much as i can about some of our amis.:) 

I believe I told you a little bit about Alexandra Arelus, right? She is the young Haitian girl that Sister Anderson and I met on the tram a couple weeks ago.:) Well she ended up coming to church that day after we met her, and then later that night we fixed a baptisimal date with her on the 23rd of June. Since that rendez-vous, we have met with Alexandra nearly every other day since then, and she is just eating up everything we teach! We taught the Word of Wisdom early on, thinking that that could be a potential difficulty, but she accepted the teaching right on the spot by saying, "Well, I know that God knows what is best for me, so if He has commanded me to not take these things into my body, then I will obey Him."

She then took us into her kitchen, and we watched her dump all the tea she had down the sink. A couple lessons later she told us that she had been thinking a lot about repentance and how a part of repentance is apologising to the people we have wronged, so she had decided to call her x-husband and apologise for all of the things that she had done wrong and asked for his pardon. Later in that lesson she prayed and thanked Heavenly Father for the chance she has to repent and be forgiven. Most recently, we went over to Alexandra's house to make milkshakes and teach a little lesson, and she had invited one of her friends over to meet us and listen to what we had prepared. Her friend Hermione was super sweet and open to our message and loved praying with us, so she gave us her information and hopefully we are going to begin meeting with her this week.:) Wow I cannot believe everything that has happened with Alexandra! (now that I am writing this all out I apologise for not writing it to you earlier!!!) But I hope that reading a little bit about her now brings a smile to all y'all's face. It is such a blessing to know Alexandra and to be a tool Heavenly Father uses to make miracles like this happen. She is truly prepared and can already see the blessings that the Gospel brings into the lives of those who live by its teachings. I am so grateful for all that I have learned by teaching Alexandra. I have learned SO many things...recieved so many blesings...but the greatest of all is the increase of charity the Lord has allowed to grow in my heart. The love I have for Alexandra, for all those that I teach, has grown so much, and it is such a special feeling to feel a similar love for them that Heavenly Father has for them.
He loves all of us and desires our happiness. I know that the greatest joy we can find is through living and loving the teachings and example of Jesus Chirst. Through Him all things are possible, the greatest mysteries are uncovered, and we have hope and promises forever to come. 

This past week, Sister Anderson and I were also able to begin meeting with a woman named Marie Dudry. She is an older French woman, maybe in her 50s or 60s, who was contacted by the missionaries last year, but kinda fell through the cracks. We saw her name several weeks ago, and had the strongest feeling to visit her, and when we did, it turned into an incredible opportunity to comfort and to share. Despite all of the trials and lonely feelings she has had in her life, Marie loves God and desires to respect His commands.
We were able to present the Plan of Salvation, which she was very open to, and then we invited her to come to church. The next day, to our greatest surprise, she joined us on the front row in Sacrament Meeting. The members were so incredibly kind and loving towards her, the Spirit of the meeting was so strong and comforting, and she was really touched. Then, after the meeting, a little girl in our ward was baptized, and Marie was able to stay and witness it. She was touched by the fact that we are baptized by immersion and marveled at how that it truly a symbol of death and rebirth, and I think that her witness of the confirmation was also really fortifying. It was such a blessing to have her at church, and even though she probably didnt know what everyone was talking about (actually she has no idea what anyone was talking about haha), she felt the Spirit. I am really excited for the next opportunity we will have to teach Marie and to fill her with the joy the Gospel can bring. Please keep her in your prayers for comfort and a softened heart.

Anyways... that is a lot of information at once! But i hope it helps you understand a little bit more about how things are going here.:) They are moving fast.:) and it is such a joy to be a missionary in this mission, in this area. Truly there are people prepared here, and we are finding them. Please continue to pray that we will be able to find more people to teach. Pray for us to have to strength to open our mouths to share with those whose hearts are softened. Thank you so much.

As I reflect back upon the feelings I had with Marie during the baptism she attended this week, I am reminded of my own baptism and other occasions I have had to make sacred convenants with the Lord. I am filled with so much joy and also with a greater strength to keep these promises as I remember the actual events, and so I encourage you all to do the same. Reflect upon the covenants you have with the Lord. I testify that they are true and sacred. Guard them and keep them holy, and I promise that the Lord will always keep his part. 

I love you all so much. I respect and honor all of the things you have taught me, and I will forever be grateful for the example you have all been to me. I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and for the guidance and peace I recieve by following the example of Jesus Christ. I know that He leads this church and that it was fully restored by Joseph Smith. I know that each of us have a plan created, a path to follow, that can lead us back into the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We can live with our families forever-that is a promise the Lord has given us as we obey His commandments. I know that anwsers are found through the Book of Mormon. I know that the Lord answers our prayers. If you are not sure of that quite yet, try it. Pray to know, and I can promise you that He will answer. 

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

I love you with all of my heart, Soeur Laura Lee Judd

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