Dear family and friends,
Another great week has come and gone! Soeur Gordon and I cannot believe how quickly this week passed.
This week we began teaching a new family, and they are incredible! The parents (Nolo and Marina) are from Armenia and have been in France for about five years now. They have four beautiful children and a whole lot of faith. Yesterday Marina and the two older boys, Rouslan and Roustom, came to church yesterday and loved it. After the first two meetings, Rouslan asked me, "When can we go to Primary again?" When I told him that it is every week, he said, "There is church every week?! We're going to come every Sunday!" haha I love them so much already. Nolo told us several stories about prayers he has offered in his life, how the Lord answered them, and the many many blessings they have recieved because of their faith. I was awestruck. The Lord has truly watched over this family. The hardest thing for Nolo and Marina right now is accepting the Book of Mormon...and having to explain it in such limited French is a little difficult. Please keep them in your prayers so that their hearts may recieve a confirmation of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, and keep Soeur Gordon and I in your prayers so that we may be able to understand them and be inspired to know how we can meet their needs.
Isa and Luc are progressing well towards their baptism. They have been taking the lessons from the missionaries for several years now, so we've been doing a lot of reteaching, but what we finally figured out this week is that their biggest hold up is the Book of Mormon. They read it every day, but it is still hard for them to believe that all of it was translated by Joseph Smith and that it is relevant for our day. They are so sincere and are praying to recieve a confirmation to know that it is true. I am confident that the Lord will reveal the truthfulness of it to them. Yesterday, Isa asked me if I could organize for her to recieve a Priesthood blessing to help her to quit smoking, and it was a beautiful experience for her. What faith she has! Please keep them in your prayers so that they may recieve a witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and continue to keep the Word of Wisdom.
Marie-Louise is doing well. We visited her again yesterday and tried to fix a date with her, but she got really caught up on being baptized a second time... She is reading in the Book of Mormon and knows that Joseph Smith had the First Vision, but she is still having a hard time making the connection. She is praying to know if it is the Lord's will for her to be baptized again. We'll follow up later on in the week. Please, please keep her in your prayers.
This morning I read two talks that mentioned gratitude, and I thought to share a couple quotes from them with you:
"To express gratitude is gracious and honorable, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven" (Pres. Monson).
"The happiest people I know are not those who find their golden ticket; they are those who, while in pursuit of worthy goals, discover and treasure the beauty and sweetness of the everyday moments. They are the ones who, thread by daily thread, weave a tapestry of gratitude and wonder throughout their lives. These are they who are truly happy" (Pres. Uchtdorf).
I feel so much truth when I read these quotes, and I know that as we live with an attitude of gratitude, we are happier. The Lord has given each of us so many blessings! Let's take a step back and begin to count them.
What I know to be true and for what I am the most grateful in life is the love and everlasting sacrifice of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I know He lives. Because of this knowledge, I know that we can be cleansed and recieve divine strength to keep His commandments. Because of Jesus Christ, we will all be resurrected and will stand before God. Because of Jesus Christ we have the opportunity to eternally live with Him, the Father, and our families.
Remember that you can make a difference, wherever you are. Find someone to help and always, always remember to smile.:)
I love you with all of my heart,
Soeur Laura Lee Judd