Monday, December 29, 2014

2015?!

I can't believe 2014 is almost over. This year has just flown by with miracles, heartache, love, laughter, tears, and faith. I have seen the hand of the Lord so many times this year. Even in my darkest times when things have not been going the way I wanted them to, I know He has never left me and He has never stopped loving me. The same is true for every one of us. Heavenly Father hears your prayers. He is always reaching out to you. It is up to you to take hold of His hand and let Him lift you to something higher and better, even when it is difficult.

Here are a few pictures to wrap up my week:

Sister Gull and I made a ginger bread house with a family



We had a Christmas miracle and it FINALLY snowed. All day on Christmas



Someone cut down their tree for the winter and they did it in a very creative way



Well, right around the corner is 2015. Everybody is setting goals and hoping that maybe this year they can accomplish just one of their yearly resolutions. So, here's one that I will suggest to you that I promise you can not only complete but it will change your life if you let it.

When a new missionary enters the Utah Salt Lake City South Mission, it's a whirlwind day of emotions and change. Everything about your life changes that day, whether you are expecting it or not. You meet President Chambers and he tells you a little bit about the mission, the expectations for what you will do while you are serving here, and he issues you a challenge. It's the Book of Mormon 12 week challenge. This is a challenge I completed in 2013 when I got here. It is that we will read the Book of Mormon in the first twelve weeks of our mission.

I now have twelve weeks left of my mission, and I decided to do that challenge again. I invite every one of you to make this a new year's resolution. read the Book of Mormon with me. The great thing about this is that you will be done with it in March. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. It testifies of our Savior and helps us come to know Him better. I promise that if you will read it and pray to know that it is true (whether it's your first time, send time or one hundred and second time) the Holy Ghost will testify to you that it is true. 

The Challenge

-Circle or highlight every reference to Christ. make a list of different names and titles for Christ.
-Underline the spoken words of Christ
-Indicate where the Doctrine of Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Holy Ghost, endure to the end) is being taught or referred to

Reading Schedule
Week 1 - through page 46
Week 2 - through page 88
Week 3 - through page 132
Week 4 - through page 178
Week 5 - through page 223
Week 6 - through page 266
Week 7 - through page 309
Week 8 - through page 354
Week 9 - through page 400
Week 10 - through page 442
Week 11 - through page 487
Week 12 - through the end

This is seven pages a day

Monday, December 22, 2014

Have a Very Merry Christmas!

With Christmas being this week, I've had a lot of different thoughts going through my head. Most of them have had to do with the fact that it doesn't really feel like Christmas when you are away from family in a place that snows, but still has no snow.

Being in different places, even just Utah, you get to see the different cultures of Christmas. Everybody celebrates it a little bit differently. The Dumas family for instance decorates their home but just adding bows and hats to their normal decorations. Brother Dumas used to be a big hunter, so their normal decorations happen to be a bunch of different dead/stuffed animal carcasses. This makes it Sister Dumas' favorite time of year, because it's the only time she's even a little okay with having the animals in the house.
These animals are getting pretty festive for the holiday season. What can we do to get a little more into the holiday spirit?

Christmas lights are going up everywhere, and there's an added number of lights that are a little bit different this year. I'm told they're LED lights, but I don't know anything about lights and I won't pretend to, but maybe you know what ones I am talking about. They're very colorful and the colors themselves are bright, but he don't shed light on anything. This has given me something to think about as we knock doors at night in the cold. There are two different kinds of lights in general: the normal kind that are bright and light up the whole house, and this newer kind, that are very pretty but the house still looks dark when you look at it. 

The first kind is just your average strand of Christmas lights. You look at them and they're nothing special, just another light, like the thousands you've seen before. Their glow brightens up the whole house and just looking at them you are almost filled with the warmth that surrounds thoughts of Christmas: memories of past Christmases, time with family and loved ones, traditions, comfort, happiness. They may be ordinary, but with them come feelings of love and joy.

Now let's think of the second type of lights: unique, interesting, new. You look at them and you're eyes naturally pass by. But then you look back because you realize those lights weren't what you were expecting. They're more exciting than the average lights; you realize you've been looking at the lights for a couple minutes, kind of struck with the strange beauty of the different colored lights. But then you look around the lights and realize that while they themselves are bright, they light up nothing around them. The yard is still dark and cold, and the house lacks the Christmas magic that comes with your average Christmas lights. 

So, what does that mean for us? Both of these lights are bright and beautiful, but only one of them shares the beauty they possess and makes everything around them beautiful as well. the other selfishly hoards its beauty and shares nothing with its surroundings. We are all like these Christmas lights. We have unique traits, talents and our own inner beauty. And we each have a choice. We can either share, making the world around us a more beautiful, happy, and cheerful almost magical place, or we can keep our talents to ourselves, using them to bless only ourselves and no one around us.

Jesus Christ would have us share those talents with others.
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

“Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14–16.)

This Christmas season, let your light shine. Recognize your own worth and your individual talents. God has blessed you with many. You are magnificent, you were created by a loving God who cannot make mistakes. Find ways to share your talents with others and as a gift to the world, make it a better, brighter place.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Holidays

Thanksgiving was pretty fun this year. I got to spend it with some great people, and some families I have really grown to love. Even so, holidays are always a little it weird serving a mission and being away from family. It doesn't feel quite like a holiday, just a good day with more food than normal, and decorations.

We found an awesome gargoyle on a mailbox this week. He's pretty festive for Thanksgiving.

At one of our Thanksgiving meals, they had made super cute table decorations. Some people are just very crafty. They also had their butter carved into a turkey which I wish I had taken a picture of, but it melted too quickly. By the end of the meal it just looked like a lump of butter with a turkey's head. 

And, the Christmas decorations have started going up. This is a terrible picture, but you get the idea. It's the best Christmas decoration I have seen so far. Simple and funny. A classy decoration.

In the midst of the holidays and hustle and bustle of our lives, let's all remember the reasons we truly are grateful and the reason we have Christmas. Let us not become so overwhelmed with the commercial aspects that we forget what we have been given that can't be bought or sold.

The most important gift that has ever been or will ever be given was from our Father.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16


Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

This week, we lost Sister Beaudin. She left us to go back to Texas. I guess missions do actually come to an end. I was grateful I got to be her companion and have even a tiny part in her mission.

Diana and Sister Beaudin
Sister Gull and I made a new friend this week. We called her Daisy. She was super friendly and followed us around for a while. But eventually we went into a building and she couldn't follow us, and when we left she wasn't there any more. We're hoping she got home alright. 



I'm not sure why we end up being followed around so much. I have been followed around for long periods of time by I think 5 different cats, 1 dog, and 3 different children, and a couple birds.

Speaking of birds, this week the birds all decided that they hated me, I guess. On Thursday we were walking down the street when a bird flew overhead and decided it was the perfect time to go to the bathroom, on my arm... Then on Friday we were once again walking down the street and another bird flew over and did the same thing, this time on my head... Fun every time. I am grateful it washed out easily. 

It's really the little things that we sometimes forget to be grateful for but really make life worth living. I am grateful for this time in my life, for the people I get to meet and the experiences I get to have. I am grateful for you supporting me while I am serving I am grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ and all that He has done to make it possible to be happy.

This week I hope we can all remember to be grateful and to show that gratitude to the people around us. Remember the Giver of life.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Changing of the Seasons

I would write this long sermon about the changing of seasons, and how we go through different seasons throughout our life, but I really just don't have the time, so you'll have to imagine I said something beautiful and inspiring.

As it is, here's a picture of the first snow we've gotten that has landed. 


And look how gorgeous the Wasatch Mountains look this week:


I also saw this video this week, and it's pretty phenomenal. So often the important things go unnoticed, and we fail to see the grace of God in our lives every day. It is always there, because He is always there. He loves each of you, and knows exactly what He is doing with your life, even if sometimes you don't.
video

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another Week, Everything's Still Amazing

I don't really have time to write this week, but everything is great and I am happy.

I went on exchanges with Sister Beaudin who I was companions with five months ago or so. Basically that means, we just switched companions for the day and I worked in her area, for training purposes.

video

I love you all! Have a magnificent week!


Monday, November 3, 2014

Miracles Happen, Once in a While. If You Believe

A couple months ago, there were different sisters in the area that I am now serving in. They were asked by our stake president to do an service activity for the community. They came up with the idea to do a clothing swap (with live music), and the clothes left over would go to a homeless shelter. They got the word out, and got things started, then they were both transferred out of the area, and Sister Gull and I were left to pull everything together. Now here is what we thought it would look like basically the whole time:


But, God proved once again that He works miracles if you have a little bit of faith. My companion and I had faith about the size of a mustard seed for this activity. And that was plenty, Heavenly father worked a miracle in Riverton, Utah this weekend. 



We had people there the whole time, and everyone was happy. We had so many clothes there that we had an entire 17 foot trailer full at the end to go to the homeless shelter. We also had enough musicians to last the entire evening, something I really just didn't think would happen.

God works any miracle we need Him to. Have faith, it will work out. 


Monday, October 27, 2014

Saying Goodbye Again

I have learned that I will never like goodbyes. Well, at least not the goodbyes of people whom I love. This week we had to say goodbye to Sister Mobley. It was a blast serving with her, but the people in Sandy need her, so she was called away.

Diana, Sister Mobley and Sister Gull
Have a wonderful week and a safe Halloween! 

Monday, October 20, 2014

On a Tandem with Christ

Last Monday my zone went on a hike and at the top of the hill we could see basically our entire mission. Here it is, the Salt Lake City South Mission:


So we have a new method of transportation over in Riverton:

Diana and Sister Gull
Learning to ride a tandem is a pretty interesting experience. It requires a lot of trust for whoever is on the other seat, especially when you are on the back. 

While on the back you have no control of where you are going, when you start and stop, and you can't really see where you are going. Whoever is in the front has total control of all movement of the bike, so they definitely need to be able to safely control.
A couple nights ago we were cruising down the street, going a pretty decent speed when my companion steered us into the lane of traffic. There was no car in the lane at the time, but I knew there were cars that would be there at some point. I had a very minor panic attack thinking she would kill us both, when I looked over and saw the large roadwork sign that my companion was steering us away from, so that we wouldn't crash into it.

From the backseat where I was sitting, I could see the sign, so I couldn't see that we were in any danger. But I could definitely see the line that we were crossing taking us out of the bike lane. I had started to panic because I couldn't see what was ahead, and thus couldn't see that we needed to make any changes in our course of travel.

Our lives are exactly like that. We don't know what is ahead, we just know what is right now in front of us. We don't know when sometimes the course we are taking is leading us toward danger. But Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know. They can see where we are headed, and they know what we need to do to avoid any danger that might come out of the darkness. The trick is having the faith and trust to follow them without question and without fear.

I had to have the trust that Sister Gull wasn't taking me into the street for no reason, and that she had our best interest at heart. Similarly, we all have to have the trust that when Heavenly Father guides us and calls us to do something scary and seemingly disastrous, Jesus Christ will be at the head of the tandem guiding us to safety and making sure we don't get hurt. Trust in the Lord and all will be well. He knows the way, and He will always save us. 

I love you all! Have a magnificent week!

Monday, October 13, 2014

A New Area?

I got transferred this week! I definitely didn't think that would happen. I don't know how, but I kind of convinced myself I would be in Herriman for the rest of my mission. Well, that's not the case. I was transferred to Riverton this week. I love Herriman, and it will always be what I consider it my mission "home" because I love it so much and I spent so much time there, but I already love Riverton too. Leaving Herriman was really hard though, when I got the call I couldn't stop crying for a while. Change is hard, but when the Lord says "move" you move.

My companions right now are so much fun. We get along really well, and they are two of the kindest, funniest, most genuine people ever. Sister Mobley and Sister Gull and I are already a great companionship. Everyone assumes it's temporary and one of us must be waiting on a visa or something, but nope. We're just your regular companionship, only there are three of us instead of two. 

This week we got to do some actual service. Most people won't let us help them with anything, but the bishop of one of our wards has a pumpkin patch, and so they needed help washing some of their little pumpkins. We got to help out and do some service, and in return they let us choose some tiny, adorable pumpkins to take home. I completely forgot to take pictures of them, but I will soon and send them home. 
Diana, Sister Gull and Sister Mobley
Well, no more time this week, but I love you all!

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference and some Pre-Halloween Fun

This weekend we got to go to General Conference! It was amazing. It's such a wonderful opportunity to get to hear from the Prophet of God and a number of other inspired men and women who are called to teach us the things of God.  It's always a good opportunity to receive revelation and get the answers that we desperately need to our prayers. If you did not get a chance to watch it, I invite you to do so. No matter what your faith is, or how strong that faith may be, it will be strengthened as you listen and apply the things that we learn from the servants of the Lord.
I had the opportunity to go downtown to conference for the Sunday Morning session with Chad and Amy. It was a great experience and easy to see the hand of the Lord in getting us there. Yesterday morning things seemed to be falling apart in terms of us getting there, but everything came together exactly as it needed to for us to be there and have a wonderful experience.

Amy, Chad, Diana and Sister MacGregor
Yesterday afternoon I got to go watch conference at the house of one of my favorite families here in Herriman. This is the Christensen family. I love them, and Sister Christensen says I look like I could be part of the family.

The Christensen Family with Diana
Earlier on this week our mission had a sisters conference, so all the sisters in our mission got together and we had some special training. It meant that I got to see some familiar and beloved faces.

I got to see Sister Aldridge! My companion from the MTC. It's always fun to see her, because it takes me back to all the good times at the MTC and how far I have come in the past year, how different things are than I expected them to be and how amazing everything is.

Diana with Sister Aldridge
I also saw Sister Beaudin and Sister Revolorio

Diana, Sister Beaudin and Sister Revolorio

  

They are both awesome, and I love them so much. I was companions with both of them separately, and then they became companions for a little bit. Sister Revolorio goes home this week, and Sister Beaudin goes home next month. I can't believe it. I will miss both of them so much, but I am grateful for the time we got to serve together.

This week we had a lesson with the Glasseys'. I can't remember if I have mentioned the Glassey family before, so forgive me if I am repeating myself. The Glasseys' are a family in one of the wards I cover, and they are active members of the Church. We've been teaching them the lessons to give their boys the experience of meeting with the missionaries and helping them to prepare for missions in the future. They are an awesome family that I love. So, with Halloween fast approaching Brother Glassey is gearing up for his favorite time of the year. He's designing his decorations and beginning to start putting things up. When we got to the Glassey home, this is what we found in the seats that we normally sit in for our lessons:

Obviously we had to have a little fun with our new buddies, our skeleton selves. So we set them up to show what people normally see when they open the door and we're outside:
Well, I mean, we're dressed, and usually look a little less creepy than that, but you get the idea.
Overall, I made a new friend:


And last of all, we saw this great pine tree while we were out the other night.



So, you may notice something about this tree. You know, the fact that it's just a tree with a pine cone tied to one of the branches. This was one of my favorite things that I saw this week. So, this tree is in a neighborhood without a lot of trees because it's a pretty new neighborhood, and it definitely has no pine trees. Seeing that someone had seen this tree and decided to make it even more exciting than it already was, made me smile. It teaches a great lesson. We need to make the best of what we have. Sometimes we just don't have awesome things or awesome circumstances, but we can always make them better. There is always something we can do to be happy. Make the world the best you can. Even if all you can do is just a little, it is enough. Do what you can.


Have a wonderful week! I love you all!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Parable of the Beanie

So, first off let me start with a story from Thursday night: we had dinner with this family in one of our wards that are super nice. They have two little birds that were chirping happily, sitting in their cages. I wanted to go over and pet one through the cage, but of course I didn't want to get my finger ripped apart by demon birds, so I asked if they were friendly. The next thing I know the little girl has opened the cage and the birds are flying directly at me. Luckily they were friendly, and although one did nibble on my face, he was not trying to eat me but was just expressing affection. It did freak me out a little to have the birds flapping around my hear, at first. But then I realized they weren't going to hurt me or anything so it was just good fun.
 I feel like we do that a lot as people. We get freaked out and shield ourselves from things, but then really those things that we are shielding ourselves are really something amazing. We spend way too much time living in fear. We need to just trust in God knowing that things are going to be amazing. He loves each of us, He gives us experiences that might seem scary, but really they're there to help us grow. We shouldn't be afraid of change because change is amazing, it's what allows us to be more like our Savior and ultimately happier.

So, there is this street in Herriman that we walk down pretty often because it's more of a main road that connects some different areas together. Since the very first time I walked down that street in March there has been this beanie sitting there in the gutter. Over time it's gotten a bit dirtier and more beat up. This week as we walked down the street I saw it again and it hit me in a new way. 
Since March it has gone through a a lot. It has seen snow, wind, rain, many cars, and yet it's still there, pretty intact. It's true that it is now now nearly as vibrantly colored as it used to be, and it's got stuff on it, but it's still in the same general spot, still the same beanie. It made me think of all the people that we pass every day in life. They're going through all sorts of trials. They experience heartache, rejection, betrayal, all kinds of things that we don't see happening. But we can see the marks they leave behind. We don't always recognize them for what they are, but we see the change that comes over people.

All this hat is waiting for is for someone to see it's potential. If someone picked up this beanie and cleaned it up, it would still probably be a pretty nice beanie, that would bring warmth and comfort to the wearer. It might not look like much but it does have potential. People are the same. Sometimes they don't look like much but all anyone is really waiting for is someone to recognize their potential, love them, and help them clean up their lives.

This is what the gospel is for. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps all of us see our own potential which is great. We have the potential to become as perfect as Him through His Atonement. We have the potential to do great things. I know this is true. I know Jesus Christ makes all things possible. I know He loves you.

Have a wonderful week and remember to see the potential of all those around you. You are a child of God and he loves you immensely.

Love,
Sister Judd

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Herriman District 2

We got to go to the temple today! This is my district: My companion, Sister MacGregor, Me, Hermana Wilcox and Hermana Paredes, and Elders Northrop, Passey, Richards, and Tyler. It's a pretty great district, I love them and I love serving with them.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

An Early Birthday Celebration

We had a little early birthday celebration this week with one of our ward mission leaders. They're an awesome family. I should have taken a picture with them, but I didn't. So, here's a picture with my companion and our delicious desserts.
Also, here's a family we have been teaching. They are members, but they wanted to hear what the lessons were like. They are so great. I love them. They are the Blank family. The back row is: Me, Jen, Nick, Jared. Front row: Sister Goldthwaite, Braxton, Jackson, Zach.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

How to Eat Fried Worms

This week we had lunch with this guy who is pretty much a dare devil. He was telling us all these crazy things that he has done like allowing a police dog to attack him, being tazered (I have no clue if that's how you spell that), riding a bull, etc. We told him that everyone always asks us what the grossest thing we've eaten on our mission has been, and that we never had anything cool to answer. So, he gave us some fried worms to eat so that we could have an answer. Surprisingly, they weren't too bad.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

And Now For Something Completely Different!

There's a member in our area who has a snake, also a bearded dragon.



Working Hard

 I am doing well and I am happy.
Working Hard and Wearing out shoes
You can see right through these!

So, a brief explanation of the pictures:
This is a picture that a little girl drew of my companion changed into a strawberry.
A praying mantis we saw outside someone's house, and hey, how often do you see a praying mantis?
That's a flower that a little boy gave me after he shook off all of the petals.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Snails!!

So there are a lot of snails around our house, here's a picture of me holding one. They sure are slimy.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sacrafices

One of the members gave me the keys and it was really hard having to tell them that I wasn't allowed to drive their Porsche. We all have to make sacrifices on our mission, I guess.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 16, 2014

One of our investigators was baptized this week! Here's a picture.



The sister right next to me is my current companion Sister Goldthwaite and the other missionary to the right was my last companion Sister Beaudin.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Change and All That

This week I had to say goodbye (temporarily) to two of these lovely Sisters that I have gotten the chance to serve with. It was awesome getting to serve with Sister Gariby and living with Sister Wall and Sister Araujo. But it's official, I hate goodbyes. I'm just not good at them. But it's alright because I know I will see these people again. It actually reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk in this past general conference:
 "We Are Not Made for Endings
In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.
Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.
The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful.
How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."
 
I know that this is true. No matter what we experience in this life, it is only to introduce us to the many wonderful blessings that Heavenly Father has in store for us. We just have to keep looking for His hand in our lives. I know that it is always there, we just overlook it sometimes.