9 days down!!!

Hola mi familia y amigos!!
So I’m 9 days down! This week I have a lot more to say but still don’t know where to start! I will just go chronologically!
Last Friday was weird after having sent out emails! I thought that it would make me more sad and homesick but it didn’t thank goodness! It really is crazy how when you’re on the Lord’s errand, all you have to do is ask and He will help you. I have prayed a lot for comfort and I can honestly say that I have been comforted, and I know for a fact that it is because the Lord is blessing me for being here! Friday and Saturday were pretty boring, just classes and studying. Sunday was really good though, although it was by far the longest day. We had sacrament meeting at 7:30 and priesthood meeting in the afternoon around 11 and then the rest of the time we were just studying in our classroom. It was nice though because I had a chance to sit down and read for myself. I read a lot of Jesus the Christ, and I truly love that book, I wish that I had more time to read it! Sunday night was a nice break because we got to go to a devotional, and the speakers were Brother and Sister Lantz. Sister Lantz served as the General Primary President so she was kind of the main attraction over her husband which was funny, although they both had amazing things to say. I loved it when Brother Lantz said, “It’s not just about going on a mission, it’s about becoming a missionary.” I really hope that I can become a pleasing missionary to the Lord.
So far I’ve seen a couple of friends here in the MTC! I have seen Austin Taylor, Andrew Simister, Brandon Olsen, Neal Gaffin, Caitlin Blickenstaff, and some others. And something really exciting is that Samuel Hutchings is in my zone! He reported on wednesday and is in the new district of our zone, which means we aren’t the youngest anymore! haha
Monday marked our “second week” which really just meant that we started the schedule that we are going to have for the next four weeks haha. I’ll send a picture of it so that you guys can get a gist of what my day looks like. Although I have to send pictures from another computer so those will come seperately! Monday was really good though! I love how we are just always doing something, so while at the end of the day it seems like the longest day ever, I don’t think much about it before then haha. Tuesday was the highlight of my week. We had a devotional in the Marriott center (which was weird because the last time I was there was for when BYU almost beat Gonzaga), and I sung in the choir with my companion. We did an amazing arrangement of How Great Thou Art. The speakers were Brother H. Bryan Richards, who is a general authority emeritus and his wife. I absolutely loved his talk. I love when meetings are so spiritual that I forget all of my worries and just want to serve the Lord. Tuesday night was one of those meetings. He had some awesome quotes that I want to share:
“You are Helaman’s army of today. You were called as full-time servants of the Lord, just as Prophets and Apostles. You were called to serve on the front lines of the battle for mens’ souls, and not just to hold the line. But to charge with all of your heart, might, mind and strength.”
The MTC is an emotional and spiritual rollercoaster haha. Some days I am so frustrated with learning spanish and am physically exhausted and want to just change to the Provo English Speaking mission and leave in 5 days. But others are amazing where I feel that there is nowhere on the planet that I am needed more, and want to be. It is hard to explain haha. Brother Richard’s words hit me hard, and kept me in that good mood for several days. He kind of cheated though because he shared a clip of Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk to the Manchester England Mission some 25 years ago. I’ll have to use that trick to bring the spirit into my talks, just share some good ol’ Jeffrey R. Holland haha. But Elder Holland shared some of the most profound words I’ve ever heard about missionary work, and life in general. He said:
“Why is missionary work so hard?”
“It is because Salvation is not a cheap experience. Why should it be easy for us when it was never easy for Him.”
That hit me really hard. How can I complain, when these next two years could never compare in difficulty to even one second in the Garden of Gethsemane? Or to a single step on the way to Calvary? Salvation is not a cheap experience. It required the Atonement and death of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I was able to step back and absorb those words and just be grateful for everything that I have and know. This gospel is true happiness. There is nothing like it in this world. It is more than having to to certain things, it is more than being the only true church, it is more than giving our time and money to a cause. It is the true love of Jesus Christ our Lord. Nowhere else can we feel the Love of the savior more than in this gospel. A real testament to that for me that I thought about this week was how badly He and our heavenly Father want us to return to them. They have called some 73,000 missionaries to preach His gospel. And to those that they cannot reach He provided a way to do ordinance work for the dead. He loves us so much and I am honored to be apart of this work.
I love you all! and miss you terribly!
Elder Judd
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