Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Monday, December 28, 2015

Hey Everyone!

I hope y'all had a great Christmas and are enjoying this holiday season.

I had a great week and really enjoyed Christmas. We were able to have a Mission Christmas Party, I mean devotional which was so much fun. There were quite a few of the missionaries that had some awesome talents. I also went on exchanges with one of the missionaries the day before, so I was able to bring up all of the Christmas presents and packages with him, which was A LOT!! It filled the entire back of the huge van we were driving.
On Christmas Eve, we went out Christmas Caroling with some of the other missionaries in my District. That was so much fun and really brought the Spirit to those we sang to. The first person we sang to was this lady that had come up to the church asking if we were having "Mass" that night.  We told her no, but that if she would like, we could sing to her and her little daughter. It was such a spiritual experience, which helped me realize even more the true meaning of Christmas. 
Then on Christmas Day we went to the Norris' again and also Skyped home at my Ward Mission Leaders home, which was really good (even though I was pretty nervous to do that).
As far as investigators go, sadly Dulce dropped us on Saturday. She said she was too firm in her own religion. We were both very sad, but we know that the seed was planted and it is only a matter of time before she comes to know that the things we were teaching her were true. We also kinda picked up an investigator named Thalia.  She is very interested, but her cousin that lived with her is a bit anti, so it is a pretty delicate situation. 
We also got our mini-missionary this week on Saturday. His name is Christian Nettles and he is doing pretty good so far. 
I know that my Redeemer lives and I know that as we work our hardest to share the gospel, then we will be blessed and so will those that we talk to. I know that this church is true and that we have a living Prophet, President Thomas S. Monson that leads and guides the World today.
I love y'all and hope y'all have a great week!!

Elder Rudd
 Santa's Little Helper
(Delivering Packages to Other Missionaries)

 Missionary Packages in the Mission Office

On the road again

Skype call home for Christmas

Skype call home for Christmas

Monday, December 21, 2015

Hey Everyone,

This week has been a pretty good week. We have been able to continue teaching Dulce. She has such a desire to find the truth and it is just a matter of time before she will be ready. It was great to have one of our ward members there, because she speaks Spanish and when she bore her testimony in Spanish to her, her whole demeanor changed!

We also were able to teach this guy named Gilberto, who we have been teaching off and on for quite a while, but he seems to be much more humble and ready to learn now. 

During FHE this week, we got to make Snowflakes, which was pretty fun. I love being in the YSA, there are so many fun activities.

I hope y'all have an AMAZING Christmas and always remember the real reason for the Season.

I know that my Redeemer lives and that because of Him, each and everyone of us has the opportunity to go back and live with our loving Heavenly Father. 

I love y'all!!
Elder Rudd

Making Snowflakes

A California plant "On the Move"

Enjoying Banana Bread from Home

In the Apt by the Christmas Tree


Monday, December 14, 2015

Hey Everyone,

This week was a pretty good week. We were able to go to Tiffany's baptism which was really neat. Tiffany was the YSA Sisters' investigator. We knew her pretty well, since she has been coming to church and other activities for the past couple of weeks. The Spirit was so strong at that baptism. I have not felt the Spirit that strong in a really long time. It was especially great that the Spirit was so strong, because we had an investigator there that said that he felt the Spirit too. After the baptism we were able to teach him The Restoration. 

We also picked up a new investigator named Deluce, who is amazing. She is 19 and was passed off to us by the Spanish Sister Missionaries, who thought that she would do better in a YSA Ward. She has already been taught the first four lessons and she is really solid. She loves learning about the church and understands and says that she will keep the commandments. I can't wait to meet back up with her this week and see how much she has progressed.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, I know that Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us, even when we mess up. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to restore Christ's church back on the Earth today, and I know that our current prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, is called of God to lead and guide us in a world where there is much confusion. 

I hope you all have a great week!!

I love y'all!!
Elder Rudd
Christmas Ornament made at FHE

Foggy Day - Outside the Apartments

Foggy Day - Outside the Apartments
"The mist of darkness."
Where is the iron rod when you need it?


Monday, December 7, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

Hey Everyone,

I hope y'all all had a great week!

So this week wasn't a very eventful week but we did have the opportunity to have a lesson with an investigator of ours named Ana. I thought that the lesson went very well and I know that I felt the Spirit but I guess she didn't because when we texted her to set up another appointment she said that she did not want to study with us anymore. We asked if she had read and she said no she hadn't read the Book of Mormon. We then promised her that if she would read it and then pray about it she would be able to know whether of not the church was true. We have not yet lost hope in her but for now we are giving her a little break but in my mind the seed has been planted and when she is ready she will be able to know for herself that it is true as she asks.

So another thing that happened was that our ward had a service project this Saturday to help clean up a Sister who has recently lost her husband and grandson in an accident. Her lawn was really messed up and needed a lot of work. It was great to meet her and see how grateful and happy she was for us to come and help her. Doing this reminded me of the scripture that talks about "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, you are only in the service of your God".

We also have had a big initiative to spread the gospel through the Christmas video. If you have not seen the video you definitely should, it is a great video that really brings the Spirit. I would also invite you to Discover Why Christ did the things He did.

I know that the Savior atoned for our sins and that through Him we can be made whole again. I also know that like throws at us so many bad things that can be overwhelming and difficult sometimes but if we look to the Lord for help, He truly will help us through everything!

I hope y'all are having a great Christmas season and are remembering what Christmas is truly about.

I love y'all!!!

Elder Rudd

Monday, November 30, 2015

Hey Everyone,
I hope y'all all had a great Thanksgiving!

I had a pretty great one. we first started the day off by having a Turkey Bowl with the Elders Quorum. We had a great turn out, there were like 40+ people there and many people brought their friends with them! Some of the legendary missionaries that everyone knows about came also so that was really cool to meet the missionaries that I had heard about for a long time but had never met. It was so much fun just getting out there and playing football with all of the other missionaries. After that we went over to the Norris' house or actually I should say mansion for Thanksgiving dinner. Their house is extraordinary and has so many cool things like a huge pool and an amazing view of the mountains. Their family was so nice to us and they are just a great family. We had plenty to eat that day! I also found out that one of their daughters actually served her mission in Orlando Florida which meant she knew where Gainesville Florida is. You know surprisingly not many people know were that Gainesville Florida is and I always have to describe it to them. Haha.

Anyways, after Thanksgiving dinner we went out to work. Which wasn't very effective since it was like a ghost town and we didn't want to be rude and knock on peoples doors so late on Thanksgiving Day.

So on Saturday we had another great day. We were able to have four lessons with one investigator and 3 recent converts. All of those went well and we were able to get our new investigator Delanee to church on Sunday.

Now what I think most of you have been waiting to hear about. Saturday night we get our transfer calls and we all make our guesses as to who was staying and who was leaving and guess what?
I am staying and so is my companion! I am excited to stay because now I can get to know the area much better!

I am so grateful for the opportunity that I have had to serve in this area and with the missionaries I have been able to serve and learn from and am excited to continue learning and loving the people in this area. I know that Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and I am so grateful for the Atonement. I know that it works in every single one of our lives and can help us through anything!
Elder Rudd


A few Christmas lights to add to the holiday spirit

Elder Rudd, Sister Bradley, Elder Miles
(Maybe Elder Rudd's Art Class was finally put to good use)

Service Project
Elder Rudd back in his element.
Vista vs. Fallbrook
Turkey Bowl

A familiar sight
Many fond memories over the years


Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hola Everyone,

This week has been pretty good. There were many things that happened and it was a good old fun week. So first off, I got cleared to drive the car this week, which was great. It was actually pretty interesting the first day I was driving, since I hadn't driven in like 6 weeks, but after the first day of driving it all came back and I am driving like normal.

Another thing that happened this week was that Elder Clark of the Quorum of the Seventy came to stake conference and while Elder Miles and I and the Sisters were just sitting around waiting on our dinner that was at the church, he came up and shook our hand and talked to us, which was pretty neat. He was a great speaker and I learned so much from him, like how as we study the scriptures, there are many blessings that come from it.

Also while we were sitting at the church both on Saturday and Sunday, we were able to find two new investigators and we have lessons with them today and tomorrow.

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and that I have been able to help others either come back to church or by teaching them more about the church. It was really neat to see Matteo who was the first person that I had a lesson with; come back to church and go to all of the activities that we have during the week. He has truly changed over the weeks that I have been here and I know that that is because of the Spirit that he has been able to feel when going to church! I know that there is an incredible Spirit that comes from going to church and that as we do so we are blessed. Thank y'all for all of your support and love!

Elder Rudd

So on Wednesday we went out on Splits and I went with Matteo which was great in and of itself since he is coming to all of these events. Anyways, we met a homeless man and he told us that it was his birthday and that he was 44. He also said that he has read the entire Book of Mormon and that he had a few questions. Matteo helped me understand some of his Spanish and then at the end he asked if we would sing happy birthday to him so that's what we did. We sat there and sang happy birthday to him on the street and that was so great. It made our day!!

I love y'all and look forward to talking to you next week!!!

Elder Rudd

It looks like there are more hills
in California than Florida.

If I could only remember what I had to learn
for the cooking merit badge

A little goofing off.

Vista Zone

I found a little bench just like is at home.

Beautiful sunset

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hello Everyone,

This week has been a much better week. My prayers were truly answered. From the very beginning of the week too. On Monday night we were able to talk to someone who was interested in learning more about the gospel. We went to this one house expecting to find one person and instead we found another person that was interested in learning more about the gospel. This happened twice to us this week. The first time we went to go and see a Sister named Christina and instead we found a guy named Eddie who said that he was interested in learning more about the gospel and invited us back to teach him more. We are going to have a lesson with him tonight! The second time this happened was when we went to find a guy named Antuan and when we knocked on the door another guy named Eric answered instead. We were able to meet with him on Sunday and teach him The Restoration. He has such a huge testimony that God is real and that He has a purpose for him. This is because he was in this car accident where he was drinking and got ejected from the car 70 feet in the air and when he came down he ruptured his kidney and broke a couple of bones. The best part about this is that he took that as a sign from God that he should stop drinking and should not become an alcoholic like his father. I have a feeling that teaching the Word of Wisdom will be pretty easy!

So did you know that it rains in California? Well it does! It turns out that it is El Nino season so we have been getting a lot of rain here. Oh and it also gets pretty cold at night and in the morning when we are running, like cold enough that I can see my breath. Lol. Lets just say that there have been a couple of nights where after we were done proselyting for the night, we went out and got some hot chocolate.

So yesterday was my first Zone Conference and I was privileged enough to be able to hear from a General Authority for my first one. It was Elder C. Scott Grow of the Seventy. He was such a great teacher and I learned so much from him. We learned about Revelation and how important it is for each and everyone of us to receive revelation for ourselves on how we can become better. 

I know that the Prophet is called of God and that as we listen to his councils we can come closer to our Lord and Savior. I also know that through daily prayer and scripture study we can become even closer with our Heavenly Father and the Spirit. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve the Lord and to teach others how they can come back to live with their Father in Heaven.

Thank y'all for all of the emails and support.

I love y'all so much!!

Elder Rudd


Monday, November 2, 2015

Hey Everyone,

This week has been quite an interesting week. It started off with carving pumpkins for out district activity which was pretty fun. I carved LDS into mine ( I was going to do the angel Moroni but that would have taken way to much time to do). Then we got to go to FHE later that night. That was so much fun being able to meet all of the people in the ward and having the opportunity to play games with them. The best part about FHE was that one of our investigators came and was able to interact with a lot of the members. Hopefully Lili and Frances will be coming to church now that they are a little bit more comfortable with the people there. We also had the opportunity to go to the San Diego temple which in my opinion is the prettiest temple I have ever been in. I am so grateful I was able to go there and feel the spirit so strongly.

So when I said that my week was interesting, what I really meant was that it was a bit tough. We had 10 lessons planned this week and every one of them got cancelled about 10 minutes before we were going to be there. 

One thing that happens when things aren't going the way you think they are going to go, you start praying a whole lot more and that is exactly what we started doing. In a way our prayers were answered though. Now they may not have been how we were expecting them to be but I feel as though they were. We were able to contact many people on the street and let other missionaries that covered that area to follow up with them and hopefully teach them. 

After this long week I was reading in the scriptures and I read a couple of passages, one of which was 1 Nephi 3:7 and the part I liked the most from that scripture was that the Lo
​rd will prepare a way.  

I know that as we strive to do what is right and always work hard to find those that are searching for the truthfulness of the gospel, then the Lord truly will prepare a way. As we listen to the still small promptings of the Spirit we will be guided in the way that we should go so that we can find those seeking the truth. I am grateful for all of the trials that I have had because I know that I have grown stronger because of them.

Thank you for all of your emails and support. 

Elder Rudd 
                                            Watching The Testaments on Halloween night
                                                   Halloween Night's Dirt Pudding Dessert!
                                              These are the missionaries of the YSA ward!
                                                     Mirrors make some cool photos!
                                                                   The area I cover!
                                                                 San Diego Temple!