Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas in the Mission Field

Dec 30 at 3:30 PM  

Dear Family: 

Well this has been a bitter sweet week. Christmas was awesome! But then back to normal life isn't near as fun. Elder Hammond got super sick so we didn't even get a chance to try and catch up from Christmas festivities that took the first part of the week. We only had two full days of proselyting.
Monday we only got a half a P-day. Even with that everybody was busy for the holiday, so it really wasn't that productive.
Tuesday we drove to Moreno Valley. There is a large stake center there. That is where we went when we had the meeting when the mission split as well because we can fit the whole mission there. We had a talent show at the first in the gym. Elder Feist and I were going to play the guitar and sing but we didn't get what we wanted to do down fast enough. Parts of it were super good. There were a few other ones that weren't as good. After that we went into the chapel for the people who did talents that were reverent. Some of the Elders and Sisters did a really good job doing different things. Mostly singing or piano. After that Sister Smart talked for a minute and then President Smart. We watched the short nativity from the bible videos and then Pres talked a little more about it. It ended up being a really long meeting, but I enjoyed it. It started at 10:00 and I don't think we got out of there until like 4. After that they sent us back in the gym where all our presents were sorted out by what zone we are in. Elder Wood and I handed them to everyone in our zone. We had 5 people in our car so it was like playing Tettris to get the packages all in the trunk with our backpacks and suits and everything. It was a good day. That night we ate dinner with the Hoyts. It is always fun for us to get to eat with them. Earlier that week their son TJ and his girlfriend Mary had gotten there. After dinner they included us in their Christmas eve festivities. We watched a little Nativity thing put out by the church and talked about it a little bit and what Christmas is really about. After that everybody got pajamas. Including us!! Then we went to bed so Santa could come. The Hoyts even got us stockings to put out for Santa.
Christmas was pretty bomb. We got up and opened presents and ate with the Hoyts. I got a bunch of good stuff. Mostly money which is the best stuff haha. I have lots of thank you letters I am working on. I Skyped right after I opened my stuff. Elder Hammond wasn't able to Skype until a little bit later. After that we went to the Walters for dinner and to play some games and stuff. I will have to hurry I am already almost out of time!!
Thursday was weird going back to being a missionary. We went and helped somebody move out of our ward. It is a good thing we showed up, because nobody else did.
Friday we had DLC in the morning. After that we met with Veronica and Melissa. They are doing a lot better now. We will see if they are willing to progress. We met with Jacob as well. Sadly we had to drop him. Friday night Elder Hammond got super sick. I guess he was throwing up all night. I didn't hear it. He said I didn't move all night. I felt bad.
Saturday he slept in to help him get feeling better. He was still sick when he got up so we didn't get a lot done. I am out of time! Sorry! Sunday was normal. Today we went to Riverside to get Elder Hammond a new license, no visa yet bye!

Love Elder Wood


Monday, December 23, 2013

Almost Christmas

December 23, 2013
Dear Family:
Well it is almost Christmas Skyping time, so I probably won't say a lot so I have something to talk about.
Monday neither the T. Val or Corona ZL's wanted to have an activity so we went and got Elders  Feist and Justice and took them to our home share. We pretty much just hung out there all day. Played some guitar and E-mailed. Played clue 3 times. Watched Prophet of the Restoration on the Hoyt’s tv. Just normal P-day stuff.
Tuesday We had a lesson with Logan. He wants to get baptized so bad, but his parents won't let him, it is pretty sad. He is ready, he knows everything is true. He just can't get permission. It was just a normal day other than that. We are pretty low on investigators, so we spend a lot of time finding.
Wednesday we were supposed to teach Jacob, but he wanted to wait until Thursday. Our dinner canceled so we went to another member’s house for dinner. We had plenty of extra time so we taught them how to be missionaries and helped them that way.
Thursday we met with Jacob. We have been taking the perfect fellow-shipper over there for him. We are super close to dropping him. We would have a while ago, but I have been holding out because his sister is going to be able to help get him to church now. But once again a lot of finding. That pretty much happened all week.
Friday we had multi-zones. We had the two Corona Zones, La Sierra Zone, and Jurupa Zone. I was shocked at how many elders I knew there. It is barely dawning on me how long I have been out. With traffic and dinner we didn't have any time. We did stay a little after to talk to President Smart. Elder Hammond's dad might be taking the lessons, if he does Elder Hammond wanted to Skype and be in the lessons. I thought there was no way, but President told him yes. He had never had the idea and he is curious how it will go. Once we finally got down to our place and changed it was time for dinner. Once dinner was over we had a meeting back up at the other end of Corona. We thought we would have time to stop and talk to some people but it didn't happen. Traffic was way too bad. The meeting was at the Zimmerman home. He is in the stake presidency. They had all the missionaries over and we talked about Christmas Traditions. Then they went over Christ's Birth Story and then gave us all some frankincense and myrrh. It was pretty cool. No gold though. That is what we all really wanted.

Saturday we went and helped some Sisters in my district do service. They have absolutely no investigators. We went to go help them so we could try and get them one. It was a non-member who was moving in from another area and was really good friends with some members there that were trying to get him to take the lessons. They invited him pretty much as he was moving, so they should be teaching him and his wife soon. They got a huge blessing this week. They had a former investigator contact them and he wants to get baptized this weekend. We are doing as much as we can to get it to happen this week so they can help with the mission goal of 800. We are pretty close. We ate with the Walter family. They are pretty cool. We are going back over there on Christmas day as well. They had a less active guy there and a non-member. We should be working with the non-member soon. They want us to eat with her one more time though.
Sunday was pretty good. We didn't go to Ward Council because we were trying to get Jacob to church. We ended up being late. We had to go wake up his fellow-shipper and wait for him to get ready. Then we went over to get Jacob. He didn't answer, I didn't think he would. We had gone over an hour before to wake him up. I just wanted to see if we weren't knocking if they would answer. I know somebody was there. The screen and the door were both open a little bit and I could hear somebody. I called like all his family trying to get somebody on the phone. Still no answer at the door. Well we will talk to you on Wednesday!!

Love ya bye!!!

Elder Wood

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ward Christmas Program in Jerusalem

December 16, 2013 

Dear Family: 

This week has gone by super fast!!  

Monday we had a good P-day. Went to this store called "Active". I guess it is just a Southern California store. Anyways you remember that brand called Altamont this is normally just weird stuff? I found a cool shirt from them so I bought it. Other than that we just kinda messed around all day.


Tuesday and most of this week it was at least 70 degrees. It was weird.. we had district meeting. After that we helped Elders Fesit & Justice with some service. We got a pool house ready for an Elder who was coming back for his honeymoon. I found out it was for Elder Hanks. I'm not a huge Elder Hanks fan. He is the elder who was in the Fruitvale Ward before Elder Allen and I got there. I  thought about leaving a few notes, but I didn't. We did get to take an adventure in a old super creepy bomb shelter. Logan canceled so we didn't get to meet with him.  

The Bomb Shelter. Camera quit when I got inside - No Photos

Wednesday was pretty boring. Nothing too exciting.  

Thursday was pretty crazy.  We had a lesson with Veronica and some of her family. I didn't turn out that well. We had Sister Brown and her daughter meet us there to sit in and listen. The second we opened the door we all knew something was up. I'm sure it was drugs. We didn't know that would be a problem, but It didn't surprise me. We went in and Veronica told us a ton of stuff we didn't want to know. I was embarrassed the Browns saw the whole thing go down. The lessons there are normally so awesome!! We de-briefed them and they were fine. It was actually good they were there because they understood a lot more what she said than we did. After lunch I got a call from the Sisters cuz they couldn't start their car. Their key wouldn't turn. I figured their steering wheel turned and locked and stuff so I told them to turn it and turn the key at the same time. It worked... Sister Missionaries! haha. Had a lesson with Jacob and Jordan again. I understand a lot better when Mom talks about teaching two very different levels of her Kindergarden students. It is hard to appease both sides equally. I got the family letter that day. I about died when I read the part about dad running out of gas! I could not stop laughing! My comp thought I was crazy. I just want you to know I always keep the cars I drive over a quarter tank. Except for a few random times. Hopefully one of those times isn't while you are driving haha. Something I forgot to tell you about that happened in the middle of the day I got another job offer. A lady called me who I gave my number to. She said she lives in Murrita and has an office in Murrita and Temecula and other places (so in other words she is rich). I explained to her how a mission works and stuff.  

Friday we gave out a lot of Christmas party invites. We went and saw all the people we hadn't been able to catch the last few days. We ate dinner with a part-member family and had a good lesson after.  

Saturday we got lost. We tried to go out to one bluff. It is way out in the middle of nowhere. It didn't even look like California to me. We never found the house we were looking for. We accidentally took the wrong road the first time all the way to the land fill. That night was the Ward Party. We didn't really get to see too much of what happened.  We went and helped in the kitchen. (the Elders were over it not the Relief Society, so they needed lots of help) When we finally got in the gym it didn't look the same at all. They had crazy Middle East music playing and it looked like we were there too! It was cool. 


A photo Jason and his friends photoshopped of 3 of the 4 Wood brothers
Sunday at church I lost a good dinner thought. One of the bishopric used it in his talk, so I pretty much can't use that one anymore in this area for a while. Nothing too exciting happened. Sorry this is a short letter. I didn't really have a whole lot to say. Oh btw way yes I know E. Gordon. I know him well enough I knew his brother was a sales rep. That is cool you met him. He flew in with me and we served in Riverside together. He is an ASL missionary so he will leave a transfer before me. Well that's all for now!! talk to you at Christmas!! love ya!  

Elder Wood

Monday, December 9, 2013

Changing a Tire

December 9, 2013
Dear Family:
Hey! somehow time has gotten past me so I only have 35 minutes to write!
Last Monday I think I already told you but Elder Hammond and I went bowling with Elders Feist and Justice. That was kinda a little flashback to Hemet. They were even having an old people bowling tournament like they did every Monday in Hemet and everything!
Tuesday morning was weird, we didn't have DDM (we had ZDM on Friday) so I didn't know what to do with the extra time. We figured out how to get into a gated community I haven't been able to get into for a week. We have had the key codes the whole time, but one week they stopped working. We thought they got changed. I got really frustrated cuz we needed to go see somebody so I pushed them like really hard and they worked. I dunno what changed, but now you have to like slam your finger into them for them to work. We had another lesson with Veronica, it is super cool going to teach them because they have never had any experience feeling the Holy Ghost before, so it is always a cool experience teaching and bringing the spirit to them. That night we had a meeting with Bishop Bennett like we do every Tuesday night. I got to meet the new sister in my district and I share a ward with. She is from Orem.
Elder Wood at the Hoyt's House (Home Share)
Wednesday morning we taught seminary again. This time our class was super boring, none of the kids were fun they were all too tired I guess. I went and talked to some of the ones in the hall after. I was talking to one of them and following up with the commitment I left them. Elder Hammond walked off to talk to another Elder. Like a minute later he had to come rescue me, I was surrounded by like 6 girls all trying to talk my ear off ha. Elder Hammond didn't even notice, the other Elder saw I was trying to get them to come save me so they did. That day we tried to visit a bunch of people. I had been up since 4:40, so at lunch I laid down to take like a 20 minute nap. I figured Elder Hammond would wake me up. We ended up sleeping for like a lot longer than I wanted to. That night we didn't see Jacob, he re-scheduled for the next day. 
Thursday we had a beast of a weekly planning session. We got all the planning done and then started working on the ward list. We got a new one with all the ages and all the priesthood ordinations and we are using it for finding. Anyone who is like 30 and a teacher probably lives with non-members. We had to use my GPS to figure out who is in our area and who is in the sister’s area, we only got like 1/4 the way done on that. We had a lesson with Jacob Hicks, it went well. We did plan of salvation. 
Elder Wood and Elder Hammond at the Hoyt's House
Friday we had meetings and then craziness so we didn't really get anything done we wanted to. We had ZDM that morning. A meeting with our ward mission leader after that that went way over. They were both really good though, and helpful. After that I called and talked to a lady in Orange County for like 20 minutes because she was telling us about a referral she just gave us. It should be a really good teaching opportunity it sounds like. She is even willing to drive down for every lesson if her friend is willing to take them. In the middle of the call I got a ton of calls from people. After I found out the sisters in my district blew out a tire and needed me to come change it ha. Good thing I am good with cars. When I got there they had blown out both tires on the passenger side. Luckily they were in the parking lot when it happened. They thought they were about to get hit so instead they rammed the curb really hard. They had called the Sister Training Leaders as well to help them, but none of them knew what to do ha. I’m sure it was quite the sight. 4 sister missionaries just standing there watching 1 elder change the tires and 1 other elder just standing there. People were giving us some weird looks ha.
Saturday it rained a lot. Luckily I get to enjoy when it rains because I am in a car! We met with Veronica and part of her family again. One wasn't going to come to church and we didn't even have to say anything, Veronica went off and was like Jesus had to carry the cross and people were like spitting on him and stuff, I think you can go to church. So that was pretty awesome. Unfortunately they all got sick so they couldn't come :(
Sunday was frustrating! We were supposed to have 4 at church and only Logan came. We went to the Hick’s Saturday night last thing and had clothes laying out for him and we went to wake him up Sunday morning and he was gone. His parents took him with them even when they said they wouldn't. Veronica and Mellisa got sick. But Logan came! I had never tried so hard in my mission to get people to church so I was disappointed, but we will get them next week!! That night we were OYMing and I had a weird experience. I only have 2 minutes to send this, so I will have to tell you about it next week, Sorry!!
Love ya tons!!

Elder Wood                



Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving in the Mission Field

December 2, 2013 

Dear Family: 
Monday we picked up Elders Feist and Justice and brought them back to our homeshare. Just kidding we went to a members house in their ward first and used the batting cage and the basketball court. Then we went to our homeshare and hung out. It was pretty fun. Somewhere in the day I somehow ended up with 10 extra bucks of grocery shopping money so I bought Micheal Buble Christmas CD. So if anybody was going to send Christmas music don't send that one!
Elder Wood and Elder Feist at the Redlands Temple

Elders Hammond, Wood and Feist at the Redlands Temple

The Corona District at the Redlands Temple

Tuesday we had district meeting like always. After that Elder Hammond and I got to go to Riverside. It wasn't a big deal to drive there because from the church we go there and have district meeting and we live 12 miles from down the 15. From that church on Taber it is 14 miles to the mission office. It is the complete opposite direction, but we travel so much it really doesn't change our miles that much. That has been a constant problem in this area. When I got the little Chev Cruize I have it had like 500 miles on it. I think we are almost 3000 now ha. Elder  Hammond's mom has been calling the mission office everyday and asking them to get that package to him. They got tired of getting called all the time so they just gave us permission to come pick it up. That took a good part of the day. I wanted to take Elder Hammond to go see my old area and then maybe he would see what it is like to not be in a car better, but it was too far. It was on the opposite side of Riverside.
Missionaries Motoring About

Wednesday we had exchanges with the Prado View Elders. Elder Williams came with me because neither him nor Elder Hammond can drive so Elder Hammond had to go with Elder Denny into the other area. I wanted Elder Hammond to get to take over the area for the day, I guess we will just have to wait until next transfer. We met with a referral that Sister Oswald gave us (the Spanish Sisters). It was a pretty cool experience. I loved it. I don't know if that is how all the Spanish people are or not, but it was just super easy. They just loved us. Tuesday and Wednesday both our best investigators didn't want to have lessons. Logan Montgomery and Jacob Hicks. We caught Logan later in the week though.

The Missionaries Visit the Prado View Car Museum


I got to see a pretty awesome car. The guy in our ward who got it, bought it from some guy who had it in the Sema Car show in Vegas.  It was a super good deal. The people who built the car got all the parts for free for showing it off at the show, so they pretty much just sold it the same price as it would have been. It was a Mustang, I don't love Mustangs, but I was super impressed with what they did to the car. He didn't have time to cook so he just gave us money so we just ate at Chili's. It was a pretty normal day though.

Thursday was good. We got to play football. Just two hand touch. We went to the Norco High School and played on their field. It was super fun. Me Elders Feist, Smith, Blackburn and a bunch of old men were on one team. The other team was like 12 missionaries. We won. How we won, we don't know. They should have killed us, but by some miracle we beat them by two touchdowns.  After that we hung out with some other Elders and then went to dinner. We ate with the Browns. They live way out in Lake Mathews. Before and after dinner we played with their RC cars.  They have some big fast ones. They even have a gas one, but it is broken. We played basketball. Alec and I played against Elder Hammond and Tyler. Alec and I won ha. After that we played some Frisbee and I threw it pretty hard and accidentally broke it. They had another one!  After that we went back to our homeshare. Sister Hoyt had her parents there from Salt Lake. Their son who couldn't make it because of military stuff had his girlfriend there as well. So we just went back and hung out with them.
The pets at our Homeshare

Friday We did weekly planning and tried to see people. We had dinner with the Hoyts. It was cool to get to sit down and eat with them. We pretty much never see Suzann (Sister Hoyt) she leaves before we get up and goes to bed most of the time before we get home. We talk to Kim (Bro Hoyt) and keep him from going to bed ha. Their company was still there.

Saturday we finally got to meet with Logan. We would baptize him this weekend but his mom won't let us. We told him he is ready whenever his mom will let him. It was transfer call days. Leadership calls were in the morning. Elder Feist got one, he is now a district leader as well. I was like ya thats right!, I trained him. We both now are DL's over all sisters, so ZL exchanges are the only ones we get! They must have still been making some changes cuz it took the AP's forever to call the ZLs. I didn't get a call from the ZLs until after when we aren't supposed to make calls anymore. They split the Corona zone, just like every zone I have been in ha. The Temescal Valley Zone, and the Corona zone. They are in the same stake though so we still get to do stuff on P-day. The only thing that will be different is that we won't have meetings together anymore. Sister Bateman from the ward I am in is leaving to go be an STL in the La Sierra Zone. Other than that our ward is the same.
Sisters in the District - Sister Bateman is leaving, Sister Ni'ihou is getting a new Companion

Sunday we had dinner with the Sants again. They are the ones who
called Mom the other day. Sunday was normal. Just church and trying to find people to teach.

Well that was pretty much the week!! Happy holidays! Love ya tons!!

Love Elder Wood


Monday, November 25, 2013

Elder Wood and Elder Wood


November 25, 2013
Dear Family:
HI! I had a super good week!! I don't have a lot of time though. 
Last Monday I don't really remember, so it couldn't have been that cool.  
That is a fast stairway!
Tuesday we went to Redlands to the temple. That was awesome! Cafe Rio after. I will have to try and send you some pics. If I run out of time I might have Bro. Hoyt (our home-share) send it to you. We had a lesson with Logan again. He really wants to get baptized but his mom keeps holding him back. Something about Jehovah Witnesses taking 8 years to get baptized and he needs to have the Book of Mormon memorized. We are still working with it. I saw Elders Cook and Braithweight again. They brought us a homeshare.  
Creative Cooking
Wednesday we had DDM (district meeting). That day Elder Wood (ZL) came on exchanges with me, and Elder Hammond went with Elder Locklear in their area. We had some good lessons. The best one was with Jacob Hicks. The whole family made it to church this Sunday. All except the dad. Elder Wood and I had a good time. Everybody thought we were brothers or at least related. I served with him back in Hemet, so we knew each other pretty well. That night we stayed up talking for quite a while.  
Thursday was just a normal day, not a whole lot went on. We had weekly planning late because we had to exchange back. We had to do our exchange backwards (switch in the morning instead of the night) so a good part of the day was shot.  
Friday was about the same. I know this E-mail is boring, I forgot to take notes in my planner. This was like one of our busiest weeks, I just don't remember what we did ha.  
It's a good thing the car came along - 1478 Miles already!
Saturday We had breakfast at the church. We had a stake meeting with all the other missionaries and some of the stake people. It was good. Somebody who worked at IHOP  hooked us up. We pretty much spent all day trying to find part member families to teach. We stopped in by the Hicks family to make sure they would be able to go to church.  
The view of Corona
Sunday was a pretty chill day. Just church and meetings. We went to an inter-faith thing at the Methodist church. It was pretty cool. We were well represented there. That night I got to go and see one of Elder Feist's investigators be baptized. That was cool. She was baptized by her son who Elder Feist baptized as well. That was pretty much the week!! This next week is going to be interesting. We are going to Riverside to pick up a package that Elder Hammond needs I guess. Thanksgiving is going to be awesome. We get to play in the turkey bowl. Saturday is transfer calls. It used to bug me when all the missionaries would talk about how fast the time was going, but this transfer has been crazy fast. I really do feel like I just got here!! Well got to go!! Love ya!
Elder Wood   

Monday, November 18, 2013

Moving Day

November 18, 2013

Dear Family:

Hi! This was an interesting week. They days were either really exciting, or really boring.
I think I talked about Monday and Tuesday in my last E-mail, so I will just skip those. Oh just kidding! We had a lesson with Logan Tuesday night. It went well. His mom is slowing him down though. He has been to church enough and knows enough if she would let me I would baptize him this month. She wants him to know the Book of Mormon perfectly before he gets baptized. She said we couldn't even baptize him in December, we will see about that though. I have some ideas, we just haven't been able to meet with them yet.
Wednesday we went to Riverside. We had the trainer/trainee meeting. They changed it this time, it was different than it was the last two times I went. This time we split up from our companions. President and Sister Smart stayed with the trainees and did the same thing they did before. The trainers went with the AP's and they followed up on some commitments and answered questions. They also trained on a few things that were helpful. After that some of the missionaries from the Riverside and Mt. Rubido zones showed up, so I got to talk to them for a minute. We went back and had dinner and a lesson with the Hicks. Jacob is a non-member. He brought his friend to his house to check it out as well. Dinner was really good, the lesson started good. We were keeping it simple and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ. While we were still on the first subject his sister Jordan got home from softball practice and came and sat in. She is super interested and had a lot of good questions. It is going to be an interesting balance in getting Jacob to ask questions and be involved but keep her excited about the gospel. Jordan is really the one who is pulling the family towards wanting to go to church. She is also holding them from doing so as well. She wants to get a scholarship for softball so she doesn't have to pay for college and has to play on Sundays during church. That night we went back to our apartment and packed.

Thursday morning we did our normal morning schedule and then started moving all our stuff to our new home-share. You know how sometimes we load the S-10 so full the suspension can't take it and the back sits really low? We did that to our little Chevy Cruiz. We were super good packers. It was a little bit like playing Tettris. When we got their Elders Cook and Braithweight were setting up our desks and bunk bed. We met Bro. Hoyt, his wife was at work he had the day off. The Hoyts are pretty cool. They have two kids, a son in the military and a daughter on a mission in Little Rock Arkansas. We also have two dogs!! An American white lab named Gunner and a little black dog named Mia. Elder Hammond and I have a lot of fun with them. The house and the neighborhood are both really nice, we live in a gated community. It pretty much took the whole day to move all our stuff there.
Friday was just a normal day of work. We had a meeting at Bro Tait's house (Ward Mission Leader) like we do every Friday for lunch. We snuck into our old apartment cuz I knew I had a letter there from home. I know there were some questions on it I was supposed to answer, but I forgot to bring it, sorry!! I do remember Dad saying though that he was looking for carbs for the Go-Cart. Mclane found one once on the internet that you could adjust and stuff that would fit for 40 bucks. Other than that, just remember that the on/off switch is backwards, it wouldn't fit the other way. That is cool you are getting it going! Friday night it got down to 60, and E. Hammond got pretty cold. I teased him a little bit, so the next day when it rained and stayed 60 all day he wouldn't wear it, even though I wore mine all day. I bought a new jacket with some money that Suzie sent me, it is nice. We had a lesson and that was the day.
Day at the Temple

Saturday we finally we caught a family we have been chasing down for a long time, we have a return appointment we are super excited for. We pretty much used the whole day to visit people. For dinner we went to an unofficial ward party. It was a huge homecoming party for a RM. Pretty much the whole ward was there, it was at the church. His family is Samoan, so we got some awesome food. They had a Samoan guy there playing and singing the whole time, he was super good. I went and talked to the RM's trainer who flew in from Utah to see him. While I was talking to him they put on a song. I knew I knew it, but it seemed like from a dream or something very distant for some weird reason. Once it got to the middle of the song I finally figured it out. It was the wobble song they play at country dancing every Wednesday in Logan they have a crazy dance to. So that was weird. We ate a piece of cake and then left.
It's Raining - Hard!
Sunday Bro. Gasu (RM) spoke. It was good. He talked about we can't do work without the help of members. We were at the church early for a stake meeting with the stake auxiliaries and all the missionaries. For dinner we ate with the Sants. It was a awesome dinner. I think Bro Sant was going to call you, so hopefully that was fun for you! Call him back if you were gone when he did. Well out of time, love ya tons!
Elder Wood

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Zone Service Project

November 12, 2013 

Dear Family: 

Today at 5:28 pm.

Hi! Another great week in Corona! We had some really neat things happen this week! I will have to keep this short, I don't have a ton of time.
Last P-day I was still sick. I couldn't run or do much for very long. I just passed the football with some other elders and played the guitar. Later we went with Elders Feist and Justice to the members house again to hang out in their awesome back yard. Their son who is like a deacon invited a bunch of others to come and play stuff against us. It was fun.
Tuesday We had district meeting that morning. Sam came to my district meeting. It was good to get to see him again. I dunno if I told you, but he is back from his mission. He had some health issues. After that Sam came with everybody to go eat at Chick-Fil-A so that was fun. We had a lesson with Geo after that. He really wasn't all the way there. If it wouldn't have been for that it would have been a great lesson. We found out he is a brew-master, so pretty much he makes his own beer.
Wednesday we went to Redlands again to go to the doctor. After that Elder Hammond and I drove out to Lake Mathews for a lesson with a less active out there. It is the sisters area out there, but he is a single guy so they said we should do it. It was fun to drive out there, it is very open. That night we went on splits with the Elder's Quorum. They had a whole bunch of names to visit so they asked us to help. I went with Brother Smalley. He is a returning member who's wife just got baptized. They are headed to the temple soon. We went and visited a few people.
Thursday we had a zone service project. The Armstrong family in my ward feeds all the missionaries in this zone breakfast every P-day. They are moving though, so we all just showed up and helped them out. I don't think I have ever seen that many people at a move. We just lined up and then passed boxes down a line of people all the way out to the moving van. That night we were supposed to go with the Elders Quorum again. After dinner on the way up we needed gas bad. Our gas card wouldn't work though! I had to call the fleet coordinator and work out to use my missionary fund and then have them pay it back to me. So our plans got changed. We would have been like 40 minutes late so they just went without us.
Friday morning we had President Interviews. It is always good to get to have an interview with him. We talked about a lot of different things. After that the day was pretty slow. We did a lot of tracting ha. That night we didn't have a dinner so I used a gift card from the Maddens to go to Chili's. I know I haven't been out that long, but being a missionary is making me hear things. You know how they sing to people there when it is their b-day? Well when they did that I swore they said "happy happy birthday we know the church is true!" I hit my comp and was like "Did you hear that?!?" He thought I was crazy ha. That night our plans fell through as well. I had gotten a call from the ZLs in another zone with a referral to a part member family that just moved here from their ward. We just kinda went there on a whim. When we knocked on the door a kid about my age opened the door. He had some tats and stuff that freaked my comp out, but I thought he was a super cool guy. We were talking to him and he let us in. A few minutes later his mom and sister came home from softball practice. There was also another guy there who is 15. The daughter had a lot of questions about missionary stuff. As we kept going just out of nowhere the mom asked us if they could feed us and if we could start the lessons with her son so we could baptize him. It was awesome!! I am excited to go back there and start working with that family. BTW their last name is the Hicks. I don't think I said that. They moved here from Arizona I think.
Saturday was a long day. We pretty much tracted all day. All our plans fell through. On the plus side I wasn't really sick anymore! I was still a little bit, but for the most part it was finally over! So that is good. We got a couple return appointments so that is good. Hopefully they pan out.
Sunday the kids did the primary program. Everybody enjoyed that. That night for dinner we ate at bishop Bennett's house. His wife invited a non-member who has a son who came to church once or twice. We taught the first lesson and invited them to be baptized. It went really well. They seem to be excited. We are meeting with them again today (12) at the church. We can't meet at their house, the dad is an atheist and doesn't want us teaching in his home. Hopefully his family getting baptized will soften his heart.
Monday instead of basketball most of us played Texas Hold Em. We used spoons and salt and pepper packets we found in the kitchen at the church as chips. After that we took Elders Feist and Justice shopping with us. We went and bought me a jacket and nice RCVA hoodie/t-shirt thing that was marked way down at Tillys. Elder Hammond bought a micro-fiber pillow at Target. We thought it was on sale for 10 bucks because that is what the display said. It turns out it was wrong it was supposed to be 60 bucks, but they let him buy it for 10 anyways. He got super lucky.
Tuesday. The day is half gone. We had ddm (district meeting). Went to B-dubs after. (buffalo wild wings) I had never been before, I might have a new favorite! We will see, it was my first time there, it probably won't beat Chili's or the Road House in the long run. Elder Smith got the mango something wings that are almost the hottest. The Spanish Elders got them too, but they didn't even affect them. I thought Elder Smith was going to cry haha. About 20 minutes after he asked me if his face was back to normal yet. I about died laughing, I guess he could still feel it pretty good ha. Now we are about to leave for dinner. Elder Hammond just got an E-mail. His visa will be coming in this week. So he will leave for Australia hopefully at the end of the transfer and not in the middle. We will see though. Start sending my mail to the mission office for a little while. Sometime this week I am moving into a members home in my ward, so my address will be different. Also I just got a call from the office trying to decide which Elder Wood to send a letter to. It is from a Josh King. Do I know him? I called the other Elder Wood and he doesn't know who it is either! I honestly hope it is for me, I just feel bad I don't remember the name ha. I think it might be a friend from college, I just don't remember his last name. Well out of time, sorry to throw all of that at you in the last few sentences. got to go, Love Ya!

Elder Wood

Monday, November 4, 2013

Working with a Cold

November 4, 2013 

Dear Family: 

Today at 2:53 PM

Hey! Well this week has been good. Time is going by really fast. long days, short weeks. I forgot to tell you a story last week that happened Saturday night at dinner. When we pulled into the place I was a little worried because it was a sketchy trailer park ha. Turns out the guy used to be a chef of sorts and his food was bomb. We ate outside at his neighbors trailer. His neighbor is a non member. When I walked over there he was outside playing a really nice 12 string. We started talking about it and he wanted me to play it. It sounded super pretty but I wasn't used to playing it, so it was hard at first. Before the dinner though he snuck away and grabbed a regular guitar and wanted me to play and sing before Elder Hammond read some scriptures. it was fun but kinda weird. Anyways!!
Monday was fun. Elder Feist and I went with our comps to a members house in his ward that had a cool backyard. He had a batting cage cuz he used to play AAA ball. Then a nice basketball court and stuff and two younger kids we hung out with. That was after P-day activity and E-mailing and shopping and stuff.
Tuesday I got to go back to Riverside! I went with all the other DL's for a meeting with President. I got to drive. I loving driving. I learned some cool stuff, talked about some of the problems going on in the mission I didn't really want to know about, and we ate lunch all together. All the ZL's were there for lunch as well because they were meeting that day. I got to see a lot of old friends who are scattered all over the mission so that was really fun. Elder Hammond had a rough day while I was gone though. I left for my meeting at like 11 and didn't get back until right in time for dinner. He was with some other Elders and they were all confused and scatter brained. He didn't really know what was going on all day because they kept changing it on him. After dinner we tried to run down a kid we are trying to teach and his parents at a scout meeting. I didn't work, but I ran into Chase Dworshak the mini missionary Elder Feist and I had back in Hemet. That was super fun, we are all going to go to lunch one of these days or something. It was weird his hair was grown out and he didn't look the same.
Wednesday was a good solid day of missionary work. For dinner we went to the ward trunk or treat. The ward did awesome at inviting non members. I wish I knew more of the member better so I would have known better who was and who wasn't a member. I just ended up talking to a lot of people.
Thursday was hard to get anything done. We had zone meeting that morning, so that pretty much shot most of the day and then we had to be at the zone activity by 6:00 so we didn't have a lot of time. We just all met together and played basketball for Halloween. I am getting tired of playing basketball so Elder Feist and I took our guitars and played for a while. We did the same thing for today for P-day activity.
Friday we got lots done. I was getting a little frustrated with the temperature. It was low to mid 90s all day... I don't like that. E. Hammond loves it, he is actually a little cold here. We had dinner with a family in the sisters area (I think I told you I was in a split ward with sister missionaries covering the north half?). We ate in their area so we could meet two guys that live out there. It is way away from everybody else. It is out by Lake Mathews. We had to have the members we are eating with give us a ride. We were really close to back in Riverside. My new ward is huge. Our ward is as big as the rest of the stake. Where I drive everyday to my area is almost into Lake Elsinore. 
Saturday we went way over miles. We live 7 miles out of our area. I get on the 15 everyday just to get to my area, but all our work is like 15 miles away. So by the time we get there our miles are pretty well shot. It has been a problem, but we needed to get stuff done so I just ignored it. I called the office about it. It is a good thing I made friends with Elder Price. I talked him into giving me more miles! Saturday wasn't very fun for me. If I wasn't with a new missionary I would have stayed at the apartment. I was pretty sick. I was dragging myself around all day, but I got it done. I dunno why but the two colds I have had on my mission are the worst I have had in my life. The first one was in Hemet I doubt I told you about it, I was still with Elder Allen and getting trained. I didn't have any tissues so I hucked a lot of lugies (sorry I know that is really gross)  until my throat was raw. Then I just gave in and went to the store and bought a bunch of stuff like tissues and strong cough drops. That helped a lot, it got me through the next two days with some help with all the medicine mom sent me out with. When I was in the store I wanted to steal some toilet paper from the bathroom, but some guy was in there for like 10 minutes washing his hands and playing with the air dryer (they were one person bathrooms). I had to pee pretty bad too. I ended up just going in the girls cuz I was sick of waiting. Luckily I didn't get caught, but hey that is almost legal here now in California! That day I was looking forward to dinner, but it ended up being super weird and awkward.. So that didn't help much. After that the night got better, we had a good lesson with Marcia. After that the zone got together to start our zone fast. We have never done that before but I thought it was a really good idea.
Sunday was good, I was still sick though. It was weird my ears would pop cuz all the stuff in my head, so sometimes it was like I was walking around with my fingers in my ears. I felt a little better after church. We had two good lessons that day, so we stayed really busy.
Today has been good. I learned a song from Elder Feist. I am feeling a lot better. I am on the up-hill! Just a cough now and still some congestion. I hope I didn't make it sound like I had a terrible week, it really was a good week. I enjoyed it. I mostly put all that in here because I didn't want to forget about it later. I haven't been doing a very good job of writing in my journal.
Well out of time! Love ya! Elder Wood


Monday, October 28, 2013

New Area - Corona California

October 28, 2013
Dear Family:

So I have had a crazy two weeks! I will try and run through all of it really fast!
Actually now I think back I don't really have much to tell you about last week. It was either really uneventful or I actually just don't remember ha. Last Saturday I saw a possum for the first time in my life. That’s about it. Last Sunday I got to go to a ladies baptism that I helped teach on exchanges. So I guess to this week! It was pretty crazy, I was homeless for like two days.

Monday was a weird p-day. Oh wait I thought of something that happened last week! Sunday night we had our whole apartment back up. We walked in and it smelt like poop. We found some water on the floor so we went into the bathrooms and the tub was full and the toilets were full. Then something happened and they all started over flowing! We emptied out our garbages  and started bucketing out water. We couldn't keep up with the sewer ha. I called the maintenance guy and he came and pulled the plug of the sewer line somewhere. That night they had a carpet guy sucking up all the water and ripping out carpet. They are lucky we were there to fight it. They neighbor apartment is just a showroom so the whole place was soaked. I bet they have to redo a lot there. We even had a member bring a shop vac and we were fighting the sewer with that. We ended up sleeping at the ZL's place cuz ours stunk.  So Monday I went and saw everybody at the office before I took off to Corona. By the way I am in the Temescal Valley Ward. I am with Elder Hammond from Alabama who is waiting for a visa to go to Australia. We split the ward with two sister missionaries. Anyways mid-day I moved all my stuff to Corona so it was there when I got there. I met my roommates Elders Wilkinson and Janks. They are cool, Wilkinson was actually Elder Allen’s last comp before he went home. He also plays basketball for U of U. The coolest surprise though is that Elder Feist lives in the same complex as me so I got to see him while I was unloading my stuff. Then I went back to the office to be companions with the Office Assistants Elders Cook and Braithweight. That night I got to go to Ronny's mission! I rode with them to L.A.X! It was super cool. We took Elder Cram there who was headed to Australia. I don't think I have ever seen a city that big! We drove through at night. It was like 8. The airport was sick. Lots of lights and cool stuff. We missed our road on the way there and accidentally went past Knot's Berry Farm. That was weird. I looked at the GPS and we were super close to the ocean for quite a while. That was a cool trip. Once we got back to Riverside at like 9:30 or 10 and ate some Wendy’s for dinner. That night I slept on the floor in their new apartment.
Tuesday morning I hung out with the ASL missionaries so I didn't have to chill at the office all day. They were going to volunteer at the deaf school though so they took me to Elder Hawkins. I helped him and his new comp clean a little bit and then they took me to the office so I could go to the trainer meetings and get my new comp. Meetings were super good. There were only like 5 Elders training and then like 15 sisters. It was weird... A lot different that the first two times I was in those meetings. That night we drove to Corona, It was a good thing I bought a GPS. We had some of the sister’s suitcases in our car so we took that to their place. Then we went to ours. We unpacked a little bit and then just crashed in our beds. Elder Hammond at the time had about 3 hours of sleep for the last two days. I was pretty tired too. 

Wednesday we had district meeting. After that we met with the sisters to work out where we were going to split the ward. Then they gave me a bunch of records for my area so my area book wasn't completely empty. We have a brand new one because this is the first time this ward has had two sets of missionaries, just like my last area. We had a meeting with our ward mission leader because I asked for it. I think it just confused me more. He isn't the kind of guy who just gets things done, he would just beat around the bush and not answer any of my questions. All the names we got were from the sisters.
Thursday morning we met with a guy from church headquarters. S.L.C. They were from the Research and Investigation division or something like that. Chose our mission to come visit, and President Smart chose our zone. We had a little focus group kind of thing. We have a large zone so they split us in two. Somehow it ended up being Elders in one and Sisters in another. That was a blessing in disguise. Because we were in different rooms we told them things that they hadn't heard were problems in other missions probably because the sisters were in the room. They mostly asked about the age change and how it has affected our mission. It was pretty cool. Both Elder Feist and Elder Hammond got to talk about their individual experiences on how the age change effected their choice to come and how it affected them once they got here. That day was boring until night time. I got to do baptismal interviews for the 3 people the sisters were teaching in our ward.

Friday was slow as well. Mostly just trying to organize the area and stuff. I think I forgot to mention. Once we had our areas all figured out and got working on it one of the sisters had a feeling that we needed to switch the areas. So we had to call the Pres and say just kidding we want to switch that. I didn't think it was a very good idea for a few reasons but oh well. That night our dinner canceled. We started making some visits with no luck. One part member family was home. We had a little chat and then they invited us in for dinner which was super nice. We had a bomb dinner and then a lesson. This guy knows he needs to be baptized, so I pretty much just asked him why he wasn't and then let the lesson go from there. After the lesson we were walking to the car and the sisters called us and told us we had a dinner all the sudden. I was stuffed and we didn't have the miles to go up there. Luckily they covered for us!
Saturday We finally got to meet with the Bishop. We got a few names from him. We had to try a lot harder than I thought we should have though. I dunno why. Elder Feist’s comp went to a baptism so he got to be our 3rd comp for a little while. It has been fun being able to hang out with him a little bit. We went to the baptism of the 3 I interviewed. I will have to hurry, I only have 5 minutes left!

Sunday was good. Got to meet for a minute with the high councilman over missionary work. He is going to be a big help. We picked up a really solid potential investigator because a kid invited his friend to church and then just decided to ask him if he wanted to get baptized and he said yes. The Spanish Elders and sisters were having a baptism right after our ward. He started asking questions and wanted to look at the font. It was super cool. We had some other meetings and then that was pretty much the day. Well it was a good week, but a crazy one! Love you all!

Elder Wood   

Hey just letting you know my new address so you can send stuff there. 1172 Chestnut Lane #204 Corona, CA 92881. Also I got a package from Suzie I will have to tell you about later that was awesome!! But your letter didn't make it for some reason. Talk to ya soon bye