Monday, March 25, 2013

Longest Letter Ever

March 25, 2013

Dear Family:

Alright alright alright! This week has definitely been a little more exciting week than the last few. I’ll start with your last letter though. Dad tell me a little more about being the bishop, how is it? How do you feel about it? Did Dad or Brett get anything cool for their B-days? So should I try and figure out how to get a kenelog shot soon? Or should I wait until the year mark? I might just try and go without cuz I don't think my allergies will be as bad here and I don't want to get immune to the shot. That and I think it might be kind of a big hassle to get to the doctor and stuff on the mission. I love the recycled letters Lisa is using on me haha. I think it’s funny. Lisa when you told me you were going to buz Ronny's hair I thought you meant cut it short! Not shave it! Ronny I think you should bic it, like as in shave it with a razor and see how it is. Does your head get pretty cold? I'm loving your new board Ronny, I can't decide if I like the new one or mine better. I think I like the bottom of mine better but I don't really like the binding side of mine as much. I love the pics of my niece and nephews. Briggs already looks so different! I don't really know how I feel about Bryant's cross dressing picture though. Brett and Jason, what did you guys do for spring break? Did the family do anything fun?

Ronny asked in my last letter some questions I am going to answer real quick. How I feel about the mission and stuff. I am really liking it. Sometimes it can get frustrating but that’s just life. I miss being normal sometimes, but I have the chance to do something that will change people’s lives and I love that. I think I would enjoy it a lot less if I was with a hard companion, and I do not look forward to that day. Is it hard? Yes it is hard, I get up at 5:45 every day and go nonstop until 10:30, when I fall asleep but I enjoy it anyways. It has been nice as of late because we have been doing more teaching than finding. And no, it is not at all how I thought it was going to be. I think it is a lot like going to the temple, you never know what it is going to be like until you get there.

 I'm not bugging you about it but my glasses haven't got here yet (cuz E. Jessup gave me his sunglasses because he doesn't want tan lines haha) I just don't really like wearing aviators on a bike cuz I’m afraid the giant things are going to jump off my face. I just am letting you know in case they got lost in the mail or something.

It has been really warm here, but this last week wasn't as bad as the last. Honestly I would compare March here to July or end of June at home. It’s hot in the day and not cold enough in the morning to justify wearing a hoodie on our run to the gym. I don't know how well I will deal with the heat. I am kinda jealous of you guys snowboarding haha. Is there any snow at the house or is it just up in the mountains?

Monday was good, we went to a members house where we all go and play pool. I suck at pool haha. Before that was basketball and e-mailing. I am excited for the day I’m not in Hemet and there is actually something cool to do on p-day and not just play ball ha. Then we had a lesson or two that night.

Tuesday we had some good lessons. Our first one was with Robert Bailey Russel. He is this black Baptist preacher that got converted to being LDS a few years ago. I think we learned more than we taught haha. He is having a hard time getting to church cuz he just got his back messed up so they asked us to go see him. We also taught this neat lady named Fantasia, she used to like be super devoted to the Catholics and did the whole exorcist things I guess haha. She’s kinda crazy. Then my companion and I went on team ups and I taught this old guy from Germany. Sometimes it is really hard to understand what he is saying. He is the classic eternal investigator. He has been going to church for like 6 years but will never get baptized. I mostly was there because he needed me to lift and move a TV for him and his wife.

Wednesday we had a lesson with our golden investigator Susan. She is the one that showed up to stake conference just to check out the church one day and got found because the member from the 70 asked people investigating the church to stand up and he talked directly to them and so some of the missionaries went and talked to her and she is in our area. She actually lives right next to the church. She is really educated. Has a couple of degrees. She used to teach English as a second language and knows a few other languages. We taught her lesson 3 or the doctrine of Jesus Christ (basically faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end). We basically didn't even have to teach her. We would ask her about the subject and she would tell us about it spot on and we would just clarify a few things. She has a lot of faith and already had some really good experiences with feeling the spirit and being directed by it.

Thursday I went to Riverside. We had a trainer/trainee meeting at the mission home. That was really good. It was cool to get to see some of my old friends. The meeting was ok, until Pres and Sister Smart got up and then it got mind blowing! Pres is super inspired and directed by the spirit. He would teach us a bunch of awesome stuff and then a question would pop into my mind that was specific to me and nobody else in the room and then in the next sentence or two he would directly answer my question and I would just be like wow... mind blown... Then we sang Hope of Israel and I had a new meaning of that song come to me which is pretty awesome. I felt the spirit really strong during it and was trying not to cry. It kinda sucked though because even though I was closer to the back I was stuck out from the side in the isle and in the direct line of sight of Pres and he was watching me the whole time. Then I just got to spend more time with my friends and then we headed back.

Friday was pretty slow at first. We were just out visiting a few people when we had miracle happen. We were biking and this kid at a door is like "Hey Elders!" So we go talk to him. His name is Jeremy. He is our age and is working for Vivint going door to door selling it. He is a member and so we are just chillling and we were giving him some advice about knocking doors cuz he is just getting started. While we did this some lady across the street yelled hey missionaries come here! So we went and talked to her. She is a care taker for an old lady that lives on the street but was doing some work for the old ladies son that lives a few doors down from his mom. His name is Steven. He wasn't there but she wanted us to come back and talk to Steven when he is there cuz he has some questions for us. After dinner we biked back down there and met him. When we sat down he is just like, " Well boys I think I want to be baptized into your church so tell me the steps I need to take to do that" I had never had that happen before. So we taught him what he needs to do and we hope he does. He seems super solid. He is smart too. He was an English teacher.

Saturday wasn't too eventful and I am over time.

Sunday was super stressful at church because we had like 5 investigators there. One of them who is Kenny is super critical of the church and I forgot to tell you about him. I will have to in the next letter. Anyways it kinda sucked cuz the speakers kinda sucked, they came to my and E. Allen’s class gospel principals we didn't get to read through before we taught it. Elders Quorum was a mess cuz they had Chase Seeley’s twin teach it and now I think Kenny thinks we are all crazy. Then E. Allen went with Sam to Ukipa to a baptism and I went with my buddy Christian and went and taught some peeps but not too eventful

I'm getting kinda over time and that was pretty much my week. My week was awesome, probably the best one I have had.

Also this week is transfers (we only had 5 weeks in this one so they could get on track with the MTC) Elder Jessup is leaving to Murrieta which I am kinda sad about but it’s ok. His comp is training so I hope he is a cool kid. Jeff Cooper’s cousin is leaving too. We are getting like 3 new greenies. This one sister that came in with me has to train because how many sister missionaries we are getting. Which is crazy because the training program we are supposed to go through is 12 weeks so she hasn't even gotten half way through it yet. I'm just glad I don't have to do that yet cuz it would be a train wreck ha. Alright got to go.

Love you bye!

Elder Wood

P.S. that’s definitely the longest letter I have written on my mission, maybe ever.

P.S.S. I forgot, anything people would have sent from last Wednesday to this Wednesday will get held in the office because of transfers and they do a good job of not sending the wrong mail the wrong people.

P.S.S.S. remember to always use my first name cuz I just found out there is another E. Wood in the mission because he just sent me a letter I got from one of the kids I was in the MTC with haha


Monday, March 18, 2013

Made a Guy Cry

March 18, 2013

Mi Familia:

Ok, I think I will just start my letters with my notes from the letters you send me cuz that is easier haha. Amanda is right sweaters here are perfect because a full on coat I think would be too much. My first week or two here I used my companions old sweater under my rain coat and it was perfect. I think I will be fine until winter again and then I might ask you to send me a sweater or two, cuz I use all my money for food haha. And I don't know where to find a place to find a sweater. I'm good on my suit, I’ll try and get it fixed, but I don't want a new one. If I was going to spend money on a new suit I would rather do it when I get back or save it uncase something happens to this one. It doesn't really surprise me about dad's pants not being hemmed right, they didn't do perfect on these ones either but nothing major. One of the waists didn't get brought in at all but it is fine with my belt and I don't need to get them fixed. I am doing my PROS! I really like the smile part ha. If you do all of them, things just seem to go better! If Ronny wants to take my board again he can, and my other brothers too just as long as they don't do it too much and it is always when there is plenty of snow. You said Ronny got a new board before you left Provo but you didn't say what he got! What is it? I am that good of a boarder! My board just helps... a lot haha. Sharee, Kelsey didn't write me for the seminary missionary week. She can write me if she wants to. I love getting letters! I check the mail every day haha. That sucks about the play. I dunno if you will get this in time to help you decide, but just do what you want to do. Think about it in a way as what will make the better memory for you to remember 5 years down the road? So either way, make a good memory. I got a good letter from the Goodriches! They are better at drawing then I am ha. I liked what Malorie wrote about snowboarding 30% hard 100% fun ha. I think it’s funny Lisa buzzed Ronny's hair cuz I am thinking about cutting mine as short as I can because it’s freaking hot here and my long hair looks funny after I wear my helmet. I dunno if I left any money on my itunes or not, if I did somebody should find me some good music I can listen to and send it to me. We don't have to listen to just church music we have a lot of approved stuff and they are pretty lacks with it. They even let us listen to some Lindsey Sterling Dubstep haha, but don't buy me that, I’m going to burn a copy of E. Jessups. Also, I’m not complaining, I am just letting you know that the glasses aren't here yet just so you know in case.

I had a green dinner the other day. I actually had two ha. My poop was green, like un-natural green. We had president interviews on Tuesday. That was good, he just made sure all was going well with us and if he could do anything for us. I guess I could end up getting switched to the Carlsbad or Redlands mission, but I doubt it happens.

I met this guy on the street named JR. We made him cry just standing on the sidewalk, so that was cool. We harvesting blessing-ed him and he felt the spirit really strong. We had a appointment with him, but he didn't show up. I wish we could chase him down but he didn't want to give us his phone number or address, we were just supposed to meet at the church but that obviously wasn't a good idea. After that we got memberships to Fitness 19. At Prez interviews we asked if we could and he said yes, but only to us. None of the other missionaries know about it. He is letting us be his guinea pigs. I think because he knows and trusts my companion and I seem pretty innocent ha. That has been good.

I got to go to the Redlands temple on Friday! That was fun. It is a really small temple but really pretty. I love the inside. I like how it had 3 different rooms like the Vernal one. The Terrestrial room was awesome. The ceiling was really high and had clouds painted on it. It reminded me of Hogwarts! Then that night we had an awesome dinner. It was with the Greathouses. He is Polynesian and likes to eat like me. He and his wife are amazing cooks though! Probably the best dinner I’ve had here. My favorite part was when we loaded up our bikes in his truck and he ran us to where we were supposed to be next. He has a Chev and a Titan. We took the Titan. During the ride we were talking about them both and I asked which one he liked better and he said the Titan because of all the stuff he had done to it. He has good enough suspension he can jump it, but I didn't talk him into it cuz my bike was in the back. Then he said it was supercharged. I got him to show me what it could do. I was super impressed. That is the fastest I have accelerated in a truck, which is saying a lot because I’ve been in a lot of diesels that have a lot done to them. It was pretty fun. That made my day ha. My companion said I was laughing like a kid. Which doesn't surprise me cuz me Jetson Kaiden and Skyler always were like that.

Saturday I went on exchanges with one of our ZL's. That was good. He made miracles happen. I dunno how he does it but my companion thinks it is because of his overwhelming faith. I put somebody on date to be baptized with him and I tried again with another family later, but they said they didn't want to decide yet. We are headed back later this week to teach them more.

I have found out I am cannot type near as much as I thought I could in an hour. Hopefully I get faster. Well I am out of time so I will talk to ya next week! And I look forward to getting my letter from you all! Bye!

Love Elder Wood

This computer takes forever to attach pictures.................. So just send me some music.... and I will be happy haha. Maybe one day I will be in a car where I can listen to it all day. I have this friend here named Sam. He is cool. I am making him make me CDs too. He is good at hooking me up. He is also teaching me some Spanish. Just little phrase here and there every time I see him I write them down in a little book. I might have you guys send me a dictionary and some other Spanish materials so I can try and teach myself some, because I talk to a lot of people who have no idea what I am saying to them because they speak Spanish.  



Monday, March 11, 2013

Nearly Taken for a Ride

March 11, 2013

Dear Family:

Another week down in Hemet! Been a good week! So thanks for the story you guys shared with me about taking the Backes family wood. It saved my butt in a lesson. We were teaching a lady we just met and talking about how family is important in the gospel and how the gospel blesses families lives. Unknown to us she has been left by her family and wanted to know where somebody without one fits into the church. We explained how we are all family and how we are always here for each other and that was a perfect example!  We are beginning to actually teach a few people now we have been finding people for the last few weeks.

So Mom did anybody eat that nasty sandwich you put peanut butter on with your toes? That’s  kinda gross haha. I kinda forgot Bruce was getting married. How is his wife, I never got the chance to talk to her. Do they live in Bluebell or where she lived? Did you guys find anything out about my suit and the yellow marks on it? Other than that, I think I have one of if not the nicest suits out of the missionaries. How do you like yours Dad? Brett, its about time you guys finally watch Men in Black in 3-D! I didn't know if it was ever going to happen! And Lance actually came back up, two miracles in a weekend haha. Tell Lance I miss him running his jake-break past my window every morning. All I ever get now is a bunch of cop sirens. I hope he didn't drive all the way to Logan just to play black ops ha. Jason, how is your major going? I am curious as to how you feel about it, because I don't know how I feel about it.

 So not to throw a bunch of stuff at you and be annoying but.

1. I could use a new insurance card (or copy of), mine is hard to see and read and changing pharmacies was kinda a pain cuz of it.

2. When was my kenolog shot for my allergies? When do I get my next one?

3. Does anybody have any food ideas for me? I don't want to eat anymore sandwiches haha. (the ward feeds us dinner, plus I have plenty of ideas for that) so I mainly need lunch and breakfast ideas.

4. I have no idea what one of those brush things is for you sent me. It looks useful, I’m just not sure of the use ha.

 Sunday Elder Allen and I decided to go visit a less active member and her mom who didn't come to church a couple hours after we got done with meetings and such. Somehow we started talking about earth quakes and how I wanted to feel one so I know what the experience would be like! They said it’s really not that cool and is kinda scary. Today two of the missionaries we hang out with were getting their hair cut, so I was just chilling in a double wide trailer. All of the sudden it felt like a truck hooked up and was pulling us away! It was pretty sweet. There was a earth quake in Anza (the far reaches of my zone). It is up in the mountains and they actually have snow there! So I can see snow while I am melting in the 90 degree weather. It was a 5.1 on the rector scale in Anza. We just got the shockwave here. I guess I live on the most active fault line in the world? The lady I was talking to is kinda crazy, so I dunno if I believe her. Anyways that was kinda cool. The missionaries up there are ok, it wasn't very bad at all. Then that less active member texted me and was super excited to see if I felt it or not.

We had another normal week of finding people all week. We went on exchanges again on Saturday. I went with Elder Albright my district leader (Elder Jessup's companion). It was pretty cool to get to take over my area and be in charge. The sucky part was all the lessons I had set up got cancelled, but we made the most of it. We ate dinner at the Rex's house again (the lady that sent you pics of me, and she did again). They aren't in my ward, they are in Elder Albright and Jessup’s ward. I found out I was in the MTC with their daughter for a week, but I didn't get to meet her. She is headed to Boise Spanish speaking and I think is supposed to be one of the first Spanish sister missionaries in the area. Then in June she will get moved to one of the new Idaho areas. Her son just got done serving in the Utah Holiday singles ward and will be home in April, so I am going to see if he knows anybody I do.

There is this missionary in my zone named Elder Cooper. He is from Panguitch. He is his first cousin. He is fun to have in the area. He has lots of questions about the Altamont cheerleaders ha.

Yesterday as we were headed to dinner my companion saw this old lady banging on her window trying to get us to come talk to her. When we did go over there she couldn't open the door and was franticly trying to tell us something through the blinds on the window. Somebody younger finally came to the front door to let us in. You have to have key to open the door from either side. When they opened it she came outside and they couldn't get her to come back in. She told us to take her with her because the people in her house were trying to kill her. To get her to go in we had to go in with her and sit down and talk to her. We ended up teaching a little bit with her saying crazy stuff that whole time. For example we asked if we could say a prayer before we left and was like "No you can't go to the bathroom!" We finally got out of there, but it about made us late for dinner.

So many stories to tell but I am out of time! This next week looks better and we will be picking up a few investigators hopefully.

Love ya,

Elder Wood


P.S. Good timing on that package you sent me! I got those gloves the day it rained here and I wore them for two days! It did actually get kinda cold. And those pants fit and I am glad to have more variety.

P.S.S. So did you set up a blog? Cuz somebody  in a letter said they saw a pic of me and Kaiden and I was just curious if it was there or if they saw it on fb if you guys put it on there. Or on Kkaidens fb


Monday, March 4, 2013

Mexican Food

March 4, 2013

 Hey everybody,

 Well this week was a lot better than last week! On Tuesday I went on exchanges with Elder Jessup. Hopefully Sister Rex got those pictures sent to you. She is probably the coolest member I have met here, I wish she was in my ward. She has a son in the East Salt Lake mission and a daughter she just took to the MTC. She told me this funny story about running into her missionary son on accident. He's coming home in like March. So your guys letter took forever to get here! I got it on Saturday along with one from Jetson. Ronny and Lisa's got here on Friday. Lisa you telling me about your first experiences in the field makes me not feel so bad for myself now haha. So that helped me. I'm in the same country, same language, same food (kinda, I get a lot more Mexican but I love Mexican food!) same appliances haha. We have normal washing machines. Just so you know I love the little commentaries I get from your kids. Keep that up and talking about me and stuff. I am still worried about them not remembering me or being scared of me or something cuz they haven't seen me in so long. Hopefully that doesn't happen though. Ronny, with rocker/camber or just camber you really can't go wrong with a Lib Tech or Gnu board. My board is a little bit more steady because it has a little camber, but it still has that good no-catch feel of a rocker, so I love how much of an all mountain board it is. When I get home I am going to take a good look at buying a park pickle because I loved the one I rode. Try and make it to the day at the canyons where you get to try a bunch of boards. Yes, you can take my board and try it if you swear to not make habit of it and are careful with it. Wax out any scratches you might put in it ha. It is in the Attic in the deepest darkest corner, it is kinda hard to get to. I flew into Ontario so I was pretty close to Riverside. I think it would have been to fly into L.A. though, I’ve heard its a sweet airport. Ya I wish I knew Spanish now, I really want to learn it. I will pick up some here and then when I get home I want to study it and be fluent. Weather is great! It was like 90 degrees the for like 3 days in a row. Brett happy birthday! in a few days. Maybe Hailey Kenz and Mir will make you a cake hahaha.

 Jetson told me in his letter about you guys calling him from my phone, he got super excited until he figured out what was going on. I don’t know if he called you back or not. if he didn't just keep calling, he'll answer sometime. You guys can do the blog if you want too, other people would probably appreciate it. If you guys are too busy don't worry about it though, it just up to you guys. Let me know how much my tax return is so I know how bad I should feel for the lack of money I left behind.  I kinda figured Dad would be the new bishop but I didn't think it would be until a little longer after I left! I thought he was going to be bishop last time too though. Those are some awesome councilors, I bet Kasey looks weird without his goatee. The bike is great, I have like 130 something miles on it already ha. Dad I can't tell you too much about the mission Prez cuz I don't know him that well. He seems really cool and pretty laid back. He knows where Bluebell is kinda. He remembers that Elder Law is from Roosevelt and that it is really close. Dad you are sounding like me with your crashing stories. Be careful, it is easy to get hurt boarding, trust me haha. I am excited for Erica and her parents! Those are both way neat calls. That sucks they have to move again already though. That’s scary about Rachel, I’m glad she is ok. You are sending my e-mails to the Gordon family right? I met Elder and Sister Davis, they are really nice. We talked about the Browns. Ya we did know about the boundaries changing. I have heard a missionary rumor that they are thinking about changing the mission times to 18 months for guys too. Do some research and let me know. I bet it is just something somebody started but you never know. Sharee the school ghost could be there, but I bet that light has a vent by it somewhere if you look hard enough that is making it move. Normally the ghost didn't do stuff like that that you would see very often. What makes you say somebody brought him in with Kapps stuff? haha. Which Ipod did you get?

So like I said before this last week was a ton better than my first one in the field. P-day was crazy because somebody broke into the church that morning and the cops wouldn't let us in here to e-mail and the Hemet library was closed. So we pretty much spent the whole day trying to find computers and then ended up having the cops let us in. On Tuesday was exchanges and I got to experience what it is like to have investigators and how fun missions can be. Elder Jessup is just a really fun guy to be around and we get along better than I do with any of the other missionaries. We got to teach some real lessons and we didn't spend hardly any of the day trying to find people to teach because we didn't need to. It was great! It was nice to be in a car too. My favorite one was this tattoo artist with the craziest conversion story that I don't have time to tell. He was pretty much raised himself, joined the mafia because he needed money. They tried to kill him one day because they messed him up one day and was going to die anyways when last minute somebody from his long lost family came and saved him. He ended up losing his eye (I didn't know that until after cuz he looks normal) and finding the church and making some huge changes to his life.

 Wednesday I had a lot better attitude and didn't miss home near as much. I think because I got a good day’s missionary work in and not getting rejected all day long. Wednesday through Saturday were pretty standard spending all day locating part member families and tracting and just trying to find people that would listen to us. We do this thing called a harvest blessing that the mission has seen a lot of success from. We basically come in and take notes on who all lives in the home and something God could bless them with. Then we all kneel down and either me or my companion leaves a priesthood blessing. We had one lady who reluctantly let us in and then told us about a death they just had and some other problems going on. About halfway through the blessing she was crying cuz how much she could feel the spirit and we talked for a minute about how she felt after. We are hoping that goes somewhere. 
We also do this thing called O.Y.M's It stands for Open Your Mouths. As a companionship we talk to at least 20 people a day going between lessons and other stuff just on the street. Sunday night we didn't have all of them so we hit up a few bus stops trying to get them all in. My companion had a guy about our age who really wanted to know more about Mormons. He has studied the bible a lot so they ended up throwing a lot of doctrine around at each other. He heard a lot of dumb things that people make up about Mormons that we got to explain and teach him the truth. We gave him a book of Mormon and I know he will read it because he studies a lot of doctrine (it really surprised me, he looked like the kind of kid who wouldn't be interested in that kind of stuff at all) anyways he probably won't let us teach him, but maybe he will come around, he was a pretty awesome kid.


Well I am over time so I guess I better go.

Love you all!

Elder Wood


I forgot a story! I got proposed to the other night! We went into another area to help some of the missionaries over there move a Bro. Wood. I am very grateful I am not in that part of Hemet because it was way more getto and a lot more sketchy. As we were walking in one of the black girls there wouldn't leave me alone and wanted to elope. She said I was sexy but I think she just thought I had money ha. anyways that’s it!