Monday, July 29, 2013

First Transfer

July 29, 2013

Dear Family:

Hey I have had an exciting week! I have a lot to write about, but not a lot of time to write, so I might have to work on some next E-mail, but I will try and get through it all this one. Btw I forgot to send Stetson in your class a little note. Thank you for the picture Stetson! I loved it. I am loving being a missionary in California. Being a missionary is fun. I want you to go on a mission too. Bye!

So P-day we played some ultimate football because we only get to play two hand touch on T
hanksgiving. We went bowling as always. That night we went and did the Harvest Blessing Referral with the Jimenez family. It was really spiritual and got us a new solid potential investigator.

Tuesday we had a little bit of craziness. The first of the day was pretty normal. District meeting, lunch,  lessons, talking to people. Then we went back to our apartment for a bathroom break before we biked to the other side of our area for dinner. When I walked past the fridge I stepped in a bunch of water. Earlier that day during studies our fridge made a sound every like 5 to 10 minutes but I didn't think anything of it. I opened it up and everything in the fridge was thawed out. It was still like fridge temperature though. The fridge wasn't working either. So I called Elder Morgan to have him come and look at it. They are the senior couple in the stake here. He said he thought it was done so we called the building coordinators and they were already in Hemet, so that was a blessing. They said they would meet us in a half hour at Sears and buy us a new one. So we rode with Elder Morgan there and like an hour later the Neilson's (building coordinators) got there. I called the mission office and got permission to steal the Zone Leader’s truck. They had a lesson every hour with an investigator so I was just going to drop them off and then go and pick up the fridge. They ended up helping us the whole time and canceled their lessons so I didn't get to drive, but the help was nice. Once we got to the apartment some other Elders and Sam were there to help us carry stuff. It ended up being super nasty behind the fridge and quite the job but we got them switched out. It took the whole night though. We had to cancel our dinner. Even though it was after hours, we made Sam drive us to Micky D's so we could buy some food. It was only like 10 minutes after, so I didn't feel bad. Also Sam brought us our Rubix Cubes that got ordered on Amazon.  Just doing it at lunch and at night I am already consistently under 2 minutes. My best is 1:30. That is good for how long I have been doing it. One Elder Everett who has been doing it his whole mission did it in 33 seconds. We are pretty weird. I never thought I would do a Rubix Cube ha.

Wednesday we had dinner with Sam and we went to Steer-n-Stein. That was super good. I had a really good steak. Sam and Elder Feist both got ribs. That day was pretty slow, we only had one lesson.

Thursday We had a good lesson with Patty. We helped prepare her for baptism and her interview. We were supposed to meet with her every day this week and have the interview on Wednesday, but they cancelled on us all week.

Friday we had another lesson with Patty and her baptismal interview. That night was super stressful. I had to make a bunch of calls after the interview so everything was set up for the baptism but it ended up everything getting taken care of.

Saturday we got everything ready for Patty's baptism. It was the best baptism I have been to. We had a lot of ward members and support this time. It was a good way for me to leave this area. Then we all went to the ZL's and broke in so we could have a transfer call party. The ZL's didn't show up until like 40 minutes after they should have. Luckily Sam was with us and he is in tight with AP Drawsbeck and Elder Drawsbeck texted him the list like a half hour before any missionaries got it. So we had a pretty good idea what was going to happen. Then the ZL's showed up and cleared it all up.

Sunday was fun. At church we had a few miracles at church like we always do after we baptize our best investigator. By the end of church we picked up 2 or 3 solid investigators who have all already been to church once and we didn't even invite them! The rest of the day we spent visiting my favorite families cuz I am leaving. At the end of the night we didn't have enough time to go to the bathroom or get our OYM's. We stayed out a little late and got our OYMs. On the way into our apartment we had somebody chase us down and ask us to teach them. So it was a super good day. It always seems to be like that after our baptism. On Sunday I don't want to make a list of everybody we saw, but one of the best ones was at Bro Walch's house. He is the second councilor in the bishopric. He is also a scriptorian. So I had a whole page of questions I have written down for him I had come up with during personal study. I learned a lot. He has also shown me the depth of the Book of Mormon. The one he showed us this time was Either 6:3-12.

So transfer information. I am going to Riverside to the Canyon Crest ward. I am getting doubled in with Elder Hawkins. He is a missionary I have served with my whole mission. He is in the Diamond Valley ward. I am excited to be his comp. I love Hawkins as a person. He is super fun. As a missionary I haven't decided how I feel. I am going to have to push him a lot. He needs a lot of motivation. I guess the Lord and President decided I can keep him busy. The ward we are going to is splitting when we get there. So we will have two sets of Elders in the ward. The other Elders are the Office Assistants though, so it’s not like they are proselyting all day. The other Elders are Elders Cook and Spencer. Cook has also been in Hemet with me the last 6 months. He just got done training a new missionary too. His comp Elder Spencer is the only one who has been in the area. Spencer was the first missionary Elder Allen trained, so it will be fun to be with him. Bro Reeves (the guy with the Ford Raptor) is renting a Uhaul and taking all 3 of us to our place today. I am excited for that. I forgot, so about Hemet. This zone just got flipped upside down. They split the zone and are doubling up Elders in wards. And for the first time in like a decade and a half they are putting Sisters in Hemet. We are getting three sets, so that is cool.

Also I just got an e-mail from Skyler. He looked at my blog and loves the tie that you gave all of us. He says everybody is always trying to trade him for it because how sweet it is. Also he said Jesse Jorgenson has gotten re-assigned to this mission until he gets his visa. Hopefully I see him. There is a Sister Graham who is also from Roosevelt and is headed here. He said she is like 3 years older than us. 

Well I better go, I have a ton of stuff to do, talk to ya soon bye! Love ya!

P.S.  Oh btw I am on a bike still but I am ok with that.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Pioneer Day Celebration (a little early)

July 22, 2013

Dear Family:

Well this was a good week, but a pretty slow one. The work was super slow and we are in a little lag between having the ward mission process cleaned out and jump started. I got the letter Ronny sent about the work they are doing in the stake there. Use those good missionaries as much as you can. I can't say a whole lot about my ward, except I wish they were giving us names like that. That is how the ward mission process is supposed to work even though it doesn't sound like that is what they are using for the tool. I really do enjoy this ward though. They haven't had very good missionaries before us so I wish they would just load us up with names like the missionaries there are doing. By the way one of the cool families from my ward is moving to Utah somewhere. Close to Salt Lake I think. I am going to get their info and give it to you, and I will give them your info. I think it would be cool if you went and met them one of the times you are out there. It is the Drake family, so Chars (my first baptism) fellow-shippers. They are moving right at the end of this month. Right after transfers happen. We will see on Saturday if I stay here or not. I have been in this same area my mission so I would like to move, but I would be ok with staying another transfer. I have been praying to move, but not very hard because at the same time it doesn't really matter where I go. So send your regular letter this Wednesday, but next week send it to the mission office and they will send it to me. I better go over last week really fast.

Last Monday we went bowling for P-day. It ended up being free because we ran into a member from the Diamond Valley ward that had shoes all the right sizes and that is the only thing we pay for when we go bowling. Unfortunately my game was off so I didn't do very good. I was trying too hard and throwing too hard.

Tuesday we had district meeting. After that pretty much everybody dropped on us. I forgot to mention, this last week was Elder Feist's senior week. So all that pretty much means is that all planning situations he is in charge and he was the head in all the lessons. He did good. If I leave I’m not worried about him taking over the area. He will do good.

Wednesday was pretty much the same as Tuesday. Had a few lessons.  The end of the day ended up being busy and we had to bike pretty fast. Stuff was on the opposite sides of our area. We had dinner with the Giron family. He is from Guatemala. We were talking about the Mayan Indians. I guess they have another book of religion there that is from the Indians. He says it talks about the creation and God and is similar to the Bible and the Book of Mormon. We also ate a really expensive pepper while we were there. It was pretty hot. They had to put vinegar and onions and stuff to tone it down and it was still pretty hot. It is called a Manzana Pepper just cuz it looks like an apple. Maybe he just calls it that. I dunno. Also the Idyllwild and Anza elders got evacuated because there was a huge fire up there. I will send some pics. At night the flames were super big and we could see them in Hemet. Anza didn't need evacuated, the Pres just told them to come down for a day or two. Idyllwild the whole city actually got evacuated. They have been staying with the Diamond Valley and San Jacinto elders. They are still down here and we dunno when they are going back up. One is going home next week, and the other Elder came in with Elder Feist so he is just getting done getting training.

Pictures of the Fire

Thursday we had a weird zone meeting. We did weekly planning as a zone so we could learn how to do it better. It ended up being a waste of time. Most of the missionaries didn't really pay attention. I am running out of time so I will make it short. We played ultimate football so our schedule is messed up.

Friday pretty much nothing.

Saturday we went to Pioneer Day. I think Sister Rex sent you the picture. We just got done playing a bunch of soccer when she took it. That was pretty fun though. The Spanish Ward cooked food so it was pretty good. We were there for a lot longer than we should have been. All the missionaries were there except for one companionship.
Pioneer Day Photo
Sunday was super busy. We had a couple of good lessons. We had one of our last lessons with Patty before she gets baptized. We have two more set up for next week. We also taught Sister Snow. The spirit was there super strong as always. Then we had dinner with the Drakes so that was fun.

Well I am out of time. Thank you for sending me more stamps Mom! And Sharee thanks a ton for the music! I just checked it out and there is some pretty awesome stuff on there! I am really excited for the All State stuff on there. Well got to go!

Love ya,
Elder Wood


Monday, July 15, 2013

25 Fish Tacos

July 15, 2013

Dear Family:

Hi! I hope I can remember what to tell you about this week, it went by super fast.

Monday was good because it was P-day. So we went bowling again and did the regular E-mail and basketball at the church. I hope we have time to go bowling again today, we have a lot to get done and I am running out of money so we will see. 

Tuesday we had Zone Conference with the President. I was a little bummed it wasn't multi-zones like it normally is, but all the zones we normally combine with for conference all got kicked out of the mission. The meeting was still really good. We didn't go anywhere, the President came to us. There were a lot of really good trainings. It was super long though. It took up most of the day. The food they fed us for lunch was good.  The rest of the day was pretty slow, pretty much all our lessons dropped. Dinner was fun. We went with the Clements family to Rubios. Nobody ordered, they just had us sit down and they ordered for us. Then the waitress brought us tons of tacos. I guess they have a sort of Taco Tuesday here too and they bought us 25 fish tacos. They were pretty good. Luckily that was for everybody not just for me and Elder Feist. Everybody ate 5 and I was pretty full.

Wednesday I had exchanges with our district leader. Elder Moyer went to my area cuz he is the DL, and stayed with Elder Feist. I went with Elder Baltazar to Spanish Land. He is the one who lives in Morgan and used to live in Oakridge when he was at Utah State. Also he is the one that his best friend bought my contract at Oakridge when I left. We got along really well, he is a pretty cool guy so it was fun. Brett asked why I go on so many exchanges. We have to go on two exchanges with our DL so each companion can go with him every transfer. Then we also have to go on exchanges once a transfer with the ZL's because everyone with leadership has to go on exchanges and I guess being a trainer counts as leadership. I think also I talk more about exchanges than regular days because they aren't just a normal day to me so it is exciting. There were a lot of crazy things that happened that day. I kept a tally and there were like 5 that were above average on the weirdness scale, and the scale here in Hemet is pretty hard to tip. We saw an Astro Van jump. It looked pretty sketchy cuz it came down pretty hard. Those things weren't meant to leave the ground. When they told me about exchanges they told me I could either go on Wednesday or Friday. I chose Wednesday because I asked them which day would have a better Mexican dinner. The sad thing is when we got to dinner they didn't have time to cook so we ate Little Caesars, but that was ok. It was still a bomb day. 

 Thursday I don't really remember who we taught or anything. All I remember is that I had Sam order me a Rubix cube on amazon. It is a better one that turns way better than a normal Rubix cube. I would have never thought I would want to solve one of those. Being a missionary gets weird sometimes... I already figured it out pretty much. All I need now is to memorize the moves to solve the very bottom. I haven't tried it, but I heard they are pretty good to use in teaching about the restoration. It starts out solved when Jesus was in the earth and the church was set up. Then you let all the family members mess it up representing the apostasy and then solve it while your companion talks about the church being restored. You have to be able to do it under like 2 minutes I think. That will be easy once I get the bottom row figured out. Elder Baltazar can do it in 33 seconds. Everybody else is anywhere from 45 to like 2 minutes. Like I said missionaries are weird...

Friday We pretty much spent all day finding. We do that a lot sometimes. We got a call and somebody needed Charlotte’s address so we were close and just rode over to see what it was. We were just going to ride by but I decided to see what was going on. It was good we went by, she ended up having a lot of questions that needed to be resolved.

Saturday we pretty much spent all day trying to get everybody to church. Our dinners wife got super sick, so he just took us to Carl’s Jr. which was good. On the way there we were talking about his little Honda Civic we were in. His daughter has the same car but it is an automatic. It gets like 5 to 7 miles per gallon worse than his stick shift does. So whoever is looking at cars remember that sticks are better! 

Sunday we heard a 100 year old man give a talk. He is in way good shape and his mind is super sharp. He was really funny but he also taught us some good stuff. We had a good lesson with Patty that afternoon. She has quit smoking and wants me to schedule the building so she can start inviting people, so that is exciting!  

Ronny I remembered my notes for Ronny’s last letter. Yes we do get the Ensign, they give us one every month at ZDM. So don't worry about sending me one, thanks though! As to going to school before the mission there are advantages and disadvantages to both. It really does just depend on the kid. I think with the age change it is getting a lot more kids on missions and not getting lost to the world. So sometimes it is better just to get them out there even though there will be more challenges for them. If they are for sure going to get on a mission, college was good to go to first for a lot of reasons. I think it has helped me a lot in many different aspects and made me a better missionary. I think the most important thing is to help them build the desire to go on a mission for the right reasons and then get em out here.

Sorry if this letter is a little short and didn't really talk about anything spiritual. I think you guys will still write me back anyways :)

Love ya!

Elder Wood



Monday, July 8, 2013

4th of July 2013

July 8, 2013

 Dear Family:

I just realized I have two e-mails for Mom. Do you want me to send it to your school one or your yahoo? This week was pretty good, I am wanting a change though. I have been in this ward for a while now. By the end of this month it will be 6 months. I love the ward and the people, but it is time to move on. That is what I have been praying for anyways. Maybe if I get transferred I will get a car for August! :) haha, that's not a righteous desire. I could still stay here though, so I just leave it up to the Lord and President Smart. I am doing my best to leave the area in the best shape I can. I know how it sucks to get doubled into an area where nothing was being done, and that is a lot of work for the new guys! Hopefully Elder Feist stays here, but once again who knows. Right now we are changing the way the ward does that ward mission process so they do it properly. It is proving to be challenging, but they trust us so we are making a lot of headway. If we can get it running the way it should it will be a baptizing machine.

Monday was good! We went bowling. We spent like 2 bucks a piece more and Elders Feist, Kelly, Wood, and myself bought a pass so we can bowl 2 free games any day we go in until September. We just have to pay like 3 bucks for shoes. I wish I would have known about that deal when I first got to this zone, if I had been going bowling every p-day I would get really good ha. Thankfully Elder Feist is the card holder, so I don't have to worry about anybody going without me!

Tuesday I woke up from some weird dreams, I think I must have eaten something before I went to bed and it did weird things to me in my sleep. Elder Feist told me I was singing in my sleep. We had a few good lessons on Tuesday. My favorite was with Patty Cole, our best progressing investigator. We taught the 3rd lesson and then we started talking about her smoking. Her husband brought it up because he is aware that it is going to be a problem. I guess she has been smoking since she was 14, but I have a lot of faith in her, I don't think it is going to stop her. That night we didn't have a dinner, but our neighbor that I talk to sometimes (like everyday as I walk outside of my apartment) told us his daughter is raising money for her b-day and we could buy some helote (sweet corn) from them so we did. That was super good!

Wednesday we just had our normal lessons. They are all really good ones! Gale Mosino (ward mission process but we just dropped her), Charlotte Cross (Recent Convert but we don't have ward missionaries to teach her or home teachers), Jessie and Ruth (have to drop them because of the changes we are making in the ward mission process). I also got your letter that day. I dropped my letter when mom said you bought a Camero, and then Elder Feist just laughed at me when you told me it was a joke. Also while Sharee is driving the S-10 make sure you are checking the anti-freeze often! It drops a lot faster than you would think. Plus you don't have a warning it is getting low like you do in the winter because the heater stops working as well.  Christian called me on Wednesday and asked where I was from. He was in Beaver when he called me. He was headed with a friend to stay the night in Orem with somebody's parents. Then for the 4th the parents have some land on the Duchesne river just past the fair grounds that they were all going to go and spend the day there. I told him that was 30 minutes from my house. I haven't heard from him yet I haven't had time to call him yet and see what he thought. I wish I would have known he was going there. I would have had him take something and then have you guys come get it from him. I got an iPod, so I could have sent that with him and then had you guys wrap it up really well and then send it back after Sharee put on it what she has, but oh well!
Elder Feist comiendo Helote

Thursday was the 4th of course! Nobody really wanted to meet with us ha. That morning my ward and Diamond Valley ward combined and had a big breakfast that we went to. Not near as good as Long Horn days, but it is as close as I'm going to get for a while! I dunno if they do anything here for the 24th, probably not. After that we had zone meeting. In the month of June the mission set a goal to baptize 100 people. It was just kinda a fun thing to do before we split missions. We ended up getting 98. That is good, but we could have gotten 100 easily. The rest of the day we pretty much just got our OYM's and then waited until dinner, it was super unproductive. We stop working on the 4th after 6:00. For dinner we went to a party with a few ward members. Pretty much just a group of some of the older ones. That was fun. Our eternal investigator is the one who invited us. When he was giving us a ride back to our apartment he told us some stories. He is from Germany. He told us about back when he was a kid and Hitler was in control he actually ended up seeing him once, and then told us some stories about living through the Holocaust. At 6 all the Elders went to the Park Hill building and played baseball sort of. We didn't have gloves so we just used a tennis ball and no gloves. It was still fun!

Friday was normal again, I am running out of time so I will skip it, nothing too exciting.

Saturday we had exchanges with our zone leaders again. This time I stayed in the area and Elder Parker came and went with me. I haven't gotten to go with Elder Santos (he is from Uruguay, and a lot of fun to hang out with), Elder Parker has to come to our area cuz he got in a crash and can't drive anymore ha. It was a normal day. Luckily this week hasn't been near as hot as it was last week. So he picked a good time to come, it stayed under 100 almost the whole week. I had some notes that I was going to include in this letter from Ronny and Lisa's letter but I forgot my notes for it at my apartment, so I will do that next week.

Sunday was also good, I found out we will soon be working with the Greathouse family to teach one of their friends, so we are excited to go and meet with them on Tuesday to get more information. At church Elder Feist and I always get up and hand out a Book of Mormon. We committed the entire Priesthood to invite 1 person to learn about the gospel in the month of June. Like I expected pretty much nobody did it, so we reminded them that they individually raised their hands to commit and then got to tell them we were disappointed and re-commit them for this month. Well that is pretty much all I have! Love
you all!
Elder Wood
Gift from Ward Member to put in our Books of Mormon



Monday, July 1, 2013

Hot Enough For You Yet?

July 1, 2013

Dear Family:

Monday was a normal P-day. I got your handwritten letter mom, so I enjoyed that. I thought my handwriting was getting better until I saw that ha. I guess I was just comparing to other Elders though, so not really much competition. I'm glad all went well. I forgot about “Zach's Lie” until you just reminded me, that was a good book. Brett and Jason during P-day some other Elders taught me about the "wonder weapon" on black opps two on zombies. If you don't know what it is, check it out, it is supposed to be pretty cool. They said you can figure it out on youtube.

Tuesday nothing too exciting happened. We had a couple lessons. Elder Feist lost his planner at Bro. Boyd's house so we went and got it. While we were there we got talking about the ward mission process. I dunno if our ward does that I don't think it could cuz we don't have missionaries, but here it is what all the wards are shooting for. Basically what it is, is the ward has to provide us with 15 lessons a week. Right now they are doing about 5. So we started working on that. Tuesday night half the zone had a b-day party for Sam for like a half hour before we went home. We had cake and sang to him. Also I just remembered something, Elder Feist got a picture from his sister and brother-in-law and he had an awesome hoodie you guys should try and find. It has a picture of Brigham Young on it with snowboard goggles on. I think it is called Brigham Boarding or something like that.

Wednesday I had exchanges with Elder Moyer. He is my new DL. Elder Feist got to take his first trip to Spanish land. That day I saw a sick Camaro. It is a darker red color with a black hood scoop and black wheels. I am still confused as to who is looking at cars, Dad or Brett, but that is the one I would suggest. Oh and a standard, not automatic. I had a bad dream last night (Sunday night) that the Camero was for Sharee haha. I was pretty upset in the dream! Elder Moyer and I taught our new investigator the first lesson and it went really well. I had her all set on date and then her husband talked her out of it cuz he didn't want to rush her (he is a member) so she ended up backing out of that one. Btw her name is Patty Cole. Wednesday I thing it got to be 106 to 109, so it was pretty hot.

Thursday we had a really good day. We got to escape the heat for a little while longer because we do weekly planning on Thursday. We picked up another solid investigator named Cheryl. Bro. Boyd was there and he is getting better at what he says in helping us out with the lessons. The spirit was there super strong and she seems to be progressing. We can't get her to church no matter how we try though. She is also studying with the Jehovah Witnesses so she is kinda interesting that way. Jehovah Witnesses are crazy, I have talked to a few and their doctrine is weird. They are definitely not the true church, but I can't bag on them in-front of Cheryl unfortunately. She has to find out for herself. We also had a good meeting with Bro. Brown. So he spirit was strong all night, so it was one of those nights where you get home and are just pumped because of how well the day went.

Friday was pretty normal. Only one or two noteworthy things. We had a lesson at 10 that was pretty short so we came out a little after 10:30. Elder Feist and I hopped on our bikes and started riding away as we hear something that sounded like a really large tree branch snapping. Feist looked and me and was like did you hear that? I looked up and right above us I could see the power lines bouncing up and down, so I was a little freaked out about that so I rode farther away from them. For some reason I felt really uncomfortable, just like when you get in the car and you feel uncomfortable because you don't have a seat belt on but you know you should. We could see ahead of us a little dust cloud so we crossed the street cuz I didn't want to be by the poles cuz they were freaking me out and started biking that way. Once we crossed we could see what happened. Somebody was in a van, like a Mormon assault vehicle like the Pughs have, went across the other lane of traffic, off the road, and through the power pole and busted it in half. The van was pretty smashed and the pole was just on the ground and the wires hanging down. When we got closer I realized the van is from a cleaning business that a ward member owns that Elder Allen and I tried to teach their non-member spouse. Luckily the guy that came out of the van was just some worker guy and he wasn't beat up too bad. He had two guys holding him up, but he walked to the other side of the road. The other thing was that the last two nights we had dinner with single ladies, so Sam got to come eat dinner with us for two nights in a row. We need to take him with us to be there.

Saturday was a long day. In the morning we were headed to a meeting and at a park they were having some fire fighter event. It looked pretty cool, they were like doing some water games in there suits and stuff. When we rode past they were blaring that song that Utah State always plays that is the celtic rock song. It got so hot at a point that is melted the plastic covering that goes on top of the helmet of the protective part of my helmet. I threw it in some bushes by my apartment so I might try and glue it back on cuz it looks kinda funny and plain now ha. But it still works! It got super hot, that is when I took that picture I was standing in the shade and gave it a minute. It only dropped two degrees. The ZL's called and told us that it was 122 and to go inside. I don't think it was that hot, but it was 116, I heard that from a few people. We drank a lot of water that day. When we took our back packs off our shirts were drenched. It was pretty nasty, so we went in and read a little bit and then watched a little church video. So that was a nice break. We ate dinner with the Bishop and that is always fun, he is a really cool guy.
When we bought the bike speedometer/odometer we did not realize it also did temperature.
(Smallest readout at left center)

Sunday there was a farewell for Bethany Egget (drake) Her mom is the fellowship for Char. They had a really good 4th of July program. They hung up in the chapel the biggest flag I have ever seen. The whole back wall was taken up but the blue part with the 50 stars alone. And the wall is pretty big! We had a few good lessons and then we got invited to go eat food and Bethany's farewell party, so that is what we did before we went home. Luckily Patty was there, so we had our investigator and I didn't have to feel bad about being there. I think that is all for now! Love ya! Bye!

Elder Wood

P.S. Sharee while you are putting music together go out in my truck and find my All-State CD's and put them on the flash drive to send to me. Please! Get as much as you can think of on there, cuz I am 95% sure I am about to end up with an iPod so I will have plenty of room for stuff. Thank you!