Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Stake Conference

October 15, 2013

Dear Family

Hey! I am going to have to keep this fast. I don't know how long I have to e-mail today.

Last Monday I don't remember what we did for P-day activity. That night the Maness family canceled on us so that was sad.

Tuesday we had district meeting and then did exchanges. It was weird. Normally we exchange the night before but the ZL's had to change their exchanges to do AP exchanges. I stayed in the area again with Elder Lapara. My plan was to work his just as hard or harder than Elder Beeston. Last time Elder Lapara almost threw up biking haha. My plans got changed though. Elders Cook and Braithwaite let me take the car. I was going to make him bike all day and then when it cooled off at night maybe drive the last hour or two, but I wanted to drive to much. So we used the car all day. He was grateful when I told him, he only has a week left as a missionary so he didn't really want to be going through all of that. We had a good day. Elder Lapara is a pro at guitar, so we messed with that for a minute. He really likes my guitar. Found out he has the family force 5 Christmas CD. I thought that was pretty funny. He stayed that night and then we exchanged back that morning.

Wednesday Elder. Hawkins and I left the mission. Don't worry, we had permission from President. Brandon Hodges took us. We went to Loma Linda in Redlands. Afterwards we all went to In-and-Out. Super good as always. That I think finally didn't break 75 that day. It rained all afternoon. It was nice, it is way too hot here. Today (the 15th) it is still high 80's outside! Elder Hawkins didn't want to bike in it very bad. We didn't a whole lot, we did what we needed to. For the most part we walked all day. That is the first time the nice umbrella I bought has gotten used. It would have been more fun if that day we had exchanges so I could mess with Elder Lapara!

Thursday we had a good lesson with Joseph our new investigator. We were going to teach the first lesson but his mom showed up with like 2 months worth of food. So we helped her get that in. Afterwards our team up (Bro Burnham) wife who had family just come into town got locked out of their house, so he wanted to get out of there. We just had a short lesson and set another appointment. I got your letter that day. To answer your question no I haven't switched areas yet. I know they have a new apartment that is in the perfect spot that the Chinese elders just moved into. I just E-mailed president about it. I am assuming we will find out Saturday night when we get transfer calls. I am nervous for the calls, I dunno what is going to happen!

It sounds like my little sister is out doing me. She is having a lot of fun in high school. That is good. Also I think I may have given you guys the wrong idea about Elder Hawkins. I am just making sure. I love Elder Hawkins. He is super fun and we get along great. Yes he is pretty lazy and sometimes it is hard to get things done. But I would rather be with him then with some of the other people that could be my companion who drive me up the wall. We had a really good talk about it. We still got along, but I pushed really hard the first transfer. I really wanted to get out there and do what I came here to do. He seemed to be fine at the time, but now I found out that he was having a hard time with it. It was a good thing I slowed down a little for him. Now I am not pushing near as hard, but we are a lot more unified. So yes it is a challenge and frustrating at times, but it isn't near as bad as if I had to be with somebody that I don't like.

Friday we had mini-multi zones. Moreno Valley came to Riverside to meet with us. It was really good. It was all on the new program that the church just put out for missionaries and how to handle stress. It was short. That day I don't really remember much of what we did ha. That night we had a really good lesson with the Silvas. We talked about Elder Bednar's talk and the temple. It was good. After when we left their place he wanted to know if we wanted a ride so we didn't have to walk in the dark (we live close so we walk) I just said no and I am glad I did. As we were walking one of the guys at the bus stop when we walked out of their place chased us down and told us he wanted to ask us some questions. Elder Hawkins stepped back and said "you got this one" I dunno why I should ask him. Anyways I was pretty excited for these questions. He pretty much told us he doesn't want to be Catholic anymore because he wants to be religious not because of tradition, but because he actually believes in something. In my head I said "Well you came to the right place!" He had a lot of questions. Unfortunately he lives in Moreno Valley. I tried to get it set up so he could meet with the Elders over there in his home but he wouldn't do it. He wanted to come back and meet with us again. Thursday we are supposed to meet him at Starbucks ha. He will meet with us this week he said next time he would have us meet with his wife and kids. After our lesson running over and that street lesson we ended up getting in super late.

Saturday we met with Joseph again to help him prepare for baptism. That day we tried to visit a lot of people, but didn't have a whole lot of luck. That night we were asked to go to the adult session of stake conference. I knew a 70 was going to be there so I said no the first time ha. I remembered what happened my first week in the field when I went to Priesthood and got asked to leave! This time we got invited by the 70. The meeting was awesome! The whole thing was pretty much about missionary work. Elder Falabella was the visiting authority. He was cool, he had a lot of personality. He was complimenting the choir saying they all needed to be in the tabernacle choir. After he wanted them to sing again. They opted out but said they would sing the closing hymn. During his talk he asked all the Missionaries to stand. He thanked all of us. Then pretty much told all the members we needed their help. He opened it up to everyone to share ways that they have shared the gospel and then he would make comments after each one.

Sunday was stake conference. That morning President and Sister Smart spoke. They both did awesome. Then the Redlands temple president. Then the Stake president. Afterwards was Elder Falabella. He taught a lot of really good things. I wish I hadn't left my backpack in the car, it has my notebook in it with quotes from all the talks. One I remember was at the end of his talk he said something to the affect of "I think it is time for lunch now." He taught one more principle, and then ended his talk. There were a lot of good things said. He is the 3rd 70 I have been in contact with on my mission. One thing I noticed is that once again they have a real organ in their chapel. I don't think I have seen that in Utah. It sounds so much better! We got ripped off.

Monday for Elder Lapara's last normal P-day we had a surprise breakfast for him. Everybody was supposed to bring some food. I was surprised, but everybody did a really good job of bringing something. We had a ton of food! I made hash browns because I have onion powder and season all. It must have been good, because they ate it all! That day we went to the mall again. Then we drove across the parking lot to Barns and Noble cuz elder Hawkins wanted to go there. Elder. Cook didn't want to go, but once we got in there he found a book about dogs and the 3 of us had to drag him out of there. 

We had District meeting today, but that's it! Well that is all for now!

Love ya!

Elder Wood