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