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