Monday, February 24, 2014

Transferred to Lake Elsinore

February 24, 2014

Dear Family:

Well it looks like my time in Corona is done. I got a call Saturday morning from President Smart. He asked me to be a Zone Leader (ZL)! I am super excited for it! It was cool, for all my other calls it was just a few seconds. This time he gave me a little advice so I enjoyed that. He didn't tell me where I was going so I had to wait until Saturday night to figure out my new area. When calls came in I found out I am headed to Lake Elsinore. It is more humble than Corona, but not to the degree of Hemet. It is actually where Elder Allan (my trainer) spent his last transfer as a ZL when he left me in Fruitvale. He had been a ZL for a long time before that elsewhere so he already knew how to be one. He served in a different ward though, they recently moved the ZL's to this one so there should be lots of work to do!! The bishop of the ward I am headed to (Bishop Aragon) Is the son of the Stake President here in Corona who is also in my ward in Corona. My new comp is going to be Elder Ringwood (I know we are going to get teased often) from Holiday Ut. I think. I will find out for sure today. I am taking the place of Elder Reed, he is one of the people I served around in Riverside. Elder Reed is coming here to Corona to be a ZL so we are just kinda switching places.
So I have bad news. I made sure I wrote good notes of everyday this week so I could send a really good letter home (I had a pretty good idea it was my last week in this area) and I already packed my planner from this last transfer, so now I am walking around with a brand new one with nothing in it. Sad day, I will do my best to remember what I wrote so I can tell you about the week.  
Monday we went bowling and bowled three games. Sister Guthrie gave us free passes so we just had to pay for the shoes. I didn't bowl very well. They just re-did the surface of the wood right as we were walking up so it was too slick to get by ball the curve hardly at all. I just grabbed the heaviest ball I could find (16 lbs.) and that helped it catch some more. Elder Child and I just went by ourselves because everybody else was being boring, we still had fun!
Tuesday we had DDM. The ZL's here have a tradition of going to B-dubs (Buffalo Wild Wings) once a transfer. It really isn't a very missionary place, but it is so good, so we just don't go often. Plus it costs money!! I talked Elder Randall into ordering some of the hottest ones that I got once. He seemed to do pretty well with them. He gave one to Elder Child so he didn't have to eat all of them. He had to get 4 wings of that kind because that is as few as they will let you do. After that we came and E-mailed because we couldn't on President’s Day. That night we finally got to have the real drop lesson with Carlos. It went very different from what I imagined it would be like. During that lesson is when I knew I was going to be leaving the area. It was weird. It wasn't like the mantle was removed, I just felt the shift of it. I could literally feel Elder Child sort of take the responsibility and the lead of the area in that lesson. I think it was a good thing I noticed so I could sit back a little bit this week and let him run it more. That way he will be more prepared for when I am not here to help him out. That has been good for him. He has been frustrated lately because he doesn't get to do much here. He, like me, is used to having to take a large chunk of the load because his companion's either wouldn't or couldn't. I have spent a good amount of my mission like that and he has too. It was a struggle for us (mostly me because I was already running everything) to try and divide it up equally. It really wasn't until the last week where I felt as though I was letting him do as much as he should. It took me a while to remember to learn how to sit in the "back seat". I think one of the reasons that was important was to prepare me to be in a zone leader companionships were I have a lot higher of a likelihood of having a companion who enjoys and is good at working.
Wednesday I went on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went with Elder Wood (Brown Wood) into Norco area. It was nice for me to get to see what it is like to do missionary work elsewhere. I haven't gone on exchanges out of my area (besides getting transferred to Corona) for seven and a half months. I really wish I had my planner cuz I know I had some stuff written down. We went and visited Chris Brown. But he wasn't home. He also isn't the Chris Brown you are thinking of. We taught a cool/crazy guy. He needs lots of help. He was 22 and involved with lots of stuff he needs to overcome. At dinner I accidentally called out the less active husband about not going to church haha. I didn't know he didn't go! He wasn't too embarrassed, Elder Wood said he knows and needed to hear it so it was fine. That night we taught a girl named Destiny. She is a super cool investigator. She is 16. She had a friend invite her to church and she is super excited about the church. She would already be baptized but her parents are making her wait until the end of March to make sure she will stick it out. She will. She is more active than some of her fellowshippers. Before it started we got to play a game of bumper pool while everyone was getting ready for the lesson. It is like pool and pinball in one. Destiny is already going to Seminary and has a ton of friends in the ward. In Seminary she has done more scripture mastery than the kids house we taught the lesson at!
Thursday we met with Veronica finally and put her on date to be baptized. She is already off date cuz she didn't go to church. That night we went to Zack Patterson's house to eat. He was sick and taking care of his sister so he couldn't eat with us. They only gave his sister 2 more weeks. She has cancer really bad. I am going to keep praying for him.
I’m going to type fast I only have 15 more minutes!!
Friday we met with Mike. I think Elder Child should teach him one more lesson and give him a chance to keep some more commitments and if he doesn't drop him. That is up to him now though. That night we ate with the Gasu boys. They are pretty cool. The one is a recently returned missionary. They took us to Wendy’s. They were headed paint-balling after that so they were wearing all sorts of clothes.
Saturday I got my hair cut by the Sister Walter and we ate lunch there. I know I have already told you but they area a really cool family here in the ward that takes really good care of us. All I had to do was walk in the door and Sister Walter already knew I was getting transferred. They were all pretty bummed. They did something super funny and really cool in my scriptures with sticky notes while I wasn't looking. I took pictures so you will get to see it. I doubt I get time to send it today. I am going to miss that family. They are definitely in a tie with the Hoyts for my favorite families on the mission.  We also went and saw the Hicks and got them on board to get Jacob to church.
Sunday was sad cuz I had to tell everyone I am leaving. It is going to be hard to leave this area. We went to Lake Mathews for dinner. That night we had a really good talk with the Hoyts. I really loved living with them. They took really good care of us and are amazing people. That is the only disadvantage to living in a home share. I don't want to leave their house!! I would rather just stay there and just travel. Sister Hoyt said the same thing and threatened to call President hahaha she is super funny. The talk we had helped me out a lot though. It gave me some closure. Well I am all the way out of time so the computer is going to kick me off!! In Lake Elsinore I don't think we go to the library so I might have more time there to e-mail. I love you all a ton!! Bye!


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Loaned out my Bike!

February 18, 2014
Dear Family:
Hey so I had another great week!! This is transfer week. I won't know anything until Saturday. I really have no idea if I will stay or go this time, I guess we will see where the Lord needs me!!
I think I wrote about the first few days in my last letter.

Last P-day we went bowling.
Tuesday was the temple
Wednesday was district meeting and E-mail. A good chunk of our day got eaten with that. We ate dinner and then our lesson with Carlos canceled. We were going to drop him but he isn't really meeting with us now. We could just leave it like that but that is what has happened to him in the past. I think that is part of why we were lead to teach him, is so he can be dropped the right way so he can progress in the long run. We almost met with him again this week, but he got sick. I know I said this last week but this week we are going to drop him so he has a very clear understanding of why, not just stop showing up like when he was taught a long long time ago.
Thursday we felt like we needed to meet with Delphina and Melissa again. That has happened in the past and we showed up when Melissa was going through a really hard time so we helped her out of it. This time we showed up and caught Veronica before she could hide from us and we taught her, and she should be meeting with us now. 

Friday we caught up with Mike again. We were just going to stop by to try and catch him because making an appointment hadn't been working. We caught him outside. When he got sat down it took him about 30 seconds to fall asleep. I was still beating off their two undisciplined dogs (I love dogs, even disobedient ones, but these ones are ridiculous and crazy) by the time he was asleep and cussing them out in his sleep. We tried to just get him to read a scripture so he would stay awake. He fell asleep as he was reading it out loud haha. We just gave up. We said a prayer and then set a return appointment with his wife. He was having a really hard time. He has to work out now because his doctor is getting him to lose some weight and he isn't used to it at all. That night we ate with the Crane Bennett family. They gave us a nice Valentine's dinner! They even got us cards and heart shaped cookies from
Panara. They live three or four doors down from the Hoyts. That is the other night we tried to meet with Carlos and he got sick.
Saturday We met with Logan and a whole bunch of active members. Logan is still awesome. He still wants to get baptized, but his parents still won't let him. We set a ton of return appointments for this coming week with the members in our area. We made up a special lesson we are doing with all of them to help them all do more missionary work. We also stopped by the Hicks because they said they were going to come to church the next day. Once again they had another softball game and Jacob won't go without the rest of them. They said next week but we will see. Jacob had two friends there. They had some questions about being a missionary and the church so that was pretty cool.
Sunday we had a meeting with the stake at 7. It was good. The high councilman here over missionary work is amazing. He knows all the missionaries well in the stake and talks to us often about how we think the stake and wards could help us. That meeting was him and other people he asked to help the ward council and missionaries work better together. This is something that happens once a month. Every other month they switch which auxiliary leaders are there from each ward. It didn't used to be productive. Now it is super helpful. Before this high councilman came in the ward would just blame the missionaries if things weren't happening so they were off the hook. This guy has come in and done some digging in the numbers and work with the missionaries more and the auxiliaries more and found out the real problems and he trains on them every month. I think it is great. This time he showed them how we aren't asking them to add to their calling, just to do simple things already in their calling that makes a big difference in the missionary work like looking for non-members when they do visits instead of just trying to see if they want a home teacher. Then we don't have to spend as much time finding. As well he laid out all our standard of excellence and said they need to be helping us with it more. In the last month we had 996 lessons and 33 of those came from the ward. 82 new investigators 8 from the ward. Just stuff like that to help motivate them and see that there is room for improvement and it isn't all the missionaries fault. Church was great as always. We saw a couple active people to start our lesson. We tried to meet with the Kyler Wong but no luck.
Monday morning we had Bro Hoyt help us take out bikes to the sisters home share. They need to borrow them this week. Their car has a scratch so it is getting painted. I told them the money I used to buy that bike somebody saved and sacrificed to give me for my mission (which is true) and to be careful with it. I showed them how to use the lock and told them if they used it right it had insurance. I am just going to keep praying. So this week pray for my bike. Sister Graff is using it and she just learned how to ride one haha. We went bowling again. Before we did we went to In and Out with Chase Dworshak. He was my mini missionary in Hemet when I was with Elder Feist. He lives here. We were going to take him bowling but he had a dentist appointment. At dinner I saw a picture of the family snowboarding and that lead to a conversation far from missionary work ha. He told me somebody is buying the Canyons (he goes to resorts all over the west often) I forgot who it was but he was telling me about how the company at other resorts they own have photographers everywhere. The camera has something that recognizes your season pass and e-mails it to you by the time you get down the hill. I guess the photographers are everywhere. Runs at most the stuff in the terrain park. anyways out of time! Got to Go!! Love ya tons!!

Elder Wood


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Visit to the Redlands Temple

February 12, 2014
Dear Family:
Hey sorry it is Wednesday!! I tried to get to E-mail you on Monday and Tuesday, but it didn't work out. Monday all the missionaries thought the library was closed, so we didn't go. We found out we were wrong... (I blame Elder Moyer, he told everyone that it was Presidents Day) ha. Tuesday we were going to E-mail but we went to the temple and didn't get back in time to do it in the middle of the day. I didn't want to do it at night time because that is when people are actually home.
So last P-day we just did basketball and then went and hung out with other Elders.
Tuesday we had a bomb day set up, but everybody fell through!! We had district meeting that morning. I think I told you about Trudy. Well we aren't teaching her anymore. Walter found out she wasn't exactly faithful, so she is gone. We don't know where she is. Walters RV is still in the same spot, but his van is gone. We haven't been able to get a hold of him. Hopefully everything is OK!!
Wednesday was more of the same, lots of stuff just kept falling through. Pretty boring day. That night when everyone dropped through we went by Jacob Hick’s (He was someone we were teaching before but we dropped because he wouldn't come to church) They said they wanted to start coming again so we could teach Jacob and get him baptized. I said OK, see ya Sunday! They said they wouldn't make it this Sunday (because of another softball tournament) but would be there the one after that. They were right they didn't show up this Sunday! I am praying they come this week cuz they all need to come back to church. They said that softball will be over for good this time, but we have heard that story before. It would help them out in their situation so much if they would just get active again! We are going to visit them this Saturday and make sure they are still planning on it.

Thursday we had a lesson with Logan. We are almost done teaching him. Soon we are going to have the ward missionaries keep teaching him so he remembers the things he has learned. They are going to be like a home teacher but more often I guess. Right now his parents still won’t let him get baptized. He is smart. He knows it is true and is ready to be baptized; he just can't until his parents let him. Hopefully he doesn't have to wait until he is 18, but right now that is what it is looking like he will have to do. His Mom really likes us. It is almost all his dad. I’m  not sure she isn't partially just letting him take the blunt of the blow though.
Friday we finally got in with a part member family I have been trying to find for like 4 months. The Hambricks. They moved out of their house but to somewhere close in the area and we finally found them. Her sister who is actually also a member lives next door but she wouldn't let us inside, or teach her kids or husband ha. We got in with Sister Hambrick, she has had some experiences lately that have put her on a sort of a spiritual search. Her husband isn't at all interested, but we asked if we could teach her kids. She was open to that but wants to ask her husband and then meet with us once before and ask us some questions. We are really trying to get the whole family to sit in on the lessons, but right now the husband is not willing, so far the mom will. We haven't met with her yet again, we are going to go tomorrow morning to see how things are going and try and get things set up. We also had a really good lesson with Carlos.  He knows he needs to be baptized, but isn't willing to do it. I told him what the scriptures say about that and he was still ok with it. I have been trying to drop him so we can find someone who is willing to progress, but Elder Child won't let me yet. I think I have finally gotten Elder Child to give in and our lesson with him tonight should be our last.
 Saturday we ran down a bunch of members I have been trying to follow up with for a while now. It was a pretty good day. We tried to meet with the Kyler Wong all week, but no luck. We finally caught his mom on Saturday but said they don't let their kids get rides from anybody so if he was going to come to church we would have to talk his dad into taking him. I would but the only problem is he won’t answer his phone! We visited a ton of people.
Sunday we had a super good sacrament meeting. The talks were super good. We tried to get Mike to come, but he had to go help his mom out with some medicine or something like that out in Orange County. He really isn't doing anything either, I think we are going to drop him too. Elder Child left for Hemet for another baptism. Dad asked if I ran into anybody last time. I didn't go last time he went to Hemet. I wish I could! But I stay in the area and work while he is gone. I took one of the Priests with me to run around for the day. We had some good lessons. We went back by Zack Patterson's house. We followed up to see how things were going so far. I made sure that he still knew I was expecting him to be baptized. He knows he needs to do it. I wish he would just let us teach him the lessons!
Monday we went bowling with Jordan Guthrie and his mom. His mom is like a Pro bowler and got us in for free. She helped us with our bowling a little bit. I got to use his reactive ball and it was awesome! We are doing it again next week.
Tuesday was the Temple trip. It was amazing!! It was my favorite trip to the Temple, if you don't count my first time. We normally have our session earlier in the morning so we can still have a good day of work. This time our session started at noon. The Elders and Sisters went separately, so we had more than one zone of Elders there. I got to see some people I haven't seen in a while. After we got that all done we went to Cafe Rio! It is the only time we can go because Redlands is the only place that has one. It just happened to be Taco Tuesday too! So I got my regular pork burrito and a taco, just for tradition’s sake. Don't worry I didn't eat all that, I took part of the burrito home for leftovers.
Because we went to the temple Tuesday today we had District meeting and then that brings us to now! This week we are trying hard to get referrals from members so it should be a good week. Love ya tons!! Elder Wood 
Hey there is an Elder Bushman here from Midland, Texas. Is that were Suzan lives or is that were Renee lives? He is a pretty cool kid.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bowl Week

February 3, 2014

Dear Family:

This was a good week! Monday was a regular P-day. Nothing too exciting. That night we picked up two new investigators. They live just down the road from us. Caesar and Cindy Rodriquez. They are super nice. They couldn't meet with us again until this week. We tried for earlier, normally when you have to wait this long it doesn't work out, but we will see what we can do!
Tuesday we had a short DLC and DDM. The only reason we had District meeting is cuz the AP's came and they wanted to watch us. This week we had Zone Meeting so we don't normally have DDM. We had a few good lessons. One we tired to get Veronica (Delphina's daughter) to let us teach her again but she wouldn't let us. We are having one of our really good members work on her. We tried to meet with Carlos that night, but they only had like 5 minutes so we just left a short thought.
Wednesday was a super slow day. We were trying to come up with stuff to do all day it seemed like. We visited a part member family Elder Hammond and I tried when we first got here Bro. Martinez. When we knocked on the door nobody answered so we just walked back to the car. We were sitting in the car, I was looking down at my GPS when Elder Child freaked out. The member we were trying to find snuck up on us and it scared Elder Child pretty good. Because I was looking down at the GPS trying to figure out where to go next he got a pretty good reaction out of me too. Bro. Martinez got a pretty good laugh out of it. He was sleeping and his kids didn't answer the door, so he came out and got us. We still had no luck working with his wife. We had dinner with the Walters. I don't know if I have told you about them or not. They feed us a lot so we are pretty good friends with them. That is the night we met with the Bishop, earlier that day I sent a member who works in Hemet to go pick up some church books that Elder Child's last comp didn't want. I can't read them right now, but they sure will be nice for later!! They are super old and super cool.
Thursday is weekly planning just like every Thursday is. So pretty much we are inside the first half of the day. We plan out the next 10 days. After that we met with Mike, still not a whole lot of headway there. We also met with Logan. His mom likes us, but her and her husband are still not willing to let him get baptized. We are just trying to keep the fire burning in him. That and trying to figure out how to make sure it stays going for a while. He looks like he is going to be one of those that doesn't get baptized until he is 18... After dinner we met with the Wongs. Kyler Wong is the kid we are teaching. We broke it down as simple as we could this time. We mostly taught about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.
Friday we had zone meeting that morning. After that we had a meeting with our ward mission leader. We picked up another new investigator. A less active moved in last week and we are teaching his girl friend. Her name is Trudy. We met with Carlos again.
Sorry I am going to have to type fast I am almost out of time!

Saturday was another slow day. We had a really good lesson with Carlos, but he still wouldn't come to church. I think we are going to drop him.

Sunday was good until church ended haha. Not a lot of people want to be around the missionaries on Super Bowl Sunday! Sorry out of time! Love ya tons!!