Monday, March 10, 2014

I Found Larry Henry's Friends!

March 10, 2014

Dear Family:

Another good week! Once again I forgot my camera so I don't have any pictures. I did get my hair cut this morning though and she said she was going to text the pictures to Dad. I will try and remember next week!! 

Monday was normal for P-day here. We just kinda spend all day at the church hanging out and E-mailing in the family history center. It is pretty fun, we have some good Elders here to hang out with.  
From Last Week Changing a Flat in the Rain

Elder Wood and Elder Ringwood


Tuesday was busy. We had DLC and DDM that morning. We met with a good amount of people, I will just talk about a few of the main ones. Oh! first funny story. So I am the new guy so everybody always asks were I am from. When I said Altamont the Brother and Sister Hunter who were feeding us dinner jaw’s dropped. They are like, “No way, we just went there a few years ago for Thanksgiving”! The Hunters thought they would probably never run into anyone from there because of how small it was! They said they stayed with the Henrys and asked if I knew them. I know Mr. Henry all too well from going to the Principal’s Office so we had a good time with that. I also told them how he stopped doing that and became my math teacher and had a great impact on me and was one of my favorite teachers. They know the Henrys because Sister Hunter's brother (Marcus Arthur) married Amber Henry. She is the one who I think is Ronny’s age. She texted Amber and she said that she knew "Ron" well. After that we met with Art, Elva, and Justin. We taught them the word of wisdom. We had a pretty crazy experience with that. They started to teach us that lesson before we even started the lesson. Art was telling us about how he was messing with Elva and called her when he was like 5 minutes from the house to tell her he was going to stay in Orange County that night and get drunk. She was all stressed over the phone because the day before he had decided that he was going to stop hanging around those kind of crowds and stop drinking so he could set a better example for his family. After that Justin just out of nowhere was like "Ya and smoking is bad, because your body is a temple and God doesn't like that" We just started the lesson and hopped right into it. They really liked it. They don't smoke or drink coffee. They only reason they make tea is just so they aren't drinking plain water. They are just going to switch to like lemonade or something like that. The lesson with Michelle that night was a mess. She got Anti-ed pretty hard. She wasn't down to get baptized anymore which was a huge block because she needed to stop smoking the next day so she could get baptized on her 40th b-day (that is the day she set it to be on). The other problem was that she didn't show up at 8 like she said she would. We called her and she said she would be there in 25 minutes so we went and tried to visit some other people. We went back and she didn't get back until pretty much 9 and the kids were being crazy so we didn't get the lesson started for a bit. We didn't have a whole lot of time to resolve her concerns. We are supposed to be home at 9:30. We didn't make it home by then haha. Unfortunately we didn't have time to resolve all her concerns either. However we did smooth things over and she was back on board to quit smoking the next day. 
Elder Ringwood and the Broken Church Door


Wednesday we tried to meet with Michelle earlier. Another thing from the day before. She lost her job, but that made it so we had a lot more time to meet with her. She has been going through a lot lately. She is getting divorced, and going through a lot of stuff all at the same time. We didn't catch her when she was home so Elder Ringwood went while I was at a lesson with the Fernandez family. That morning we had to run Elders Therman, Godfrey, and Rock to Riverside to get another cell phone. They are in a trio. Last transfer the ward was split, but this transfer we have an odd number of missionaries so they got put back together. President called them and told them Elder Rock is getting a mini missionary and they would be splitting the ward again and that they needed to come get their old phone. That took up a good chunk of the day. When we got to Riverside I was mad at myself. I tried to get two of the missionaries to stay in their area and work while we took one of them with us but I didn't push for it very hard. When we pulled up to the mission office I saw that President’s car was there. Oh well, I tried to get them to stay ha. So splits that night went ok. The Fernandez family wasn't going anywhere so I set it up to drop them if they didn't keep the next commitment (I didn't do it just in case my comp didn't agree). He did so we dropped them on Friday. He met with Michelle and I guess it went well. She was in a really good mood which she hasn't been in while I have been here! (We think she has emotional disorders so it's not completely her fault) He got her completely on board to stop smoking and get baptized. I was a little worried because I wasn't going to be there. Elder  Ringwood is really quiet and if she got mad she would just talk over him and he wouldn't be able to resolve her concerns at all. He is a little like Enoch. He had some speaking problems before he came out so he is really self-conscience about it. But when he does say something it is always really good. The advantage he did have is they have a better relationship because I haven't been here very long. Michelle is timid of new missionaries because she had a bad experience when they had AP exchanges last transfer and the AP really offended her. Like to the point where she was not willing to meet with them anymore but it got smoothed over. Because of this all the hard commitments had to come from Elder Ringwood or she probably would have disregarded them. I have been slowly working my way in though. 

Thursday was weekly planning. We tried to meet with Shawn Bedient who is the less active guy I was talking about. Got baptized as a kid and never came back until like 2 weeks ago. He got kicked out of his house by his roommate so when we tried to meet with him we couldn't find him. He called us the day before and told us how he wanted to work towards getting the priesthood and being a better member. Now he is looking for a job and I am a little worried the only one he will find will be one where he has to work on Sunday. He called us on a friend’s phone and we got to go talk to him. He was still really really mad. I felt bad for the friend’s daughter who was there, cuz he didn't hold back on what he had to say about his roommates. She probably learned some more vocabulary words haha. He needs to overcome his fear of praying. We are helping him with that. We saw Michelle again. Also Art, Elva, and Justin. 
Some of the "Sticky Note Goodby" the Walters Family put
in my Scriptures when I left Corona


Friday I had to go to Riverside again!! Elders Therman and Godfrey needed a German Book of Mormon. That killed the first part of the day. We saw Michelle earlier. She was having a really hard time from not smoking. She was really sick and having a hard time. We were trying to look some stuff up in the car and some random dude walked up to the car and started asking us questions. The hard thing was he was good. He was using stuff that I normally use against people so I had no comback cuz they are pretty much impossible questions to get around. Plus he had some of his own. You just have to be the one in control of the situation. It wasn't a bash, I hate those. It was a discussion. The only reason we didn't just bear testimony and leave is cuz he seemed like he might actually listen. After a while he changed and stopped listening and started arguing so we stopped. He is all sorts of confused. The popular churches down here a weird. They are technically called "non-denominational" churches because none of them believe in organized religion. What they don't realize is that they are super deceived by these churches because they are very much a denomination they just don't claim to be one. It is like saying you don't believe in gay marriage, but you are in one anyways. That is a pretty accurate analogy for it. These places are more like social clubs than they are churches. They teach good things they just get distracted. One of the things they teach is that in John 3:5 "man must be baptized....water and spirit... kingdom of God. Water is when they are born (they literally use the word placenta) and the spirit is just like all the way around the world after Christ died. So in other words they don't have to do anything. It is very convenient. Anyways that is just to give you an idea of what kind of religious background people have here that I am teaching. We met with the Fernandez family and dropped them. After the wife was putting together some dressers they bought earlier. We saw there was another one so we started putting it together to help her out. While we did that and she worked on the other one the two sons and the dad just sat on the couch watching weird stuff on you tube in the other room. She was super grateful. It was good cuz we got to leave them feeling pretty good about us.  

Saturday was Michelle's baptismal interview. She didn't show up so we just went to bug her at her house. She didn't answer. We were getting super worried. She called an hour later and apologized. She was sick and crying and having a really hard time with the withdrawals. She wanted to meet with us later when she was feeling better. It is hard because with this hard stuff going on especially quitting she doesn't want to see anybody. She hasn't met with us since then but we are praying hard every day she is still going to get baptized. We ate dinner with Art, Elva, and Justin. It was awesome. After we ate we had a good lesson. I got a text on Friday from a weird number. It turned out to be Eddie Lapara (formerly Elder Lapara who was my ZL in Riverside who is now home). He came back to the mission and wanted to come see me when he came down to Lake Elsinore. We had a good talk and he is doing really well. It was really weird to see somebody I served around driving around alone, with an iPhone, in regular clothes talking about regular stuff. It was cool I was happy I got to hang out with him for a second. He says going out with the missionaries is hard now because you are a lot more easily frustrated with the investigators because you don't love them the same. 

Sunday only Art and his family came to church. I tried all week to get somebody else there so we could hit The Standard but once again we were short one person. I heard both Jacob Hicks and Veronica from my last area are on the way to getting baptized so hopefully I get to go back for that soon. We were on the 15 (Interstate 15) when some people were driving down the freeway. It was a bunch of 20 year old boys. When they saw us they all started freaking out. I got worried at first because at first I thought they were like going to try and harass us somehow. Anyways a second later it looked like they were cheering us on. We had no idea what was going on. After that they floored it and took off. It wasn't until they got past we figured out what was happening. They had a Utah plate. They were probably all RMs.  We had a good rest of the day, but still no luck with Michelle. Well that is all for now. I might run back to the house really quick and grab my camera so I can send pictures. Well, have a good week!! 

Love ya!

Elder Wood