Monday, April 28, 2014

Surprise Visits from the Mission President!

April 28, 2014
Dear Family:
Hi! Well..... bike wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. But I still hate it haha.  


Tuesday morning we drove to Riverside to give up our car:( so we haven't had it since then. We got a ride bike from Elders Carr and Montague. When we got back we got our bikes all fixed up and running and ate lunch. President interviews after that. It was hard to get everybody there without us having a car so when I was talking to President about it on the phone he just said he  would go to some Elders apartment. I thought it was funny the ones he chose. On P day the day before their apartment got wrecked. We pushed everything out of the way and made a circle to wrestle in ha. Plus the like 12 boxes of trash in the front room from cleaning out their apartment. I called them after and said they had 30 minutes to fix it before he got there. My interview was really good. Unfortunately it was our last interview with him. We will see him a few more times, it is still sad. We had a few good lessons. It was hard to get dinners this week without a car. We met somebody at Panda. 

Wednesday We had DLC and DDM. Elder Peterson asked me to come and train in his DDM on member presents. We had a lesson with Michael. He is still on board. I don't know if I told you but he got his answer and is following the Word of Wisdom.  We couldn't catch him on Saturday or Sunday so he didn't come to church. He is always normally home so we don't know what happened yet. 

Thursday was boring as well. Still on bike haha. It is hard to keep up with what we were doing in this area on bike. For some reason hardly anyone was at home! Things are not going as well as I would like it in our area. I don't know what we are doing wrong. I am excited for the end of this transfer to take over the area and do things the way I like to ha. This is the first time I have really been Jr. comp since I got trained so it is frustrating for me. Also the first time I haven't gotten doubled into my area also. I don't think I like getting regularly transferred in now. I like getting doubled in. We had like 3 lessons that day. Some random member from Orem walked up to me from Orem when I was at the church. He is here for the winter because of his health. He is working on one of his neighbors right now. They live in the neighboring ward. That night we stole the sister’s car to do exchanges. They took my camera once and took some goofy pics so I printed one off and wrote on the back and hid it in the car when I left. It was pretty funny when they found it. They got us back with giving me a plank of wood and Elder Ringwood ring pops with a stick taped on over the pop. They ate dinner at our house on Saturday we were going to print off one of the pictures and put it in one of the frames on the wall and see how long it took them to see it, but we didn't have time. 

Friday I went on exchanges with Elder Cook. That was really fun. We went into his area. Elder Godfrey went into mine. We had service that morning with the Spanish Elders. We talked a lot the night before that was fun. My comp doesn't talk much. Every once and a while he will open up.  
Old Faithful in downtown Lake Elsinore! (not sure what happened)

Saturday we had Mormon helping hands sort of. We couldn't call it that because there was another church involved. It was fun. We got jipped at first. I went with some other Elders way away from Main St. to the other side of the lake to work on somebody’s trailer house and not where all the cool stuff was happening on Main where everybody was. But they ran out of stuff for us to do so we went back and painted/stood there and watched because we didn't have enough ladders. It was a lot more fun over there we had people to talk to. We biked a lot trying to get some lessons in. We only got one. Every night this week except for Friday we had a team-up set up for us at night so we could catch up for being on bike but things didn't really work cuz nobody was home.  

Sunday at lunch after church we got tracted into. It was funny cuz we were the only ones at home so answer the door. It was from the Agape church. They were pretty surprised when we opened the door. That made my day. We went to a baptism in Wildomar Ward for somebody that Elder Ringwood taught at the first of his mission. Then splits after that only Bro. Cassio showed up. Nobody was home again. We took him to go talk to some more people in the parking lot because we hadn't made all our OYMs. He talked to some people for me in Spanish and did a really good job.  Got return addresses and numbers. It was cool I have never seen a member be bold enough to just talk to random people with us. 

Well that is pretty much it. Hopefully we get our car back soon! Well love ya bye!


Elder Wood


Monday, April 21, 2014

Elder Cook's and Godfrey's Baptism (Debbi)

April 21, 2014

Dear Family:

Monday was a good P-day. I think I already told you about us going hiking and starting to change it up more on P-day. Luckily we didn't have a set appointment that night because when we got to dinner they were a little bit behind. It was probably one of the coolest dinners I have had. The guy who cooked for us just got here from Tonga. We call him Jr cuz we can't say his name. He played on Tonga's national rugby team. He cooked for us how he cooked at home. He had a big 50 gallon metal barrel cut in half on a rickety stand. One end of the barrel wasn't closed so he stuck a street sign in it. When we got there he had a bunch of logs in it on fire he was moving around and hitting with a shovel. He chucked them all out so it was just coals and squirted down the flaming logs. He put a metal thing across the barrel. It had a flat metal middle attached to two poles with tin foil all over the top. He put canola oil on the foil and used a cut in half onion with a fork stuck in it to spread it and then just left the onion on it the whole time. Then he had some chicken a beef and pork he had marinated a long time before with all sorts of stuff with like soy sauce garlic onion halves all sorts of good stuff. It was awesome! That was pretty much the night. We didn't get to teach anybody. I was so full when I left there I didn't know if I was going to be able to walk!  

Debbi's Baptism
Tuesday was the temple trip. It was awesome! The only thing I would change is we used to go earlier in the day. Now our session is at noon so it takes all day. We didn't even get to teach anybody that day. We went to Cafe Rio. I loved that! It was Taco Tuesday again so I got a normal burrito and then a taco for the next day. We had a meeting that night with a member of the stake presidency over missionary work. 

Wednesday was super busy Elder Ringwood hit a rock so we had to take the car to Riverside so our fleet coordinator could see it. It is one of the oldest cars in the mission so it has a good amount of damage. This week we are taking it in and we have to be on bike all week or more than one week. I am not very happy about that. While in Riverside I saw Elder Feist and some other friends who were headed into a meeting. We drove back for DDM. We were late. In our DDM we roll-played baptizing a bedridden lady. We had a district baptism because it took all of us to baptize her. We picked up Elder Godfrey and tried to get him in and out of the font. If it was her she would have died we didn't get him back out of the font haha. So we decided we wouldn't do it in the font and we would get special permission to do it in the pool. We already had to get really special permission. Debby is the one who got baptized. She is stuck in bed and as we understand it hasn't left her house for about 9 years. She said it was so different outside. I will talk about it more on the Saturday part of my letter. We had 5 lessons that day to try and catch up for not being able to teach the first two days.  
Taco Tuesday
Thursday was a lot slower. I found out Jessica (a person who is less active who lives with some of our investigators) knows Elder Wilkinson. I called him and he said she was super active and went on mini missions with the sisters and stuff and was thinking about going. She was going to go to Utah to school too. So we are going to get her move active and excited and help her do some missionary work in her house. 

Friday we had exchanges. I was in my area and I had Elder Tchan with me. He is from Tahiti. Our day was really busy but not with lessons. We had to run to Perris and then Menifee to get a big baptismal suit for Debbi. We had to go print music, check an Elder’s E-mail with the medical transport info. Just a bunch of stuff like that. We only taught Michael. We tried to pick up another family we had a referral for but they weren't really interested.  

Saturday we had a goal of 7 lessons. We got 3 haha. We got to be there to help baptize Debbi though so that was really cool! She has been waiting for some good missionaries to come in and be go getters. She was a hard baptism. Just tons of phone calls. Salt Lake had to know about her getting baptized because she can't go to church and never has. We got it all done though!  

Sunday church was just a ton of music. It was good. Michael was there. He got a call right as the sacrament was getting to him and his phone was on loud. He was really embarrassed. He had to keep going outside to answer his phone but overall he liked it! That is pretty much it. It was a pretty slow week. This next week is going to be interesting. I don't want to be on bike.... oh well!! It will make me appreciate my car more when we get it back!!! Elder Cook says hi! It is cool having him here in the zone. We haven't been around anybody else as much on our missions so we know each other pretty well from living in Riverside together. Well, have a great week! Bye!  Elder Wood



Monday, April 14, 2014

Back to Hemet for a Baptism!

April 14, 2014 

Dear Family:

Monday we had a weird P-day. We had to help everybody with moving and stuff so we didn't get a normal P-day.  

Tuesday we had district meeting. We had a mini ZDM before DDM with the whole zone to go over all the zone stuff for all the new missionaries in the zone. Almost every companionship was changed. Elder Cook is our District leader and we have a sick district. All Elders! In DDM I was asked a question that had to do something about being a good missionary. I told them you have to know you can be a good missionary and then know you are good. So in other words have swag. I went on talking about how you have to know you’re good like the prophets do. Long story short I told them they need to have prophet swag so now that is our new district motto haha. Then we took Elders Cook and Godfrey shopping because Elder Cook got here too late on P-day to do it. We had a lesson with Gus, Michael, and Ron and Karen. Karen has a major concern with the word of wisdom. She shut us down pretty hard on it. We caught the sisters in our ward poaching on us. We drove past them and they didn't see us. I found out it was the investigators they brought to church the last week and they didn't even tell us they live in our  area. That night we ate dinner with them at the Bishop’s house and I gave them a pretty hard time about it ha. We can only eat with them at the Bishop and Ward Mission Leader’s house. We got a call from Elders Cook and Godfrey and Elder Cook was sick. He talked to the mission nurse and she thought he might have appendicitis. So we ran him to the hospital and he had a really crazy flu bug that has been wrecking people.  
Elders Wood, Ringwood and ?
Wednesday. So this week there was a bunch of J-dubs everywhere. They have a big event for Easter they are putting pamphlets out for. When I find it on doors I steal them haha. Maybe not the most honest but hey they are trying to steal my investigators!! I realized it on Wednesday because we had to move streets because everybody's door was getting knocked like 3 times. Another lesson with Michael. He is pretty weird. He likes to try and be an intellectual, but he doesn't know that much. Once he threw out something that he knows about the Bible that I don't think a good amount of the members know about but isn't really important or relevant but does take some paying attention to notice. I think he used to be really smart but has messed himself up with weed. There is a potential we knocked on and I thought it was her. I gave the worst door approach ever I thought it was her, but didn't introduce or do anything I just tried to get in, or set a return appointment. They crazy thing was that she actually had been wanting to talk to some missionaries so it worked out even though it wasn't who it was supposed to be. It went so well I didn't figure out it wasn't who I was looking for until we were leaving and I said thanks Chelsea and she said “Close, that is the house owners name! My name is Ashley”. That night we taught a member’s (Joey’s) friend. Her name is Daliah. She should be getting taught by the YSA but Joey doesn't like them as much so he asked us to. She lives in our ward boundaries, so we taught her, set expectations, got her on date and passed her over. I didn't want to but Elder  Ringwood made me. They have known about her for a while and they just haven't done anything. If it goes too long then when he leaves I will pick her back up. She is one of those really solid awesome people if the missionaries met with them like they should they would be baptized in 3 weeks. I hope they can get it done now though.  
 Fishing on P Day at Lake Elsinore State Park (Elder Cook)

The Lake Elsinore District at the Lake to Fish

Thursday we ate with Ron and Karen at a member’s house. It seemed to go really well! We found out later things hadn't gone quite like we had hoped. We also met with Michael, and then Martha. Martha that night. We were supposed to go to addiction recovery with her but she didn't make it in time so we just had a lesson at her house.  

Friday we had to come check our E-mails and unlock the family history center for the zone so they could. President Smart texted us and told us about an E-mail he sent that everyone needed to see before Sunday. It was about sharing the new "Because of Him" video the church put out. You should watch it, it is super cool. So we were asked to have as many people as possible in our wards use it. So you guys should too. It is powerful and can get people to ask questions. Friday was awful. We couldn't get anybody to let us in. We finally got one lesson with a sort of less active part member family,  but the one we were after wasn't there.  
Elder Ringwood and the Local Wildlife


Saturday was crazy! That morning we went to a baptism for somebody the sisters baptized in our ward Matt Green. After that Bro and Sis Hoyt came and picked me up and took me to Corona! It was super good to see them! I got to go back and baptize Veronica. It was cool to see old friends. I had a really good talk with the Hoyts. I even got to listen to the voice mail mom left sister Hoyt. She really liked your message by the way!! The water was super cold. Elder Child doesn't think everything through all the way sometimes ha. He wondered why the font filled twice as fast it did when I filled it. It was because he used cold water! I had to talk Veronica into getting into it. She did not like the cold water. I was so excited by the day’s activities I could have cared less. Delphina broke her shoulder so she couldn't come. She asked me to come see her. I rode with Elder Child there. It was good to see her and Melissa. After that I went back to the house and played with Gunner and Mia (the dogs) that was fun for me. Gunner just pulled his ACL so I didn't get to do much with him. The Hoyts got there and we had another good talk. Bro Hoyt took me back. We had a lesson at 5 with Ron so that is where I had him take me, but Elder Ringwood wasn't there. I called him and he didn't answer. I had a thought come to my mind about something they said earlier so I decided to go check out Michael’s house. They were there. I got my stuff in the car and jumped into the lesson half way. While we were grabbing the keys Bro Hoyt had like 5 seconds so he looked at Michael and said “Hey it’s all true!” It was super funny the way he did it. I really enjoyed seeing them. I tried to figure out why we weren't at Ron’s teaching I mouthed it to Elder Ringwood and I thought he said back that he dropped us. I was like whatever I must have been imagining things and just trusted him that he knew where we should be. It turns out that he did drop us. Ron and Karen didn't like something that was said at dinner that was said, but they wouldn't come let us talk to them about it. Somebody asked if only men can hold the Priesthood and the member we were eating with said men hold the Priesthood and women have other important responsibilities like having children. I don't think that is their real concern because she is the type if somebody says something she doesn't like she will tell them. I think there is a lot more to the story, we are still trying to get to talk to them. We will see how it goes though. That night we met with Mario. He was in the middle of stuff when we got there so we helped him, one of the things we did was change a tire. The way things are going I am going to be a record speed tire changer. This keeps happening to me. After that we sat down for a lesson and then his girlfriend Lakisha walked in who is the actual investigator. So we got to talk to her for a little bit. She wanted to go to church and everything.  Mario is holding her back. He didn't want to go to church this Sunday.  


Sunday. Sundays are so stressful as a missionary. Martha came to church! We also had a lesson with her at night. Bro Cassio was there. You have to be careful around her. She gave Bro Cassio a pretty hard time ha. She always keeps things interesting. We had a meeting with Bro Cassio (our Ward Mission Leader) about the "Because of Him Video" because President asked us to and then to report to him how many companionships did it. I really liked it. He liked it enough he sent it to 5 friends right then! He is awesome.  Bro Cassio doesn't really care what other people think about him. Well I can't think of anything else to write and I am sick of sitting in front of this computer so that’s it! Have a good Easter!! Love ya tons!!  Elder Wood

Elder Wood and Elder Cook


Monday, April 7, 2014

General Conference

April 7, 2014


Dear Family:


Well this week was pretty crazy and I don't have long to write about it. Elder Ringwood and I are still here. There have been a lot of people get transferred though so I will be helping them for a good part of the day. 


Monday was a normal P-day. Our homeshare took us to Costco so I could spend all my money. I am set for like a while though on food. That night we picked up a new investigator. Denise Hanks. We taught her the restoration and she took it well. We didn't get to meet with her later in the week because her husband is a cop and there was a shootout just before the lesson so she didn't want to meet. 


Tuesday we had DLC and got the zone focus planned out with the district leaders. This week was really slow for lessons, it was hard to meet with them this week for some reason. We met with Mario. His girl friend (Lakisha) isn't a member and neither is her son. We didn't get to meet with her, but we talked with Mario for quite a while. They just had a son together and he wants to raise him in the church so he wants to come back, he just feels a little bit overwhelmed by it right now I think. 


Wednesday I was on exchanges with Brother Platt. He is a mini missionary and has been here this whole transfer. Elder Ringwood went with his companion into the other area. His first name is Trevor. Trevor is a really cool kid. He has only been a member for about 6 months. He is from Hemet. Tuesday night we stayed up pretty late because he was teaching me about Masons. He is a Mason and is pretty into it. I remember Dad and I having some good conversations about Masons so I just asked him about a ton of stuff. I still don't completely understand it, but it was really cool. We taught Ron and Karen. Karen is super funny. She has a little bit of attitude. She didn't like how in 3rd Nephi when Christ is giving a similar sermon as to the sermon on the mount and He says to pray in the closet. She likes walking around talking to God all day, while she is cleaning and everything. So we talked about that for a while. Then she told me I was a liar! At the very end Christ says "be ye perfect as I and my father are perfect" (which interestingly enough is a little different than what he says in Matthew) I had told her she didn't have to be perfect. She was mostly messing with me but she did question it so we had to explain it haha. That was Trevor's last day as a mini missionary. He went home that night back to Hemet. He was ready to be done, he was tired of his companion and he had been here for 5 weeks living mission rules. That night I was super tired. I was laying on the floor in my missionary clothes with my head on the green little football I got for Christmas and I think I fell asleep. I made calls to the district leaders that night, but that is the last thing I remember haha. Somehow I made it to my bed, still with my church clothes on (I sleep on top bunk) because that is how I woke up the next morning. 


Thursday we went to the mission office in Riverside for MLC (missionary leadership council). We set a mission goal for 92 baptisms this month. If we do that for the next three months until President Smart leaves we will reach our goal of 500 hundred before he goes. As far as teaching goes it was a really slow day. Nobody was around and we didn't get back to Elsinore until after 3 I think. We saw Michelle. We are still trying to teach her mom but no luck yet.


Friday we had ZDM (Zone Meeting). We had a good meeting. We took a 5 minute break in the middle. When we did one of the Spanish Sister Companionships brought in brownies! We were like this is too good to be true! This never happens!! What we later found out was it was too good to be true!! After the meeting we took some Elders back to their area on the other side of the lake. When we were about 2 minutes away from home we got a call from the Elders we dropped off freaking out. Elder Thurman went to the bathroom and was really worried because his pee was green. He called a nurse in his ward and she said he had a kidney infection. He was about to get us on the phone to take him to the doctor when his comp went and his was green too!! So they called us and told us to go!! Elder Ringwood only ate a small piece of brownie but I ate 3 or 4 of them. My pee was pretty green haha. It is just wearing off now. Anyways we got a call from some sisters and they got them too. So the whole zone was peeing green until about yesterday. They put barium sulfate in them. I guess it is the stuff they give you before a cat scan. A lot of the Elders wanted to get them back, but worse. We talked them out of it though, they were going to take it too far. We had a good teaching day that day. We saw Ron and Karen again. She has some concern that she won't tell us what it is. She said she might tell us after she gets baptized. I just hope it doesn't hold her back from getting baptized! They say they know the Word of Wisdom is from God, but I can tell it is going to be a struggle already. I think the hardest part is going to be getting them to take that first step. 


Saturday was general conference!! It was awesome!! Elder Holland started us off right, I really liked his talk. He actually quoted one of my favorite scriptures (Helaman 5:12). He didn't really state that he was using that scripture though. That is something that I noticed the Apostles do a lot that I really liked. They quote a lot of scripture without a reference or saying anything. Sometimes it is only 4 to 8 words of a scripture sometimes more. I wish now I had made a better note of it. The scriptures were definitely there though. Another Apostle also used words from that specific scripture. Neil L. Anderson and that was even in the same session. It happened many times with other scriptures.  As I go back through them, and next conference I am going to do better at keeping track of that. Priesthood session was by far my favorite. Once again it started off strong and kept up! In Priesthood all but Elder Oaks and the Prophet gave us a list of 3 or 4 things to focus on. That night for dinner we went with the Wildomar Elders to eat at one of Elder Ringwood's converts houses. He started his mission there. We got transfer calls that night. They changed up a lot of stuff. Elder Cook who I lived with is coming to be a district leader here in this zone. I am excited for that. Elder Therman is leaving. I am bummed about that, he is cool. He is going to be a zone leader with Elder Reed in Corona. I called Elder Feist that night. I found out he got called to be a zone leader too!! I was excited about that. He is going to Mt. Rubido with Elder Jenkins. He is one I lived with in Corona. 


Sunday was conference again. We just watch all the sessions at the church. In between the two on Sunday they fed all the missionaries lunch. Sunday we tried to get 11 lessons to catch up with were we wanted to be. We only got 5. Well that is all that I have for now exciting in some ways very boring in others ha. We would have looked to have taught a lot more people. Well have to go! Have a good week! bye!! 

Elder Wood