Monday, May 26, 2014

Another New Companion

May 26, 2014

Dear Family:
Hi. This week was awesome!! I enjoyed taking over my area! We had a lot of success. It was hard for me to be junior comp. I think I already said this in a letter home, but that was my first time I wasn't in charge since I got trained. So that was hard for me haha. I don't like the passenger seat. Literally. I would much rather drive. Now that I am driving no random huge rocks will jump out and get our car. I just knocked on wood so I didn't jinx myself. Cuz after saying that if I hit a random huge rock you guys would make fun of me. At least there are no  deer or ditches here. I seemed to have a rough time with those in the past. 
Elder Wood and Elder Ringwood
So Monday I got to drive. Just like every other day this week :) haha. We had two lessons after all the P-day stuff and getting everybody moved. It was a short P-day.  

Tuesday we had a mini ZDM to introduce everybody and show them the zone focus and accountability. For some reason Tuesday was super slow. We only had one lesson. That is the worst when that happens.  
Wednesday we picked up 3 new investigators. Robert, Cassandra and Makayla. They are super humble. They actually used to live in Gilbert so they know a decent amount about the church and had good experiences. We also met with Michael. But we did that every day. We would have baptized him this weekend but we are still helping him get an answer about Joseph Smith. Now it is President Monson too. He is having a hard time accepting that.  
Elder Wood, Elder Ringwood, Elder ?, The Dog and Elder Cook

Thursday was about the same. I didn't take any notes again this week. So this letter is going to be boring. I will take notes this week. I am still working on the repenting thing. It is hard! ha. I keep forgetting to take notes. Another lesson with Michael. Also Anthony who talks really fast cuz he is on drugs. It was really funny this lesson. Elder Hugie didn't know he was like that. When Elder Hugie said the opening prayer I watched Anthony get up, move rooms, come back, pour a drink, and finish half of it during a short prayer cuz he couldn't sit still! It threw Elder  Hugie off when he saw him drinking. He wants to get baptized but he hasn't come to church yet, and it is really hard to teach him because you have to talk really really fast to keep his attention and keep him from going off on something stupid. Elder Hugie wants to make a comment here he is. HI! I’m Elder Hugie. Elder Wood's new best friend. lol. This is so cool that we came out at the same time, and now are comps. We’re telling each other about our family a little at a time, so I have heard good things about your family. I lived in Utah for about 10 years, in Bountiful Utah, and my mom is from Logan, so I know my way around some of Utah, but never have been to Alta mont. But I’ll have to make it out there now. Cause I know Elder Wood now. Elder Wood is an awesome comp. We have so much fun together. And more to come. haha. We almost have the same size of dog. I have a grand pyrenees, sheep dog. I’m from Oregon and have lived around farming for a lot of my life. So we got a sheep dog to look after our lambs. Well now that they are sold, he’s just a big dog. haha. I’m kinda a mixed kid. I like farming and surfing and skateboarding, and love playing sports. I”m trying to get Elder Wood to go running with me, eventually I’ll get him to run with me. haha. Well take care, here is Wood back for you, BYE! P.S. when he gets home, ask him about wooboo!  

Friday Really just the same thing. Another lesson with Michael. Another with Martha. We had some other ones as well. I seem to keep running into people who have the misconception of all churches being Gods even though none of them see anything the same. Everybody thinks that! I even had one tell me that yes we are right about the apostasy but that God wouldn't restore his church. They all think the bible is the final authority when the very words of the Bible point away from itself to God’s servants on the earth holding authority from God. So I hope I get better at explaining all of it, cuz it happens like every day.  
Elder Wood, Elder Ringwood, Elder Cook and his Companion
Saturday we had the ward party for ward conference. It was a BBQ at the park. I got to run one of the grills. Oh another story from the last few days before Saturday. We went to have a lesson at Michael’s and he wasn't home (which never happens) as we started walking to the car Claudia and her boyfriend dropped him off. So things there are getting really interesting. Cuz they are like good friends now, even Claudia with Michael’s mom. Michael won't really tell us anything that is going on so I just hope he is doing what he should. She invited him to the ward BBQ that is what reminded me. Another lesson with Nick and Cassandra.  

Sunday church was good. The stake presidency spoke and did a really good job. Michael thought he was getting baptized. He knew he wasn't when he didn't see Elder Ringwood. We had to pull him aside and teach again that we aren't going to baptize him unless he knows this is God’s church. I won't really give us the same answer when we ask why he wants to be baptized even though he doesn't think this is God’s church. His answer changes every time. Well that is pretty much it for the week.  

Elder Hugie wants me to tell you we washed the car this morning. So now you know! I have enjoyed being his comp. He is a super fun one. We work hard, but we also have a lot of fun. He helps me be myself more. I think it is because we are pretty similar in interests and personality. All except he likes Fords. I just can't figure that one out! So I give him tons of crap when somebody in a Ford does something stupid on the road and I see it (this is often) he doesn't like that. Jason made me promise something at the first of my mission. He made me promise I wouldn't ever turn into a missionary robot. He said the reason I am sent to where I am is because of who I am, and my personality. Stuff like that. My other brothers told me the same thing. I realized when I got Elder Hugie I had fallen into that a little bit. Now trust me, I am not one of those weird missionaries, but I wasn't having as much fun or being myself as I should and not building relationships with the people I am teaching with like I should. I feel bad now, I think if I had done a few things a little differently some things with investigators may have gone a little different course. I was taking everything too serious. And it is a serious matter, but I needed to keep my personality more in things and teach and socialize a little more my way I guess. This isn't something that anybody else has told me, it wasn't a big enough difference for others to notice, but it is something I am trying to do better at. Well that is all for now!! Love ya tons! Bye!! Elder Wood


Monday, May 19, 2014

Another Crazy Week in California

May 9, 2014 

Dear Family: 

Monday was normal p-day. 

Tuesday some of the craziness of the week started. We only ended up with 2 hours to go out and teach people so we only got in one lesson. We had DLC and DDM. After that a whole bunch of missionaries had to go to Riverside to get new debit cards because of a huge fraud thing that happened. I don't know. Elder Ringwood had to go with them so I went with Elder  Montague to lunch and do some stuff in his area. When Elder Ringwood got back we had to take some Missionaries to Wildomar and go give some letters to the Sisters that my comp picked up in Riverside. I also felt really bad at this point of the day too. I said something to Sisters Haycock and Sterner (the ones in our ward) that offended Sister Haycock so that night I called and apologized. I tried to do it when we dropped the letters off but it didn't work. We went and taught a lesson and then we had to go and help somebody do service. 

Wednesday. It was more normal until about dinner time. Dinner was pretty weird. We ate with a lady named Claudia. She is a member in our ward. We met her at a pizza shop with her boy friend who is older than Claudia's mom. Anyways they are planning on getting married. They were super nice and we had a good talk. After that we had splits. I was with a brother I hadn't taken out before on splits. I wish Elder Ringwood would have briefed me cuz he freaked out our investigators. He kept telling them things like "You won't see me at church because I work with the dead." And then not explain it. After he said that about 4 times he also told them they would stick out at church. Other than that the lesson was good! 

Thursday I went to Redlands to go to the doctor. I am going to convert my doctor. He has a very Mormon perspective. He told me he thinks the way that Satan is bringing down the family is by breaking up the family and changing what the definition of family is. We had a good talk about that. He liked our churches support for Prop 8. After Bro Hansen took us to Tommy's Burger for lunch in Corona. I guess it is a super famous place in L.A. It is a burger with a ton of chili on it and it is super good. We tried teaching Gus again. He wife went in his room and called him out ha. She was doing everything she could to get him to come out ended up just calling him a chicken. We didn't get to teach many people that day.  

Friday was a slow day too.  I forgot to take notes that day so I don't remember what happened.  

Saturday was fun. We did service that morning to help out Michelle. We should be teaching her mom Pat on Friday. After that we got in as many lessons as we could cuz the rest of the day was shot. We went and picked up Elders Cook and Godfrey to help them fill the font and stuff for Gary's baptism. After that we went to Chili’s for dinner. After that we went to pie night. That is where one member who loves missionaries always has missionaries over to eat pie. We got to go so they could be there for transfer calls. Transfers were good. I am getting Elder Hugie. He is from Oregon. I served around him in Riverside, but I don't know him that well. He came out with me.  

Sunday things got crazy. Church this time was the most chaotic one I have ever been to because of our investigators. A little back story though. Michael’s big problem with being baptized is the law of chastity. He lost his virginity 6 years ago to someone he was engaged to but has been OK since. Anyways Bro Cassio wants us to talk to the Bishop about it. Well that is pretty much the story. It just got a lot harder to baptize Micheal, but we will get it done. I am out of time I need to go love ya bye!!

Elder Wood


Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day

May 12, 2014 

Dear Family, 

Well it was good seeing you all on Skype yesterday!! doesn't leave a whole ton for me to write home about but I will do my best to stay focused on writing a good letter.

Last P day we went on another hike. It was fun, we took a harder trail this time. Then just E-mailing after that. 

P Day Hike

Tuesday we had our normal meetings in the morning. We had a lesson with Michael that day. I think that is also the day we went and got our car, so that was cool. They detailed the inside but they didn't do that good of a job. The paint looks nice. I need to start keeping better track of what goes on in the day, lately I have been short on what to write about.  

Wednesday at splits I had a way good night. We picked up a new investigator and saw all the people we wanted to. Elder Ringwood struck out. All the stuff he was going to do fell through so he went with Bro Cassio to a Spanish investigators house he is fellowshipping and got a headache because he was trying to figure out what they were saying ha.  

Thursday we had one of our Priests come out with us for 2 hours. His name is Jr. he is pretty cool. Had some good lessons with him.  

Friday we had exchanges. I was with Elder Coleman in my area. He is going home in a week. We had a good time. He complained about how there are no normal people in our area. Our lesson with Michael didn't help. In a way he is right, there are a abnormal amount of weird people here. We talked a lot about guitars because he has been playing for a really long time. I don't know if I personally know somebody who has as much technique as him. He just plays everything really pretty.  

Saturday We taught Michael again. He is really frustrating. He still doesn't believe in one true church, but he would get baptized into our church. the only problem is the law of chastity. He thought he got his answer which was that he should follow it but he still didn't want to, then this time he said he got an answer he liked. It wasn't an answer, he is having a hard time recognizing his. What he thought was one I told him was from the devil and not from God and he sat back and said something like he hadn't thought of it that way before. He knew I was right he just doesn't like to admit he is wrong. He kept asking if he could just keep that one thing and just keep all the other commandments ha. I don't know how many times we showed him that God isn't a respecter of persons and he had to keep all the commandments. There aren't special exceptions for lazy people. We need to find some new investigators. I am excited to take over the area and do things the way I like to ha. Don't get me wrong I love Elder Ringwood but I am ready to change some stuff. What we are doing now is obviously not working I want to change it. I hope when we get the calls on Saturday night I have another good companion. 

Sunday was awesome because we got to Skype! Church was also good haha. That is really it for the week. I promise I will keep better track of what happens this week so I can write a better letter.  

Today I had everybody talked into going bowling. We went and got our hair cut while the other Elders checked it out they found out they are out of business so that was a bummer! Jason sent me some songs so that should keep me busy for the day! Well have a good week!

Love Elder Wood!! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

Getting Ready for a New Mission President

May 5, 2014 

Dear Family: 

Hi another weekly E-mail!! I wish I remembered more of those Strong Bad videos my siblings and the Peters would watch cuz I bet there would be a bunch of different quotes I could use to start my E-mail that would be funny!! 

Monday was just another day of E-mails. I asked Jason for guitar tabs so I can learn some new songs. If any of my other family members would like to send me some that would be awesome as well!  

Tuesday we just had DLC not DDM. DLC is just where we meet with the district leaders to come up with the zone focus so we can take it to MLC (Missionary Leadership Council) and run it past President Smart.  The one to prepare is always 2 hours instead of just 1 like our weekly ones because of how much stuff we have to go over. We had 4 lessons that day.  Jerelle was one of them. She is having a hard time letting us teach her husband because she is trying to divorce him. It is really sad because she is my age and is already getting divorced. She told us not to marry Jehovah Witnesses haha.  

Wednesday we had to do weekly planning because we didn't have time to do it on Thursday. We had a lesson with Michael. It was interesting as always! He decided he didn't think that there could be only one true church all the sudden so that was frustrating.   

Lake Elsinore District

Thursday we had to get a ride to Riverside for MLC. Elders Reed and Thurman came from Corona and picked us up. The meeting was good. The AP's and President Smart are focusing more on preach my gospel now. We also talked a lot about the transition to the new President. We have one more MLC before he gets here so we are getting things prepared now. Somebody asked about a restriction on Skype time and President in a nut shell said that was dumb that he trusts his missionaries and he wants to leave it up to their discretion. That is one of the reasons I love President Smart. The amazing thing is with him being laid back how obedient our mission is. I have been asking other missionaries about it and their missions are struggling with it. I think it is because of how high of an expectation he holds us to. After the meeting our ride took us to a pet shop thing for reptiles because they needed to buy a rat to feed their recent converts huge boa constrictor. I guess it only eats like every 4 or 5 months and that is what they feed it. The rat was only 12 bucks so that is actually pretty cheap to feed it, even though I don't like snakes. So they dropped us off and headed to go feed the beast. We had another meeting with our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader and all the Ward Missionaries to try and come up with more ways to help the members do missionary work.  

Friday was ZDM. The meeting as a whole was really good. Setting the goal for the month was a pain, but it always is. Our homeshare got a dog. It is cool except it doesn't like us haha. We don't spend enough time there for it to get used to us. 
P Day Hike

Saturday was exchanges with the AP.  I went with Elder Figueroa. He is from El Paso so that was cool to talk about Put Put and stuff like that. We had some good lessons and did some service. That night is probably the last time I will see Elder Wilkinson on my mission so that was kinda weird.  

Sunday I don't really know what to talk about. It keeps getting harder and harder to write home and give details and stuff. We had a bunch of lessons this week but nothing really sticks out to talk about. We are still on bike, I got a call today from our fleet coordinator after we got done with our hike saying we could come and get it tomorrow! So I am excited about that! I also am not writing a whole lot so I have something to talk about on Skype which I am also really excited for!  Well talk to ya Sunday!! Love ya tons!! 

Elder Wood 

P.S. Quote of the week, "If you talk about your troubles and you tell them o'er and o'er the Lord may think you like them and give you even more!" -Elder Petersen