Monday, June 9, 2014

Back on the Farm

June 9, 2014 

Dear Family:

Monday was a normal P-day. At night we went to Pat and Michelle's house. A guy there who's name is Wayne was there. He comes and helps them fix stuff around the house. I had met him before. We taught him and put him on date. He told us in the past he has asked missionaries he has randomly saw to pray that he would find a nice brunette. We taught him out of the pamphlet to help him understand better. We asked him as we about to leave to give the closing prayer and he didn't want to. One of the ways it is easy to get people to pray who are uncomfortable is using the last page in the pamphlet. When he opened to that page he busted up laughing cuz the picture was of a brunette and he thought it was a sign. If it was to him that is great.  I guess ha. He lives in the Ortega ward so we passed him over to them. He was super excited. Michelle was a big help in the lesson. After we left she taught the Word of Wisdom and he really wants to fix things in his life so that was cool to hear.  

Tuesday morning we had exchanges with the AP's. They came to our DLC and DDM to see how the district leaders are doing. I went into their area in Jurupa. A little back story. There is a place over in the Ortega ward called Wayne's World or Wayne's Wood or something like that. I have heard about it tons of times from lots of people the whole 4 months I have been here. It is a huge homeless community and the leader of them all's name is Wayne. Turns out when we told the Ortega missionaries about it that it is the Wayne we put on date, so we all thought that was pretty cool. When I was in Jurupa it was a really slow day. I was with Elder Figuroa (the one from El Paso) and Elder Moss. Elder Hugie was with Elder Maxfield. We have 3 AP's right now to help with the mission president change. At dinner we went to a ladie's house named Amanda Archuletta. Her husband isn't a member. They were super cool they had a big back yard with tether-ball and fun stuff like that we messed around on while he grilled. He made bacon wrapped hot dogs (which I just found out a few days before and was looking for someone to ask to cook it for me so I didn't even have to). I told Amanda where I was from and she about dropped her plate ha. She is from Duchesne. Her last name used to be Jensen. She asked if I knew Dina Farnsworth. She called her mom and I told her I was half Goodrich so she asked about Bruce and Betty and said she knew Mary Ann. Other than that the day was pretty uneventful. It was fun being in a trio. I could see how it could be a bad thing though. It is a lot easier to waste time and just mess around and joke with each other.  

Wednesday in the morning we exchanged back. We had a pretty slow day that day as well. We found a new investigator. Janelle Micini. She is the coupon one who gave us a ton of stuff last Sunday. She has been taught before, but I feel like with her kids being older and supporting her and able to answer questions and stuff she could get baptized. I got a call that night I was super excited about. I don't know if i told you but when I went on exchanges into Temescal Canyon Elder's area we taught a guy named Bro. Scott. He has been going to church forever and has been taught by tons of missionaries. The missionaries told me he was getting baptized on the 21st which is a huge miracle! I asked them what happened and they told me it was me! When I was there I talked to his wife about her conversion story and then asked him. I was just trying to get him to bear his testimony about something. I said something to the effect of just telling me about him knowing that Jesus Christ is his Savior. So he didn't even have to talk about the church. My plan was to listen careful and find something he said that let me knew he knew this was God's church and I just wasn't going to let it go. What happened instead disappointed me at the time. He was very standoffish about it and totally rejected me. I guess it got him thinking though. There was a huge announcement to the whole ward sent out mid day Wednesday to his ward and our ward (they used to be combined) and he wants everybody there. They have already bought plane tickets and everything for people to come down. Elders Montigue and Delvechio called right at the end of the day so that made me feel a lot better about how slow our day had been!  
Elder Hugie with his new pet

I don't know if I told you E. Hugie grew up on a ranch. so he likes stuff like this too. We went to a dairy today to buy milk called DeJongs. They have the best milk ever. You can freaze it and it will turn to icecream. So he wanted his picture with a pig cuz you can't get by the cows and you never see stuff like this in California. 

Thursday we were supposed to have Michael's baptismal interview but he was in the hospital all week. He was having pancreas problems. I don't know if I have talked about this much but he is 23 and has major health problems. He wasn't expected to live past 18. I think his biggest one is kidney failure so he is going to be on dialysis soon. If it wasn't for that we would have baptized him this weekend. We only have two problems to overcome first. The first one we will probably just leave for now and hope for the best cuz it is like pulling teeth to overcome these things with him. He just gave up and quit everything in the Word of Wisdom (excepts one that we knew about) and law of chastity but had the hardest time knowing if Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. What he says about Thomas Monson is that he believes he is the only man who can recognize who the next prophet will be who will tell us all when Jesus Christ will come. So we dig at it more and he says that the things he teaches are true, and he is here to prepare us for the 2nd coming (just like all the prophets). While he continues he describes a prophet's profile and responsibilities so I am going to call it close enough ha. The other thing we need to overcome is he smokes weed. If he does it completely legal (nobody actually does) meaning he has a card, goes to dispensaries and only uses as much as he is told he is still worthy to be baptized. I would rather just have him quit but he won't and bishop and President Smart both approved it if he does it all the way legit. I thought we were going to have to go around asking members for money to buy the 60 dollar card but bishop told us he will take care of it. I really didn't want to ask members cuz we would have to tell them what it was for and they either wouldn't donate (I don't blame them I wouldn't either) or they would but not want to. Either way that would be a really fast way to give them a bad perception of Michael. It has already been challenging to find him a fellow shipper other than Claudia ha. Bishop is a little hesitant to let us baptize him but he will let us. He told us I am trusting you guys. Remember I have to deal with this guy for 4 more years, you guys get transferred out. I have been telling a lot of people this in this ward and I told it to Bishop. Missionaries are always going to baptize. You can either let us teach your friends and we can have cool people in the ward, or you can leave the finding to us and we will continue to baptize the crazies we meet cuz they are the only ones who will listen! It makes them think a little ha. Elder Hugie and I have been praying for normal people. It is amazing how different it is when members invite people to do things. I know missionaries who have been tracting and gotten yelled at and doors slammed and baptized those same people that freaked out later when a member invited them.  

Friday we ran to Riverside to the mission office to get some stuff for some missionaries. Going to the mission office now isn't any fun. Sisters Peirce and Ta'a are gone. Now it is just boring people. It used to be something to look forward to. I don't really remember what happened the rest of the day. One of these days we got Michelle and Pat gi-normous triple combinations so they could read them. I got those at the mission office when I was on exchanges with the AP's. Elder Hugie and I were messing around when we were on separate couches you could read the one the other person was holding. The letters are huge.  

Saturday we had exchanges again. I went into Wildomar's area with Elder Petersen. I almost died. We had 5 meals we went to. A huge breakfast, but that one was my fault cuz I set it up with somebody I know in that ward. We did service, after that they fed us lunch. Another service and another lunch. Invited to recent converts party with more food. and a big dinner. At dinner the other Elders talked the member into giving me and Elder Petersen huge pieces of cake for initiation (the other Elders ate there all the time). It is ok though, cuz I have been losing weight on accident. The senior couple Elder and Sister Nickle were at dinner with us as well. They didn't torture them with huge pieces of cake though. Sister Nickle's maiden name is Sherry Payne. She is from El Paso. Her brother just got done being a bishop there. His name is Erik Payne so maybe Grandma knows him. The most interesting part though is that she knows our new mission President. John Mullin because he grew up in El Paso! So that will be cool to talk to him about. We had a lesson with Bart and Donna Lindsey. We didn't have enough time to do what I wanted to. I am going to find a way back and try again. Donna's parents are coming down for father's day so she said they might take me out to lunch. That could be my way. We will see if she calls me or not.  

Sunday we got work done. We were pretty busy. We had splits that night. I was with Bro. Cassio. I think the best part was the everything fell through. All of our appointments. Because everything fell through we found two new investigators!! One Bro. Cassio is the fellowshipper and the sisters are teaching somebody in our area, so we are stealing that one. The other one I felt like we needed to go visit Gus again even though he has been pretty non committal. He didn't answer, but when I walked to his door I saw his neighbor in the yard watering his trees. A thought came into my head to go talk to him. I ignored it and knocked on Gus' door anyways. Nobody home. Walking back same thought. Bro Cassio and I walked past and at the same time turned around to go and talk to him. We talked about it later and we both felt the same thing and both ignored it the first time. 2nd time we both followed it. It was really cool. Anyways his name was José. Super nice guy. I talked to him for a minute to build the relationship but passed it over to Bro. Cassio. Normally I wouldn't do that. He is the only member I OYM with because he isn't scared. Nobody else will say anything. He started talking to him in Spanish. I didn't catch much other than him telling us where our church is but in no time he had a return appointment set up. It was super cool. It is different when members do stuff. It changes things for the investigator. It makes normal people like us haha. That and part member families are the only way in the area.  

Our homeshare is in Utah right now. So we are taking care of the house and the dogs. I tried getting in the car with them when they left, but they kicked me out. The house is big and lonely for just two missionaries and buddy (the dog). But it is fun too. I think that is all for the week. That was a much better letter this time. The last few weeks have been really short. It is hard to focus when I am writing. Have a good week!

Love ya!

Elder Wood