Monday, October 27, 2014

7 Hours of Church

October 27, 2014

Dear Family:

Monday I was transferring so I got up and moved out my stuff first thing.  It took 2 cars.  I need to get rid of some stuff.  I should specify 2 mission cars, so you can't fit much.  Normal P Day after that.  Got to play some guitar with Elders Feist and Larsen.  We were supposed to go there today and write a song, but my comp messed up that plan!
Tuesday we had DDM.  The first day in the new area was not fun.  I did not have the best attitude about the mid-transfer.  Don't worry.  I repented later in the story and came to terms with it.   My new companion is Elder Robins.  I didn't really know what to do.  That was really his whole week.  He doesn't seem like he knows the area at all.  The problem is he has been here 3 months! 
Wednesday Brother Mike (my old Ward Mission Leader) took us (me and Elders Robins, Larson, Feist, Penell) to this awesome place called "Cowgirl Cafe".  It was so good!  It is a breakfast place and the portions are huge!  Brother Mike wanted to take us there before I left so Luckily I didn't leave the stake.  By the Way I wasn't with Elder Robins, I was on exchanges with Elder Pawleti.  He is one of the Spanish Speaking Missionaries.  We had a good day.   We were in his area.   All of the lessons but one were in Spanish.  The one lesson was with a guy who's name I can't remember.  He is a recent convert and going through a super hard time.  The Spirit was really strong to the point where we were teaching way beyond our own experience.  I just mostly set back and waited to see what else came out of my mouth from the spirit.  I pulled my pen out and took notes about 2 or 3 things.  It wasn't on what I was telling about, but on something I needed to learn about teaching people.  So I was learning a few things!  Hopefully he was too.
Thursday morning we had splits.  We had dinner with a Part Member Family in the ward.  The only reason he hasn't gotten baptized is cuz of his drinking problem.  He has to quit now cuz of his health.  Hopefully he wants to get baptized.
Friday I was on exchanges again in some other Missionary's area. On a bike.......  Good day though.
Saturday was a normal day.  Just us trying to visit a ton of people.
Sunday we had like 7 hours of church.  We are over a family ward and the Young Single Adult (YSA) Ward.  We had a lesson with a YSA investigator.  Only reason she isn't baptized is because her mom is an atheist.  Well that's it for now, I need to send this letter or you won't get it this week.

Love Ya! Elder Wood   

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transferred Again!

October 20, 2014

Dear Family:

So I have good news and I have bad news!! Good news is we got Ruben baptized on Saturday!! It was super cool. Bad news is I am getting transferred. The reason that is bad is because transfers aren't supposed to be happening for 2 weeks. For those of you who are familiar with mission terms it is not an "emergency transfer" when I said that President Mullen was very quick to let me know that is not what it is. He called it an "off cycle transfer" but I don't see how that is different than an emergency one other than the fact the neither of the companionship's did anything wrong. There was another set of missionaries this happened to as well, but theirs was for obvious reasons. I think one of the reasons I was so upset by it was I still see no reason for it. And President won’t tell any of us why. I am going to the Auburndale Ward (still in the Corona Stake) to be a zone leader... again... I thought I was done! Normally in this mission you don't do more than 6 months as a Zone Leader, so I am not super happy about that. Hopeful it is only the two weeks and then I will get transferred again. Also I am not happy because Elder Feist is the one who is coming to replace me. So not only do I have to go with his companion who I don't really want to be with, but one of my favorite missionaries is coming to be with my other favorite missionaries, so it just kinda sucks for me. I am over it now. I was super surprised so I think that is another reason I didn't like it. With the normal transfer cycle you sorta have a feel for what will happen, but you mentally prepare yourself for whatever will happen. This was a little harder call to accept. I guess that is probably how members feel all the time when they receive callings. I also was super excited for my next area because I was pretty much guarantied it would be my last area. I could go, get stuff organized and just go super hard my last three months. This has thrown a curve ball, but I will serve to the fullest of my capacity. I guess I just don't like how I can't have my end all planned out. ha I guess I wasn't sent here to be comfortable or be selfish so I need to just stop complaining. I will stop venting now, I think I needed that. P.S. our companionship didn't do anything wrong, and neither did Feist (I think my new comp might be a little crazy! Not like it’s the first time for me haha)
 Elders Larsen, Wood and Powell

Monday we went to Riverside to do the cross fit challenge against President and half the mission. I am not in near as good shape as I was when I lived with Elder Hugie. I almost got killed this time, but I kept up with him. After that we went to the music shop and got some new strings for my guitar. That night we ate dinner with the Richins family. Yes their ancestors are from Henefer haha. He had a cool non-member lady there that cooks us some bomb food!! But she wasn't interested in learning. I guess that is the tradition. Every month she comes and cooks for the Elders because she is amazing at it, but just because she likes us. Her husband wants to take the lessons but she won't even let him. I forgot my tag so I felt naked the whole time. Then I missed my mouth by about 5 or 6 inches with my cup and drenched myself. What nobody else knows it that I was hyper focused on my surroundings because I was trying to figure out who lived in the house and if they were all members or not and forgot to pay attention to the things I was immediately doing. I had a rough night haha.
Elders Wood, Powell and Larsen (Glad to see Elder Larsen gets to Drive)

Tuesday we didn't have DDM! It was great!! The rest of the day was super slow though. I didn't really enjoy that part of it. The best part was teaching David O'Flynn and his kids. Other than that we just went and visited members seeking referrals pretty much.
Elder Wood and the ?? Family

Wednesday Elder Evans from the 70 came to do a Mission Conference. He is Mr. Missionary ha. He is the executive director of the Missionary Department. I think he is my favorite 70 I have met on my mission. I think I have met like 5. He was super real, very personable, and got stuff done! He changed quite a bit in the mission too. No more OYM's. That is where we are accountable to talking to at least 10 people per day per person in a companionship beside lessons, tracting, ect. No we just say whether we talked to everyone we passed by in the week. Also he got rid of the harvest blessing which I think was good. I don't think I have seen anybody as familiar with the scriptures as him. I have met a lot of "scriptorians" on my mission, members and non-members and he blows them all away. Not only did he talk like he knew these people in the scriptures but it seemed because of how much it meant to him that these people were his very best friends and knew them better than anybody else. We had lots of time for questions. I didn't matter if it was a doctrinal, personal, mental, or whatever question he would answer using the scriptures. And it wasn't just one verse. It was the story, back story, personality of people, future events, weather, blood type ha jk. but still pretty impressive. Another cool thing. I don't know what was going on in the world that day, but he mentioned that something was going on and that he had to solve some problems basically. While he was speaking he got calls from both Elder Cook and President Eyring. President Eyring was more than once and for longer periods of time. It made me think about something though. He was in the middle of training to 100 something missionaries (about half the mission) the very thing he flew all the way over here to do and at the drop of a hat would stop in the middle of his sermon walk out and answer the phone. He came back (after President Mullen took over for a good amount of time) and apologized and explained that those things were a higher priority. I think most members would make a similar choice. So obviously it is important to talk to those who are called of God. And if members and non-members believe that, and most do, why do they not drop much less important things to read the scriptures at least a little bit every day? If they know where the scriptures come from, the things that are in them, and who said them, then that is a whole lot more important than a phone call from the Prophet that is not scripture, the Words of God himself. So why don't people see it that way? Likewise how much is prayer to their Father in Heaven pushed aside by things of much less importance neglected? I dunno. Just a thought.
 Elder Larsen, Elder Wood, Ruben, Elder Powell and Ward Member who Baptized Reuben
Elder Wood, Ruben, Elder Larsen and Elder Powell

Thursday not a lot happened. We helped a member’s friend move out. Taught some lessons, but still a pretty slow day.
Driving Down the Street at Night

Friday we had a much better day.

Saturday we got to teach Hector. I think he will be baptized in the next bit. He has a ton of potential. Also a good lesson with Romero and Omar.

Sunday was stake conference. Glenda and her kids were there! Things are going well there. I am leaving it all in capable hands. I guess it was revelation that I did my best to sit back and get Elder Larson to take over. Plus throw Elder Feist in there and things will go well. Glenda had us and her fellowship over for lunch and a lesson after. Well I am out of time we have to go move! Love ya tons! Sorry my last letter sucked. Hopefully this one is a little better! Bye!!

Elder Wood


Monday, October 13, 2014

Exchanges with Elder Caples

October 13, 2014 

Dear Family: 

Monday was just a normal P-day. Nothing too exciting. In fact I don't even know what we did all day. On our way to dinner we saw an older lady who had fallen down. Another lady was trying to help her up but she couldn't do it. Elders Larson and Pennell jumped out of the car and helped her while I parked. Hopefully when we come back to see them they will be more open now! 

Tuesday we had meetings. After that Glenda fed us lunch and we had a lesson after. It was pretty cool. We just answered some of her question about the Godhead. I don't know if I told you but she is a Catholic. That was our best lesson.  

Wednesday I was on exchanges with Elder Caples. It was super fun. I went into his area. It was good for him to take over his area. I don't speak Spanish  so it helped him to get out of his comfort zone.  

Thursday we finally caught somebody we have been trying for a while. Her name is Felicia. She works at Texas Roadhouse! We caught her and her boyfriend at her house at like 8ish. They were super open.  

Friday a member fed us dinner and introduced us to somebody they want us to teach. It was a good lesson hopefully it goes somewhere. 

Sorry I am out of time!! I promise I will do better next week!! SORRY!!! this letter is so short!


Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference October 2014!

October 6, 2014

Dear Family:

Monday morning everybody went to the park and played football. Then the church and played basketball. We need to find something more fun and original to do on P-day. We didn't get to do a whole lot more than that.  

Tuesday we taught seminary for a member in our ward. He actually reminds me of Bro. T a little bit, but not as animated. It was early I think 6:20. I am so glad I never had to do that!!! The closest I got was mission prep and I think it was like an hour later haha. Just another reason to live in Utah! We also had interviews with President Mullen that day. Because of the situation we were there all the way from lunch until dinner. At lunch time we got to watch Meet the Mormons movie. It was pretty good! But maybe you shouldn't be asking me. I am not the best movie judge right now. The only movies I have seen are the cheesy church ones they give us! So compared to that it was super good! We interviewed last because we are in a trio and he didn't want to mess up his schedule. While I was waiting to get interviewed I had an idea to see if we could bring Ruben to get interviewed to be baptized. I asked President between his interviews and he said it was a good idea. He was running behind when he interviewed me. It is very different from getting interviewed by President Smart. After that we sent in Ruben. The interview would have been much better but he was still stuck on how his baptismal date got changed. He has some sort of mental handicap. I'm not sure what it is, but he gets stuck on stuff like that. He responded to President Mullen really well. We met with Ruben after and found out why. Because I called him President, Ruben thought we was the prophet! The President pulled me in and because of situations he wants Ruben to go to L.A. to see his family before he gets baptized so he should happen on the 18th now.  

Wednesday Ruben got even more mad because our Ward Mission Leader went over and changed the baptismal date to get Ruben to come home from L.A. earlier. He called us before and made sure it was ok, I thought it was fine. Ruben thought it was fine until he left and then he freaked out on us. We resolved it though and I promised him it would never change from the 18th as long as he didn't smoke anymore. So we are back on good terms. He is a super funny guy. Way fun to teach. I don't know if I mentioned this last week but we had to put some pressure on the Bishop last Sunday to get him to allow us to baptize Ruben. I was not going to let that get in the way though. He needed to meet with us and get real information instead of just assuming and holding us back. After we gave him the correct information he wanted to pray about it for a week before making a decision. Luckily we talked him into the next day. I just thought the whole thing was stupid because his concern was resolved in two seconds by our Mission Presidency but he still wanted to pray about it for a week.  

Thursday Elder Burris came back after only being home like 2 weeks. He has a new Challenger. It was a pretty fun ride!! At our lesson with Ruben we roll played with him to say no when he is in L.A. and his family offers him drugs. He did a good job! If he keeps that up he will stay strong!  

Friday we had ZDM. And I am out of time so I am going to skip most of Friday. 

Saturday was conference so it was awesome as always! It was over 100! It is so hot here!! I am glad I got a car, cuz I don't know if I would have lasted through the heat. I hope my next area we have a car. It should cool down by then, but that is what they said about October too!! Ruben came to the afternoon session because we told him we would give him treats. I don't remember what talk it was but I tried giving Ruben a hard time and I guessed wrong. Somebody was speaking about the world and its views and how we cannot allow ourselves to be a part of things that are changing because God never changes. He starting talking about how " They may be legalizing" when he said that I hit Ruben to make sure he was paying attention because I thought he was going to say legalizing marijuana but then he said "same sex marriage" it was a pretty funny mess up. We had muddy buddies, Chex mix, Oreo's, lots of good stuff!! Priesthood was great. That is my favorite. I like how in a bunch of the talks you can learn how to be a successful person. If people would follow the council the church gives us their lives would be way better. That night a sister needed a blessing. We found out Elder Pennell had never given a blessing before so we had him do it even though he was super nervous. I had been thinking about how the Lord trusts us especially more when we hold the priesthood. Giving us more responsibility then we know how to handle really calls us to grow. During the blessing I had a really strong witness as Elder Pennell gave the blessing. Even though he didn't know how to give a blessing the Priesthood still works. The spirit still testifies. He didn't need to say the right thing. I believe this is how we baptize people into the church. I think back at the beginning of my mission and how much I didn't know. I look forward and realize how much I have to learn in the eternities. I think because of this experience it will make it easier for me to sit back and let Elder  Larson and Pennell take over while I am still here. I try every lesson to not talk too much, but I always do. I am sitting back and letting them run the lessons, but I think I need to sit back more and just listen and see what I learn and see what they learn and what the investigators learn.  Just because somebody might have more experience is giving a blessing, or teaching the restoration the words that will be said have little to no converting power. You could explain the gospel perfectly and it wouldn't matter. We have to rely on the spirit completely or we are wasting our time. I think sometimes when we already know the words to say we rely on our own knowledge too much and the spirit too little and our investigators suffer. From this I hope to learn how to rely on the spirit more, plus if I do it now I don't have to learn it from a trial hahaha.  

Sunday some members between sessions fed all the Elders breakfast! We had our last lesson with Ruben before he went to L.A. We role played with him for the 3rd time. He was much less responsive this time. He was super excited to go and see his family, so I can understand. He wasn't focused at all, but it was still good that we got to see him. We wanted a present even though his birthday isn't until the 8th. We didn't get him anything so he has to wait until he gets back!! Well I hope you learned a lot at conference! We are all going to be at the Cabin next time!!! Love ya!

Elder Wood

P.S. Sorry I haven't been taking any pictures!! I will repent!