Monday, November 3, 2014

Treats at the Wheat's

November 3, 2014 

Dear Family: 

Alright looks like I am staying here in Corona stake in the Auburndale ward! This is an awesome ward anyways, so it is hopefully where I end my mission. I only have 2 transfers left (3 months!) If they take me out my last transfer I will be pretty upset. I am going to beg if I have to. Pray for me!! It mostly covers Norco. That is a city by the way. Norco is a good place for me to come to so I can start adjusting back. Norco is also called "Horse Town USA" Instead of sidewalks there are dirt trails for the horses. It throws you off at first because you are in Southern California, but after you have been there a little bit it’s not bad. I feel like a ton of them are just posers, but maybe I am just being judgmental because I am in Southern California and not many people here are into country things. Anyways it is a unique area to say the least. The best part though is the Auburndale ward is famous in this mission for being one of the most successful and fun for missionaries to be in. They normally baptized more than both the Spanish and English Wards, but the last 6 months has been really slow. Hopefully we can help them get back on their feet. I am excited to be here!! If I stay both transfers I will have been in Corona a total of 10 1/2 months. Good thing I like Corona! Some missionaries don't but I do! I have now served in 5 wards in the stake. I can go most anywhere and know somebody. I don't think I mentioned this yet but we also cover the YSA ward. That is super fun, but also really awkward sometimes haha. It is a pretty small YSA, but we are teaching somebody right now who will be getting baptized soon if her parents allow it. Going to Family Home Evening on Mondays is fun. Two churches gets a little long, but there are cool people there so that helps. This week was pretty slow, so not a lot happened. I will do my best to remember what I did though and tell you about it. 

Monday was the day we didn't have time to E-mail. All I got done was writing to the President. That night we went and tried to visit some people, but no luck. We also went to Family Home Evening in the YSA Ward. It was a Halloween party! We got some costume stuff we were going to wear over our Missionary clothes, but we were late to the party and were only going to be there for a little bit, so we didn't put them on. It would have been fun though. I had a blond wig that looked like Justin Beiber hair and I put a snap back over it also with a tank-top and gym shorts and a pair of vans. Elder Robbins had an ugly brown suit and a Afro wig. We should have done it!! 

Tuesday we had our normal Tuesday meetings. This is where the week started to get slow. A return missionary was visiting the mission and stayed in the Auburndale Ward. He came out with us a few times. He helped but he also slowed us down. He is one of Elder Robbins favorite missionaries so it turned more into hanging out then doing work. I was a little frustrated but it wasn't too bad. 

Wednesday I forgot to take notes, so I really don't remember what we did. I didn't do the best at taking notes all week, so this letter might be a little dry haha.  

Thursday we went to meet and teach a recent convert. His name is Eddie. He married a member named Katlin. They are super cool. Other than that we just stopped by and tried to visit people.  

Friday was more of the same. Pretty much all the set lessons we had cancelled on us.  

Saturday we helped somebody move. The cool part was it was raining!!! Well the family that was moving wasn't that happy about it, but I was! It finally has cooled off a little! I heard it is supposed to heat right back up though in a few days. We will see. Right now it doesn't bother me much either way because it isn't blistering hot anymore and I am in a car, so I am climate controled hahaha. Best part of the week though was Saturday night. Earlier in my E-mail I said the Auburndale Ward is famous in the mission. One of the reasons is because of a family called the Wheats. Their kids are popular and really strong in the church. The Wheats house is also one of those houses that all the friends come and hang out at to all the time because they have tons of fun stuff like ping pong, other games, and bumper pool (the same house about a year ago I told you I played bumper pool at) and lots of food. They are a super missionary minded family so they have us there a lot when the kid’s friends are there. As a result there have been lots of baptisms and tons of people’s lives changed. They have an event once a month called "Treats at the Wheats" where a bunch of people come and play games and eat food. We make friends with them and then start teaching them! It’s actually a lot more natural then otherwise. Before we went we already had in mind somebody we wanted to work on. Her name is Jenna. She is really good friends with one of their sons. She came to Stake Conference and liked it. She also was at their house once and saw a “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet. She read a bit of it so "Momma Wheat" (everyone calls her that) gave it to her. Then she read the whole thing! She met Elder Robbins and Elder Feist at Stake Conference but she wanted to talk to us at Treats at the Wheats. We made friends with her. She seems really interested so hopefully we get to meet with her this week. Her parents don't take her to church so hopefully they don't mind. They don't seem to have a set religion. We also met a lot of other people as well that we are going to try and catch up to. I tried to get Steve (the Wheat’s son) get one of his friends there. He plays football for one of the high schools here in Corona and he is the 1 or 3 best high school quarterback in the nation. He is already signed on to play at Alabama. He didn't end up asking him, but he would be a cool kid to baptize! Maybe we could get him to switch to BYU or any Utah school really haha. We had to step out in the car from Treats at the Wheats to get transfer calls. I am staying here with Elder Robbins. 

Sunday we are super busy. We have two wards, and two ward councils. They overlap in really awkward ways ha, so it is a good thing we have good Ward Mission Leaders in both, because we can't be everywhere! This was my first YSA testimony meeting. I was thinking it was going to be a whole lot worse than it was. I was ready to get up and take a lot of time because when we first got there nobody was there! But it filled in and so did the people bearing testimony. At night we had a lesson with a referral some other missionaries gave us for the YSA ward. His name is Dupree (said Dupray) He was really cool and very open. When we asked why he wanted to meet with us he told us he wanted to learn more because he felt an emptiness in his life. That he needed more of the Word of God. Then he continued on to say he also didn't accept what other people had told him about Mormons and that he wanted to learn from the source itself and see if that is what he needed. Well that made it really easy to teach him and testify that this is the path that God wants him to take!! Our Ward Mission Leader in the YSA and his fiancée are both recently returned missionaries so that also made it easier to teach him. We all took turns doing how to begin teaching. I have never had a member help me with that before it kinda threw me off at first because I wasn't expecting it! We didn't even tell them beforehand to do it. I think the church as a whole will change when all these missionaries serving now get into the leadership. There was a huge difference in how we taught that lesson and our future plans. For example we have a lesson with Dupree tomorrow (Tuesday) and then Wednesday Skyler (our Ward Mission Leader) is going over with another RM to read the Book of Mormon with him. I thought that was awesome! I have never had a member offer do something like that! Even if they did I would never let them go without me because I would be freaked out they would mess it up! I trust Skyler though. Especially with the sheer number of how many returned missionaries there will be in the future. I think this has a large portion of the hastening of the work. Well that is all I have for now!! Love ya!

Elder Wood