Thursday, January 22, 2015

Picture From January 30, 2013!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Going Home!!

January 19, 2015 

Dear Family: 

This is the start of my last week in the mission. We had a great week last week. I only have about 20 minutes to E-mail though. I don't think I will have time to E-mail next week, sorry!! Highlights of the week are: on Tuesday we got to go to the temple. That was good for me. It helped me get through my thoughts and settle my mind on some things. It was a really cool day for Tyler as well. That night he got to go do temple baptisms with the YSA ward. When he told us about his experience at the temple he was very excited. He got to go two days after being confirmed! There weren't a lot of men there so he got to do 25 names. We had two exchanges this week. One with the AP's and one with the Spanish Elders. Both were good. All except when we exchanged back I got myself into a little bit of trouble. Elder Guigure is one of those annoying in your face all the time people and he likes to pick fights. He was being really really annoying so Elder Larson and I got into a wrestle with him. Long story short there is a big hole in their wall now. It is approximately the size of Elder Larson's butt. All three of us have to split the cost. I am kinda mad about that because Elder Guigure started it, and he is the one who pushed Elder Larson into the wall, but we still have to help pay for it. On the plus side I did win! And then next time he tried it I won again!! Another great thing is the area is set up really well. I didn't want to leave the area dead. We just baptized Tyler. We want to start teaching his family. We have the Bakers who we picked up who are almost ready to be baptized. They will be baptized in a week or two in February. Also Aolani has started to come to church so we can baptize her in two more weeks. We have Vanessa and Sarah who both should be baptized soon we just have to overcome parent concerns. We also just found one more girl for the YSA who is really solid as well. I feel good about how much the area has changed from when I got here until now. I think right now the area has more potential than any area I have had before. This is also the best stake and ward! I am sad to leave because we have so much going for us right now. I guess once you finally figure out how to be a missionary is when they send you home. I remember a year ago I thought I had it figured out haha. I wasn't even close. And I still feel as though I have a lot left to learn about being a missionary. I don't know everything, but what I do know is that God loves us. He lives and knows me by name. Jesus Christ is truly our Savior. The Atonement isn't just an idea. The Atonement was an event and I know that it happened. I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, died, and has risen. He did all of that thinking of all of us, his brothers and sisters. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's Kingdom here on the earth. It was restored by a Prophet named Joseph Smith. I know that the family is the basic unit of the gospel. If not for my family I would not be the person I am today. The people I have taught would not have had the blessings of the gospel in their lives. I also have a testimony of good friends. I am thankful for all of you in my life and the effect you have had on me. I would have never had this amazing mission experience if it was not for your examples. This is a bitter sweet moment for me. I don't really know how to feel. Excited to go home and see everyone. I look forward to applying the things I have learned in the last two years in my life. I want to see what it is like to continue to share the gospel and see really what it is to be a member missionary!! However I love where I am, the people I am working with, and what I am doing. I guess it is the Lord's will! Talk to you all soon!! 


Elder Wood


Monday, January 12, 2015

One More New (Old) Companion

January 12, 2014 

Dear Family: 

Monday was awesome!! In the morning we went to the Wheat's and cooked breakfast with Steve. Then we went bowling with Mike. I am having him bring some stuff up to Brett. Well actually I still need to have Mike text Brett and see if that is ok, but I am hoping it is haha. It will save me some money! We went to FHE that night.  

Tuesday we taught Vanessa.  

Wednesday we had exchanges. I was in the area with Elder Guigure. He is from Oklahoma and is pretty fun. We had a good time and some good lessons. We taught Tyler about temples. I don't think I told you about the other lesson we had before that with Tyler but he is also excited to share the gospel. He is also really excited about the temple. He is going to go tomorrow (Tuesday) to do baptisms with the YSA ward. We also saw Litza and some other key investigators. 

Thursday we saw Aolani. Sadly I think we might have to drop them. The mom is holding them back from coming to church. She won't let us get them a ride. We will give them just a little more time.  

Friday I had exchanges as well. We pretty much have exchanges twice a week for the rest of the transfer. I went into the other area with Elder Reyes. We made sushi for lunch! It was super good. We even made a volcano role cuz we had so much. It was a half day exchange though because we had a baptism! We exchanged back so we could fill the font and prep and stuff. Tyler showed up an hour early so we just hung out with him for a bit and talked about stuff. He asked me to baptize him. I wanted a fellowship to do it, I pushed it that way but that's not what he wanted. I was more than happy to do it though! Tyler is the best! The service was the greatest. I accidentally baptized him  backwards (wrong arm) so I had to do it again haha. I got all the way out of the fount and had to get back in.  

Saturday was normal. We had service and some good lessons. 

Sunday was crazy!! Tyler also asked me to confirm him. Then I actually gave a talk in church about the Holy Ghost. after church we gave Tyler the Priesthood. In the Auburndale Ward we picked up 2 new people. Before we could even say much they asked us what they had to do to be baptized. I think I finally figured out how to keep things going on like that. I did it in my first area and then couldn't do it after that until now. We had a meeting with the Stake President,  dinner, and then some lessons. Well I am out of time! Sorry it is so short and little detail! You can ask more in a few weeks I guess!!

Love ya bye! 

Elder Wood

P.S. Also the best part of the week I have a new companion! His name is Elder Larson and we have been comp before haha. His comp just went home today so he is in a trio with us until I go home! I am super excited for that! 


Monday, January 5, 2015

Exit Interview

January 5, 2015 

Dear Family: 

Monday we had a good P-day.  Just normal stuff. I ran into Elder Larson and his new companion Elder Petersen (yes he has the same name as my comp) in Lake Elsinore. Other than that, it was normal. We went to visit a less active in the YSA ward.  

Tuesday we had exchanges. It…was... weird... Elder Gogan is a funny guy haha. We had some good lessons. Aolani was one of them.  

Wednesday was pretty slow. We met with Bro. Preciado to work out a bunch of ward mission stuff that is going on. We are shooting to get 100 non-members to church the 18th. At night all the missionaries went to the church at night to hang out. We didn't have dinner that night set up so we went with the Temescal Valley Elders to eat at the Hoyt's. It was fun to see them.  
New Year's Eve Dinner at the Hoyt's
Thursday morning the whole mission had a deep clean. It was nice to just spend some time and make our place nice. I feel a ton better every time I walk in there. We didn't know Tyler was going to be home, but he called us mid-day and asked us to come over. We watched part of “The Restoration” with him. Had a good lesson about studying the scriptures and how to use them. He is doing really well.  

Friday we had MLC in Riverside. It was a really good meeting. It was nice to see a bunch of the missionaries I haven't seen in a while.  

Saturday we had ZDM. It went a lot better than I thought it was going to. It was a lot better now they have combined the Corona Zone, so it is a lot bigger. Those meetings are always better with a lot of missionaries there. I had my outgoing interview with President after. It went really well. Mine was twice as long as everybody else's ha. I think I just went in with a lot more questions and more prepared. It was a lot more helpful then I thought it was going to be. Then we went to a wedding reception for about a half hour for somebody Elder Petersen taught. We did service for a lady. We tried to get to teach Tyler that day but he couldn't. He had fire academy stuff he had to take care of.  

Sunday they switch YSA Ward to 9 am and Auburndale Ward to 1. It doesn't affect me I have to go to both. A lot of people were mad haha. They haven't switched times in years. Tyler has been to church enough to be baptized. Bishop announced his baptism at church. It is Friday at 7! In church I handed Tyler my planner with the baptism interview questions. He looked at it for about 60 seconds tossed it back and said "Come on! That’s easy stuff!" "I'm gonna make you guys look good" I thought that was pretty funny. He is really excited. He fasted. We didn't even tell him how or what it was yet. So that night we explained that more. We mostly taught about missionary work. He is going to invite some people to his baptism. I would really like to teach his family but they don't seem to be open to it. We will find out I guess. Well that is about it! Love ya!

Elder Wood