Holy cow, time flies by so fast! I can't believe it, but I just hit the 6 month mark this week! Where did the time go?!? I still feel brand new haha! But it is awesome, I love it here!
I'm glad that stake conference was good! Member missionary work is definitely the big push right now! If President Hinckley was known for temples, President Monson's time will definitely be known for missionary work! And it sounds like you guys are getting the opportunity to do a big part in that this week! So, I will keep praying for your success! I don't have too much advice, but I will give you what little I can! First, mom, like you said, you were flattered that the people cared enough to try to "save" us. So, no matter who you try to share the gospel with, if it is done in love, they will feel that, and the conversation will flow naturally and it will not feel weird. Ok, it might still feel weird, but it won't come out seeming weird. Two, never be scared to share the gospel. Ya, people might not accept your invitation. That happens to me all the time. And, it happened to a member here this week that took us to meet one of his friends. But, it didn't ruin their friendship, he just wasn't prepared to receive the gospel yet. But the seed is planted, and who knows, maybe several years later some other missionaries may be able to harvest that seed. Three: this is something cool I have learned for myself and heard that previous mission presidents promised to the missionaries. Ask people what their greatest hope or desire is in this life or the life to come. Now, no matter what that desire is, if it is a righteous desire, you can promise them that the Gospel can help them attain that desire. Four: If you are not sure how to approach someone, ask the missionaries when they come over to help you role-play. You will feel dumb when you do it and they will probably laugh because role-plays are a joke among missionaries because we all hate doing them, but we also know how much they really help, and the missionaries will be able to help give you pointers. Five: Do it with love and just follow the Spirit. Pray for the Spirit to help guide you, and then go do it. Don't wait for the guidance to come, because the guidance won't come until you have exercised your faith and started the conversation, and then in that very moment, the Spirit will give you what you need to say. And last but not least, just remember that no matter what happens, you will never fail. If they reject at this time, you have planted a seed, you have done your part, and you will be blessed for it. We get rejected all the time! But it is usually after we get rejected that we soon have the most success in a different area. Look at Saturday of this week for an example.
So, this week has been a pretty good one! A lot of things happening and a lot of crazy news! So, I will just get going.
Monday: We cleaned the house. then we went to a referral from a member, and he came with us. We got to know him and taught the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He was pretty shaky about receiving the Book of Mormon, but we did our best to encourage him to read it and reassure him he would get an answer. Then we emailed and shopped and stuff. Then that night we taught a member family who is having some trials right now. I ended up using a lot of the stuff from my farewell talk about the enabling power of the Atonement, and we had a really good lesson with them and hopefully helped reassure their faith!
Tuesday: Today we had a lesson with an eternal investigator. We taught him about the importance of coming to church and also quitting smoking. He has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and the church, just has a hard time acting on it. So, he has been a former investigator for a long time, and we are trying to work with him again to see if his desire has changed at this point. From his words it has, but we need time to see if he really acts. So we will keep working and praying for him. Then we had a lesson with P. D. He is hard, because he always tries to intellectualize things too much, and has a hard time understanding the Book of Mormon because he doesn't fully understand the storyline because he hasn't read it yet. So we are working on getting him to read and understand by faith and not by details and worldly knowledge...if that makes any sense. My English is going downhill a little bit when I talk sometimes, and now when I write a little bit too. Then we had English class. Then we went to a pizza place for dinner with the whole district for Elder Hobbs' birthday! That was fun and delicious!
Wednesday: Today all of our afternoon plans failed, so we spent some time trying to proselyte, but didn't really have any success. Then that evening we had an appointment with a member whose talents are needed in the ward more than they are currently available (haha that was my attempt at not labeling as "less active" mom). That was a good lesson, but we had hoped he would invite his non-member friend to come too, but it didn't happen. Oh well. Then we had another lesson with a member who is needed more than he is available.
Thursday: Today we had our service picking up garbage at the park. That was actually pretty fun today for some reason! Then we had lunch together, then study, then weekly planning session. That ate up almost the entire day! But we still got in one lesson with a nonactive member. It was a really cool lesson, too. We had just learned about "teach people, not lessons" that morning in companionship study, and I really wanted to try and apply it tonight. We had no idea why this guy was inactive. He is 27 and a returned missionary who used to be super strong in the church, but now doesn't come at all. Well, we got there and just talked for a while. He told us about his mission and all that stuff. Then we got to talking about why, if he enjoyed his mission so much and knows the church is still true, why isn't he coming. He told us he was just tired from work and lazy so he slept on Sunday. But we knew there had to be a little bit more. But that was all we could get out of him at that point. So we shared Msh 2:41 with him about promised blessings for obedience to the commandments. He liked it and agreed, but it didn't seem to have any effect on him. So we kept talking. Eventually through talking and asking some hard questions that felt weird to ask but that also felt inspired, we found out that he had quit coming because he never felt the Spirit in his life anymore and that made church boring to him and stuff. Then we found out that he had also quit reading the scriptures and praying. Immediately I had a memory of a personal experience in my life that I had not forgotten, but also had not planned on sharing with him come to my mind. I knew that was what I needed to share with him. So, I did. And I felt the Spirit really strongly because it wasn't just reciting scripture that I hoped would help him, but it was a personal experience of which I have real conviction, that related perfectly to his needs, and that was prompted by the spirit. So, I loved that lesson! I hope he felt something too! I'm not sure yet, because he didn't come to church yet this week, but we will go visit again and hopefully help him find the Spirit in his life again and he can get active again!
Friday: Today we had a lesson with an investigator for the first time. It went pretty well, and hopefully we will be able to follow up and teach him again later! Then we had district meeting. I had to teach the lesson. It was rough, because I was told the night before, and we had a lesson this morning so I had no time to prepare really. So I tried my best to teach on "teaching people not lessons" and "faith" It went pretty rocky, but oh well, the material got out there. Then we had another lesson with P.D. We have just started to read the Book of Mormon together as our lessons at this point for a while to help him get a testimony of it. So that is going well for now. Hopefully he will begin to progress more and actually gain a testimony! On the way back to the church for English class, it rained pretty hard, which is fun but annoying at the same time. We have rain suits, but seem to still get wet because of the heat and humidity inside the rain suit. Oh well. Then we had English and the famous Pak Jon's.
Saturday: Today was the day of days haha! We were so excited for today! Last night we were positive we were going to get 6 or maybe even 7 lessons in today! We had a solid plan for each of them, and then backup plans. In total, we had like 12 different lessons planned for possibilities, and like 5 of them had already been confirmed appointments. So, we started the day with our first lesson. It went well. But as we were leaving, our next lesson called and cancelled. So we went to the backup plan, and tried to go straight to a house of someone that had been taught before, but they weren't home. So we went to our next appointment, an inactive member who was supposed to be home, but she wasn't. No worries, we still had like 6 more appointments--3 of which were for sure. But, as we were leaving that house, we got a text from the next house we were going to--a new investigator, actually the referral from a member on Monday, and he told us he didn't have time, and that we didn't need to ever come back because he already has his own church and doesn't want to learn about ours anymore. Ok then, still a few other possible appointments. But, shortly thereafter, our last 2 confirmed appointments cancelled on us--said that they were busy today. So, now it was 2:30. We had only gotten one lesson in, and all the rest of our lessons for the entire rest of the day--all like 9 of them--cancelled. Haha, we couldn't believe it and didn't know what to do. So we sat down on the side of the road for a minute to think. We remembered another inactive member who lived close to the house, so we went and taught her. She was nice, but not really interested. But maybe with time we can help her. Then we went to the house of a young woman who is inactive. We just had a short visit, and she said she would come to church tomorrow, and did! Then we went to Bro. P's house. He is a newer member. When we got there, his wife, who is a very strong member, told us that his faith was beginning to waver and she was super worried about him. We had no idea what to teach, so came up with a possible idea. Shortly thereafter he got home. We prayed and were just beginning when my comp leaned over and said, teach him about family. So we did. We were not prepared at all, but winged it and were blessed and guided because we followed his prompting. We shared about how families can be eternal, but it requires a team effort from everyone. I think it was the best thing we could have shared at that time with our new knowledge of the situation, and it was a cool lesson to have thoughts come to mind of what to say and share about. Testimony that the work is true! After that we stopped by the house of another inactive member who committed to come to church and reminded her to come tomorrow. And that was it. So, we still filled the day effectively! And I think it was meant to happen the way it did, because I think the people we ended up visiting needed it more than any of the people we had originally planned on. God's plan really is perfect and His hand really is in this work. We just have to recognize it and keep going, especially when things don't go as planned!
Sunday: Today was good too! We had church, I had to translate for the mission couple, and we had 5 investigators there! So awesome! Sorry, I am out of time. So I will be short. After church we tried to find some inactive members' houses. We found a few but they weren't home or had moved. Then it started raining and I didn't have my rain suit. I got soaked! And we couldn't find one of the houses we were looking for. Then, after 2 hours of searching, we found it, but we were soaked and it was too late for a lesson, so we made a return appointment.
Today: This morning we were lazy and just hung out at the house and cleaned. Then we went and got lunch. I had a steak! For under $10 and it was delicious! We went all out today on lunch! Now we are emailing, then we will shop, then we have a family night later!
Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week! Dad--live it up at the Ritz! Not much like that here haha!
I love hearing from you every week! Sorry, I gotta go!
Love Elder Wood