Indonesia, Jakarta Mission 3/13 - 3/15

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

3 letters - Christmas Testimony

1.  Thanks for the emails!  They are awesome!  Glad you liked the nativity!  Sorry, I had written a card to go along with it as well that I meant to get to the Sheffields as well to bring home, but with the way timing worked out for the rest of the week, I was never able to get it to the office to send home with them before they left.  So I do apologize about that.  It is now just waiting on my desk.  So I guess I will drop it in the snail mail and you will get it in a few weeks.  Sorry.  But I guess it will prolong the excitement.  

This week has been pretty good.  We had our mission tour with a member of the 70 come to speak with us.  It was Elder Randy D. Funk.  He actually served as a missionary here back in the early '70s, so that was pretty cool!  He knew a few of the members, and some are even his own coverts.  But it was a super inspiring meeting, and I learned a lot there about the gospel, about our purpose and commission as missionaries, and many other things.  I don't know what it was, but it kind of became another turning point for me, where ever since that meeting I have had a hugely increased desire to study and understand so much more about the Atonement, and as a result, have also had an increased desire to share it with other people.  I have just been trying to do a few more "little things" to help me be more obedient and dedicated, and to draw even closer to the Savior, and I can feel that even just a few little things have made a huge difference!  It has been really cool to sort of experience!

So, we have been busy with getting prepared for the mission tour and stuff.  And we have had some good lessons with some cool investigators.  We have an investigator, C, who is preparing to be baptized this coming Sunday!  We are super excited for him!  He is awesome!  We also have an investigator named Pak B who is committed to the 18th of January.  We are working with him on stopping smoking.  He is struggling with that, but he has a great desire to be baptized and we are encouraging and teaching him more about the gospel and the Atonement to strengthen him and help him!  We had 4 investigators at church yesterday, which was awesome!

Um, ya, that's most of it for this week!  It was a good week!  Oh, we have also been using "The Living Christ" as a Christmas message door approach.  It is such a powerful and true witness written by men truly ordained as Christ's living apostles of His divinity.  It carries the spirit so powerfully.  And so we have been using it to introduce ourselves to people and share a message about Christ, and also to bridge into explaining about the Restoration, and it has been going really well.  But I would definitely encourage you guys to read and review it this year if you haven't already!  It is awesome!

Thanks for all the Christmas packages and the 12 Days of Christmas!  They have been so fun to open and read or use and stuff!  I have enjoyed it!  And everyone has loved the cookies and stuff!

2.  As I wrote to President what I learned at mission tour the other day, I thought I would share it with you as well.  So I will copy and paste what I wrote to President.

Hello President,
Man, this week has been awesome! I will try to condense what I learned at the mission tour with Elder Funk. I will start off saying that it was a major turning point in my mission for me the last few days. Most of it came through personal revelation telling me what I needed to do. I will just list some of the major points that I felt most important to me:
1. Know PMG as well as Elder Funk knows it
2. Am I always here for Jesus Christ?
3. I appreciate your letter of love, because I truly have felt the love you and Sister Donald have for each of us, and me personally. So one thing I wrote was, "Think of the love i have for President and Sister Donald, and the love I know they have for me. That is only a small manifestation of the infinite love that Heavenly Father has for each of us, and for me personally." so thank you for your love. And know that I truly do appreciate and love both of you so much as well.
4. Make the absolute most of the last few months I have and do everything I can to share the absolute joy of the Atonement with others. Use every hour of every minute of every day. Don't waste a second. (Effective planning).
5. Search myself--find out what it is--what parts of me--that I have not fully given to the Lord yet. And then figure out how to give it all to Him. All of it--lay it out on the table. All in. GO big until you go home. And then keep going.
6. Study and gain a greater understanding and testimony of the Atonement. 
Ever since the mission tour I have had a burning desire to study and better understand the Atonement. It has only been a few days of study, but I have gained a much deeper testimony thus far, and have a great desire to understand and know more. And understanding and knowing more about the Atonement has helped me with all of my other goals and desires that I learned. It has helped me identify areas that I can give more of myself, it has helped me grow a stronger relationship with Heavenly Father through more meaningful prayer, and it has helped me have a greater desire to use time more wisely and make the most of every second. So I learned a lot at the mission tour, but most importantly I learned the Atonement, and that, as Joseph Smith said, everything else that we teach is only an appendage to it. 

3.  Merry Christmas everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!  Thank you all for your thoughts, prayers, and emails!  They mean a lot to me!

What a wonderful time of year this Christmas season is to think of our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.  At this time we think of his birth, and what his birth and life mean for us.  "For God so loved the world, that He sent his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."  (John 3:16).  

Though far away, I just want to share a few thoughts about Christ, and a few things that I have learned and gained a testimony of throughout my life, and especially throughout my mission.  

The first is my testimony of the reality of His divinity and service on earth.  That He, the Son of God, came down to earth, lead a perfect life free of sin and guile, and became our perfect example I know to be true.  And yet, even more, "He [went] forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. And he [took] upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he [took] upon him their infirmities, [and] his bowels [are] filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he [knoweth] according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." (Alma 7:11-12).

His life was real, as was his infinite Atonement.  And it was for you and for me.  He, the Son of God, condescended beneath it all to raise us up that we, through his grace and mercy, along with our works, may be restored to our perfect frame and character, even the character and glory of God.  For God said, "Let us create man in our image." (Genesis 1:26). "In whose image?  In the image of the Gods created they them, male and female, innocent, harmless, spotless, bearing the same character and the same image as the Gods.  And when man fell he did not lose his image, but his character still retained the image of his Maker....Through the Atonement of Christ and the resurrection, and obedience to the gospel, we shall again be conformed to the image of his son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29); then we shall have attained to the image, glory, and character of God." (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church--Joseph Smith pg. 52).

I am so grateful for God's greatest gift to man, even His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  I know that he is our Savior, and that he lives!  

I love you all so much and hope that you have a wonderful Christmas!  And especially that this Christmas we can remember the true meaning of Christmas, our Savior Jesus Christ and His gift to us. 

Merry Christmas!

Love Elder Wood!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Friends From Home

Hey!  So it was pretty crazy to see the Sheffields here!  That was pretty fun!  Kinda weird to see friends from home.  And it was weird, because it didn't seem like it had been a year and a half since I had seen them!  But they said everything back home is good, that you guys are all looking good and doing well.  But they said that dad, you seem the most trunky of the family to them haha!  But not really trunky, just missing having another man around.  But they laughed about the things you have bought.  Especially the fatty bike haha!  But they brought the packages!  Thank you so much!  They are awesome!  Everyone has been loving the cookies and stuff!  And the Donalds were so appreciative of their gifts!  They seemed really touched and said to tell you thank you so much for them. 

Well, this week has been pretty good.  On Tuesday we had Mission Leader Conference and got to sit down and hear President Donald lay down revelation for the mission for several hours!  That is always a really cool and inspiring experience!  I always learn a ton from those things!  And after that, we met the Sheffields and talked for a while.  Then the next few days were pretty normal and uneventful.  Then on Friday we had Zone Conference, and we had to teach.  But it went pretty well I think.  We talked a little bit about the "Which Way do you Face" talk from conference, and also a lot about the Book of Mormon--back to the basics, and how we can use the Book of Mormon to help members do their missionary work, as well as to help the leaders to fulfill their duty to fellowship and involve new converts as well as to become examples in missionary work.  I think it is something that can help make a positive difference, so hopefully it will go well.  

Then on Saturday morning we went and had an appointment with a former investigator that we found in the area book and called up.  We had a great lesson with him reviewing the Restoration and stuff, gave him the baptismal commitment, which he received!  That was awesome!  And then talked a little bit about the Word of Wisdom because we knew that would be something that he would need to overcome to be prepared for baptism.  We didn't have time to teach the whole lesson, but we let him know what he would need to do, i.e. stop smoking, drinking, etc.  He said it would be hard but that he would try because he felt that everything we were telling him about the Book of Mormon was true, and he wants to build his relationship with God.  So we told him we will explain more later and help him, and he said he would start trying now.  So that was awesome!  His name is H, and he has a date for the 18th of January.  So that is exciting!

Yesterday we had the English ward Christmas party.  We had a few new members come, and we went to a members house and sang Christmas carols and ate delicious food and desserts!  And we even had Egg Nog!  It was awesome!  And it finally helped to start feeling the Christmas season, too!  And we had a member who has been working really hard to do missionary work for the last several weeks.  He finally got two of his friends to come to the party and we were able to contact them and get their numbers!  So that was awesome!  Then he got an amazing blessing for his efforts, because he came here and married a Muslim woman,  and she has been super closed off to the church lately, and wouldn't receive missionary visits.  But she wanted to come to the party tonight, and a new member really fellowshipped her and got the sisters an appointment with them!  So that was awesome!  Her husband was shocked when he heard the news, but was super happy!  So it was a great night.

Today we have just been playing some futsal and emailing.

So I got a cool little Christmas service opportunity for you.  There is a member here who is from the Phillipines. Her son is in the MTC in Provo right now, and we were talking about him yesterday.  She was saying that it is so hard to send him packages from so far away, and that it is hard for him because he is the only one in the group that never gets packages from home.  So, sorry, I volunteered you to send him some cookies or something fun for the holidays, because it is also his birthday soon as well, and she doesn't know how to get anything to him.  So I got his address.  It is

Elder B
2007 N 900 E 
Provo UT 84602

I told her you could maybe send him some cookies and a note or something simple, and she seemed really touched and appreciative and said to tell you thank you so much!  So if you could do that, that would be awesome!

Other than that, things here are going well!  I love you so much and love hearing from you!  Thanks again for the packages and stuff!  You guys are awesome!  I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas!  Love You!

Elder Wood

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Remember the true meaning of Christmas!

Hey!  Great to hear from all of you!  Glad to hear things are going pretty well back at home!  That is pretty crazy that it is 70 degrees and warm!  Kinda like here!  But not quite as warm...  The Christmas season is still weird here.  About the only time it feels like Christmas is when we play Christmas music at the house or if we go to a nice mall for P Day and they have Christmas Decorations up.  But we have a small tree at the house, too, which is fun.  And the mission home is decorated nice, so that is fun, too!  

That is pretty crazy that the Sheffields are going to be here so soon!  That will will be fun that they will be at the mission home most of tomorrow, because tomorrow is mission leader conference all morning at the mission home, and so I will be there for much of the day as well!  So I probably will see them!  That will be awesome!  I am excited to get the package!  It is always fun to get stuff from home just because it is from you guys and packaged with love!

Well, this week was pretty good!  We had stake conference this Sunday, which was really fun because I got to meet a lot of the members from Tangerang again!  And the talks were all really good about how we can strengthen ourselves, but there was an expecially big focus on strengthening new members and helping them grow in strength so that they will stay active!  That was good, because that is something that our mission has been struggling with is having converts come in but quickly leave as well because of various reasons.  So that will hopefully begin to help!  Luckily I am so grateful that Sister M and her family, Mama V and V, and Brother W are all still active!  

The rest of this week we have been doing pretty well, too!  We went on splits to Bekasi, and I went with Elder Tuttle.  He is pretty new but he is awesome!  We went and taught a contact that they had.  His name is R.  He has the biggest, nappiest afro I have ever seen!  And the front of his house is like an unkempt jungle.  And he doesn't have lightbulbs inside his house.  We knocked and he came out and greeted us wearing some ratty shorts, a wife-beater, and smoking a cigarette.  To be honest, I was a bit nervous to go in at first haha!  But we went in and taught him.  And we had an amazing lesson talking about the role of the Savior and His infinite love for us and the gift of His Atonement, as well as the Restoration of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon.  Well, R used to live a pretty good life, but he got into some bad habits and lost all his money and fell away from God.  He has family in other churches, but has never really been interested, I picked up.  But as we explained the Restored Gospel and baptism, he was really interested and listening.  And by the end of the lesson, we had committed him to baptism, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, coming to church, and quitting smoking!  And then, he took us to his family's house and introduced us to them, and sat in as we taught them!  It was an awesome day!  It is so cool how when people are exposed to the truth and open to receive it, it can totally change their desires and help them find the way back to the path they want to be on!  

And our investigator, C, is still progressing well and receiving all the commitments and working to prepare himself for baptism!  So that is awesome!  He is having a hard time recognizing an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, so we are working with him on that.  So thank you for your email on personal revelation, dad!  I think that that can really help C!  But he is still going by faith!

And we had some other good lessons and whatnot going on this week.  And we are still battling traffic haha!  Man I miss I-15 and whatnot!  

Well, I am glad that you are all doing well!  Thank you so much for the emails and love and advice!  I love hearing from you every week!  I am excited to get the packages from you and the fresh treats and love!  Haha!

Well, I hope you all have a great week!  Hope it cools down a bit so it feels like Christmas a bit, and so that you can go skiing!

Oh, and you should really check out  And share it on FB!  The church is doing a big worldwide Christmas campaign thing, and it is even in indonesian at  Check it out!  They have some cool videos and stuff, and supposedly there will be new things coming out the whole month to help people remember the true meaning of Christmas!  It is good stuff!

Well, I love you all so much and can't wait to talk to you.  It sounds like we will be able to skype from the mission home on Christmas day here, so at some point on Christmas eve for you guys.  I can't wait!

Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving dinner!  So yummy!  Prepared by Sister Lucherini

Hey!  Man, that is pretty crazy to see pictures of you guys with Sister Sheffield back at home!  It is pretty weird that people from my MTC group are already going home!  So crazy!  It makes it seem like time really has flown by and that I don't have a ton of time left!  Which is kinda sad!  But it is motivation I guess to make the very most of what time remains (which is still enough :)

So, this week has been pretty good!  Not too crazy.  Thursday here was just...Thursday.  But we did have a quick streetside dinner with a couple of teenage new members after English class. So that was fun for our Thanksgiving celebration.

But Friday, that was Thanksgiving.  Every Friday we have district meeting at the mission home, and after district meeting this week, Sister Lucherini, one of the senior couples, had prepared a full Thanksgiving dinner with turkey and stuffing and potatoes and pies and everything!  It was so delicious, and so fun to eat it all together at the mission home!  So we were able to have a Thanksgiving here!  Which was awesome!

After thanksgiving lunch we went out to start working, and it was raining, which always causes terrible traffic here.  We headed out to an appointment on a bus, got separated and lost a little bit, and by the time we were out to the area of our appointment it was already too late to go there, and we had to head home, and were still almost late going home.  The traffic was so bad and the lines to get on the buses so long that I think we traveled the total of less than 10 miles in over 6 hours!!!  It was absolutely ridiculous and pretty frustrating, but also kind of a funny experience to just look at and see how crazy that was!  But it was a bummer that we weren't able to make it to our appointment.  But it was OK in the end, because the guy still came to church on Sunday!

This week we also got to go on splits to Bekasi, which was fun!  It is a lot of fun getting to go work with the other missionaries and learn from them!  And it seems like the Lord always blesses us with miracles of great success when we go on splits!  Things just seem to always work out well to boost morale of the other missionaries and help them in their areas!  So that is definitely a tender mercy that seems to often accompany splits! Like this week we found a new investigator and got a lot of really interested contacts and several return appointments with them!

And then on Sunday we had a small miracle happen!  We have a zone goal to get have every companionship get one more baptism by the end of the year, and we were fasting for it.  We had one investigator on date, but he is not doing anything to progress, and still hasn't come to church, and is now just asking us for money.  So we were kind of losing hope on him and wondering where our baptism was going to come from.  But, we had a fairly long time investigator come to church this Sunday again, and we met with him afterwards and had a really powerful lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we got him to commit to preparing himself to be baptized on the 21 of December!  So that was super exciting!  His name is C, and he seems excited, too!  He has just been concerned that he will not be perfect, and that is why he has not committed beforehand, but we were able to help him understand that baptism is the first step, not the end goal to perfection, and he understood that and wants to go forward with faith!  So that was a miracle and answer to our fasts!  

So, it was a pretty good week here!  Not too much going on!  But lots of little good things!  I am liking the area, though still getting used to the traffic!  Sometimes we go 5 miles in the same amount of time it would take to drive to St. George, which is pretty crazy!  But we try to make the most of it and get contacts on the buses and whatnot!  But Jakarta is a good area and I am liking my companion.  
Glad to hear you are all doing well and had a pretty good, though different, Thanksgiving!  And Sunday today sounds like it was pretty fun!  Tell everyone hi for me as well!  

As far as FB goes, it is actually a mission page called Mormon Jawa Barat, and also Mormon Indonesia.  You are welcome to follow the pages.

For treats sent from home, I don't really know what.  I am kind of just getting to that point of being happy with what's here, and waiting for the rest to be exciting when I get home.  But maybe a few Reeses peanut butter cups would be awesome, and if you can get it through, some home made honey!  Those might be kind of exciting!  And then just whatever you think would be fun!  You always do a pretty good job of picking things to go into "the box."

Well, I love you all!  Thank you for the emails and the pictures, and the advice and the stories!  You are awesome!  I hope you have a great week and Happy December!  Can't wait to skype!  Love You!

Love Elder Wood

Ice Skating for P-Day!  Me trying to be good at ice skating...lacking in form and flexibility haha

Me and my homie Elder Jones chilling on the couch at the mission home before Thanksgiving lunch!

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Best Times Are Still Ahead!

Haha that's crazy to see snow again!  And funny, too, because today we went Ice skating at a mall for P-Day as a zone.  So that was pretty fun!  Our commemoration of the coming of winter!

Well, this week has been pretty good.  Nothing too crazy.  But it was a good one.  I am sorry, though, because of traffic coming back from ice skating, I will be cut a bit short on email time, so I will have to be a bit quick.  Sorry.  It is also raining here today, so there was a little bit of minor flooding that made traffic slow.  Pretty much happens every time there is that's a bit lame.  But it felt like winter here with the rain and the ice.  It was a pretty cold day. Almost down to 70 degrees I think haha.  Which feels way colder than it should!

So you were asking a bit about what things here are like.  Well, we live in a house of 4 Elders.  Me, my companion Elder S, and another companionship of Elder M and Elder C.  It is a pretty fun house and is pretty close to the mission home, so we find occasion to go there every once in a while, which is fun!

Here in Jakarta we don't ride bikes because the traffic is too crazy and the roads are too confusing.  So we are all on public transportation.  So that is kinda good because there are lots of contacting opportunities, but lame because it makes it feel like I get no exercise, and it takes forever to get places.  But it is kinda cool to have something new.

The work here is going pretty well.  We have a few progressing investigators, a baptismal commitment for the 13th of December, and a few new potential investigators.  So things are exciting.  Umm, other than that, things here are pretty normal.

This week we will be going on splits to Bekasi, so that should be fun.  And then in the next few weeks we will be having a general Authority come on a mission tour, so that will be cool, too!

Well, I am running out of time, but I love you all!  I love the mission, too, and am not trunky to come home yet, don't worry!  The best times are still ahead!  I hope you all have a great week and I will write more next week!

Love You!

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Naughty Bars

Man, that is pretty crazy that Sister Sheffield is coming home so soon!  I have been giving her a ton of crap about it, though, and I don't think she appreciates it. 

Well, this week has been pretty good.  Not too much going on as far as out of the ordinary.  The work in Jakarta is a bit slower than in Tangerang just because of how long it takes to get to places.  The traffic here is ridiculous, so the average travel time to an appointment is at least 1 hour, and can often be over 2 hours to get there, and the same to get back.  So that is kind of rough, and we don't get nearly as many appointments in.  But we are trying to work hard and do our best.  I am still getting along well with my companion, so that is good.  He is a pretty cool guy.

This week we had a fireside with some General Authorities, which was pretty cool!  We had Elder Funk, Brother Gibson, and Brother John Tanner and their wives, of the Area Presidency, General Young Men's Presidency, and General Sunday School Presidency, respectively.  That was a pretty cool experience!  And we had a special missionary meeting with them beforehand!  That was awesome!  It was a pretty powerful meeting on faith and teaching skills and stuff!

Then we also had Mission Leader Conference, where all the ZLs and APs meet together with President Donald every month to talk about the mission and hear President expound doctrine and set forth revelation for the mission.  It is a pretty cool experience!  This time he focused a lot on the power of prayer and how prayer should often be an experience of "wrestling with God" to obtain blessings.  He really expounded upon the principle and process of prayer with the scriptures and gave me a new understanding of prayer that I have never had before.  It was really cool and enlightening.  And I learned how much more attention and focus and effort we need to give to prayer than I ever really have before.

This Sunday another companionship had a baptism in the English ward.  That was pretty fun.  THey actually ended up doing the baptism on Sunday afternoon in a members' home swimming pool during the ward party.  And we all got to go, so that was awesome!  The meeting was super spiritual...and in English...which was awesome.  Then we had a ward dinner of roast beef, mashed potatoes, corn, and all the good stuff.  And then there was dessert.  There were some awesome desserts, but one totally took the cake.  One of the members made...can you guess it...Naughty Bars!!! I haven't had those forever, and they were so delicious!  Naughty bars are one of my favorite desserts ever!  So that was pretty fun!  So the baptism and ward party were definitely the highlight of the week!  Mom--you will definitely have to let me know who Jenny's friend is so I can meet them!  That is pretty cool!

Today we just went and walked around a mall and talked and hung out and got to know some of the other missionaries in the district that I have never really met before, and there are some cool guys here.  So that is fun.

Um, ya, that is mostly it for this week.  It was a pretty good week!  I am loving it here.  Different, but a cool change.  And that is mostly it.  I love you guys all so much and love getting your emails.  Don't get too trunky, though, haha!  Hope you have a great week!  Love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, November 10, 2014


Hey!  Glad to hear things are all going well at home!  Hope Eliza had a great birthday this week!  That is fun!  What did you do to celebrate?

Sounds like the season is changing!  Haha I was kinda missing the snow lately!  But I felt cold for the first time today!  We played futsal this morning for P-Day and it was super hot and we were all drenched in sweat.  Then we finished, and it started raining and really cooled down (It really was probably still like 75 degrees or hotter, but that feels cool now...).  Then we went to KFC for lunch, and they had the AC cranked!  Being wet and sweaty, and having it cool(ish) outside and freezing inside, I actually felt a bit cold.  It made me scared for Utah winters again...  But hopefully I will readjust quickly!  

Well, transfers happened this week.  I spent the first half of the week in Tangerang.  We got a few last appointments in and got the house all ready.  Then on Thursday I transferred to Jakarta.  My new companion is Elder S.  He is really cool and I really like him so far!  We have had a good time.  We haven't had too many appointments yet because we've only been here for a few days, and because it takes several hours to get to any appointment because of the traffic and whatnot.  So it is a different thing to get used to.  But it has been fun so far!  Man, Jakarta is a huge city!  

It is cool here, because we are assigned to 2 wards--the English ward and the Indonesian ward.  It was kinda fun to go to a Sacrament Meeting in English again!  But we don't go to any of the other meetings in English because we have to meet all our investigators and go to Sacrament meeting in the Indonesian ward.  But it is fun to go.  In our area, there are 3 members who have been baptized in just the last 3 months, and they are really cool!  One of them was just confirmed yesterday, and that was awesome!  The other one is already coming and fellowshipping with us and everything!

I did get your Halloween package last week!  Thank you!  It was a lot of fun!  The Count Chocula is delicious!  

Um, ya, not too much else has happened this week.  Just a lot of changes with transfers.  But it is all good and I am excited!  Things will be different here just because of the pace of the city and the size and TRAFFIC!  I have never seen so much traffic haha!  But its all good.  Oh, and I am in a district with Sister Sheffield, and she hates it because I keep making fun of her that her 18 months is already up and asking her what she is still doing here.  But it is crazy that she is going home so soon!

Well, glad that things are all good back at home.  And I hope all goes well for Brenda!  That is scary.  
Well, hope you all have a great week!  I love you all so much!  

Love Elder Wood

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 2, 2014 Last Week in Tangerang!

We did have an interesting Halloween!  We spent the whole day moving into a new house!  They will be adding more missionaries to Tangerang this next transfer, and so I had to buy a new house a few weeks ago.  Now the contract is finalized, and we had to spend a bit of this week going around and buying new furniture and all sorts of stuff needed to furnish the house.  Luckily, we had a mission couple come and take us around in their car and help us.  Then on Saturday most of it got delivered and put together and we spent the day cleaning the house because it has gotten quite dirty from sitting empty for a while (and they don't do the cleaning for you when you buy a house here...lame.)  Sasturday we had to move all our personal stuff into the house because we have to start living there.  But there was a big leadership conference for the church in Jakarta that morning, so all the members that have cars were there, and we didn't have any way to move our stuff.  So the only thing we could think of was calling a taxi, but we had too much for a normal taxi, so we had to call a luxury taxi and used what would be like the equivalent of a Cadillac Escalade taxi as our moving van because that was the only thing big enough we could think of on short notice...It was pretty funny!  But it got the job done, but the driver was a bit confused...  But it was the nicest moving van I've ever ridden in.

The week was good on a spiritual front as well.  Mama V and V got confirmed in Sacrament meeting yesterday!  That was exciting!  And Brother W blessed the Sacrament for the first time and that was incredible to hear!  It was so powerful!  It was the most powerful sacrament prayer I have ever heard!  I think it brought tears to several peoples' eyes!  And he shared his testimony in testimony meeting!  He is so awesome!  So that was by far the highlight of the week was Sacrament meeting.  I had to give my farewell, as well, though.  It is hard transferring from this ward.  I love it here.  But Jakarta will be a good opportunity!

So, to share in Missionary Moment:  Tell everyone Hi for me and how much I love them all and how appreciative I am of all their support!   I don't really have too many really funny stories that I can come up with off the top of my head.  But The whole experience with Brother W has been awesome!  He has changed so much and become such an amazing member!  And his life has been blessed in other ways!  He just got a better job and so many other things!  Oh, Pak M came back to church again this week for my farewell, and really loved it and wants to keep coming and I think is preparing himself to tell his old priest off and to come get baptized!  Mama V's life has changed a lot--she has become a much different person in a good way--she has been blessed with more patience and she knows the peace and blessings that have come to her life through the power of the Book of Mormon.  I have seen people who I had faith in, but never knew how or when the Spirit could touch them become touched and changed and converted!  I know that the Book of Mormon has a special and incredible power to it that can bless anyone from reading it.  The gospel is so true, there is just no way that it isn't true!  I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that Thomas S Monson is a living prophet today!  And I know I am right where I need to be, that this is a calling from the Lord!  Missions are hard at times (so is life), but it is all worth it.  We just have to follow President Monson's advice that you sent me a picture of and "Find Joy in the Journey!"

Well, I gotta  run cause I am running out of time, but I love you all and I will write you again next week from Jakarta!  Have a great week!  Love you!

Love Elder Wood

October 26, 2014 Another Baptism!

Wonderful day!! Mama V and V's baptism
Well, we had another baptism this week!  That was awesome!  Mama V and V both got baptized yesterday!  So that was super exciting and awesome!  They were both excited and happy and the service was nice and everyone was super supportive!  It will be fun to see them grow (well, it would be if I could stay and see, but I will be moving soon...more on that later).  They are still at such a baby stage in their progression, but they will grow and become stronger over time.

So, this has been a good but stressful week in getting them prepared for baptism.  Especially because we only met and started teaching V last Saturday.  So, from the time she started learning to the day she got baptised was only 8 days.  And during that time we had a 2 day trip to Jakarta for Zone Conference.  So that added another hickup to things.  But we ended up getting everything taught and ready in time.  It was like a race though.  But luckily she was already pretty well prepared and her mom was supportive and helped her along the way so that they could both be baptized yesterday!  We had to go out there pretty much every day this week to get it done, including getting up early on Tuesday morning and going out there before we went to Jakarta for Zone Conference.  But we got it done.  Needless to say it was an exhausting week, though. 

So, that was our main focus this week.  But other good things are happening as well.  Zone conference was awesome!  The mission is totally turning around for the better!  Last year we only got 60 baptisms the whole year.  This year we are already well over 100, and still going strong.  And next year there is a goal to get over 300 baptisms in one year, something never before done in this mission!  So that is exciting!  But, something that president stressed is "don't worry about the number of baptisms.  There will be many if all things are done right.  So go do it right!"  And that is something I have seen since I have been here.   Since President Donald has been here, and in the time I have been here, I have seen a huge change in the attitude and behavior and faith of the mission!  It has turned around dramatically!  President Donald has inspired the mission, and the missionaries are working together and working hard, faithfully, and with the Spirit, and the blessings are truly flowing.  And it is only getting better!  The hastening of the work truly is happening!  But it has been effected greatly by the obedience and attitudes and faithfulness of the missionaries!  I am so grateful to be able to be serving at this time with so many wonderful, faithful missionaries who are helping this change to happen!

So, sadly I will be transferring next week.  This is still a secret I think, but I will be moving to Jakarta and becoming a ZL.  So I am excited at the opportunity to serve more missionaries and help progress the work over a different scope.  But I will be sad to be leaving Tangerang!  That is a major bummer!  But the Lord has a plan, and everything will work out I guess.  

Thanks for all your letters each week!  I love hearing from you!  It is a highlight of my week, too!  Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Wood

Elder Wood and Elder Troff (Jake is wearing the tie Elder Troff crocheted for him)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Brother W's Baptism - with special guest, Elder W baptizing his dad!

Well, things here have been awesome!  Brother W was baptized and confirmed on Sunday!  That was amazing!  The service was so awesome and full of the Spirit!  And it was fun to meet with Elder W again, who got to fly in to perform the ordinances and then fly back to his area!  So that was pretty cool!  

And we had our investigator Mama V at the baptism.  And she brought her 14 year old daughter as well!  And they are both on date to be baptized next Sunday!  So we will be busy going out to their house pretty much every day this week to get them prepared!  It is exciting and worth the 1 hour + bike ride out there, and the same time to ride home!  Haha we are getting pretty good biking legs!  It is hard at times, but then it seems easy compared to an IronMan or riding from Sinclair to the top of Big Mountain and back.  So I use those experiences to motivate myself haha!

We have been super busy again this week!  We taught J the Plan of Salvation, and he really liked it and promised to come to church, but then didn't show up.  That was a major bummer!

Ibu M is doing well.  But she is older and really has it stuck in her head that she has already been baptized and doesn't need to be baptized again.  So we are trying to work through that.

M is doing well and seems to really like the church. She came to Brother W's baptism yesterday, too, and seemed to really like it.  Then some members asked her when she was going to be baptized.  She took it well.  She didn't give a clear answer, but she didn't reject it.  She is still thinking about it I think, but hopefully soon we will have a positive answer!

And still a lot of other things going on!  This coming week we have Mission Conference on Tuesday and Wednesday which will be fun!  I am excited for that!  Then after that we will probably have transfers the coming week.  I am not so excited for that.  I don't know what will be happening yet, but I kinda think I will be moving, and I am not super excited to.  But I guess whatever happens is for the best.

Well, you said details so I really worked at it and got some pictures, because those are worth a thousand words, and I don't have that long to type haha.  So here are some pictures--one of Brother W's baptism, one of a throng of little kids that started following us as we were proselyting one day, and another of us golfing a few P-Day's ago.

Thanks for all your emails and love!  I love hearing from you all so much!  It is a big bonus to my week!  Also, please tell Scott and Lisa thanks so much for the package they sent me!  It was awesome and so nice of them!  I will send them a letter,too, but if you could tell them thanks that would be awesome!  haha they are funny, they are trying so hard to make me trunky haha!  They put a picture of the house they are building in St. George, saying that we will all have to go play down there next summer, go to Lake Powell, and all sorts of stuff!  Sounds like I will be having a busy first summer home haha!  But it'll be fun and all in its time!  But for now the focus is here!  Well, I'm Glad you are all having fun and I hope you all have a great week this week!  Love you!  

Love Elder Wood

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Love this area!!!

Man, those pictures you are sending are amazing!  Don't make me too trunky haha!  Just kidding!  But I do miss those fall leaves and utah mountains and scenery!  Looks like you guys are having a ton of fun!

This week has been pretty good here, too!  We have been busy and have been seeing some good success!  We were able to get 4 investigators to come and see conference!  And all of them felt the Spirit!  It was such a great opportunity and a blessing!  And I loved the spirit that I felt and the many things I learned!  A few interesting things were: 1)At one point when they were showing the organ pipes I had a distinct thought/feeling of remembering Grandpa Cal, and I felt him with me for a moment.  That was cool!  And 2)  As I heard the speakers, I had an undeniable feeling and witness of the truthfulness of this church!  It truly is led by Prophets, seers, and revelators, and there is no way I can deny it!  It is so true!  What a blessing!

Brother W is still on date for next week!  So that is super exciting!  No problems there!  But I do hope that you can meet him and his family someday!  They are probably one of my favorite families that I have met here in Indonesia!  And they are doing missionary word!  They have found a girl named M that is here for college and have invited her to learn about the church!  We teach her at their home, and they bring her to church and everything, and she is starting to really progress and think about baptism!  It is so cool to see them working through the process themselves, and to be helping someone else at the same time!  They are awesome!

Mama V is awesome!  She is on date for the 26th of October!  We really weren't sure about her for a while.  We thought she was just doing it because she liked us because we weren't seeing any real changes in her.  but the last 2 weeks or so have been totally different.  She told us that at one point she was done.  She was ready to give back her Book of Momron and be done.  But, she decided to pray and ask about it one more time.  And, she got her answer!  And now she is already past Mosiah 24 in her reading!  And she absolutely loves the Book of Mormon!  She says it has helped her change so much for the better!  She can recognize the change, and so can we!  And several members have also commented on seeing the same changes in her!  So that is awesome!

J is doing well, too!  We finally figured out a little bit of what was going on with him and have helped him recognize more of how the Holy Ghost works, and he is receptive to it now.  He was going to come to conference, but that morning his grandma got hospitalized, so he couldn't come.  But luckily she is ok, and he is still wanting to learn and come hopefully next week!

There are a few other investigators as well, but these are the main focus right now.  
Transfers:  Transfers are actually not until November 1st or 2nd I think.  I am glad, because I will still get to see Brother W and Mama V get baptized.  But I still am not ready to get transferred.  I want to stay here at least another month or 2.  Especially because that transfer they are adding 2 more companionships to Tangerang, so it will be a bigger district, which will be fun!  

Speaking of bigger districts, that has been stressful for me this week haha!  I have been having to look at dividing the area and other logistics.  And I have gone house shopping!  I was drawing on my inner Grandpa Wood Realtor skills this week!  But I found a great house and negotiated the price down to within budget and got them to throw in an air conditioner!  So I bought my first house this week!  (I guess rent is a better word, but still).  I joked with my companion, though!  I told him that this first house buying experience was supposed to be shared with my wife, but that he was taking her place haha.  He just laughed.  But It has been an interesting go here in Tangerang!  I have gained a lot of good life skills!

Well, I think that's about it!  I love hearing from you and hope you have a great week!  Keep having fun and sending pictures!  I love you so much!  

Love Elder Wood

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October 6, 2014

Glad to hear conference has been going well and has been good!  That is exciting!  Kind of cool that it is being done in native languages!  How did they do that for people watching it at the Conference Center?  That is interesting!  But a cool step to making the church more international!
That is fun that you are all watching it up at the cabin!  I do miss the season changes!  I guess the seasons have been changing here the last few weeks, too, though.  It has been going from hot to hotter!

We have not had the chance to watch conference here yet.  We will watch it this coming Friday and Saturday.  So I am excited to watch it!  I love conference!  But I am not sure if we will be able to watch it in English here, or if we will have to watch it in Indonesian.  That would be a long time of difficult translating haha!  But kinda cool, too!

Well, for news here:  Things have been going well this week!  Our investigator Mama V that has been learning and coming to church for a while was starting to get discouraged and ready to give up on the church, thinking it was too difficult.  But then she prayed this week and got an answer that she really does need to be here!  So she committed to prepare to be baptized on the 26th of October!  So that is super exciting!  And Brother W is still on date for the 19th!  So lots going on here!  And we have a few other investigators that we have started teaching that we are hoping to try to give a date over the next few weeks!  I hope I don't transfer from here anytime soon!  There are too many exciting things going on!  One of the investigators we have just gotten is named M.  She is someone that the W extended family met at a hair salon and invited her to English class.  Then she came to a saturday activity at the church and then to church on sunday and has started learning.  She has been to church twice, learned once, and is really liking it!  And we teach her at the W's house, which is awesome!  That family is incredible!  We want to try to give her a baptismal date this week when we meet with her again!

Ummm, ya, those are the biggest highlights of the week!  We have still been staying very busy and having a good time!  I am really enjoying my time here in Tangerang!  And to be honest, when I came here, I had to really fake being excited.  Because I was not.  For years this area had been known and dreaded as one of the hardest areas of the mission!  And it was for a while when I was here!  But lately the Lord has really been hastening His work here and has blessed us and turned the place around!  And now I don't want to leave the place!  I could happily finish my mission here!  

Well, glad that you are all doing well and having a great week!  I love you all and miss you, but am truly happy here!  And safe...don't worry mom :)  Time really is flying by!  It is kind of scaring me, but I am trying to make the most of it! Hope you guys have a great week!  Thanks for your emails and all your prayers!  You guys are awesome!  I love you!

Love Elder Wood

September 29, 2014

Sounds like the women had a pretty good weekend at home!  Good, I'm glad!  Sounds like the temple was a big focus of the womens conference and of what has been going on at home right now!  That is so cool!  I miss the temple!  "You don't know what ya got til its gone!"  It will be exciting to go back again!  I still remember going through the St George temple together before I left!  That was a cool experience!  Speaking of temple testimonies, I wish you could hear Sister A's (Bro. W's wife) testimony of the temple!  She has such a great love and testimony of the temple!  Before her husband showed any interest in the church at all, she had been to the temple at least once, but I think twice.  She talks about how hard it was to go there alone without her husband, but also how much hope and strength she gained there!  And she always says that she is convinced that the blessing of her husband's heart being opened is a "Temple Blessing" for her sacrifices to go there alone!  That whole family is absolutely amazing and so spiritual, and super funny as well!  I hope you all can meet them someday!  They are my favorite family that I have met over here I think!  And they are already doing their missionary work!  Them and their cousins met a young woman at a hair salon, befriended her, have brought her to a church activity, and last week to church, and this week have arranged to have us start the discussions with her in their home, while Brother W is preparing for his own baptism!  They are absolutely amazing!  

Pak M is having a lot of trouble from his priest and is getting scared. We will try to keep contact with him, but we feel like it is best to let him mellow out for a week or so before going over there again, because he told us not to come the other day when we tried. But I still see potential with him.
Mama V is doing well also. She is progressing and becoming friends with several members which is really helping her. She still has a desire to learn and we are trying to help her recognize her witness that the Book of Mormon is true.  She is so funny!  She is a professional seamstress, and keeps making us things!  She made us a batik shirt two weeks ago and this week she made us a batik vest (like the vest for a 3 piece suit!)  It is pretty sweet!  

J still has not felt or not recognized any witness of the holy ghost yet. He doesn't want to be baptized with out that witness, and neither do we want him to. But he is frustrated. He says he hasn't felt anything at all...but he is willing to try coming to church a few more times to try to get a witness. We are trying to help him recognize it, but it has been difficult to this point.  Mom and dad, thanks for your thoughts, we will try sharing those with him and hope it helps!

And we have several other investigators that are doing well and progressing. The work here is going really well!  We are staying busy and tired!  Every morning we wake up absolutely exhausted!  But somehow we are sustained throughout the day!  Then at night we hit the pillow and are out!  Unless one of the roommates falls asleep first--then it is hard because he snores like Grandpa!  But other than that things are good haha!

Glad things back home are going well and everyone is happy!  things here are great too!  We went to Jakarta today to play futsal as a zone, so that was fun!  

Well, nothing too extremely interesting this week.  Still cold showers as well, but we actually have a shower head at this house, so that is nice.  Oh, we are going to be expanding the district in the next few months, so I have to go house shopping for another house this month!  That should be interesting!  Haha any advice, Grandpa?  You're the master realtor of the family!  

Well, Still happy here and having a good time and staying busy!  Glad to hear from all of you and hear that things are going well!  Hope you all have a great week!  Love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Sunday, September 28, 2014

September 21, 2014

Well, things here have been going pretty well again this week!  The Lord has really been opening doors and progressing the work here!  We had another busy week this week!  

Sadly Pak M was not baptized.  He has been getting a lot of opposition from his old church.  His priests have been coming to his house and yelling at him and scaring him from being baptized, and holding monetary weight over his head.  So he has been really stressed over the past few days and has begun distancing himself from both parties I think.  Which is sad.  I know that he will find all the peace and blessings he is looking for if he will just make a firm decision to be baptized and will go through with it, but the more he wavers and goes back and forth, the harder things are going to get for him.  But we really have to help him build the faith to make that step!

Brother W is doing well and progressing. He already acts like a member--he helps our investigators, he participates at church, and all sorts of things! He is excited for his baptism, and we are too! But he also knows that that is not his final goal! He is already talking about going to the temple as a family, and often says how he would love to serve a mission with his wife, Sister A in a few years! He is amazing! 

We have another progressing investigator, Mama V.  She is reading and coming to church, and is open to baptism. She just wants to learn more first, so she hasn't set a date yet. But she is doing well. 

We have one other progressive investigator. His name is J. We met him a little over 2 weeks ago, and have taught him twice now. He has been reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and came to church yesterday. But after Sacrament meeting, he pulled us aside and said that the whole time he has been asking, he hasn't felt anything. In fact, he said he felt completely empty and even bored during Sacrament meeting. We have had members to his house, and he is sincerely wanting to know and is willing to be baptized if he receives an answer that it is true. But it is hard, we have explained all about the Holy Ghost with him and he still says he hasn't received any answer at all, and he is getting frustrated. I don't really know what to say to him other than keep trying at this point.  It is kind of confusing and frustrating.  Hopefully he will keep trying!

I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!  I think today we are going to go get our bikes serviced, grocery shop, and have a nap!  We are dead tired!  We probably ride at least 30 miles, and sometimes maybe up to 50 miles a day...It is tiring!

But it is good, and I am enjoying the work!  Have a great week!

Love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, September 15, 2014

Miracles Happen!!

Things here this week have been absolutely crazy!!!  I am dead tired today,  I have to say.  But, waking up this morning was such a relief when I woke up and got to say, "Yes, it's P-Day!"  I can relax (even though it is only a little bit of relaxing.  We still have a lot to do.)  This last week we had 21 appointments!  It was the most packed week I have ever had!  And doing that while also doing the extra amount of study time for training has been hectic!  It was to the point that we didn't even have time to do weekly planning last week, so we had to do that when we got up this morning.  But I wouldn't trade it for a more relaxing week!  It is exciting times here!  The Lord truly is hastening the work like crazy!  Now we are just trying to keep up!  We have been finding new investigators all over the place and been having really powerful lessons!  And it has been happening in both companionships this week!  It is awesome!  Everyone is super excited! The hardest thing is how much riding we have been having to do to get all the appointments in. So much, in fact, that Elder Troff's tire blew up the other day (but everyone was fine). But if that is the biggest problem we have to deal with to receive all these blessings, I think we will take it, no complaints!

We had a baptism on Sunday!  It was one of the other companionship's investigators, Ibu E.  She was so excited and it was such good experience!  And we were able to get one of our investigators to come, Pak M.  Pak M is an interesting story.  He was one of our former investigators, and used to be progressing.  But then he told us he didn't feel comfortable leaving his old church.  Then he couldn't meet for over a month.  For a long time, he wouldn't answer our calls or anything.  Then 2 weeks ago we just dropped in to his house.  He was home, and we caught him within just a small 1 hour window of him being there.  We taught him, and he remembered his testimony of the message and commited to come to church again.  He came and loved it.  Then this week when we visited him, he wasn't sure again.  We had a long discussion.  It wasn't a debate, but it was like bartering. He was so sure about his old church, and we just kept telling him the promised blessings of the church.  We didn't think it sunk in, and he told us that he wouldn't come to church this week, buit that maybe the next week.  And that he was going to go see what his priest had to say about him transferring churches.  Well, turns out, after we left his house Saturday morning, he went to his church, told his priest he was moving to Mormon, and his priest got really mad.  But he held firm and left.  I was astonished!  Then he called a member and arranged himself a ride to church, and came on Sunday!  And he stayed for the baptism, and then told me he wants to get baptized next Sunday!  I couldn't believe it!  But he says the Holy Ghost told him that that is what he needs to do!  So we are going to be working hard to get him all prepared this week!  Miracles happen!  And the Lord guides the work!

So, there are so many other things going on, too!  Brother W is still doing well!  I think he knows when he is going to be baptized, he just doesn't want to tell anyone yet... I have my guesses though!   But he is still learning and he picks up on things super well!  

My companion and I are doing well!  He is really cool, a really hard worker and helps me a lot!  So we are having great success together!  

Well, It is great hearing from you all!  I hope you all have great weeks!  I love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, September 8, 2014

He is the one directing this work!

Hey, how's it going?  Thanks for the letters this week!  

So this week was pretty good!  We had some great appointments!  And we got 14 lessons in with investigators this week!  We met the mission standard of excellence in Tangerang!  That is the first time that has happened since I have been here in Tangerang!  Usually we hover around 10 and max at like 12, so this week was a really good one!  

Brother W is doing well!  He is still coming to church and seems like he is progressing!  It is baby steps, but it is coming!  One day it will just click for him, I'm sure!  And he knows it too!

This week we also had 3 investigators at church, which is like a record here, too!  The Lord is really blessing and hastening his work!  So that was super exciting!  They all seemed to really enjoy it, too! And it made Gospel Principles class amazing!  President Donald and an area 70 were also visiting the ward that day, so they were there to meet them all, and President Donald sat in on Gospel Principles. Since so many people were new, we started with just doing some introductions.  And, of their own volition, the investigators each shared their testimony when they were introducing themselves, and the Spirit was super strong!  Pak M said he was really considering baptism in this church, Mama V said how much she liked it here, and that in any other church she just didn't feel that it "clicked" it just wasn't quite right.  Then Brother W cried as he shared his experiences and hopes, and the Spirit was so strong!  Then President Donald shared his testimony and conversion story!  It was just an amazing spiritual high, and I think all of us, including the investigators, were touched by it!  And they all want to come back again next week!  So that is exciting!  What a great day at church!

Then on Sunday night, all our appointments had fallen through.  So we were frantically calling all our contacts to see if anyone could meet.  We got one guy, but when we showed up, he wasn't home.  We rode all around his neighborhood, trying to contact other people, but had no success.  Then we went back to his house, and he was home and let us in.  He talked at us for an hour or so about Jesus and stuff, then finally we got a chance to talk.  We thought it was just going to be a "this is good information." but that's it sort of thing, but turns out that the spirit touched him and he really was interested to know if these things are true, wants to read the Book of Mormon, and wants to meet again next week!  So that was super exciting!

Then we had one other appointment with a guy we met in front of his house a week ago, and talked to for 30 seconds or less, and he told us to come back Sunday evening.  We didn't even get his phone number.  But we figured we'd try it out.  Well, we show up, and someone answers the door and asks what we're doing.  We say that we had an appointment with the guy, and are told that he wasn't there. He asked us where we were from, and we said the church, and he invited us in.  Turns out that the guy that let us in is the guy we were looking for's little brother (still like 25 years old, though).  He was shocked that his brother would want to talk to us, becuase his brother is Agnostic and never wants to talk about all.  So he was like, "What did you say to him or share with him that he would even invite you back at all?"  We told him that we had showed him the Book of Mormon, and he was interested to know what it was and made a return appointment with us.  So now, this guy we were talking to, the little brother was really interested.  So we taught him the first lesson right there. He used to be agnostic as well, but a few years ago became Catholic.  But he absolutely absorbed everything we said, and the spirit was really strong.  At the end, we asked if he had any questions, and the first thing he said was, "I want to come to your church. Can I?"  Of course we said yes, and he said he is going to come next week!  So that is awesome!  And we then gave him the baptismal commitment, and he said that after he reads and prays, if he gets an answer he will be baptized!  There were so many other cool things that went on in that lesson, but it was absolutely amazing!  And as we were leaving, we asked him if he would be sure to read the Book of Mormon this week.  He said, "I'm going to go read it right now!"  It was amazing!  So cool and so prepared!  And the Lord totally prepared the day to lead us there, because there were several other things that we had prioritized over that meeting, but they just didn't work out for one reason or the other, and the Lord led us there!  He really is the one directing this work!  

Well, that is about it for this week!  It was a good one and the upcoming week looks pretty good, too! Hope you all have a good week!  I love you all!  Talk to you soon!  

Love, Elder Wood

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Becoming a "whole-hearted missionary"

Happy Sunday Night!  (Monday morning here... haha still kinda weird!)

So, sounds like you all had a good week!  Lots of fun things going on!  The picture of that spider (I'm not even going to try to spell 'terantula' haha) was pretty crazy!  Haha we actually don't see stuff like that too often here, but lots of cockroaches, rats and really ugly stray cats...but that is pretty cool looking!  Poor lady standing there frozen!  Did Duke try to eat it?

And glad that your  new job is going well, mom!  Haha that is so funny to hear you say "work was good this week."  Usually I only hear that from dad.  But that is exciting that you have that opportunity! That is going to be fun it sounds like!  Hopefully you continue to enjoy it!  

And that is so fun that you got to go meet all those missionaries and talk to them!  They are some of the best people I know!  Haha its weird to see them all at home though!  It wasn't too long ago I saw them all at zone conference!  They are a great group of friends! 

Well, this week was another really good week!  We had some good success with finding and teaching! We were able to teach a lot more new investigators!  We have been really blessed with finding lately! And now hopefully in the coming weeks we can really get all of our follow-up appointments with our new investigators, older investigators, and continue finding even more investigators!  Hopefully we will become super busy with teaching appointments in the next few weeks!  

Brother W is still doing well! This week he wore a white shirt to church!  Although it seems small, that was another big step in his progression!  Because up to this point he hasn't wanted to wear a white shirt. His wife told us that he had a tie in the car but last second decided not to wear it.  So, Elder T asked him about it at some point and said "Where's the tie?"  And Brother W responded "Maybe I'll wear a tie at my baptism!"  Haha he's a pretty funny guy!  But hey, he knows where he is heading!  Now we just are working on helping him commit to a date!  Hopefully sooner rather than later!  Because the ward is waiting on planning their temple trip next year for him to get baptized haha! He is great!  He is really reading all 4 of the Standard Works completely of his own desire, and he always writes and asks us his questions, because it is all new to him!  We are just trying to get him to get the Holy Ghost so that he can learn that much faster!

We found another new family this week that is awesome!  We just taught them the first time last Saturday.  The father used to be a captain of a ship, and has been all over the world.  He is Indonesian but speaks fluent English.  The wife is Venezuelan and speaks perfect Indonesian. We showed up and the husband found out we were Mormons and immediately was super interested in what the Book of Mormon is.  When he was sailing, he said he would often stay in hotels in America and he would open up the drawer and see two Bibles--the normal one and the "Mormon Bible"  (He must have been staying in Marriott hotels haha!)  He said he had often seen the Book of Mormon, but never really read it.  Then just a few weeks ago he downloaded the English version onto his Ipad to read on a flight while he was bored.  But he had never really known what it was or read it seriously.  But he was very interested in our explanation and very excited to read the Book and he wants to come to church next week as well!  So that was super exciting!  Then he tried to give us like 30 bucks on our way out the door, which is quite a lot of money here.  We are completely out of money this week because of reimbursements on taxis going back and forth to Senopati several times.  So at that time we only had like 2 dollars in each of our wallets to live until this months allowance came in today. But, despite the great temptation, we obediently declined haha!  But we laughed about it afterward and how tempting it was!  But they want to meet again, and are super cool!

We have found and taught several other investigators and had a good time this week as well!  And today we have a few follow-up appointments this evening after we finish emailing, so that is exciting!

Oh, this week we were riding and I got a flat tire.  Luckily there are a lot of places on the side of the road to get it patched up.  But where it went flat happened to be in one of the nicest parts of town where there are none of these places.  So we had to walk for over a half hour until we found one of these places.  Turns out that it went flat because I had worn a hole all the way through the outer tire, so they stuck some rubber inside there to temporary patch it, patched the tube, and I was on my way temporarily.  But we had to replace the whole tire that night.  Too much riding haha!

This week I have been studying a lot on how to be a "whole-hearted missionary."  I don't really know how to explain exactly what I have learned, but there is a lot haha!  Lots of just ideas like how to work better with other missionaries and companions, how to really love investigators, and other things.  But the one that most hit me was in first few verses of Alma 17 that I read today, with a connection to 1 Cor 2:4 I think is the reference.  It is about fasting, praying, and studying.  But the purpose of it is not to become smarter.  It is to gain power.  In Corinthians, Paul talks about not converting people by convincing or flattering words, but of speaking simple words that are filled with power and the spirit, and letting the Spirit do the convincing.  So that is something I am really going to work on, is keeping my speech simple, and praying and working to get power behind my words from the Spirit.  

Well, I am so glad that you are all doing well and having great weeks!  I love you all and can't wait to hear from you each week!  Thanks for your letters!  Love you!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, August 25, 2014

Smiling and Laughing the Whole Time

Happy Sunday!  (Monday here...)

Man, sounds like a pretty busy day for you guys!  I can't believe that Sabrina is already off to college! That is crazy!  That seems like it happened really fast!  But super exciting!  Haha I'm glad you've had a nice extra storage room for all her stuff!  Thanks for the pictures!  Looks like a pretty fun place!

Well, things here have been going well this week!  My companion is a really funny and cool guy, and we have been getting along really well!  He is definitely one of my favorite companions so far!  He is always positive and he works really hard, he is easy to talk to, and we have fun together.  It makes the work so much easier and more enjoyable when you are smiling and laughing the whole time!  

Speaking of the work, things have been going really well this week!  We have found a ton of new investigators the last few days and have taught a ton of first lessons!  It is really exciting!  We have several families that are interested, and have had some crazy cool opportunities placed in our path.  One funny one is we were proselyting in a gated community that we made friends with the security guards of a few weeks ago.  We never went through the whole area last time we were there, so the other day we went there again.  Our security guard friend wasn't there, but the guy there let us in.  We can't knock doors, so we just have to walk around and talk to people on the street.  But we found one guy and got a lesson with him and his family and they invited us back this coming week.  Then we were riding our bikes around a bit, and a lady called us over.  She was like, "do you remember me?"  It took me a minute, but then I got it.  When we were there 3 or 4 weeks ago, we talked to her as she was driving out the gate, because the security guard we were friends with introduced us to her and said she was Christian.  But at that time she wasn't interested and was in a hurry.  But the other day she called us over and just wanted to talk a little bit.  We talked to her and her friend in the street and at first she still wasn't too interested in the church, but wanted to know more about what we were doing here.  Then by the end of the conversation she told us about how she wasn't active in church, and she ended up inviting us to come over to her house to meet with her and her family this coming week!  So that was a cool thing!  Funny how the Lord works, and how sometimes it takes several tries!  But we are excited for that one!

The rest of the work is going well!  This week Brother W asked us to fast with him to help him receive an answer if he needs to be baptized.  So we fasted with him yesterday and then had dinner at their house together.  It is so cool to see him working so hard to receive a sure answer!  It won't be too much longer before he gets in the water I think!  I am so excited for him and his family!

Well, that is mostly it for this week!  After emailing we are going to go over to the driving range for a little bit and then we have an appointment this evening!  So the work is progressing!  

Thanks for all your emails, love and support!  And thanks for the cookies!  They were delicious!  I love you all so much!  Hope you have a great week!  Man, the house is going to be empty for a while! Eliza, you're going to be spoiled!  Litlle miss only child at home Haha!

Well, I love you all!

Love Elder Wood

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014

So great to hear from you all!  Sounds like things have been going well back at home!  Fun stuff going on!

Thanks so much for the packages!  I got them both this week!  Thank you so much!  They were awesome!  I am excited to make s'mores!  I will have to figure out how to do that!  The microwave is too lame!  But maybe we can try to use the gas-burner stove haha!  And sorry, I haven't had a chance to get a picture in the shirt yet, we have been really busy the last few days!  But I will try to take it and get it sent off next week!  (If the computer will let me...)  And all the good stuff!  That was such an awesome package!  So many good things to cook!  And so many cool pictures and stuff!  And thanks for the family history!  I am excited to read more about it, but I have just had a little time to browse over it so far!  And Sabrina,  thanks for the Swiss Chocolate!  That looks so good that I am almost afraid to eat it, but I can't wait to try some!  And I can't wait to read your journal of your trip over there!  Thanks so much for sending me that!  And Eliza,  thanks for the chocolate chip cookies!  They are delicious!  I had a few for breakfast today and they were awesome!  Thanks for all the letters and all the love!  It is so fun to hear from you guys and get that stuff!  

And I am glad that you were able to make it to Elder Giolas' homecoming!  He is a great guy!  Thanks for the pictures!  That was fun!

So, things here have been going well this week!  On Wednesday I went to the mission home and picked up some new missionaries!  My new companion is named Elder Troff, and he is from West Jordan.  I also have been with Elder Martineau, from Kaysville.  Elder Martineau leaves tomorrow, though.  But he will go and be trained by Elder Wintolo.  So he is my grandson.  I am like the Patriarch of the house, I joke.  But it has been really fun the last few days.  I have been taking both of them around with me.  It has been stressful, but a ton of fun!  They are both really cool guys.  And I am really excited to work with Elder Troff, too.  He seems like he will be an awesome companion!  The only bummer was that I was really sick Friday night, all day Saturday, and part of Sunday with fever, full body aches, and diarrhea.  But we made it through it and I am healthy now!  So I haven't yet had a chance to eat all my good food because I didn't have an appetite until this morning.  But now I can go hard!  

Saturday was fun because we had a big ward party for Indonesian Independence Day!  We had an investigator come and feel really welcome and have a good time, and I think that was a big and a successful step in his progression.  And it was a great chance for the new Elders to meet the members and feel welcome and see that the church is the same all over the world!  I think they really liked it! I had a really good time and it made me feel at home!  We learned a few Indonesian patriotic songs, which was fun, and sang them as a member played the guitar!

This week we have also had some lessons with some good investigators.  Brother W is still coming along well and learning and progressing!  We are just trying to get him to make a baptismal goal, but he doesn't want to commit to a date yet.  But someday he will!  

Well, I think that is mostly it for now!  Thanks again for all your love and support, letters, packages, and prayers!  You are awesome!  I love you so much!  Hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to hear from you again!  The Church is true, the Book is Blue, and I will see you after I honorably finish the 2!  Haha!  Love you!

Love Elder Wood!

August 10, 2014

Hey!  Glad to hear that things are going well back at home!  Sounds like you guys have been having a pretty fun week!  That hit and run race sounds pretty fun!  Man, sounds like normal running is way out of style now.  No more normal 5K's or anythign like that.  It's gotta have all the bells and whistles and stuff haha!  Well, I am excited to try it when I get home!  Hopefully its still around and not just a fad! But sounds like its a bit painful, too haha!  How do they make it a race with all the waiting in line and stuff?

And man, those pictures of the Ogden Temple are amazing!  It looks beautiful!  I can't wait to see it in person!  When are they doing the dedication?  Is there going to be some big youth festival thing for it? That is fun that you could take some other friends and neighbors to see it, too!  That is a great missionary tool, because they will feel something there, and later hopefully recognize a desire to return there and go inside again.  And then they will figure out what they have to do to go inside again :) We'll keep praying for them!

So, things here have been a bit slow this week.  We had several investigators reject the message saying that they don't believe it is true.  And we had our progressing investigator, Pak Mafud, who had a baptismal date a few weeks ago reject us this week.  That one was really hard.   He had had a spiritual confirmation of the truth of our message, but he decided that it was too difficult to move from his old church to ours after having been there so long. And his choice was especially confirmed after he talked to his pendeta. So that was a major bummer this week and made us all quite sad for him and disappointed. But we gave him the seed, and I guess we have to accept that he has his agency to do what he wants. It is just sad to see him reject something that he has had a witness of, and to lose so many blessings. But, we will keep moving forward.  

So, our teaching pool took a big hit this week, which is hard, especially knowing I have a new companion coming in next week.

But we still have an investigator that wants to come to church and is really progressing.  His only problem is that his wife won't let him come to church.  yet.  But he is still working on it and hopefully it will happen soon.  We have an Indonesian Independence Day party at the church this Saturday, and we are going to try to get them to come to a non-threatening activity like that.  So hopefully that will happen.  

And Brother W is still doing really well!  He is really progressing and has turned completely toward Christianity.  Now we are just helping him gain an understanding of what we believe and helping him strengthen his testimony, and helping him prepare for baptism!  Hopefully we can get him there soon! So that is really exciting!  Such a blessing and a joy to see someone's life change!  

This week I have been in a 3-some with Elder Honda and his new companion, Elder Hariyadi.  He is a really cool guy!  He just transferred here from Manado.  He is actually the missionary that replaced me in Manado!  And he told me that one of the investigators that I started teaching when I was in Manado got baptized just a few weeks ago!  So that was super exciting and rewarding to hear!    And I am just waiting to get my new companion on Thursday or Friday this week. 

Well, I am glad to hear that you guys are having fun and things are going well at home!  I love getting your emails every week!  It brightens my day!  Keep letting me know what's going on!  How are the bees?  Any honey yet?  How is the mustang project going?  Any pictures?  What else is going on?

Well, I love you all and I love being a missionary!  The work is hard, and yes, dad, sometimes I do feel like I am pushing against an unmoving rock.  But I guess that's what sometimes has to happen.  And then the Lord will come in with His timing.  Things will turn around here!  There is great potential! And it makes it all worth it to see someone like Brother W accept the gospel and see it change his life and bless him and his family!  I am so grateful we have that blessing in our family!  

I love you!  Have a great week!

Love Elder Wood