Monday, October 28, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -October 28, 2013

Hi family,
Well another week has gone by, and another transfer is coming to an end.  Well not to disappoint you or anything, but I don't go home until November 18th I do believe, so it is still a little more then a year.  I am excited that Ian and Rolando can both go soon after we get back.  You are just going to be paying for missions for ever!!! lucky!! Good thing there are blessings attached to that.
Well for mission news lets see.  On Saturday we had our wards Harvest Festival-ya know, the Halloween party but it cant' be called that because well who knows why.  It was combined with another ward.  We had a really good turn out.  They had chili, hot dogs, nachos, pies and a bunch of little carnival games.  They also had a trunk or treat afterwards.  It was good.  We went all week and just invited everyone we saw to it.  We got a few less active families out.
On Saturday we saw a group of boys (about 8-11 years old) and asked them if they wanted to come.  We gave them a few flyers that we made.  When we showed up at the festival, they had come!! It was so cool.  They brought their parents and had a group of about 15 of them.  Our bishop called us rock stars.  Plus he really liked us that night because the elders in the other ward were not being the best of missionaries, so we looked great compared to them.  That helped with our ward trust. 
The Chamberlins also came to that.  They were all dressed up and had a fun time.  They have made friends with other kids in the ward and were running around with them all the time.  I loved it.  We talked with Erica (mom) and she told us that she just loves how friendly people in our church is.   She can't believe that we actually make an effort to get to know other people we are going to church with.  She is really coming along.  Richard (dad) talked to the bishop and he should be ready to baptize his family by the end of next transfer.  Middle of December.  By then, hopefully things will be good with Erica.  She is the only one that is not fully on board yet, but since her kids are, she will come eventually.
We had a lesson with them on Friday and Shelby Baker came again.  She has been coming to all the lessons with us.  We taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy and following the prophet.  It has been fun.  We have another lesson on this Friday and they actually invited us over for dinner tomorrow!! So that is good.  We will get to see them twice this week.  I am excited.  The kids just love church.  If they have to go to their mom's church (catholic) they complain, but they jump for joy when they get to got to dads church (us) So that is good that the kids love us so much better.  I think that will make a big difference for Erica.  I am excited for this family.  They are so great.  I just love them.  I will get a picture this week with them for sure and send it off soon.
They didn't make it to Sacrament though, but they came to the last two hours.  I think they had people over at their house from Saturday (they had friends come to the harvest festival....funny story.  Their friends didn't realized it was a Mormon event they went to.  So they thought that Sister Pollard and I were just dressed up like Mormons haha)  But they made it to primary.  That actually happened to our other investigator, Brittney.  So no one at Sacrament, but still at church. which I am okay with.  At least they were there for part of it. 
That was about it this week.  It was a good week for most of it.  I enjoyed it.
I love you all.  Happy Halloween!! Send me some pictures of the costumes :)
Sister Woodward

Monday, October 21, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -October 21, 2013

Hello again family,
Another week has gone by.  Only two more weeks in this transfer.  Time is just flying out here.  I am glad that everyone is still doing so well at home and everyone is still alive.  That is a good thing.  I would love some dehydrated apples, if you have any left over.
Well onto this last week.  Elder Robbins came for a few days.  On Tuesday night he had a devotional for any recent converts, less active members or investigators.  We were able to get Bill and Nancy Bevacco there.  It was really good and we enjoyed it.  He talked about how the Book of Mormon really is the key to knowing and even if you don't feel ready, it is okay.  None of us are perfect and we are all still working on becoming better, so it is time to just take that step and trust the Lord. 
On Wednesday, we met at the mission office at 10 in the morning and didn't get back until 830 at night.  We got bused up to Apple Valley and met with the two zones there for the zone conference with Elder Robbins.  We got our flu shots and took care of a few other things.  We then listened to Elder Robbins from 130 til 530.  He spoke along with Sister Robbins and President and Sister Hobbs.  It was really good.  Elder Robbins talked about planning and how helpful it is and things like that.  He also talked about hope and striving to develop that Christlike attribute.  He took about an hour and a half to do a question and answer session.  He only answered about three questions because he really answered everyone.  He didn't leave a loose string in any of those answers.
After we left, the car I was in went out to dinner.  I was with three elders and two sisters who are not my companion.  We had six sisters going and they had to split us up 3 and 3 so Sister Pollard and I split.  Which I am okay with because Sister Beagly, who is one of the sisters I got put with is a hoot.  She is so funny.  We were basically laughing all day long.  We had a fun time together, and Sister Hudrlick, who was the one that drove us, is also super great and everyone just loves her.  If you ever see Sister Schiess (spelling??) around, you should ask her about Sister Hudrlick (it is pronounce hurdlick though...weird spelling)  On Wednesday Sister Hudrlick was actually talking about Sister Schiess.  So I know they know each other.
Yesterday at church, the Chamberlins came.  They stayed for all three hours again.  This time the mom, Erica, actually came and stayed too.  Richard, the dad was telling us how much the three kids loved church last week and couldn't wait to come back again.  Erica was listening to them, threw her arms up in the air and said, "Well I guess we are going to be Mormon then."  So that was great.
Saturday all five of them came to the church to practice for the program and then they all came to church.  We sat front and center with Richard and Erica.  It was so cool to see Isabella, Bianca, and Talon up there with the rest of the kids participating just like they had always been there.  The teachers made sure that Talon was in front (because he is little for his age).  It was amazing to see them singing along and speaking and making friends with all the other kids.  I think that will really help Erica as well.  I think having her see how welcomed we made the kids feel and how we just took them in and let them do everything all the other kids were doing will really help. 
They love the primary president, who is amazing and promised her that they were coming next week to church and Erica said she would be there too.  I am really excited to see where this will go.  They are planning on going to activity days on Wednesday as well.  I told Darcy I would get a picture of them and send it to you guys soon.  Hopefully I will remember to do that.
Well that is about the most of what happened here this week.  The weather is just beautiful and pretty and nice :) I hope you are all jealous.  I hope you have a good week and I will talk to you next week
Sister Woodward

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -October 15, 2013

Hey family,

Sorry I didn't get to you yesterday....Columbus day.  It ruins my life.

So today we went to Beehive Clothing.  When we were in there, there was a lady with the last name Facer, who just so happens to be the sister in law to Lin, and Lloyd Facer in Smithfield.  Crazy huh?  And another lady in there is from Franklin and says that is was her family that put the Rite in Ritewood eggs. What a small world huh?  Her son and daughter are both expecting their mission calls this week some time. 

Well for mission work this week...We had another lesson with Isabella and Bianca Chamberlin.  We just have the commandments to teach them.  The whole family (minus the wife) came to church for all three hours and the kids thought it was so fun!! The were practicing for the primary program.  They are planning on going to the ice cream party/practice for the program again on Saturday and then be in the program Sunday at church.  I was so happy that they loved church.  The dad, Richard, who is less active, wants to baptize his two girls, so he is meeting  with the Bishop to figure that stuff out.  So once that is figured out, we will be able to set a baptismal date with the family for them to work towards.  I am excited to see where things go with them.  We have a lesson on Friday with them.

Yesterday, Janet Hernandez, (who is Nico, our investigators mother) wanted to take Sister Pollard and I shopping.  She is just my favorite and I love her to death.  So since we had a little more open of a day because we couldn't email, we met her for a bit during her lunch break.  I got a couple of shirts at Ross and two pairs of shoes.  One is for p-days because it is either running shoes or my church shoes with pants when we do activities and neither are my favorite and then just a red pair of flats.  So it was good. We had a lot of fun with her.  I was in need of a couple new shirts.  Wearing these clothes all day every day while sweating and moving around so much, really wears them out so fast.  It is crazy!

This week, Elder Robbins from the seventy is visiting our mission.  Tonight there is a fireside for all investigators, less actives and recent converts with in the last three years.  So we have invited a few people out to that and that is what we will be doing for the rest of the day.  Hopefully we can get a good turnout.  It is mission wide so there are probably going to be a lot of people.  I am excited.  We are only allowed to go if we bring someone so we are trying our best to find people.

Tomorrow we are being bused up to Apple Valley for a zone conference to hear Elder Robbins speak some more.  This one will be focused on missionaries though.  It will be from 130 to 530, so quite long.  Then the drive there is an hour so we will be gone from probably 12 to 7.  So most of our day will be at that.  It will be super good.  I am excited for it.

But that is about all that is going on down here in Rancho Cucamonga.  Three weeks til transfers!! Half way through!! Woot woo!! We are still going strong. Still pushing through

Love you all
Sister Woodward

Monday, October 7, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -October 7, 2013

Hey there family
Well Mission life is mission life.  Things are crazy out here.  But conference was just great and I loved being able to watch it.  And we actually watched it with some of our investigators which made it even better.  I really liked Elder Holland's talk, and I am sure that is one that some people at home enjoyed, or at least needed to hear as well.
In a few weeks we have a general authority coming to our mission.  We are going to have a few mission wide conferences then and I am so excited.  It is going to be so great. I don't remember who is coming, but when I do, I will let you know.  It is in two weeks and he will be here for three or four days.
This week went pretty well.  We have four different investigators right now and had lessons with all of them.  The first was Brittney Vignali.  I think I have mentioned her.  She is moving really slowly, but we ate with her family on Tuesday and had a good lesson afterwards.  She has a long way to go.  A lot of words that we use, like faith or hope, she has twisted perception of what they mean, so we have a lot to teach her and help her realize before she will get baptized.
Our second one is Isabella.  She is 10 and her sister Bianca is 8.  Their dad stopped the Elders in the Tongan ward to get them baptized.  We went over this week and taught them for the second time. We took chalk and drew the plan of salvation on the road.  We found out that two members of the ward live just a few doors down on both sides, which was pretty cool.  And the lady that we brought to the lesson with us, just happens to be the activity day leader for all the girls 8-11.  We had no idea when we invited her to come, and she turned out to be the perfect person to bring.  So now they are going to start going to activity days with the other girls their age.
The third one is Bill.  His wife Nancy is a less active member.  Nancy's mom just died. We weren't planning on going to the luncheon after the funeral but a lady in the ward needed us to drop some food off because she couldn't make it.  We showed up at just the right time.  Our Relief Society President was just getting there and needed a lot of help because the funeral and burial was a lot shorter then planned so they were running out of time.  We were able to help out a lot and talk to people at the luncheon, which is always a great way to find people.  So that was a great unexpected service opportunity.
They also invited us to watch conference with them.  As we showed up Saturday afternoon, Bill had been watching golf and went to turn the channel and the t.v. just went black.  The sound was still on, but no picture.  We messed with it for a while trying to figure out what was going on.  After about fifteen minutes and working with the t.v. and lots of prayers, it came back on and we were able to watch conference.  Talk about Satan working hard to get us to not watch it with them.  So we missed the first bit but I think that is normally just the sustainings, so it is all good.
Our last lesson was with Nico.  He is nine.  His family is less active but he really wants to be baptized.  He told his dad (who wants him to be baptized in a Christian church) that he is Mormon and is going to be baptized in the Mormon church.  Early this week, we were supposed to have a lesson, but as we got there we found out that their little dog had got hit by a car and died earlier in the day.  So we just talked and comforted them.  Then last night we went back for the lesson.  We taught the Restoration.
A family friend was over and he decided to sit in on the lesson.  He knows members and has read up a bit on the church.  At the end of the lesson, Sister Pollard started talking just very briefly about the atonement and the friend, Mario, started to cry and was speechless.  It was such a cool experience.  He had no words.  He lives in Rancho, but not in our area.  We are hoping to get some other missionaries over to him soon.  He told us, out of all the religions he has looked into, this is the one that intrigues him the most.  So one day Mario is going to join...hopefully one day soon.
We have Janet, Nico's mom, coming to the additional relief society night on Wednesday, then dinner with them on Thursday and a lesson on Friday.  So we have lots set up.  That is how she wanted to do it.  We are excited for this week with them.
We went on exchanges this week as well.  Sister Ott came to my area and Sister Pollard went to my old area in Upland with Sister Haas.  It was just fun to work with someone else and see how they do things and to be able to have just someone different with you for a day.  I loved it.  Sister Ott is amazing. 
While we were on exchanges, we were able to do some service for a less active lady in the ward.  She started coming back, but then recently she has gone through an ugly divorce and was getting kicked out of her home.  So we went over to help her sort some things up.  She had just a few days to get everything out, and she tends to be a bit of a hoarder.  So that was fun.  The next day, Sister Pollard and I went back and helped her move the stuff she was going to keep into a storage unit.  So this week was filled with lots of hours of service.  It was good.
So over all it was a good week for us.  We had some good lessons and are finally making progress with our investigators.  There is a little more with the missionary side to this email.  Hopefully things will keep getting better, but seeing how things have worked with me in the past, four weeks from now I am going to be transferred out.  Now that the ward has work, I will be leaving. 
Well the weather down here today is in the high 80's. Definitely far from snowflakes down here.  It is supposed to get all the way to the 60's this week, which is about as cold as it will get down here all winter, so that will be nice :) I am excited for that.
Also, that story about Gislene cracked me up!! Oh my word.  That sounds just like her.  She hasn't changed a bit in five months.  She has also loved having the dogs with her, but of course she is not all there enough to think to take them out.  Oh poor mom....Life sounds like fun :)  But at least she is learning Spanish.  She is setting the standard high for the rest of you.  I guess it is time to pick it up!! haha
Well for things with Sister Pollard and I, they are getting better.  We had interviews with President Hobbs this week, (it is just that time) And he offered a blessing.  I didn't feel like I needed one but if he was asking, I thought maybe I needed it more then I realized.  So he gave me a blessing.  It was so amazing.  I know that it came from God and told me things I needed to hear that President Hobbs didn't even know I was dealing with.  So that was good
Well for now that is all I can think of to tell you about.  It was a good week.  I love you all lots
Sister Woodward