Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -November 25, 2013

Hey Family,

Well it just so happens that the Chamberlins are getting baptized on the 14th of December.  We have reserved the building and are working on getting their clothes.  For the last four weeks we haven't had a ward mission leader (ours got taken to be the bishop in the ysa ward) and planning a baptism without one is quite difficult.  Normally they help with most of it.  So we haven't known who to contact or anything.  Luckily we are baptizing kids, and so we have enlisted our primary president.  She has helped us out loads.  She has giving us all the numbers we need and told us what to do.  So we are getting that all worked out.  Isabella and Bianca will be baptized for sure.  We are still working with Erika.  We are hoping she will get baptized with them.  I think she wants to, but it is just not set in stone yet.

We haven't started working with the Baros yet, but this week....hopefully

Then we have the Verons.  The dad is ex-communicated.  The mom is not a member and they have at least three kids.  The dad has wanted to come back for a while, but they haven't been married so it hasn't happened it.  The Elders have been working with them for a while now.  They came to church yesterday!! On their own!! They have plans for December 30th to get married.  They have reserved a place and everything.  So once that happens, then they can all get baptized.  We are excited for that!

We also got a new investigator this week.  Her name is Jessica.  She is black.  Her brother lives in texas and recently got baptized.  He changed his whole life around and wanted the same for her.  He called Jessica and asked if it would be okay if he sent the missionaries to her.  So he did.  We went over.  She has a five year old son and says that if this church helped her brother out so much, she was interested in it.  She says she also has a friend that she wants us to meet with.  So we are hoping for that soon too. 

Other then that, not much is happening.  We are working on finding and working with less actives.  We have the living nativity coming up.  It is supposed to be really cool.  We have live actors and they recreate a street in Bethlehem.  They actors walk around and you can go and talk to them.  Then every 45 minutes they act out Jesus's birth.  We  are really excited.  We told Jessica about it and she was so happy and wants to bring her son!! So yay!!

We went on a hike as a district today.  I am SO out of shape it is not even funny.  I am going to be so sore.  It was a pretty hike though.  We hiked to a water fall.  Those are always nice. 

Well that is about all I have to say this week.  I hope you all have a great thanksgiving.  I am going to a lady in the wards house.  She never got married, but was a social worker and ended up adopting 7 kids.  She is amazing and an inspiration!! We are excited to eat with her.

Well now that I have given a really long email, I hope you have a good week and a good thanksgiving. tell all the family hi for me.

Love you all
Sister Woodward

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -November 18, 2013

So guess what today is??? Yep that's right! My one year til I come home date!!! I fly home in exactly one year!! 365 days left!! Kinda crazy huh?  After this we are just counting down.  I made it through the first 6 months and have 12 more to go.  Piece of cake :)  Save the date now :)
Well it is good to hear that Cameron already has a few offers for thanksgiving.  We are still working on finding someone to feed us.  We have Christmas covered (granted we are still in this area by then)  But not thanksgiving.  So hopefully we will get that soon.
This week has been pretty good for us.  We met with the Chamberlins twice.  They didn't make it to church because Erika (the mom) had a really bad ear infection and had to go to the doctors.  We have three appointment set up this week though.  Their baptismal date is for the 14th of December.  The same day as our Ward Christmas party.  So it is going to be quite the busy day for us and our Bishopric. 
We have taught them all the lessons.  On Friday we went over the things we have taught them so we know the things that need a little reviewing before baptism.  They remembered quite a lot of it.  So for the next 4ish weeks, we will just review the lessons and make sure that everything runs smoothly for their baptism.  Isabella and Bianca are golden.  We are still going with Erika though.  She likes the idea of getting baptized as a family and going to church as a family, but I don't think she realizes the level of commitment it is as well as her needing to take the lessons with us before and have an interview.  She can't just jump in the water if she feels like it on the 14th.  So we are going to see if we can work with her this week.  She usually isn't there for the lessons, so we don't know quite how she feels yet.
We haven't started working with the Baros yet.  Hopefully this week.  We are meeting the dad tonight for a couple of minutes.  We are eating with them on Wednesday as well.  So hopefully we can set up a baptismal date with their two girls. We have figured out what we need to do so we can get the dads permission. Once he signs the paper, then we are good to go and no turning back, we just need him to be in a good mood when we give him the paper :) So that is the only challenge with getting them baptized. 
Other than that, nothing much happened this week.  Sister Riley and I still really get along.  No mice in our apartment.  We are working with lots of less actives, which I am loving.  We are still out of a ward mission leader, but have 7 ward missionaries.  The bishop wants us to do splits three times a week with them, but it is hard to coordinate it all with out a leader.  So after three weeks of not having one, we are praying that this next Sunday one finally gets called.  We need one.
Have a good week.  I love you all. 
 Sister Woodward

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -November 12, 2013

Hey family,
Well this week has been so great! I am so excited for this transfer and so glad that I got to stay in this ward.  Things with the ward did get better.  The bishop actually called Sister Pollard and I rock stars one night.  They ward really trusts us and we love them.
President and Sister Hobbs came to church with us one Sunday and after Relief Society, Sister Hobbs whispered to me how much she could feel the love the ward members had for us missionaries, and in most wards you can't feel it that strongly.
We recently got six ward missionaries.  They are all ladies in the ward who have sons on missions.  So we are excited to start working with them and going on splits.  We haven't had any until now, so we haven't had as much help from the ward. We are happy they got around to calling some more for us.
Our ward mission leader got called as the bishop in the YSA ward, so we are currently out of a ward mission leader.  I am pretty bummed about that because Brother Taylor was the best one I have had on my mission.  But he will do a wonderful job as a bishop and the YSA people are going to love him.  I just hope that one day I get called to that YSA ward.  That would be a lot of fun.
So on Tuesday, Sister Riley and I went to a family's home to drop off a thank you card for bringing dinner to us one night.  As we were talking with the wife (which she is rarely ever home at the time we stopped by) She told us that her two girls had never been baptized because of her ex-husband.  We answered a bunch of her questions about what happens with convert baptisms (how many lessons, where the lessons are, who goes to the baptisms, when and where they can be held ect.) After we did that, she said that we had calmed a lot of her worries and she felt really good about getting them baptized.  They recently moved into our ward, so no one knew the girls hadn't been baptized.  We are planning on starting to work with them next week since they are out of town this week.  So we were so excited to hear that and to see that miracle happen.  We love it.
We had a wonderful lesson on Sunday in Gospel Principles.  We just started up the class for the Chamberlins, and last week was really rough. (don't worry-it wasn't us teaching) The bishop heard about it and decided to teach it himself this week.  He did the first part of the plan of salvation, and did a wonderful job.  After church, Richard text us and told us they wanted to set a baptismal date for the 8th of December.  We told him that worked and he replied with, "Erika is really liking the idea of the whole family getting baptized together, her included"  I saw that text and ran to Sister Riley (who was in the other room in our apartment) and told her.  We were both so excited.  Up to this point, we had slowly been working with Erika, but she had told us that the lessons, visits, coming to church was just for her kids and not for her.  So that made our day!! We were so excited.
Other then that, it was a pretty normal week.  We visited with lots of less actives and just helped Sister Riley get used to the area and the ward.  I think every dinner we had last week had something weird happening in it.  She was a little worried that all dinners were going to be that way.  On Monday, we had a family that was just crazy and all on something.  Tuesday, the family had a little boy (about 2) whose diaper exploded and was running out of the bottom of his pants and all over the floor. We left without sharing a message because they had quite the mess to clean up.  Thursday we had dinner with Janet and her two sons, Nico and Julian, and man they are crazy boys.  They keep us entertained.  On Friday, I thought it was going to be normal but they lady who we ate with invited another older lady in the ward over.  Lollie is about 90 and widowed.  She started talking about adultery and how she wasn't planning on committing that anytime soon.  Then she said, Well I guess I don't have a husband, so it would just be fornication.  Every day was just crazy. Yesterday was the first semi normal dinner we had.
Thanks for  all the pictures you have sent recently.  That is a lot of fun.  I love seeing the family.  I hope you have a great week.  You are all amazing.  Sorry I didn't write you yesterday. They wanted us to email only family on Tuesday.  So I obeyed the rules and did friends yesterday at our apartments, and family today
Love ya all
Sister Woodward

Monday, November 4, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -November 4, 2013

Hey there family

Well for transfer news....I did not get transferred.  I am staying in Rancho Cucamonga, which I am 100 % okay with because I love this ward and I love the people we are working with.  I didn't want to leave.  But Sister Pollard did end up leaving.  She is over in Chino with a girl who came out the same time as me.  They will be good together.  I am actually excited for them because I know that Sister Price will be able to help Sister Pollard a lot more then I was able to.

My new companion is Sister Riley.  She has been out for three months.  She used to be in Upland.  She is from Elkridge Utah.  She is 20 years old and her twin sister is on a mission in Minnesota, Minneapolis.  Pretty cool.  She seems great.  She is blonde and tall.  She is quiet but not really shy.  I am really excited actually.  I think we are going to work well together :) Lots of good things happened this transfer.  I am so excited for it all.

I went and visited a family in the ward this week, who was Uncle Scotts trainer in the mission.  He found some old photos of Uncle Scott and gave me a couple copies.  I will have to find a way to send them to you.  They are quite fun to look at. One of the pictures, he kinda looks like dad.  It is great.

So for other news in the area, we met with the Chamberlins twice this week.  They were at church again!! By the end of this transfer the dad will be ready to baptize them.  So we will just continue working with them until then.  The mom is moving along, but  very slowly.  But I think by the time the dad is ready, she will also be ready.  I did get pictures with them, but I forgot my camera today, so next week for sure.

It sounds like Halloween was fun for you guys.  I loved seeing the costumes.  That was fun.  They are all so cute.  Love the colored wigs.  Those just look so great on the black kids.  Also did Ian and Rolando not dress up?? That is sad and boring!!  But I guess they are getting pretty old.  That makes sense.

Well I hope things are good at home.  Sorry this is shorter.  I don't really have much to talk about this week.  Slower week for us.  I am really glad I am staying though.  I really do love this ward a lot.

Sad news...Our ward mission leader (who really is the best ever) just got called to be the bishop for the YSA ward and so we lost him.  I am not too excited.  But we will get someone else and it will be okay.  So for now we don't have a ward mission leader.

Also, Can I just say that I love the mission!! It really is the hardest thing I have ever done.  It is so challenging and it definitely works you to the edge, but man is it amazing!! I am so glad that I decided to come out here.  I can't even describe how wonderful it is.  I love it.  I love the people I meet and get to become such great friends with.  I love having a hard time because it teaches me to lean on and trust the Lord.  I would not come home early or go back and change my mind for anything!! This is the best choice I have ever made!!

Have a great week :) Love you all
Sister Woodward