Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rancho Cucamonga, California -December 16, 2013

Hey family!!

Well I am sure enjoying Christmas out here.  It is a lot of fun.  It doesn't feel too much like Christmas since there is no snow, but we are making do. 

I am glad that you got to see the Bakers.  Aren't they the best?  We just love them.  They showed me the pictures they took of you guys and she told me she showed you the pictures of the Chamberlins baptism as well.  She is so sweet and will help us with anything.  We are hoping that her husband becomes our ward mission leader (yes that is right.  We still don't have one.  We found out why though...)  I got my suitcase and my presents and the eggs.  And I did assume they were to hand out to people. So I will definitely be doing that. I will keep one dozen and hand out the other 10 dozen to I don't know who, but someone that needs them :)

A lot of ward in Cali are getting small for that very reason.  So many people are moving.  That is why we don't have a ward mission leader yet.  Our ward is a good size (One of the biggest in the stake) But the boundaries are changing next month and so our bishop is waiting to see who he will end up with before he calls one.  We don't know what will happen, and our bishop doesn't know that we know what is going on, but we, as missionaries, have our connections :)  So we are just patiently waiting.

Well for transfer news, both of us are staying in our area together!! So we are happy.  And our district leader changed from the awkward little boy to the normal-er Spanish elder.  So we are happy about that change.  District meetings were rough last transfer.  But we survived and poor Elder Jarvis sure tried.  :)  So things worked out well for transfers.

So lets see...what happened this week.  Well obviously the Chamberlins got baptized!! YAY!!! We were a little worried.  Things weren't coming together very smoothly at first.  We thought maybe that was a sign.  But in the end we got the help we needed and had a really good baptism.  There were probably over 50 people that came.  Lots from the ward and lots from the Chamberlin's family as well.  So it was good.
It went really well. Erika brought her mom who is a catholic.  Richard did a great job.  The girls were so happy and cute. At church for their confirmation, Erika brought her mom and grandma as well.  They only speak Spanish, but you could still feel the spirit.  The Bishop did the confirmations.  It was so interesting to hear the differences between the two blessings.  The blessing were so different but fit both the girls personalities so well.  It was a cool experience. 

On Friday we had our Mission Christmas devotional/party.  We had lunch and watched a slideshow of a bunch of pictures of missionaries. Then we had the musical numbers (which we were in) And all the foreign missionaries spoke about the traditions from their countries for Christmas.  It was cool.  Then we went and got little Christmas packages from our President and Sister Hobbs-that contained our cute Christmas card as well.  After that we went to the stake center and had the baptism.  So Friday was a good day.

Then on Saturday we went to the church to help decorate for our Christmas party.  The Relief Society was in charge of decorating. We thought it would maybe be in hour and a half.  When we got there, there were only about 3 people that showed up.  They also realized they didn't have enough table cloths, so we volunteered to go get some since we were probably the least helpful out of the people there. 

We ended up going to Bed, Bath and Beyond, Kohl's, and Target, and none of them had the table cloths we needed (round, white ones).  So we ended up going to a party store and getting plastic ones.  That was our last option.  That took about an hour.  We got back to the church (shortly after you left the Bakers)  and they still had a lot of work to do.  We ended up being there until 5 (we got there at 1:30).  We did a little bit of work to invite people, then went back for the party.

It was a really good turn out.  We had set up 18 tables with 8 chairs each and almost every chair was filled.  We had a super good dinner then games, skits and talents (where we played).  Then we did a white elephant gift exchange.  It was a fun.

Yesterday at church, we got a text from one of the office missionaries who asked us if we could play Called to Serve and God Be With You Til We Meet Again.  I can play God Be With You and Sister Riley could kinda play Called to Serve.  So we told her yes.  Well with that answer, we got roped into playing the opening and closing hymns for the departing missionary devotional last night.  There were six elders going home and everyone they worked with since they have been out were invited to come.  So it was quite a lot of people.  It was fun though.  Missionaries usually are not allowed to go to those unless they are leaving.  So it was cool to be able to go.  We were lucky.  But now our secret is out.  I have kept is quite for 8 months, and now people know.  I have a feeling we will get asked to play at a lot more now.  We aren't too excited about that.  Ian, look forward to always playing on your mission!!

Sister Baro came up to us at the baptism and said that her ex-husband gave permission for her girls to take the lessons and be baptized.  So we have a lesson set up for tomorrow. Pray that it will go through.  We have been trying to work with them for six weeks now!! Our prayers are being answered we just had to learn a little patience. 

Well I think that is about all for me! It should be a good transfer.  I hope you have fun in California.  

Love you,
Sister Woodward

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