Monday, August 25, 2014

Ontario, California -August 25, 2014

Hey family,

Well first off, I am sure you are all wanting to know about the transfers.  I am  staying in the Mountain View ward with Sister Manumua.  It will be another six weeks...

I am glad that everyone is off to school again. Mom is probably super happy.  It also sounds like Camille and Adam are having quite an adventure in Iowa.  I can't believe that Ian and Rolando are seniors!! That is insane.  Holy cow.  In just a few months, they will have their mission calls, and be on their way.  

It is so weird that Amber is home.  I have been emailing her her whole mission and now she is home! No more stories or pictures.  I bet she did a great job though.  I just love Amber.  She is amazing.  

I would love to go see dad at the airport on Wednesday.  More then you know right now, but I would probably get in trouble for that, so I guess I better not. I guess the worst is they could send me home 12 weeks early.  At least I would be close to a full mission.  But I would like to keep those three months.  

On Saturday we had our mission conference.  Elder Russell M Nelson had a great grand kid born the day before and was down visiting the family.  He knows President and Sister Hobbs and asked them if he could come talk to the mission. So we all got together.  He also brought Elder Ketcher (the is probably spelled wrong) from the 70.  I think he just got called last conference.  It was really good.  Elder Nelson is just a funny old man.  Our bishop told us a story about him in Med school.  Elder Nelson and another kid had been asked to go to a summer class and then come back and teach all students the things they learned.  So one day they had a cadaver and were doing something with the lungs.  They decided to take a foot pump and connect it to the trachea from behind so no one could see.  As soon as the class got close to look, they stepped on the pump and made the lungs inflate.  He said there was one little nurse who got extra close and when it happened she ran out of the room and never came back! hahah so funny! Who would have thought Elder Nelson used to pull pranks like that?

It was good.  He talked about obedience and a few other things and then opened it up to a question and answer.  There were lots of good questions asked.  One of my favorite things he said was in response to a question about those little sins we all hold on to and even though we try, we just keep going back to them and how we can have faith and hope when we keep making the same mistakes over and over again.  His response was, "Once you stop making mistakes, you're dead"  Then he went on and explained that throughout our entire lives, we are all going to make mistakes.  Some will be bigger then others, but all make them none the less.  As long as we have a desire to change and are on the path up and not down, then you will be good.  Stop fretting over little things and thinking you aren't good enough to make it to the Celestial kingdom.  Keep trying and keep going.  It was really good.

We went back up to Mt Baldy this weekend.  We went from 9 to 4 on Friday so it was a full day! We were definitely tired by the end.  We just shoveled a whole lot more dirt, mud and rocks.  All day. But it was good and we all really loved helping out.  The people that live in Mt Baldy were very appreciative.  

That is about all that happened.  It was a slow week.  We met with monica and her kids this week and they all came to church.  We have a lesson with them today! yay!  Manuel also came to church this week.  We have a lesson with him today as well.  And the Zunigas family didn't come to church, but we have a lesson with them today.  Hopefully we can figure out what their hold up is an help them out.  It has been 6 weeks since they have come to church....AHHH

Well have a good week.  I will talk to you next week.  Have a good week.  Be safe.  Have fun here in Ontario dad!! It is the place to be! haha

Love you all
Sister Woodward

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ontario, California -August 18, 2014

Hello Family,

My trainer Sister Morgan flew home today.  And Amber goes home on Thursday! So crazy.  It was during Amber's farewell that I decided to go on my mission and now she is coming home.  I can't believe how fast time has gone since then.  Less then three months til I am home and less then 2 til Cameron is home.  Does he know what he is doing for school?  Has he even thought about it yet?  Does he realize he is running out of time??

Well this was a good week for us.  We were finally able to have a lesson with the Zunigas family.  They told us they weren't sure if they would be ready for baptism on September 13th and they haven't come to church in 5 weeks, so they are probably right. We have a lesson with them tonight and are going to talk to them about that again.  Hopefully we will set a date that they will feel okay reaching.  

We had a lesson with Monica and her kids this week as well.  They all came to church and loved it again.  They are doing well and are planning on being baptized on September 13th.  Monica has a few issues with the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity, so those lesson could be interesting.  She doesn't agree with them.  So I am not sure how she will react during the lesson as we teach them to her kids.  Hopefully she will be on board, but I am afraid she will raise some objections.  

Manuel came to church as well.  He stayed all three hours and we had a lesson with him after church.  He has a date for September 6th and is excited for that.  He will need to have an interview with President Hobbs instead of just our district leader.  We will see how that goes.  We are trying our best to fit all the lesson in the next two weeks which is going to be a struggle.

We get to go back up to Mount Baldy this Friday.  We are excited to go and help up there again.  Our bishop announced it in Sacrament and that was the first we heard of us going up.  So that was a surprise.  But the whole Ontario stake has been asked to go up and help that day.  There should be a lot of people.

Elder Nelson is coming this weekend to Upland, so he is having a conference with our whole mission.  Not with Redlands this time though.  We are all excited for that.  It should be fun. He seems like a cool guy but also quite intimidating.  Also transfers next Monday so I will let you know what happens.  Crazy that it is already here again.  So look forward to that next Monday!!

Love you all and have a good week
Sister Woodward

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ontario, California -August 11, 2014

Hi guys,

Last Monday our zone went hiking up in Mount Baldy.  Well we drove to trail head, walked for maybe 15 minutes and drove home.  There was a sister in the group that was complaining and demanding that we had to be home by 10 so she could get to the rest of her p-day.  So by the time we got there and the time we had to drive home, we didn't really hike.  It was kind of ridiculous.

As we were up there, a lot of people had been telling us that the trails we had been hiking on were all flooded the night before.  We thought, oh cool. what a nice story, but nothing else of it.  Monday night we got a text from our zone leaders saying that on Sunday night because of the rain, Mount Baldy had flash floods, and mudslides.  A few people were even killed and so all day Tuesday we were going up to help with the clean up.

Long story short, our zone leaders complicated everything with the rides because they are 18 year old boys and dont know how to organize anything!!!! but we got up there.  It was crazy.  I don't know how we missed it the day before.  Sister Manumua and I got assigned to a house where the mud had broken in the back door and was at least 4 feet deep.  It was thick, heavy and filled with boulders.  It was a lot of work and in the time we were there, we barely made a dent.  There is so much to do.  All the other missionaries in our zone were assigned to different homes.  They had camera crews, newspaper reporters, bulldozers and other heavy equipment trying to help.  If you google the local paper here, there might be pictures and a few missionaries quoted in there.  I think we are going back up this week to help again.  President is switching off each day which missionaries are going up.

Thursday we had exchanges.  I stayed in my area with Sister Soleta.  She is from the Philippines.  We had a fun day.  It was good.  We had so much set up that we didn't even have time for lunch.  That happens quite often in this area.  

This last week we had 2 lessons with Monica and her kids.  They are all excited to get baptized.  We have another lesson with them this week. One of our lessons we taught the plan of salvation.  I wasn't sure how much they even understood.  They didn't say much during the lesson.  Later that day, our zone leaders text us and told us they ran into Isaiah when he was out walking their dog (Imagine that.  a 15 year old boy walking the dog)  They said that Isaiah had told them we had a lesson earlier with them.  He then went through the whole plan of salvation.  They said he got it all right.  So I guess he did understand it all.  Pretty cool.

Saturday night the Sisters in the YSA branch text us and asked if we could find a ride for an investigator they had found who should be in our ward because he is almost 31.  We had our RS Pres and her husband pick him up.  His name is Manuel.  He came to sacrament meeting and loved it.  Both speakers did a really good job.  We then went with the YSA sisters to his house for a lesson at 4.  He read part of the book of mormon since he last lesson.  I guess he took the lessons a few years ago and was all ready to get baptized.  He then got in trouble with the law and couldn't be baptized.  He decided to completely clean up his life and take care of everything before he found the missionaries again.  So he is all good now and a few weeks ago, he saw Sisters Crowley and Buck on the street and asked them to teach him the lessons.  So we set a date with him for the 6th of September.  We are excited.  He is too.  It is going to be good and he is so ready!  He can't wait.

So it was a good week overall.  We had fun and even found someone new to teach! YAY! I love this area and I sure don't want to leave in 2 weeks. I hope President lets me stay. 

Well thanks for everything.  I hope you have a good week.

Love you all
Sister Woodward

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ontario, California -August 4, 2014

Hey family,

Well it sounds like it has been quite a busy week at home.  I am glad that everyone got to Iowa and back safely and that Darcy's ankle is healing up well.  Good good.  We can't have her out for the Sparta game.  

And school is all starting soon.  That is quite fun.  I bet mom is the most excited, or maybe Gislene.  It is probably a close call.  Speaking of school, I think I have made my decision about school....drumroll please... I think I am going to move all the way up to Rexburg, Idaho and go to BYU-I.  (okay mom, stop with the marriage jokes).  I have a super good friend in the mission, Sister Havens, who I am going to room with, if we get on the same track, so we are praying for that.  I wanted to go to USU but God is telling me otherwise and so I figure it would be smart to listen to Him.  Just though I would let you all know. 

Well this week has been good for us.  It has been interesting.  Not the normal week for missionaries.  We did have a lesson with both Ceci Zunigas and her family, as well as Monica Costa and her family.  Both lessons went really well.  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to both families.  Monica and her kids came to church and enjoyed it again.  We talked to them about a baptismal date and they want to do it for September 13th-yeah I know the same day as the Zunigas family.  So that would be 7 baptisms in one day, which might be a little much.  Monica wants to maybe do it a week or two earlier (August 30th) but one of her daughters likes the number 13 and wants to do it then.  So we will see what happens.

We also went back to Sister Shelby's house and finished her yard.  That was another 3 hours of work.  Right after that, we heard of a new couple that was moving into our ward.  Sister Manumua headed over to help.  They just moved from Odgen and some of her sisters went to Sky View and live in southern Cache valley right now.  That was cool.  We also went to the food pantry to help again.  

Sister Manumua got sick, so we were out for 2 days with that.  She was having super bad stomach problems.  Then yesterday at church, my face and eye lids were super itchy, but I didn't think anything of it.  When I got home, I washed my face and my face and eyes were all swollen.  I don't know what it was because I didn't eat anything (fast Sunday) and I haven't changed anything with my make up.  So that was fun.  I took some allergy medicine and was asleep for the rest of the evening and night.  So we weren't able to do as much proselyting this week as normal, but it was still a good week.  

We have zone meeting this week, zone conference combined with upland next week and then a mission conference with Elder Nelson  the next week.  So these next three weeks are going to be crazy.  And then right after that it is time for transfers again! Crazy how fast time goes.  

I get home on November 17th actually.  So about a month exactly after Cameron.  Our mission flies the missionaries out on Monday.  So just a few days earlier then mom thought, but I guess I can wait an extra Sunday.  That would have been cool and so much easier to do a combined homecoming, but I guess that isn't going to happen.  But I can plan on the 30th.  It doesn't really make a difference to me.  

Well I think that is all.  I hope you kick some sparta butt!  Go girls go! have a fun week.  105 days left! better start the countdown chain! haha

Love you all
Sister Woodward