Monday, September 29, 2014

Ontario, California -September 29, 2014

Sister Woodward, Brother Broadbent, Manuel, Sister Manumua

Sister Woodward, Bailey, Sister Manumua
Sister Crowley and Sister Woodward
Sisters at the Redlands Temple

Sister Woodward and Sister Manumua
Hey mom, dad, and the monsters! 

Sounds like soccer is keeping everyone pretty busy at home.  How do you have time for anything else? Does Dad even make it up to the farm?  

Jill is really enjoying having Amber home.  She emails me every few weeks and she loves it.  I am sure Amber likes being back with Jill again.  Such a nice sister Jill is.  She didn't get married while Amber was gone and they can actually hang out together without dumb boys getting in the way....(maybe don't show that part to Kelsey)

Well as you have seen in the pictures, Manuel really did get baptized! We were so happy.  It was crazy though.  Our church building is super old and the font is really little.  As you can see, Manuel isn't the smallest of guys.  The guy conducting was convinced that the font was going to overflow because the ward before us filled it too high (it would have been fine).  So when Manuel and Brother Broadbent got in the font, Brother Broadbent pulled the plug so it could start draining.  The only problem is that this font drains like there is no tomorrow.  So Manuel went down and his arm stuck up.  Then he went down again and I guess his head didn't go all the way under.  

By this point, the font was half empty.  Brother Broadbent then tried to put the plug back in to stop the water.  He couldn't get it to stay.  After a few minutes of trying, and even more water draining, he gave up and tried once again to baptize Manuel completely.  He successfully got Manuel under on the third time. Manuel later told us that he was laying all the way on the floor of the font.  Super crazy!  Bet you haven't experienced a baptism like that before.  I don't know how they even had enough water.  I think that was a miracle.  

This week we get to have a special zone conference and watch the new movie Meet the Mormons.  It should be fun.  We are all excited!  All the missionaries in the Valley watch it on Wednesday and all the missionaries in the High desert watch it on Thursday.  So we get to see it before it is out in theaters.  I will let you know how it is.

We are also excited for conference this weekend.  I think Monica is most excited because to her it is a sunday off church! Stinkin Monica.  She is still trying to get back in, but her kids are doing great.  If they can't go to mutual they are so sad.  They hide from Monica at church so they can stay all three hours when she wants to leave after Sacrament meeting.  What teenage kids are like that? Only the best ones!  One day you will get to meet them all.

On Friday Sister Hobbs came out with Sister Manumua and me.  We went to Chick-Fil-A for lunch and then went to find lost less actives.  We knocked on a few doors and found a pretty solid potential. His name is Brandon. He is probably in his mid 20s.  He might end up going to the YSA branch (like 10 people).  We have an appointment with him this Friday.  We will let you know how it goes.

Well as you may or may not know, this is the last week of the transfers, so by next Monday I will have transfer news for you! I will let you know what happens.  We are thinking there will be a change, but not sure what it will be yet.  

Love you all
Sister Woodward

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Ontario, California -September 24, 2014

Hey family,

I wish the weather was going to start dropping, but it isn't going to anytime soon.  They say not til November will it start cooling down.  It is pretty close to 100 degrees today.  So hot!  

There is a lady in my ward whose name is Naomi Reale.  Her maiden name is Low.  I guess she is a big soccer player.  In fact she is being inducted (is that the right word) into the hall of fame next year-so like a big soccer player.  I thought Darcy and Emmie would like that fact.  

Speaking of Naomi, we have actually been teaching Naomi's daughter.  Her daughter, Bailey, just turned eight and was baptized this last Saturday.  We went and got pictures but I forgot the cord to my camera so I can't send it to you.  But that was fun! Another person we taught got baptized, even though she wasn't counted as a convert.

Speaking about baptisms! Guess who is getting baptized this Saturday?   MANUEL!! He had his interview with our district leader yesterday and is doing really well and he passed! So everything is falling into place for that! We are super excited and so is Manuel.  And luckily this time, we don't have to work with Elders to plan it because it is all ours!  Happy for that.  In fact, I think everything is already planned and it has been less than 24 hours! No procrastination here! Be proud!  So in just a few days I will get some more pictures off to you!

Speaking of not procrastinating, we saw Sister Shaw this week with her companion.  They came over to just see how Sister Manumua and I are doing. I was good to see Sister Shaw.  She is so great.  I love her.  I wish we could be companions.  She is just always happy no matter what is going on in her life.  We need to hook her and Cameron up when they both get home! It will be perfect :) haha 

Speaking of marriage, we got to go to the temple this morning! Not for a wedding though.  That was so wonderful.  Our great Relief Society president took us and the sisters in the YSA branch.  We had a good sessions, then went to Mimi's Cafe for lunch.  I just love Sister Broadbent.  She is a great lady, but she told us she is getting released on Sunday.  I am super sad. I also love Sister Crowley! She is one of the sisters in the YSA branch and has helped me SO much these past 10 weeks.  She is going to BYU-Idaho and I am excited for that.  I am trying to talk Sister Shaw into going up there.  I think she is going to go to Snow though. haha

Well I hope all is well at home.  I hope you have a good week.  I will talk to you in a few days.  Oh and dad! I never told you, but the hotel you were at when you were down here, Doubletree, is less then .3 miles from where I live.  It is just across the street and down a little bit.  Probably less then 10 minutes walking.  Close to 5 I'd say.  Kinda crazy how close you were all day.  

Love you
Sister Woodward

Monday, September 15, 2014

Ontario, California -September 15, 2014

Monica, Tatiana, Sister Woodward, Victoria, Sister Manumua, and Isaiah
Volunteering at Mount Baldy
Sister Woodward and Sister Respecia
Sister Woodward and the Ebmeyers

Sister Woodward and Grandpa Newman
Sister Woodward and Maddie

Apple Valley, California

Hey family!

Well it is wonderful to hear that everyone is having such pleasant weather, except for me.  Today at 830 in the morning, we were already to 90 degrees.  This whole week we have been close to 107.  At 9:00 at night, it is still 90 degrees.  I think someone said it cooled to a whole 75 degrees by 4 in the morning....Ridiculous! I am so tired of the weather!  The cool season can't come soon enough.  And so yep we are always running the air conditioner because if we don't it gets to 100 degrees in our house.  But we have it at 80 while we are gone.  Kinda crazy!

Well as you have seen, the Costa's got baptized!! So great! It was a wonderful day, but quite a week leading up to it, ending with me not liking the elders in our ward very much.

So here we go again: So last Sunday the Costa's all passed their interviews and we started planning their baptism.  We set 11 on Saturday at our building aside from that.  We then got a text from our elders on Wednesday saying that they were hoping to have a baptism at the same time.  We figured, well a combined one, that is fine.  Come to find out, they thought ours was at 12 and wanted to do theirs an hour before.  Well in so many ways that would have screwed us over.  First, we already had everyone invited to the 11 oclock one.  Second, there is no way the water would stay warm for the hour in between and there wasn't enough time to empty and refill the font either.  So I don't know what they were expecting us to do.  Whatever

Later I was talking to our ward mission leader planning the baptism and he said that Keith (the elders investigator) hadn't even had an interview yet.  He probably wasn't go to get baptized.  So we started planning the whole thing.  The elders were convinced he was getting baptized.  So I asked the elders to find someone to give one prayer. ONE PRAYER!!! That way Keith knew someone involved in the program.  You would think they could find one person to give a prayer! ONE!  So on Friday, I text them to see if Keith was for sure getting baptized and if he was, if they had found a prayer yet.  They told us he was getting baptized and then for us to find someone to prayer.  

Oh I was annoyed at them.  I had done EVERYTHING else so far, while they did nothing and I gave them one small job to do.  So I text back and said No.  We have found everything else down to the refreshments, you can find a prayer.  So they said  Oh we tried, but nonmembers can't give prayers at baptismal services!  Well duh they can't elders!  Just like with sacrament.  A sacred ordinance is being preformed.  Plus I knew at least 40 people coming to the service, so how hard did they really try? Not very hard.  In the end, one of the elders just gave the prayer because they couldn't find anyone else.  Okay. Done with that.

So Saturday morning, we showed up to the church.  Brother Santamaria was there filling the font.  We told Monica and her kids to get there at 10:30 so typical mormons, they showed up at 11:05.  So we started a few minutes late but it all went really well.  The spirit was there and it was a good service.  Tatiana had to go under three times because her legs kept popping up.  

The confirmations were great too.  We had three different guys from the ward confirm.  It was the first time confirming for one of the guys.  The spirit was super strong.  Monica was crying through it all.  We were crying through it all.  It was good.  Then Sister Manumua and I both were speaking yesterday.  Thanks to the confirmations, our talks didn't have to be too long.  They went well.  Mine was on strengthening the home. 

Manuel came to church yesterday.  He is still doing well.  One day soon he is going to be baptized as well.  We are still working with him and encouraging him.  He is a good guy.

Well I think that is the highlight of the week.  We did go to a full on tongan party last night.  One of the girls in the tongan ward just got home from a mission in Texas.  They invited us. Holy cow! Talk about a TON of food.  And not my favorite type of food.  Lots of fish, mostly raw, and octopus...that was interesting!

Well have a great week! Love you all
Sister Woodward

Monday, September 8, 2014

Ontario, California -September 8, 2014

Hey family,

Well our week was pretty good!  The best part was that the three Costa kids (whose last names aren't even Costa....) all passed their  baptismal interviews!!!!!!! Yay! We are so excited.  So they are all going to be getting baptized this Saturday!  I am so happy.  It was crazy though...So here in Ontario, the church does the really STUPID thing for convert baptisms.

Remember when the girls where getting baptized and the missionaries told them that what ever day and time they chose worked because it was their baptism?  So I thought that is how it was everywhere. Every ward I have served in it has been that way.  Here in Ontario, the stake presidency wants to come to all convert baptisms, so they have told us all that EVERY convert baptism has to be either the first or second saturday of the month at 3.  The child of record baptism get the 3 and 4 saturdays-so weird that they have two and it isn't the first one of the month.  So all the baptisms that are supposed to happen for all the missionaries in ontario have to do it at that time at the stake center.  So our ward was supposed to have 5 this saturday.  For all 5 of those converts, the morning worked better for them.  There was stuff in the afternoon so it was super inconvient. Well you would think that because all of them could do it earlier rather then later, they would be okay with that. NO! not at all.  We had to call Monica and Manuel during ward council.  Monica was not happy because well this is her kids baptism, not the stake presidency and this does not work for them.  

So during Sunday school, our bishop called monica into the office to talk to her about doing it at three since we HAVE to do it then (which none of the missionaries like, or the ward mission leaders, or even people on the high council)  Monica told the bishop she had work in the afternoon and couldn't do it (really doesn't have work, but having other family plans on saturday afternoon isn't a good enough excuse)  So now the baptism is going to be at 11.  It was quite a process and made a lot of us stressed and unhappy.  yes we should follow the council of our leaders, but when all of the investigators couldn't do it in the afternoon and they wouldn't change it, they were about to lose 5 baptisms! 

Manuel was sick yesterday so he couldn't come to church or have  his interview.  We have to try and set that up soon to see if he is good getting baptized this week as well.  So I guess you will know next week what happens.  I will definitely have some pictures for you though!  

I got to go on exchanges on Saturday! That was definitely heaven sent.  And I got to go with my favorite SISTER SHAW!!!! Oh it was so good.  I just love that woman and she helped me out so much!! You don't even know.  She just sat and listened to me for hours (literally) Tell her everything that is going on.  And she told me about the things she was struggling with as well-many were the same.  It was so good.  I just love her and things are so much better for me now!  

That is about all that happened this last week.  Well obviously, lots more, but not much worth mentioning.  We had lessons with Manuel and the Costas.  We went to less actives.  We talked to people on the street.  We tracted a few doors.  It was a  good week.  We have a dinner appointment with a lady who used to be mormon but is now 7th day adventists.  That should be fun! She was so super nice.  We are excited for that!

Well I hope you have a good week.  Love ya lots!!
Sister Woodward

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Ontario, California -September 2, 2014

Hey family!

Well I would assume that dad was writing that last email because there was some of his sense of humor in there.  It made me laugh.  And I did laugh when I heard that story about Elder Nelson, so I thought I would share it with you.  I am glad you enjoyed it too!  

Well I am pretty sure that Doubletree is actually in my area.  I cover most of the hotels right around the airport.  And we do like our air conditioning here in California.  No one likes the heat I have come to find out.  I don't know why so many people live here.  Everyone that has air keeps it cold.  Lots of people in Ontario live in older homes so they don't have air...those are not my favorite homes to visit.  So now twice on my mission, you have been in my area.  And how many times for Cameron?  Oh yeah thats right. None.  So that means I must be the favorite missionary :)

Well on to our week.  Things are going okay here.  Manuel came to church on Sunday! That was good.  Four weeks in a row for him.  He had an interview with President Hobbs right after church so see if he was good with baptism.  Normally our investigators just meet with our district leader, but because Manuel has been to jail a few times, he had to meet with President.  So we were a little afraid to see how that interview was going to go.  

It was about a half an hour interview and at the end, President Hobbs called us into the room with him and Manuel-never a good sign.  So we went in.  Manuel is still struggling with an addiction to smoking.  He has cut down from about a pack a day to 3 or 4 cigarettes, but isn't completely off them.  President told us that he didn't want Manuel to feel rushed and so he wanted to give him just a week or two more before his baptism.  President did say that everything else from the past is good and taken care of though. So as soon as Manuel quits smoking, he is ready for baptism! We are super excited about that.  Everything went fairly well.

Our bishop and President then gave Manuel a blessing to help he over come the addiction.  We walked out of the room and Manuel turned to us and told us he felt like he was glowing! We were so happy! I thought maybe he would feel discouraged or sad, but he didn't! He could feel the spirit! And strong too! We are so excited for him!  We can't wait.  I will keep you updated! :)

We also taught Isaiah, Victoria and Tatiana this week.  They have a baptismal date for the 13th of September!  We taught the Word of Wisdom and tithing and fasting.  It all went over pretty well. Isaiah said he had no problems with any of it.  Tatiana said she would try to remember.  She is 11 so understandable but she understood and said she would try her best.  Victoria on the other hand (12!!) told us she couldn't give up coffee or tea....are you kidding me? haha She is twelve.  So we are going to keep working with her.  I don't know if she will be ready for baptism.  We are hoping if she won't give it up, then at her family's baptism, she will realize it is what she wants as well, and then give it up.  So I will let you know how that goes.  We have 2 lessons set up with them this week.

We weren't able to meet with the Zunigas family.  They didn't come to church either.  So that is 7 weeks without being at church and 2 weeks without lessons.  (they cancelled yesterday)  We are thinking it might be time to drop them or at least put them on the back burner until they are willing to start keeping commitments, which is sad, but they aren't doing their part.  We can't do it all for them.  

Well I hope you have a good week.  Be smart and safe. 
Love you all
Sister Woodward

Sister Woodward and Sister Manumu'a