"In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how."
David O. McKay - Teachings of the Presidents of the Church

Monday, April 22, 2013

3rd week in Antony

Thank you tons for the emails this week. I really love hearing from you all! I'm glad the puppy is soothing your saddened hearts. But, you could have chosen something a little cooler. 
Erin: Thank you so much for your letter. I'm gonna write you back today :) 
Carley: The other missionaries in my apartment all agreed that you look a bit like Mariah Carey. So if you have 3 weird rm's bugging you in September, don't talk to them.
Lizzy: How is everything going gurl? Are you good? How is the puppy treating your allergies? I hope that you are doing really good.
Autumn: Hi! Are you doing good? I hope so. I'm going to try and draw you another picture today. 
Dad: I like old fasioned letters too. That will be nice to get. And porting is a lot of what we do ya. Everyone has big gates around their houses, so we mostly are in apartment buildings, which is kind of cool. Honestly, I like it a lot. Talking to people all the time is awesome, whether they listen to our message or not they are just very nice. I think its fun! And also yes, I do live with another equipe. Elder T. and Elder W. They are the zone leaders and super cool. Elder Webber is just like Uncle Lane. 
Mom: Thank you for just being my mom. Read Alma 56: 47-48. I love ya. I hope the little rat thing you guys got isn't causing you too much grief.
This week was super good! We taught tons of lessons and French is starting to come along quite nicely. I can talk a little more, but mostly it's understanding that is improving lately. Thanks for keeping me updated with the ward! That's way cool for Elder Gustafson and Elder Beals, tell them that I respect them and that I'm really excited for them. 
So I was gonna tell you about the ward here in Antony. They are so cool. Everything they do is centered around missionary work and finding new people to invite to church. And they are all super nice to me and try to speak English because they all know that I have no idea whats going on. But it's just another testimony builder that I need to be in Antony right now! 
This week I set my first baptismal date! WOO! To our investigator C! Its seriously amazing how the Lord prepares people. We taught him the law of chastity yesterday, and he just didn't even hesitate to say yes. He was excited about it and was talking about how logical it was. He is getting baptised on the 4th! It's gonna be so awesome. 
Other than that the work is just going good! I personaly am just doing great, and just am way more pumped everyday about sharing the gospel and finding people that are prepared for baptism. 
I'm really sorry that I have to cut this short, but I can't purchase any more computer time until next week and I still need to write to my president. But a couple items of business:
1. I think I'm gonna send my ipod home for some new music soon. Will you find some good uplifting music that's not motab? There is this album called "Nearer" that I really like. 
2.There was only one item of business. Thank you.
I love you all so much! Again, I'm sorry that this was cut so short. But know that everything is going really well! And go to the temple! Read your scriptures and always have family prayer and study! Have fun with the small animal you got! I love you!
Elder Josh Wood

Monday, April 15, 2013

the Puppy problem

Preface to this letter - Josh has begged for a puppy for years and I always said no.  This weekend, we got a puppy, spur-of-the-moment.  Ever since Josh left, there has been a void in our family and we figured that a puppy would fill it a little bit!  I promised Elder Wood that I would buy him one the day he gets home if he wants.  We didn't do this to hurt anyone, so don't judge!  :)  HAHA!

Yo yo yo Family!!!
Oh, you have a puppy? That's pretty cool. I bet he's really cute. I hope you all have  tons of fun with him for the next couple years. I wish I would have gotten a puppy the 1,000,000 times I asked. It's only been my dream since I was a small boy, to have a cute little puppy of my own. Maybe as a nice Christmas present or something. Whatever though, no big deal. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to get one someday. Tell Finn I said hello.
This week was awesome! Once again though, I must appologize that I do not have any pictures. I completely intended on sending them, but you know me, I forget stuff. Today it was the computer cable for my camera. Just imagine some pictures of me at the Eiffel Tower eating a crepe and looking super content with everything, except for the fact that I grew up deprived of a puppy.
Man, where do I begin? Missionary work is just nuts town. So last week our numbers were a little down, mostly because I was being trained and stuff. This week we just decided to really hit it hard and start getting to work. We do a lot of contacting and porting, which is just when you go to an appartment building and go to the top, say a prayer, and just knock your way down. So we had been porting and street contacting for a couple days without really much success, and morale was getting a little down. One night we had gone down like 3 floors of a huge building and people either weren't home or were just being rude. On the 7th floor we just prayed a ton and asked that we could find someone. The next door a man named Dominique answered. He told us he was Atheist and didn't really want anything to do with church, in a nice way though. Then Elder Miller just started testifying, the Spirit was way strong and after about 25 minutes of answering questions he took a Book of Mormon from us and said he would read it. The Lord answerd our prayers! We went back the next day and will be going back a couple of times this week. Also, after him, we just got lots of phone numbers and rendez-vous set up for the week. Our numbers shot right up because of our diligence. I love praying.
Also this week was my first sunday going to church! It was super cool and the ward is way way awesome. The lady that called you was Soeur Lalaus! She and her family are members in our ward, and she had us come over for dinner and to teach her son about baptism, because he is turing 8 soon. She is for real so awesome, she reminds me of a black Sister Arnell. She told me I look like an angel and that I was way classy, I was so flattered. But while we were eating she just said "whats your dads phone number?" haha. So I was there while she called, and she said she was just calling to say a thank you for sending me. Which is like the nicest thing ever haha. All the families in the ward are so cool! And I got to introduce myself to everyone, which was a little scary but super cool. It was short and sweet, but after wards Elder Miller told me that my French was perfect. What a blessing! The Lord blesses us so, so much.
Those are just a couple of the cool things that we've done this week, other than that, I'm good! Sorry if this letter is not that good, I always feel like I am forgetting something. Oh also, read this scripture, Alma 29:9. It's probably my favorite scripture right now. But I gotta go! I love you all so much, I miss ya! Good luck with everything, girls,and mom and dad, write me some letters! I love you!
Elder Wood, the puppyless missionary.

Monday, April 8, 2013

First letter from France

Hi Family!

 How is everything going?? Thank you for the emails Mom! I loved them. It was great to talk to you last week! I was glad that you were all safe on your trip, I was worried a bit! Did you have tons of fun?? Oh and how about that General Conference?! It was so awesome! It sure is a blessing to be able to watch it right in your home. We got to go to the Versailles(?) ward meeting house to watch it, which is about an hour and a half from our apartment, but it was really great! We watched the Saturday morning session on Saturday night, then Priesthood on Sunday morning, Saturday night at like 2 on Sunday and finished off with the Sunday morning session at like 6:00 pm. We didn't end up getting to watch the last Sunday session, which is a bummer, but it's cool. I really loved Elder Packers talk and the poem he gave. Man, it's such an honor to share the same title as those men. Also I loved President Uchtdorf"s talk about finding the light of Christ. It was so true! Darkness is everywhere, but it's our choice to stand in it or stand in the light of Christ. Conference is so awesome.
The mission is so awesome! I dont even know where to start, I guess just on the first day. The flight was safe and uneventful, and when we got to France we got off the plane and met President and Sister Poznanski! They are really French and really great. They gave us some really good pastries called pan au chocolat(?) that were way good, then we got on the metro and gave out Livre de Mormons! (that's terrible French). I didn't end up being able to give mine to anyone, because they just wouldn't talk to me! It was still a really good experience to try though. Then we went to the church in Paris, which is so awesome and has this little courtyard and the building was built in 1621, and met our trainers and found out where our first area was! My trainer is Elder Miller! He's super cool, from Orem, he's been out for like 13 transfers and goes home in September. I really like him. And my first area is Antony! It's just outside of Paris, the Eiffel Tower is in my area! I thought that was pretty cool. After that we just went to a hotel and got to go to bed at like 8 which was a dream come true because I didn't sleep on the plane. Then the next day we went to Montmartre and had some time to just sit and write in our journals and really consectate ourselves to our missions. It was really cool. Then we got to go pack up our things and to go our areas and get to work! My area is Antony, but we live in a little town called Bourg la Reine and it rocks. It's just outside of Paris, has lots of little really old houses and schools and there is this huge really nice park with a statue of a dragon and a unicorn, way cool. And we also live with the zone leaders, Elder Webber and Elder Thomas who are super cool. But that night we went contacting, which rocks, I love talking to everyone, I dont even care if I cant understand anything they are saying.  And my first contact was right by the Eiffel Tower, nbd. Haha.. just kidding. It was probably one of the coolest things in my life. France is so dang awesome.
With the French, I literally understand nothing. It's so crazy and everyone talks super fast, but on the rare occasions that I do understand something, I am usually able to respond in some way, even if I just totally murder the sentence, they seem to know what im saying. So it's good! And I'm studying hard. But I'm not super worried about it, I know Heavenly Father will help me. Also I had my first lesson a couple days ago! His name is Kris, and he is getting baptised next Saturday which is going to be so sweet! He's 20, Polish, and a literal genius. He works as a hacking preventor for Firefox and is just crazy smart. We taught him the Word of Wisdom, and little did we know that he had already stopped smoking and drinking before we even taught him because he felt like he should. Crazy right? The Lord really does prepare people. I only got to bear my testimony during the lesson, and I thought that I just did a really bad job, but afterwards Elder Miller told me that my French was perfect and that I was using the future tense a lot, which I dont really know. Miracles still happen! It was so awesome, and I'm so stoked for the day that I actually can understand and speak French with everyone and tell them about the Gospel!
Other than that, I'm doing really well! I'm really happy just all the time, I love being missionary, I'm safe, France rocks, etc.  Also! My address is...
Elder Joshua Wood
27 Rue de Fontenay
92340, Bourg la Reine
Letters take about a week, packages take 2 or 3. Just fyi. 
I gotta go so I can write my President, then we're going to go to the Eiffel Tower and get crèpes! I love you all and I miss you so much! Please let me know how everything is going, I'd love to hear from you! I'll talk to you next monday!
Elder Wood

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Elder Wood has arrived!!!!

I just "happened" to find this Facebook page called Paris France Mission Poznanski.  I have been really worried about Elder Wood and whether he made the journey safely.   I was just sitting at the computer and I googled "Paris France Mission" and this pulled up!  There is also a short video on the Facebook page where you can see Josh for a couple of seconds.  This was definitely an answer to the prayer that has been in my heart for the last couple of days!  I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who knows me and understands my worries and wants me to be happy!  I am also so grateful for a righteous son who made the decision to serve a mission for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He is going to be a wonderful missionary!  I am so happy!