"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, June 17, 2013

The one with the battle...

Hey Family!!
Haha, those pictures of us eating.. that's really funny. I love me a good eating picture montage.
Things here are going well!! But, I will tell you something. Mom, it's interesting that you said you missed me extra this week, because this week I probably had the hardest day that I've had on my mission thus far. #mommysenses. I feel like I should not really say many details, but I'll just say that me and my comp sat down for about 4 hours and just battled. I literally have never felt so lost.. I had absolutely no idea what to do, so I just cried for a sec, and prayed that the Lord would soften our hearts, and He did. It took a chunk our of our day, but after the battle, we ended up working things out, and ended up getting some work done. I'm really grateful for these difficulties that we are given, for trials of our faith. This was perhaps the largest trial of faith I've ever had in my life! But because of that day, and the rest of this transfer, I have no fear or doubt that with the Lord, I can do anything. But, even though I had maybe the hardest day, I also had one of the best days! I met M. Russell Ballard! Haha, it seriously was so cool. I just laugh when I think about it. I shook hands with an apostle of the Lord, and he taught me. SO COOL!!!! He talked about being a "Preach my Gospel" missionary, and the power of that book and how it has all the answers. He read out of John 14 and just analyzed it for us, it was so cool. It was like, how is he pulling all this info out of the scriptures? But then it.. it's all just right there! We just have to read them! It was such a huge blessing and a cool experience. And that picture of us and him is like.. 7 zones. Our zones have like 10 people a piece. so ya.
Other than that, our work is going really well! We teach more and more every week, and A is still getting baptised on the 30th. She came to church and the ward just absorbed her, we didn't have to do anything! It was super cool to see, the members here are SO focused on missionary work. Not only does it make things easier for the missionaries, but it makes work more successful also! You asked how we do a lot of our finding, and it's mostly talking to people on the street and knocking doors in apartment buildings. But, strangely enough, the two people that have been/will be baptised were referals from members. Members really are the way so be successful! We just try to work with them a ton, whenever we meet with someone we try to always have a member. So, find someone that the missionaries can teach! Invite them over to eat with an investigator! The French is coming along pretty well too. It's not like super good, sometimes the meaner french people say rude things because my accent (which is mostly just funny rather that offensive) but I can understand basically everything, make phonecalls and fix rdv's, and also I do a lot of the talking during lessons. It's really fun actually.. I really love speaking French, so that makes it a lot easier to just want to talk and learn more and more!
This week I also got to put my soccer skills to the test against some French street youths at an Elders quorum activity. I definitely made a fool of myself, but I got a couple compliments, "bien joué" or well played, you know, the uszh (usual). I think I earned a couple of respect points. #sports #america

This coming week is gonna be pretty fun. I'm going on an exchange with an actual Frenchman, then on Thursday I'm going to Belgium to get my legality, then Sunday is the end of the transfer and I'll know if I'm leaving or staying! I had a dream that I was going to Versailles, so that would be really cool if I went there. But also in the dream, I had 12 companions and Gandolf was there.. so I don't know. Also tell Ernie congratulations and I'll see him in a few months!! That's super cool! Maybe I'll even train him. Whoa! 
Fun fact; my hair goes the opposite way now. I dont know why, it just changed it's mind and went the other way, now the cowlick battle is just out of control so that's pretty neat. Also, I sent my ipod home a couple weeks ago so you guys could put some new music on it! Did that happen? Also if you want to send some Lucky Charms, that would be fun.
Alright, that's about it for this week.  I love you guys! I'm writing you all letters back today, so be prepared for some awesome words of wisdom and French slang. I love you!
Elder Wood

*These are some of the pictures Josh was referring to in the beginning of the letter.  His mission President's wife, Sister Poznanski, for some reason, always takes a picture of Josh when he is eating something!  They are always eating, it seems.  Pretty funny!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Hello all!

Hello all! Haha, I can't believe you got Carley a car. Sososo cool. haha it looks sweet! And the house is St. George, holy cow!!! That's so nuts. Tell them I will be very upset if they sell the cabin though, but good choice with the house boat.  But thank you for keeping me updated always!
Mom: The package just arrived in the Visitors center last week, so I'm gonna pick it up today. No worries. Sorry I never responded to that question, haha.
Also to answer some other questions! Things with Elder A are going well. We may have been in several heated arguments, but all is well now. Most of the time he just recited some sort of Shakespeare-or-something play to me while I try to speak French to him, but he refuses to speak French with me so I honestly have no idea if my French is good or not! But oh well, he is a nice person and really just want to do good. Which kind of tells you how my French is going; I really don't know. I think it's getting better, and also I can understand it more! Which is really good, I can only get better from here! I study really hard though and just speak as much as I can. My knees are doing well, now it's my back! I'm getting a little out of shape honestly. I use my workout time in the morning to the best of my ability, but I don't have anyone to run with so I can't work off all the food I eat! Which is another thing; I have gained this ability to just eat gigantic amounts of food. More than I ever have before. I am always hungry. I don't know if this means I'm growing up or just out, but still, I'm growing. And also I just heard from Sister Gledhill today!! Her email is waiting to be opened, but I assume she is doing really so great. Actually I'm pretty positive of it.
What is ratchet?
Carley and Erin and Lizzy, I heard of this French girl that I think you might like to listen to, even though it's in French. Coeur de Pirate (heart of a pirate) look her up!
Oh and I thought of some things you could send! 
-american floss
-a new smallish french dictionary
-music! such as: Alex Boye, Mindy Gledhill, EFY cd's, Lower Lights and Nearer albums, other church songs.
-peanut butter
-other candies but not too much cause I don't want to continue gaining weight
Work is going well. We are teaching more and more, and we set a baptismal date with this lady named A! She is African, and Africans love Jesus so much. She is really cool and I really think she is going to go through with everything! Also we've been inviting Chris to come teach with us lately which has been super, super cool. He has so much knowledge of the church already and is very eager to share and testify! Despite the language barrier, he really has become a very good friend of mine and I'll miss him a lot when I have to leave Antony. We do a lot of finding, and I'm getting better at it, I think. I've started putting into practice the "Teach when you find, find when you teach" idea, where as soon as I meet someone, I just testify and try to teach kind of a mini- lesson so they can have a chance to feel the spirit, and always, always asking for a referral. It really has made a difference in our work! Also guess what? on the 11th we're going to have a conference with Elder M. Russell Ballard! So cool huh? I'm super excited to get to meet him and hear all his advice! Also I've just started reading my old replica Book of Mormon and it's been really cool. It really is just like reading a story book. 1 Nephi 13 is a super cool chapter, it talks about the pilgrims coming to America and the Revolutionary war, and all this cool stuff about American History! It is really cool to see how much the Lord really is involved in our lives and how he has given us so many blessing in the Promised Land. Also, in the next few chapters afterwards, Nephi has some trouble with his bow and his brothers trying to kill him and he gets asked to build a ship, pretty huge things, but you know where he always goes to find answers and help? The Mountain, or the Temple. Unlike the members in France who have a good 3 hours to the nearest temple, you are like 15 minutes away from 3 different ones!! Thats such a blessing! Go to the temple together.
Autumn: Thank you so much for your messages! I wish I could go to your dance recital, I miss you and love you very much. I'll write you a letter back today and guess who the painter was that you were talking about! Also if you have any math questions, you can write me a letter and I'll try to answer them.  Good luck with school and I love you!
I miss you all and love you very much! Thank you for all the things youve done for me! Have a really good week, Carley, have fun partying for the next 3 days, cause seriously, it's gonna be awesome, you all rock so much. Write me letters, and I'll talk to you next week!!
Love Elder Wood