"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, July 15, 2013

Iraqi Brussels


How's it going?! I'm doing just dandy out here! Things are going really well. This week was really good, I seriously love working so much. Soeur Poznanski gave a little training about how the mission accomplished all their goals last year accept 1, Finding Families. It's easier to find a single immigrant person who will get baptised, but she said we need to find young, belgian/french families who will stay strong and fortify the church in the future. So me and Elder Wilson made that our goal! We set most of out rdv's for the afternoon or morning so we could use as much of the evening as possible knocking doors to find these people. We haven't found them yet, but that just means we need to keep going and work harder. Will you guys pray that we will be lead to a young, belgian family who is searching for the gospel and will strengthen the church? That would be much appreciated! Families are so cool. I'm so greatful for you all. How cool is it that we get to be together forever? I'm stoked about it! Thanks for being such an awesome family, I love ya. 

Speaking of families, about half the people in our ward are American. I don't know if I already told you that, but I'll just say it anyways. They all work for Nato and the EU and stuff and one of them invited us over for dinner last night, it was glorious. The H, they're from Washington, have a few little boys and he like organized the US missle defense system, way cool. They live in a small castle, no joke, and they fed us burgers, hot dogs and ROOT BEER. It was like manna from Heaven! In liquid form! I forgot how much I loved root beer. French people hate it! Which is so bizarre, but it was super good. Go USA. 

Also where I live is so nutz. It's like they took a little peice of Iraq and just set it down in the middle of Brussels. So. many. arabs. Sometimes they are really nice and give us rides to the store and on the way try to convert us, and sometimes the women are afraid of us and they kind of nonchalantly shield their children from us, and sometimes they circle us in their cars and scream death threats out the window, but they say "on tue les témoigne jehovas démaine!" which means "we kill the jehovas witnesses tomorrow!". Lots of people think we are ti's (Jehovah's Witnesses), but we usually get to tell them we're not. But it's nice and exciting here! 

Our investigators are doing really well. We have a couple that could be ready for baptism, but they just have those little problems that stop them. We teach an African family who are really cool, and at one point the dad had a date! Until we learned that the mom and dad aren't married, so we're working on that one! Also we've found recently some old converts that haven't had contact with the church for x amount of years, who also want their dozens of children to be baptised, so we're working with them! The Christian preacher guy had to go to London for a week, but we've taught him  twice and he really wants to keep learning and take us to get waffles. If you have any wedding slash children teaching advice, let me know ;) 

Weight update: staying steady at  65 kilos, so not gaining anymore. If I keep this up, I may just come home recognizable. 

I love you all so much! Write me a letter! Did you girls get my letters from last week?! I hope so. Let me know how every one is doing! Don't get married or get tattoos or break any of the commandments. Do some good! Share the gospel with someone. Je vous aime, bonne semaine! 

Elder Wood

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Hello from Belguim!! 

This week had some pretty huge changes! I'm in Belgium and it is SO Cool!!!  I'll answer some of mom's questions right off the bat. My new comp in Elder Wilson, he's a quietly awkward, hilarious dude. He's been out about 10 months and is a great missionary, we're gonna be great friends. My new area is called Stombeek, but really it's just the northern half of Brussels. Brussels is. the. BEST. I love it so much. We moved into a new appartment the day I got here and it's a dang palace. HUGE. Like 4 times the size of the Antony apartment. And we live with 2 other elders! Elder Davis and Elder Player and they rock a ton. Elder player is brand new from the mtc! Cool guys. Our apartment is right across the street from a huge cool park where they have concerts all the time. The other day some black dude was rapping for an audience of 15 for like 3 hours. It rocked. The ward here is super cool too. The EU, United Nations and some other world wide thing and NATO are all based in Brussels, more than half of our ward is American!! It was super weird to go to church and sing English hymns, and I bore my testimony/introduced myself once in English then once in French. All the meetings have translators and stuff. Pretty different experience, but really awesome as well! Everyone, Belge or american, is really cool. Also they have a ward missionary feeding calender, so we eat with them tons. Also yes, Belguim is pretty cold. It's so far north that it doesn't get dark at night! I woke up at like 2 in the morning and it was still like sunset, pretty cool! Also Belguim is the most diverse country in the world! There are TONs of Arab people and tons of African people and a little tiny bit of Belgian people. But the people that are from Belguim are super nice and a little fatter then French people. But over all it seriously is so so great here, I love it! I know we're going to see lots of miracles. Also my new address is this:

Les Missionnaires (Elder Wood) 
Avenue des Gloires Nationales 11
1081 Koekelberg

This week we did lots of house keeping kind of things, like clean and make our apartment habitable, then just started teaching and finding people! Knocking appartment building doors is SO FUN. Not being sarcastic, it's my favorite thing to do.  You get to talk to tons of people, and if one person shuts the door there is another one just right there, and it's a lot more successful than street contacting! Also our aim's (investigators)  here are really great. I've only met a couple of them, but they rock and I really love them! 

Personally, I am doing so, so good. It's a new transfer, new ville, new everything! I love new stuff, it's just a way cool opportunity to just start over and set new goals and just do better! A huge part of the mission is just improving yourself everyday and always trying to be better and better and work harder and harder. That's what I'm here to do. I'm so gratefull just to be here on a mission and be able to do this work! It rocks so much! 

Also, yes, I did get the package from Grandma. Do you guys know what she did? She didn't have time to unpack the goodies, so she gave the suitcase to a cab driver and had him bring it to the chappel in Paris, and he did! So now I have 4 suit cases that I dont know what I'm going to do with, and also so much good cereal and American snacks. Thank you guys so much for sending that, you and Grandma all rock. And one other thing I feel like I should tell you; remember my indestructible Missionary Mall luggage? The handle on the big one bent right off. So, I'll probably have to just pick up a new one before I get transferred again, or was there some kind of warranty or something? But ya, just fyi, not a biggie.

That's about all for this week! Just working hard and having tons of fun. I love you guys! I'll try and write you back today!! I'm so grateful for you all! Have a good week!! 

Elder Wood


Howdy ya'll!
     -Elder Tryon (my new friend from Texas who told me to do this)
You guys rock so much. Our family is so cool and blessed. I was reading A Family: A proclamaiton to the world, during personal study the other day and I read all the principles that a family should be founded upon. I was able to go throu

gh and think of how our family is founded on each of them! It was pretty cool to recognize how blessed our family is. You guys should do that for FHE. The three principles that I think our family is founded the most upon are forgiveness, love and wholesome recreational activities. (that last one kind of cracks me up, but it's eternally important nonetheless. #scripturewords)
This week was absolutely, just totally out of control. I will explain it to you day by day:
Monday. P day. It was good, not much happened.
Tuesday: Nutz. We got to district meeting in Paris. All was seemingly well until the meeting actually started. After about 3 minutes my district leader got in a huge argument with this spanish sister, they screamed French that I didn't understand, she left. He stayed, and when she came back he said "okay everyone, thank you for your service, I am going home. Have a good mission." He sternly patted me on the back, got his stuff and left. The zone leaders continued to chase him around Paris, into his apartment where he called his friend in Bordeaux and packed his bags. Eventually we all had to go to Versailles, we didn't get home until about 6, had no rdv's planned so we just contacted, nuts.
Wednesday: normal day, did tons of finding and for some weird reason nobody would answer our calls. But is was good.
Thursday: Went to Belguim for legality. Belgium was so so so so cool and i ate tons of food. I took several pictures and realised that my cheeks were looking a little chubby. turns our ive gained about 15 pounds, give or take 1 or 2. NBD. Came home from Belgium,  it was again like 6, so we didnt have much work on this day.
Friday: Started good, went contacting and everything went good. 

Saturday: Normal day.
Sunday: Nutz again, but this time with miracles. Stake Conference was in the morning at Versailles, basically in the castle and it was super cool. Tons of people were there and my mission president spoke, along with the stake president and 2 members of the 70, including Elder Patrick Kearon, who gave the talk about the scorpions a few conferences ago, if you remember it. It's one of my favorite talks. His talk in the conference was really good, then afterwards I got to meet him and talk to him for a while. SUPER COOL!! Then we went home, ate lunch, and this man called us and said " when is your church?" We told him next sunday, and he asked if we could meet with him that night. We got to the  church, and he just told us he had attended church for 2 years in Madagascar and wanted to be baptised. So, we fixed a date with him for the 7th of July in 2 weeks!! It was so so crazy. His name is S.
So that was last week,  crazy right? Then, this morning, I got a phone call. I'm getting transfered to a place called Stombeek in Belgium!!! I'm so, so so excited!! Also a bit sad, because I won't be able to see our investigators get baptised, but they are getting baptised either way so it's okay, and Belgium is going to be so so awesome!! I'll send you my address next week!!
Thats about it for this crazy week! I feel like my letters are like really sporatic(?), but I just can't ever keep my mind straight haha. But I love you all!! Thank you so much for the little package and the letters and everything you do for me. You rock so much. Also Mom, about the missionary thing and inviting people to the house with the missionaries: just do it. How I look at it is,, this is literally the most important message in the universe, in all eternity. If you love these people, you'll want to share it with them! The lord expects us to do our best, but also to DO these things that he has asked us. I know you can do this and you will receive countless blessings if you do so!! You can do it! Take your concerns to the Lord, then do as he asks. I love you so so so so much!!!!!!
Thank you for everything!! Have a great week!
Elder Wood :)