"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, October 28, 2013

Hi Guys - 

Transfer 5 was great, we taught more than ever, found some really cool people, and now its transfer 6! Just like that! I will be staying in Brussels for another one, so that means I will definitely be leaving next transfer. But, I'm going out with a bang!! #Brussels4lyf

We had a pretty good week! We're still working on finding people, but the struggle this week has been the weather. Belgium has taken a turn for the worse everyone. Most of our contacts came from people we found while street contacting, and fewer come from knocking doors, but this week the wrath of the Belgian rain has been unleashed so we've been forced to do nothing but port. Tuesday night we were talking to a muslim teen on the road when it started to drizzle. It was pretty normal, so we just huddled onto someone's tiny front porch and kept talking. Like 9 seconds later it started raining probably harder that I've ever seen it rain before, and it didn't ever stop! It was like a 2 hour crazy rain storm! By the time we finished talking to the muslim boy, we were a 30 minute walk away from home and the trams had stopped. So we took it like men and ran home. My clothes were drenched and my shoes didn't dry for like 5 days! It was nuts. The weather has continued like this all weekend, so there is nobody on the streets. I prefer porting, but it's just slightly more difficult to find people that way. But, we've found nonetheless! Thursday we knocked into a man named A and his family and fixed rendez-vous for sunday.  Yesterday we went over to teach him and when we asked what the importance of religion was for him he said he was Athiest, and he had invited us in so we could prove to him that God existed. We stayed calm while he tried to tell us that God didn't exist, and when it was our turn, we just told him that we knew God existed because of prayer, and invited him to pray right then and ask God if he was there. We all knelt and he gave a decent prayer, but afterwords he just laughed and said he didn't feel anything. Then we taught him how to pray correctly and told him that it had to be sincere with real faith. We knelt to pray again and he gave a very powerful and sincere prayer. It was silent for a couple minutes after and eventually he said he couldn't stand up because of the strong feelings he had on him. He asked us if we were magicians, but we explained that it was the power of God telling him that He is there. We had to leave, but during the closing prayer he started to cry and asked what we had done to him to make him feel this way, and why the other people from other churches hadn't been able to make him feel anything. We just explained that it was God, and that this is His church, and he told us he had to understand more, and we're going back tonight. Prayer works!! Rain or shine, the Lord is always there and wants his children to come to Him! 

I love you guys! I'm really glad to hear that all is going well! Keep up the good work, tell everyone I say hello and I love them. Pray that things will keep going up hill, even if the weather isn't! Pray that we'll be able to find a family. That's about it for this week, I'll talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood

Monday, October 21, 2013

Please Pray for a family for Elder Wood to teach!

Hey yo everyone! 

I love Scone Sundays. That's so fun! We tried to make scones once and I almost burned the kitchen down. I'll save that story for after the mission. 

It's weird how I think of things I need to write in my emails all week, then I sit down in front of the computer and it just all disapears. So, prepare yourself for another ramble fest and we'll try to make it spiritual and uplifting. 

We had some miracles this week, but.. I don't even know how to explain. I'll just tell you and you'll see what I mean. So our goal is to find a family, and we've been trying so hard. We knock doors as much as possible and I haven't passed someone pushing a stroller, no matter how weird the situation, for like a month. So we're knocking doors in this really nice neighborhood, and we came to the last door on the street. They came out and met us and we explained, they asked of we were Christian, we said yes, then they said "Do you want to come in and eat with us?".... I had no words. Eventually I think I said yes and we followed them inside. They had 3 boys all above 16 and 2 older children who weren't there. Their house was so fancy, with music playing and they fed us deer! We sat around the table and they just started asking so many questions. Everyone participated, we taught all about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, and the spirit was thick in the room, like I could have touched it. We laughed and it was such a good time! They even offered to drive us home because it was late. We got back to our house and got out planners and things to exchange information, and when we told them we'd like to see them again and continue, they said no. It just killed me, we've been searching and praying and working, and there they were! They were right there! They felt the spirit! But they still said no. We've had several other experiences like this this week. We were walking to the train station to meet a member and a beautiful young family walked out in front of us. I stopped them and we talked, and we were able to testify of the plan of salvation, and again the sprit was so strong, and we asked of we could see them again and they don't live in Brussels, and we left without getting their number for the elders in their city. Man, the Lord works in mysterious ways. And it's strange how you can feel so much love for someone who you met on the road and talked to for 3 minutes, but you do. But, even though it may not be me teaching them, I am confident that those two families will have the fullness of the gospel in their lives one day. 

After we met that second family on the road, we ate with the Hatch family. They made us some really American food and it was really fun. But the best part was the closing prayer Sister hatch gave. I think I've only ever heard a couple prayers that were so full of faith and love. She just prayed that we would be able to find a family and accomplish our goal, and that the ward would be able to help us. She brought a tear to my eye and helped us grow in our desire to find this family. 

Also thanks for updating me on all my homies. Tell Jackson that I said Happy Birthday and that I love him a lot. Also tell Anna hi too! And thanks for the letters! I'll try and write you all back today. 

Those were events that happened on Saturday and Sunday, but the rest of the week was good too. I went to Paris on Tuesday for Elder G's legality. He's doing super good by the way. His French has gotten a ton better 
and he is always ready to work and helps me work hard too. I spent a night in Nivelles, a tiny ville outside of Brussels on an exchange and knocked doors in the rain for like 3 hours #soaked but for some reason, I had lots of fun. It's weird how that happens too, situations that seem kind of terrible, like getting rejected 24/7, and being soaked in freezing rain for hours at a time, turn out to be the things I love to do, because when you find that person that needs the gospel, it's worth it. 

And this week we're gonna keep going!! Everything rocks! I love being a missionary!! Have a super good week, work hard, help out the missionaries a little, and I'll talk to you next week! 

Elder Wood 

 Elder Wood and Elder G. (his baby)
 Elder Wood in front of the Basilica in his town
 Sunrise in Brussels from the balcony
 In Paris again for legality

Monday, October 14, 2013

Personal Revelation

Hey Everyone! 

I'll start with the cool story of our new Italian friend Nico. He totally came to church yesterday! Without being asked, because it is very difficult to communicate to him the message that we want him to keep coming, but he came on his own! And this time it was actually church, and we were able to introduce him to the Di Lillo family in our ward who are from Italy. They just roped him in and became best friends, and we found out that Nico has a family too! They will be moving here as soon as Nico finds a job. He has a wife, a 12 year old boy and a 19 year old boy. I really hope I get to stay here and meet them! But it was really cool and a huge miracle. I'm buying an Italian dictionary today. 

This week basically nothing that we planned happened, but a lot of really cool unexpected miracles happened! President Poznanski told us to start leaving the appartment at 10:30 every morning instead of 11, and to pray for guidance from the spirit so we can start teaching more. So, on wednesday on my exchange with Elder E, we did that! This is usually our least productive time of day, and our only plan was to follow the spirit and contact around our house. But we went out, and ended up teaching two lessons on the road! One to a guy who had been to our church many years ago and another to an investigator who we has lost contact with. It was a huge miracle and testimony builder. Personal revelation, am I right? 

Also my little bleu cut his head open yesterday. We stayed after church because we were going to give an investigator a church tour, and while we were waiting we decided to clean up all the leaves that got tracked inside. While Elder G was sweeping, he somehow hit his head on the massive firehose holder contraption and started bleeding. He was bleeding a lot. So much blood. But turns out, he just had little cut on his head. Where did all the blood come from? I don't know. He's okay now though!

Also, the weather is getting pretty crazy up here! Yesterday it was 10° C, and then it dropped to 6° C with wind chill and some really cold rain. I'm not sure what that is in farenheit, but it was cold. and wet. But also it was cool. 

Keep praying for us that we can find a family who will accept the gospel. Also pray that our investigators will progress towards baptism. We've set some pretty big goals, and we've gotta accomplish them! 

I love you guys! Keep working hard, having fun, and so on and so forth. And thus was the letter from Elder Wood, on the fourteenth day of October, in the two thousand and thirteenth year of our Lord. Talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood

Friday, October 11, 2013

A little Italian for ya

Bonjourno! Itsa mia, Elder Wooda! 

I'm going to learn Italian this week. How does it sound? I really want to learn Italian because of an awesome guy we met this week, and right now I will tell you what happened:

Saturday, all of our plans fell through. We had this cool idea to do Service Finding! So we got in our service clothes and were planning on knocking doors and asking people if they had any service we could do for them, just as a new way of finding people. We walked to the metro station and both looked at eachother and said "This is a bad idea, we should not do this." So, with that powerful warning from the Spirit we went home and changed back into normal missionary clothes. At this point we had no plan, because the man we were supposed to meet with cancelled, so we decided to get out and follow the Spirit. Maybe this wasn't the smartest idea ever, because I think the Lord expects us to be a little more prepared that we were, but things worked out okay. We followed the Spirit as much as we could and acted on every thought, and eventually found ourselves in the middle of the Muslim Commune. The muslin people are really kind, the actual practicing ones, but it's bad for finding because we are not allowed to teach or contact them because if they convert, they run a very high risk of getting killed if they ever return to a muslim country. So, we were very lost. We sat down, said a prayer, and decided to walk home because it was almost dinner time. We walked passed a bar and a little Italian guy popped out and stopped us to talk. The conversation went like this:

Nico: "Bonjourno! (itallian chichiblachliblah) Mormoni?"
Us: "Oui! Do you speak French or English?"
Nico: "No. (lots of itallian) Address? Missionarios?"
Us: "Oui! Heres the address!"

In reality this lasted about 15 minutes and there was lots more pointing and Italian involved, but what we understood was that his name was Nico, he is form the south of Italy and is here working, but had been meeting with the missionaries in Italy, and he's read the Book of Mormon all completely. He even called the missionaries in Italy so I could talk to them! But we just got his number and gave him the address to the church and then went home. The next day though, on our way over to the church for Preisthood session, there was Nico at the tram stop with his friend! They came to Preisthood with us and an Italian member of our ward very kindly translated for them, and we're going to start teaching him! What a miracle, eh? 

Then this week we also had Zone Conference with President and Sister Poznanski. I dont know if I've told you, but starting in July the mission's goal was to have 100 baptisms in 2 transfers, or 12 weeks. We reached 100 by week 10, and reached 115 by week 12! It was a huge accomplishment for the mission, especially because in the past, the months of July and August have been the lowest baptising months, because literally everyone leaves on vacation for weeks on end. But in this zone conference, we fixed a new mission goal. Every companionship to baptise one family before Christmas as a gift for the Savior. Wow! We are all really stoked about this new goal, and I really believe we can accomplish it. But, what was even cooler was in General Conference when Elder Ballard said: "If every member young and old would reach out to just one, millions would feel the love of the Lord Jesus Christ before Christmas. What a wonderful gift for the Savior" or something very similar to that. What a confirmation of my mission's goal and the inspration of our President! I thought that was so cool and am really excited to find this family! Pray for us! 

Seriously tons of other things happened this week, but this email would be way too long if I put them all. It's hard to chose just one or two miracles every week to share! My comp is doing so good, he's just a little boss. I really like him a lot and he's a great missionary. And he doesn't even do any weird stuff, that's me. Also, do you guys realize we were watching Conference at the same time?! And that's so cool that you were there! I actually tried to scan the crowd a little bit because I was thinking it was possible that you were there, so voila. I'm so grateful for the Prophet and apostles and for the spiritual boost they give us during each session. We got to go to our chapel and watch in English which was really nice, and members even came and watched and we all had lunch together. So fun. 

That's about it for this week! I love you guys, I'm proud of ya. The speakers talked a lot about families this weekend, and it made me very graetful to be a member of such a great one. Keep up the good work, champs. I'll talk to you next week! 

Love Elder Wood