"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, December 30, 2013

Light of Christ

Why Hello! 

I actually saw you guys and talked with you this week! That was so wild. And, just as I predicted, after the skype session I left the member's house, walked out the door into France. It really is so strange to just go back and forth like that, but what a blessing it was to talk to you all! I send my gratitude to whomever invented Skype. 

After Christmas we just jumped right back into the work like normal! The only difference being that all of our amis were still out of town and wouldn't be home until after New Years, so we filled our time with finding. And find we did! We met a really cool guy in an elevator that lived in Vannes, which is a city south east of Rennes, but he is now being taught by the sisters there with his family! I had a rather exciting exchange with Elder Evans, who knows the Arnels and the Jessees somehow. During that exchange a Chilean woman blessed us on the road, and a very drunk man tried to fight me on the bus. That was exciting.  Sunday was super good too because our ami Liz came to church for the third time and she really loved it. It still is strange to me how everything just seems to work out here! It actually seems like our whole mission is really progressing and seeing some huge miracles happening right how. It's such a cool thing to be a part this work! Our mission had over 300 baptisms this year which is so awesome! President told us this morning that we averaged about 26 per month which is really awesome. But, for the month of January 2014, we already have 49 baptismal dates in place! What progression! Missionary lyfe guys. It rules. 

I read Luke 11: 31-35 today. It talked about light, and how our eyes are the light of our body. If the light in our eyes is good, the rest of our body will follow. I felt like this related super well to missionary work, because as a missionary or a member of the church, everyone is watching us, no matter what we are doing at the given moment. Our role is to project this light that we have so that when people look in our eyes or see our action, it can spark in them too. I've seen this on my mission a lot, when people say "there is just something about you.." but they can place it, it's the light of Christ that they are seeing.This is something we talk about all the time and we've known sense we were small, but it's one of those things that is so important to put into action. Light doesn't just sit around, it goes forth and is bright and it warms and helps! So, people notice! Go out and show that gospel light! 

I hope you have a super good New Years! Don't get too crazy, but have fun! I love you guys, and I'll talk to you next year! 

Love Elder Wood

Monday, December 16, 2013

So Cool!

Rennes, France

Hello tout le monde! 

That basically means everybody. 

Rennes is so so cool! It's in western France in a department (county) called Bretagne. I'd say it's probably about the size of St. George, and it's got two universities, so there are lots of students. Some cool things that I'll get to do and see here are Le Mont Saint Michelle, which is a castle on a tiny island that you can only get to by land when the tide is down, a little city called St.Malo, which you can look up on the internet and see how cool it is, eat Gallettes, which are basically really delicious dinner crepes that are a specialty of Bretagne, and also there are lots of other castles and stuff to go and see. I'm so excited!!  The ward though is SO COOL!! Everyone used to be Catholic, so they all have such huge testimonies of the restoration, and they are really engaged in missionary work as well. It's only been 5 days, only 3 of which I have actually spent working in Rennes because of mission conference, but for now everything seems really perfect! Knock on wood, but I really think that great things are going to happen in this new ville! Elder Smith is in my new comp and is a total boss. He's in his 13th transfer, which is non-mission language means he has about 6 months left of his mission, and is just full of missionary wisdom to teach me about. I live in a cozy 4 man appartment again with Elder Evans from Midvale, and Elder Harris from Kentucky, who are opening up a new companionship here. They are some cool guys.  Also, get this, on Saturday we had  a ward Christmas party, which upon arriving to (does that phrase make sense?) we were asked to perform 2 suprise musical numbers! What? So, being that talented singer that I am, the other elders and I graced the ward with some beautiful Christmas songs that probably would have brought the spirit really powerfully, had we all been born with better voices. It was hilarious but also a great ice breaker and the next day at church everyone told us "good job" and we fixed lots of family home evenings with them and our investigators, who are also super cool here. Being a zone leader is super fun and I like it a lot! Friday we got to go to mission council and talk about cool missionary things. It was cool to be a part of and be able to participate and have that extra opportunity to serve. 

Also, I would like some more info on this, the Thompsons moved out? Are the people who replaced them members? Probably not if you got asked to fellowship them. But, that's so so cool! You guys gotta seize that opportunity! Let me know how it goes! 

Also some Christmas info: on the 25 I'll be able to skype you guys! Invite whoever you'd like, but I've gotta keep it to an hour, and it'll be anywhere from like 2 to 6 in the afternoon, France time, which I think means pretty early in the morning for you guys. I'll go for the latest possible so you can like open presents and not be zombies. Further info will come next monday

I'm not sure what else to write, which is pretty lame, but also we're runnin late today! I'll be more spiritual next week. Oh also my address here is:

Les Missionnaires
Elder Joshua Wood
29 rue Tanguy Prigent
35000 Rennes

C'est tous! Have a super good week, I love you guys! Be safe and share the gospel and everything, and I'll see you soon! 

Elder Wood

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The wise men

The three "wise men"

Hey there! 

I've gotta say, your letter's crack me right up. We don't have an emailing time limit, but sometimes I take too long because I'm laughing at your emails and reading to them to my comps. I have no idea if they like it, but they know all about you guys and that your so funny! Haha so thanks for being hilarious. 

This week was good! I can't remember if I told you or not last week, but one of the elders in my apartment had to go home because of some sickness, so we've been working in a trio this week. A trio was fun because we had double the investigators, so we taught double the lessons! We set goals for how many lessons we're going to teach each week, and sometimes its easy to get a little taken away in trying to accomplish your goals instead of really teaching the people because you love them, but this week I wasn't even teaching my own investigators half the time, and I realized even more how much happiness and joy this work brings. The idea of getting high numbers just went down the drain and we all were able to teach out of charity for these people, and because of that the Lord blessed us with some really good lessons and some new investigators! Last week was really good. 

So, you remember Anderson, the guy we prayed with, and then lost contact with him? We reconnected with him this week and taught him again! It went super well and we're seeing him again tomorrow before I leave. (which I will talk about in a minute) But we just decided to call him and he actually answered and said he was free, so we went over and the lesson was very spiritual! He brought up an interesting subject that confused me but ended up being really good; I'll try to explain. He pointed at the picture of Christ on the front of one of our pamphlets and said "Is that Christ?" and I said yes, and he said "How do you know?" I gave him a kind of lame answer like, the painter may have received revelation or something, because I was feeling rushed in trying to anwser his question. He brought up a couple other things and how he thought it was disrespectful to make an image of someone sacred like Christ, then a thought came to me of how to answer. I pulled out all the pictures of Christ that I had with me, and all of them were different. I showed him all of them and explained how they were all different, except the people who have seen Christ, we don't have an exact image of Him, but the important thing is not what he looked like, but what He did for us. We all got to testify of the Atonement and the Restoration, and afterwards he said he was really touched by our response, and that he had even a greater desire to know more. The spirit was so strong, and it was just cool to me and a testimony builder that the spirit will help us when we need him. 

And I got your birthday package this week! Whoa! Thanks so so much! You guys know what your doin! I really loved the music and the sweaters and especially, the chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I haven't had one of those babies forever. Merci! 

Also our ward Christmas party was on Saturday night! It was super fun, and on Saturday afternoon we got a surprise call from the bishopric asking if we could be the three wise men and give the kids gifts, we happilly accepted the invitation. Pictures will follow. 

Also coming back to transfers, President Poznanski called me today. I'm going to be a zone leader in a city called Rennes in western France!! Woop woop! Im so so excited! It's apparently the best ward, even better than Strombeek! I'll be taking a train through Paris and over there on Wednesday

Well family, that's about it for this week! I love you all so much and am so grateful for your support and the unity a mission can bring to a family. Keep preachin' the word and I'll see you soon! For real because it's almost Christmas!  

Elder Wood