"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, January 27, 2014

New comp, New Ami

Hello everyone! 

So I realized that I forgot to tell you, last week was transfer week! My great companion Elder S headed out to train in Namur, a little city in the south of Belgium, and I received Elder T as my new companion! He is a super cool guy from Tremonton, Utah. He likes soccer, wood working and serving the Lord. He's just one transfer younger that I am so, we've got a lot of learning to do, but we are gonna rock it here. This week went really well!  One of the coolest things that happened was that we were able to fix a baptismal date with one of our amis! He is an old investigator from 2012, but he came to church on his own last week and we got to talking. We taught him with a family from our ward this week, then yesterday he accepted the invitation to be baptised on the 15th. The really cool thing that I noticed was the visible change in him. He was more and more prepared by the Lord each time to accept this invitaion so when it came, he was ready. It's so cool to be able to help people make these eternity changing steps in their lives and I'm super grateful to be a missionary! Sometimes it surprises me that the Lord would entrust a bunch of young kids with such a sacred responsibility, but He really knows what He's doing, because it works! Lately we've been getting back in contact with lots of old investigators too and it's been going really well. We've been focusing a lot on really working for the right reasons and inviting people to come unto Christ and it's cool to see the difference. Often, it's easy to get caught up in the "numbers" aspect of things but when you really work out of love for others and leave the numbers aside, the work goes so much better. Not only do you feel better about all your efforts but you also do see your numbers get better! We've been teaching a lot lately and it's a huge blessing to work here at this time right now. Our ward is so awesome that they chose to use basically the whole month of January to teach about missionary work in church, and yesterday at Ward Conference, they talked about missionary work as well. Europe is so ready for the gospel! 

I am pretty short on time for this week so I've got to go, but thank you for all that you do and keep praying for the missionary work to progress! I love ya a lot, and I love being a missionary. Talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bonjour ma famille! 

I am going to explain the events that happened this week, let you try to formulate some idea of how nuts it was then I will attempt to articulate how I am feeling. I will reassure you that I am happy as a clam, but your just gonna have to read! 

Liz. She was doing so good. We had several lessons planned for this week to teach her the remaining commandment lessons and answer all questions before her baptism on Saturday. The first lesson was scheduled for Wednesday, 4 days before her baptism. We headed over super excited to teach! When we got there, her mom answered the door, not in a very happy way. She told us right away ther we were no longer allowed to see or talk to Liz, that she could not come to church anymore or get baptised. We tried to reason with her and let her know that this is something that would bless Liz's life, but she doesnt understand the message so she is very scared to have her daughter change, and won't listen so that we can explain either. It was one of the saddest moments of my mission. She talked at us for a while and then we went out and sat in the car to regroup a little. After a little cool down and regaining a logical thought process I realized that everything was okay. Liz knows the church is true and has a great desire to be baptised, so it will happen one day! All we could do was accept that, and keep going with faith to find others. So, that's what we did! 
The other days of the week were so good. We taught more lessons this week than I ever have before on my mission. We found the most prepared people I have ever found before, 2 old investigators came to church and one of them said he was ready to be baptised, and we saw the baptism of one of the sister's investigators that we have also taught named Sophie! She is 23 and from north eastern China, here doing studies. The sister missionaries found her on the bus a little while ago and she felt that the message was true instantly! Me and my comp were witnesses for the baptism and basically the whole ward was there. I'm sure that she will one of the pioneers of the church in China one day. We got in contact with someone's old amis too, who were really great. The one that came to church and said he wanted to be baptised is Bob, then we recontacted and taught a man named Gaston and the Mari family. There are lots of other really great things that happened this week and I'm super super happy with how all the work is going right now! 

But do you see the conflict?! It was just a super up and down week! The highest highs and the lowest lows,  that's how the mission goes. That was a completely unintentional rhyme, good job Elder Wood. And the other weird thing is that at the end of every day no matter what has happened I'm still so so so happy. It's this unexplainable happiness that overcomes fatigue and sadness and stress and whatever else you can think of. That's the basic feeling of being a missionary. Haha, so ya! That was the week! 

I hope this all made sense, but I've gotta go! I love you guys and I'm really grateful for you! Keep up all the good work you do, and I'll talk to you next week. 


Elder Wood

Friday, January 17, 2014

Crazy Week


This week was nuts you guys! Also I'm sorry this email is so late. I will explain why right now! I"ll start with a general run down of the week: 

Monday- preparation day; 
Tuesday- Mission leadership council. This was to announce the new mission moto for this year. It's Doctrine and Covenants 64: 33-34 (read it..) It's really good right? I'm really excited about it! We are focusing as a mission on being willing  and obedient. The whole time I was listening to President Poznanski present the theme, I thought of the new film Ephraims Rescue. (I had no idea Savanna was in that one too?!) But Ephraim was willing to follow the Lord and did what he was prompted and told to do, and when the time came for him to go and rescue the Saints, he was prepared and able to do what was necessary and ended up being an incredible instrument in the hands of the Lord. I feel like this is something that we all need to strive to do. What an inspired mission president that I have! Also mission/leadership council is in Paris, so that means gathering the missionaries from all sides of Bretagne and having them sleep in our apartment then buying lots of train tickets and it's nuts, but I like it. 
Wednesday- Exchange! I went with Elder Puirau, my new Tahitian friend. If you don't know how to pronounce his name you can just call him Elder Pollyhooha, because that's what we said before we knew how to pronounce it. For lack of time I will say, it was very good. 
Thursday-Friday- Zone Conference! We taught our zone about the new mission moto and ate lunch and it rocked, then we went and hopped onto another train to Paris to do an exchange with our AP's who are super cool. I was with Elder Dussere, a Frenchman from Marseilles. Then we headed back and taught Liz! She is going super good and her baptism is still going strong for this saturday
Speaking of Saturday- We finally had a normal day of work! I think it was one of the most teaching-filled days of my mission, so it was super good! 
Sunday- was so cool! Liz cancelled plans with another lady so she could get to church and announce her baptism to everyone. Then later that night she built up the courage to tell her mom she was getting baptized (because her mom is super catholic and was very against her coming to church for a while) but her mom accepted and was fine with it and is coming to the service! 

Then we have today! A very nice member named Sister Fellon took us over to Le Mont Saint Michel and it was a load of fun. I got you a postcard  so you can see it. That is actually the reason why I am emailing so late. We didn't get home until later, so we had to shop later, and then we had a far away lesson, but we couldn't wait until tomorrow to do emails. Not because we didn't have the will power but because we needed to email our president, so voila. 

I appologize for the lack of spirituality in this letter, but because we are super late I need to cut it short! I love you guys and am grateful for you! Have a really good week, I hope you enjoy all the Belgian things I sent you, and I'll talk to you later! Au revoir! 

Love Elder Wood