"In the service of the Lord, it is not where you serve but how."
David O. McKay - Teachings of the Presidents of the Church

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

St. Nazaire

Bonjour family!
Well, here we are in St. Nazaire! This week was just out of control! Whitewashing is super crazy and pretty hard, but we were blessed this week for sure and saw some cool things happen.
First of all, St Nazaire is just an awesome place to be. It's kind of like Radiator Springs+Huntington Beach+France all mixed together. It's really small, and there is just one road where everyone does their shopping and everything else, and it's right on the coast. Our apartment is probably a 5 minute walk from the beach! Also they build cruise ships here. They are now in the middle of building the world's largest ship! Pretty cool, eh? But the most hoppin' part of St. Nazaire is the missionary work. We were left a little bit to do by the missionaries that were here before us, but not much! The first day we got here we just got to the apartment, dropped off our suitcases and went outside to contact, and the first guy we talked to became a new investigator! It was super cool and we were able to teach a few lessons in our first week which was awesome. And the branch, they are so great! I think I told you last week that there was about 20 but there are actually around 40, and they are super motivated to do missionary work! The second counsellor in the branch presidency is a convert of 2 years and he basically runs the show and it's super impressive, and our branch president is from outside of the city and has a farm, so he speaks hillbilly French! He's super fun to talk to and a super great leader.
​Last night we had dinner with the Poisbeau family. He is French, she is African. The conversation somehow turned to "bou bous", which are traditional African clothing. I said "I've always wanted a bou bou" and bam, she whips out 2 and gives them to us! Behold:

Also, this is my companion! Elder E, from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. He is in his 6th transfer, likes physics and maple syrup and loves serving the Lord. We're gonna get some stuff done here!
It's gonna be a challenge here but I'm up for it! I really like it and I've already learned a lot and I'm just excited to see what the Lord has in store for us. I love you guys! Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon. :) 
Elder Wood

4th of July


This was one wild week! I kind of felt like Dwight and Jim when they were the party planning committee because we had to plan a 4th of July party for our branch this week! Why celebrate American Independence in Belgium, you ask? Because everybody loves America! Even though Belgium did beat us in the world cup, tons of people came to the party! We played football (real american football!) ate pancakes and hot dogs and had a line dance. Needless to say it ruled! And the best part was that there were tons of non-members there, even the guy sitting next to us on the bus showed up! Luckily though we have 4 sister missionaries here, so that's

 probably the reason it was so good.  I just wanted to talk to the ami's and play football, so it worked out pretty well :) 

Then on Saturday our awesome friend Guy André got baptised!! It was probably the best baptism i have even been to because all the members that have helped him out were there and the spirit was super strong as he was baptised and testified of his life and conversion afterwards. It really is the same feeling for me though every time I get to see a baptism, that this is just whats supposed to be happening! Its not always some big huge magical thing but its a fulfilling sense, just a pure joy that comes from having helped someone come unto Christ. I got the opportunity to confirm Guy André a member of the church on Sunday! It really was a huge blessing for me and I'm really grateful for it. He really is going to be a huge addition to the branch here, he is really active already and wants to have a calling and get engaged, it was just so cool and such a blessing to teach him! He will definitely be a friend for life. And the next crazy thing iiiisssss....

Im getting transferred again!! SO nuts!! I completely expected to stay here in Liège, but I'm going to a little city called St. Nazaire in France! Its along the Western coast of France, its really pretty and there is a little branch of 20 people there. It will be a lot of firsts for me! My first 2 man apartment, my first small city, smallest branch I've even been in, and first time with a Canadian companion Elder E, and the first whitewash I've ever done! White wash means instead going in to a companion that knows the area, we will both be going in at the same noob level not knowing anything about the area! It sure will be an adventure and i am super excited! Im not zone leader anymore either which will be another change. So much new stuff!! When i found out i was super shocked but also i just got this feeling that it was for a reason. I have no idea what the reason is, but i know there is a really good reason i need to go to St. Nazaire. We're gonna get some work done! 

The last couple days have been full of surprises! And tonight and tomorrow ill be saying lots of goodbyes, kind of like Carley!! (Whom I love and am so proud of by the way) Missionary work is the best thing ever! I know Christ lives and that He leads the work today. It's not an act, it's just real life and real Eternal life that we're working towards, and what a crazy privilege we all have to be a part of that! I really love my mission :) I'm so happy here, and I'm going to be so happy in St. Nazaire and Carley in going to be so happy in Portugal!!

I'll cut it off here so I can get some packing and shopping done before tonight! I love you guys and I'm super grateful that you are my family. Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood