"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, September 2, 2014

Whats up family! 

What a week folks, what a week. Let me tell you about it. 

We surprise found a sweet less active! We were just porting in a building, had no idea that she lived there, then she anwsered the door! We had a great lesson, her neighbor was interested too, and she came to church yesterday. So cool! Little miracles! 

Thursday we had our first real interveiw with President and Sister Babin and they went super well! Dispite the fact that we were in Anger (the city, we weren't angry) literally all day, we got to know the Babin's really well and they taught us some really great things about being consecrated. Its cool how we can always always improve ourselves. I made the decision at the beginning to be a consecrated missionary, like many others do, but the conference helped a ton to just refocus and learn more and be even more consecrated then before! Also Pres. Babin is super cool and kind of reminds me of a gray haired, french Super Man. 

Sunday was also really cool because at fast and testimony meeting all the young men (all 4 of them) got up and bore their testimonies about Scout camp and EFY. I was just kind of thinking about when i went to those kind of things and how much it prepared me for my mission, even though i didnt really see how much it would help at the time. One thing that i really have learned is thats its just the little acts that change us. Going to EFY or Scout camp really is not that big a deal, but the principles and lessons taught there can be eternel! Im super grateful that i got to do those. So, all you young men and women, or possibly moms who can pass this message to their young men and women or i dont know, go to EFY and Scout camp! It will help you much more that you know. 

Also these photos are of something called a Doleman, pretty sweet eh? Its kind of like a little mini stone henge and there are tons of them all around Bretagne, which is the region of France im in. We went with the Harris couple this morning! Its funny how such little moments become so exciting as a missionary haha we were only there for about 20 minutes but it ruled. 

Thats about it for this week. The work is progressing and your prayers work! Thank you so much for your support and prayers and everything. I love you and ill talk to you next week. :) bisous! 

Elder Wood 
Hello family and friends! 

Have you ever seen the mormon message with the prospector who leaves his home to go look for gold?? He searches around for gold for days and just doesn't find what he wants, so he has a dramatic/kind of funny moment when he throws a rock in the the river and yells,"Theres no gold here!!" Then, an older prospector comes along and helps his realise that he shouldn't be looking for huge nuggets of gold, but just the little tiny flakes, and the prospector finds what he was looking for all along. 

This week i totally had a "Theres no gold here!!" moment. We've been working and working and just havent been able to find the people we're looking for. I was just frustrated and worried and kind of embarrassed that we werent succeeding how I wanted. Finally though I just was humbled, and asked Heavenly Father for some help. Sometimes our desires to go good and help and succeed are so big that we dont count the little successes that we are having. So I went back through the week and just tried to count our miracles and this is what i found!: 
-We ported into an old investigator who said she is again interested in taking the lessons. 
-We helped a less active member take down her wall paper, service rules. 
-We got several referrals from members and a random woman who had received a brochure a long time ago called and wants to meet up with us! 
-We spent a day with two young men in the branch and talked to them about preparing for their missions. 
And there was just a lot of little gold flakes like that that had happened that I had missed. The Atonement is such a great thing because it allows us to start over and do better no matter when, no matter what! I am so grateful for this power and opportunity that I have to use the Atonement in my life and to help others do the same. I love being a missionary, and i love our Savior so much! 

So, the old Prospector showed me how to be grateful and find the little flakes, and now everything is great! Everything is golden, i guess you could say  and we are going to have a killer week! Also, last miracle of the week, we found some apartments to tract out and the parking lot was full of kittens!  They are too fast to be touched, but thats probably good because i am too allergic to be touching kittens. So voila, that was the week. Thank you for your prayers and all that you do, go share the gospel this week! 

Elder Wood 
Greetings from ST. NAZ-AIR! (thats how you pronounce it) 

This week we moved and it was a DOOZIE. There was a senior couple named the H's that worked here as well, but they finished their mission last week so we got to move into their apartment! There are serveral good and bad aspects of this move:

Good things: Their apartment is quite large! Double the size of our old one. The old one was pretty small, but it's ok. We possibly will inherit their car. We live super close to some families in the branch. And we didn't have to buy that many groceries because they left us a ton of food. 

Bad things: Listing bad things is lame, but the only thing I feel is necessary to say is that the apartment was A. MESS. We cleaned for 3 days!! 3 days, people! It's still not totally clean, but we're getting there. 

We also had two of everything! Two washers, dryers, 4 desks, 3 beds, what to do with all these extra things you ask? We were able to help some members and the local community by giving the beds and washer and dryer and tables and things, but at the end of the day we had 2 desks to give away still that we didnt know what to do with. But, fun fact, in Europe/France there are lots of Gypsies. Turns out that its completely socialy acceptable and within the law to leave your extra things outside on the sidewalk, because the gypsies will come and take them! So we haven't checked back yet but I'm pretty sure by now they have snagged up our two old desks. So that was exciting. 

So this week I learned that gypsies will take all your old stuff, but also some more about patience! Obviously we would have much rather have been out teaching and finding than cleaning the appartment and moving things, but to the end of the week i looked back and we were still able to see some little miracles with the moments we had to work with. It just makes me grateful for all the time that i have and i want to use it to its fullest! I love the Savior and His work here, a mission is a true priviledge! i love my mission so much. A few months ago i would have been a little sad and scared about going home, but it really is just going to be a moment of rejoicing and a celebration of 2 years well spent in the service of the Lord! And more than anything im just motiviated to put my shoulder to the wheel and accomplish more here! #alwaysinthemiddle

Anyways haha I get a little carried away sometimes! Thats all for this week folks! i love you and wish you week full of joy and gospel spreading! bisous! 

Elder J. Wood
Buenos Dias! 

How is everybody? Good? Thats good. Im glad your all home safe from Lake Powell! This week was pretty wonderful. Our amis are doing well and we were able to find some new people as well! And im finally LEGAL!! Thursday we went down to Paris and to renew my temporary legality thing, and they had me actual card ready, so voila! That was a little miracle all in its own. While we were there we also got to meet some people! Talking to people EVERYWHERE is so important. We are often lead by the spirit to find new people who are ready for the gospel, even if we dont always have some sort of miraculous revelation. Often we dont even know we are being lead, so you just have to put your faith in the Lord and talk to everyone around you! The people we met in Paris were super cool and it was great to be able to just testify to them. Sometimes you are lead by the spirit as well, you testify and teach, but people dont accept the gospel. Its seems super weird in the moment and we tend to get a little confused or a little frustrated, but its important to remember and have faith that the spirit continues to work with people and that we are just intruments in the Lords hands. We had many experiences of these two kinds this week, nothing super huge, but it helped me a lot just to be grateful for all the little blessings that the Lord gives us as missionaries and as members of His church. I feel like this was kind of a collage of spiritual ideas haha so i hope you understand what im trying to say! Basically this week the work just boiled down to faith and gratitude. Also im really grateful for the boardwalk by our house, because its really pretty and there are loads of young families there. 

And voila, thats about all! Elder Ericson and i will be staying in St. Nazaire for another 6 weeks, and there is work to be done! I love you guys and hope you have a super great week. Talk to you later! 

Elder Wood 

this is not nearly as bad as my farmers tan

Hello Famille! 

Well, I guess you won't get this until your home from Lake Powell, lucky ducks! Being by the ocean eases the pain, haha jk. but really. 

This week, where to begin! Had some cool things happen. We are finally starting to find some new people and baptisms are going to happen! It's been kind of cool to just see the real power of faith at work. Go out the door believing something is going to happen, and it does! The next step to keep that up is to just thank the Lord for what he allowed to happen and do it again. I also got to do an exchange with the legend and my old companion Elder Louis! It was just like old times, me just following in amazement as he finds and teaches in a ville he doesn't even know. Haha not literally, but it was fun because we got a lot of work done together. He is going home in like 2 weeks! It's weird because most of the people I knew in the mission are already home by now! They are all sending me photos and everything and it makes me feel so weird, I don't feel like any life but the mission exists! But from some in depth discussions with ElderLouis, I gleened some steps to staying focused, which are: 

1. Set goals.
2. Do daily personal self evalutations. 
3. Have good morning studies. 
4. Don't think of home
5. Cherish every minute. 

Also there are just a couple other phrases that are seemingly cheesy but effective when put in practice! "Do it. Do it right. Do it right now." and the definition of Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again, expecting the same results. Doing all those things helps you stay focused and work effectively no matter where you are in your mission! And i feel like i said this a couple weeks ago but really all that i have learned during my mission is just being put to the test in St. Nazaire! Its a challenge but its so much fun here and things are looking up! I wager that Elder Ericson and I will stay together for another transfer, because this week is the last week of the transfer. We'll see though, anything is possible! 

Also this morning we went through the Escal' Atlantique, which is the Cruise ship museum here! It was super fun and we learned tons of useless fun facts about french lines, which im sure will have some purpose sometime in life. Usless facts never really end up being useless, the Lord did tell us to gain knowledge, right?! 

That was the week folks, and it ruled! I hope yours was equally awesome and that you are safe in lake powell or with working or in the mtc :) I love you! Bye! 

Elder Wood