"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, April 27, 2015

Last Post

Dear Family, 

     Well, here we are! Who would have thought that a mission would go by so fast? I seriously considered just saying "See you on Thursday!" But I figured I could bust out one more meaningful email. Though i really don't know what to write at all! Its reeaaaalllly hard so sum up all that's going on in my noggin right now but the final result of all the thinking is just a huge feeling of humility and gratitude to Heavenly Father for the opportunity that i had to serve. Also in the last little while with the whole preparing to leave there have been some natural ups and downs, but i feel ready. I feel like the work has been done and that i really did do my best here, and i'm excited to leave things the way they are so thatElder Branchflower and his new companion can continue the work! 
     Last night we had one big old miracle that was a great way to finish off my last week. We were porting and looking for some less active members and we got to Sister Grouvelle's house. A man answered and we started talking, and he told us he was catholic and he "blessed" us, which was nice but i'm not sure that he meant by it, but he said that he wasnt interested really. As one last question we just asked what his family name was and he said Grouvelle, so we explained why we were there a little more and he let us in. Turns out Sister Grouvelle has Alzheimers, and doesn't remember much about the church, just that she believes in God. We prayed with her and her son, the catholic guy that answered the door, offered us a drink so we could talk more. We started talking to him about the restoration and his brother walked in, and we were able to teach both of them and give them Book of Mormons. They then explained to us that they were 2 of Sister Grouvelles 12 children, and that we could come back next week to continue teaching them and some of the other kids that would be there. How amazing is that?! So much possibility there! It really was a great miracle and i'm super grateful it happened. And i expect to see some more like that before Wednesday! 
     And that's that! I'm so grateful for this mission, and for our Savior Jesus Christ and for all that i've learned about Him and the relation that i have with him that has been so strengthened during this mission. And now, i'm excited to continue to serve and grow and learn and do what he asks for the rest of my life. I love you, Paris France. Salt Lake City, here i come. 

Elder Joshua Wood

Monday, January 26, 2015

2nd to last email!


     We had a great week here in good ol' Reims. It SNOWED!! I've only seen the snow like 2 times during my mission and they have both been here in the last month or so. Haha but it was great and super pretty. The other great things were the investigators we found this week! I really have gained a testimony that our comportment in life helps others feel the spirit and helps them live/want the gospel. Remember Guy-André, the friend that got baptised in Liège? The reason he wanted to meet with us is just because he saw us on the bus and the spirit touched him. We had that happen again this week with a young guy named Axel! We were on the bus and we were talking about the lesson we were going to teach, and Axel walked up to us and said something to the effect of, "Hey guys, what are you doing here? I have seen you a few times and I felt something push me to come talk to you." WOW! Could there be anymore blatant response to our prayers to find new investigators?! Of course, it's not always that easy, we work really hard and pray a lot to find new people, but I know that people are watching and waiting and being prepared to talk to us and to all the missionaries around the world. 
     Second most exciting thing was that we had a bunch of ami's and less-actives at church yesterday! We've been trying help a few less-actives get back to church with little success until yesterday. It's a huge blessing to see them take the sacrament and participate in Sunday School and get to know the members and everything. They are just coming closer and closer to Christ right before our eyes. Also, last night we had a cheese party, which consisted of the young adults from our ward, the missionaries and an Irish investigator, eating tons of cheese, playing ping-pong and learning about the love of God for us. After being with the young adults a lot on the mission, I feel like being in a singles ward won't be so bad! lol. For this week that's about all folks! I'm just grateful to be a missionary. Every minute that passes is a blessing. I know that this really is the work of our Lord, and I love Him and am so proud to call myself His disciple. 

    Have a great week everybody! Keep building the kingdom and stuff. I love you and I'll talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood 

Paris Disney

Hello everybody! 

I'm glad your all doing good after this week. I hope the rest of the family is doing well too, especially Grandma B, could you send my her address please? I'd love to write her.  

We had a really great week! A lot of our time with members is spent helping them share the gospel with their friends, but we don't often get many referrals. One a week would be great, but is doesn't always happen.  But, this week we fixed some goals and were definitely blessed because we received 2 referrals! Now, you may think, "come on Elder Wood, only 2?" but don't be fooled! This is 2 more people that want to have the gospel of Christ in their lives! And the real reason that I tell you this in that the story of the first referral is really cool. I will condense it for you. 

   So, in World War One there was a battle in a tiny city called Lucy-le-Bocage, which is approximately 1 hour driving time outside of Reims. During the battle, the cathedral in this city was destroyed, and nothing was left standing except the crucifix, which the soldiers looked to as a sign of hope that their faith in Christ would get them through the war. Then, recently, a film maker and a professor from BYU came to make a documentary of this story and met with the mayor and some other town officials to explain what they wanted to do. The mayor had a lot of questions about the church and the Professor told him that there were missionaries in the area that could respond to their questions. So, this week, we were given the information of the Mayor of Lucy-le-Bocage and the other town officials and were asked to contact them! So, nothing has happened yet, but we're contacting them today and hopefully we'll be able to see them really soon! It's pretty amazing to me though just how Heavenly Father works and how he gets the gospel message to people who wouldn't have had it other wise. So pray that we'll be able to meet with them soon! 

In other news, ate the most escargots I've ever eaten in my life this week, at a less actives members house, which was fun. And there is a fun tradition called a Gallette des Rois, or the Cake of Kings, which goes on in January. Everyone gets a piece of cake but one of the pieces has a little figurine in it, and whoever finds the figurine in their piece gets to be the king for the day. I've eaten probably 12 gallettes this month and I never win! So, one of the goals in the next 2 weeks is to win a gallette des rois. 

Other than those things, the work is going great. We are teaching some great families right now and it's a super huge blessing, and we are also doing a lot of searching for more families to bless! That is all I have to report on this week. I love my mission. Have a great week though and I'll talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood 

ps district meeting is just outside of Disneyland, how could we resist?! 

Hello everyone! 

This week. What to even say. It was a wild one tha'ts for sure! But with the gospel, all is well. The work of the Lord moves on and I'm so happy to be a part of it. 

As far as teaching goes this week was less-active central. We met a lot of out less actives and even met a new less active person to teach, and one of our favorites named Henri came to church for the first time in a couple months. We gave blessings and taught a lot about prayer, but it was super nice to be able to teach so many of them! Also, the comp Elder Branchflower is just a champion. His French is crazy Canadian but he sure can testify and he is doing so well, I feel really blessed to be his trainer. 

As far as the crazy terrorist things that went down in Paris, all is well! We were never in danger and nothing exciting happened really at all around us haha. So voila! No worries. 

As far as Grandpa Bradford, I'm just so grateful I got to have a grandpa as great as him. We taught about the Plan of Salvation this week to one of our investigator families and the spirit was strong, and I'm grateful that I got to teach that lesson and have such a good reminder of that great plan that Heavenly Father has prepared for us in this hard moment for our family. Many prayers have already been sent your way from over here and my comp and I will keep praying throughout the week. 

That's just about it for this week! I normally don't have to pay for emails but this week was an exception and the price in slowly climbing so we're going to have to cut it short this week. I love you all and I'm praying for you! Tell everyone else that I love them as well. Have a great week and I'll talk to you soon :) Au revoir! Bisous! 

Elder Wood 

Monday, January 5, 2015


I hope you guys had a killer New Years Eve and day! Can you believe it's 2015 already? Incroyable! This year started off rather interestingly for us, permit me to explain. 

Monday to Wednesday of last week were miracle filled days for us. On Monday night we found a Portuguese (Carley!) family of 5 to teach! They let us right in and we prayed with them and the spirit was really strong. They accepted baptismal invitations last night as well! It was exactly what our work needed at this time. On Tuesday we found a lot of people that said we could come back after the holidays, so this week, and on Wednesday day we taught a few people in the road and were able to help a less active woman in our ward. Wednesday night we went over to the Lethuaire's house for New Years Eve. Thursday was super good, we watched The Prince of Egypt, one of my new favorite movies, and ate with an 86 year old member who made us a gigantic meal and then we went and delivered cookies to all the single people in the ward. So everything went really well until then! 

Friday morning everything changed. We all woke up extremely sick and had major stomach problems. We have several guesses as to what might have caused it. The Lethuaires were all pretty sick a while ago, but didn't have the same symptoms, or it would have been the oysters (6 for each of us!) the sketchy mini pigs-in-a-blanket, or the weird chestnut turkey dish that our 86 year old Sr. Laval made for us. Whatever the cause was, it caused us 4 to lay in bed for about 2 days and do nothing but constant trips to the bathroom. I personally think it was the pigs-in-a-blanket because they tasted the most off, but I'm just glad its over. 

Then Sunday continued to be great just like the beginning of the week! In our sickly state our planning on Saturday night for what to do on Sunday night just ended up being "go north." Though it was a very vague plan, we followed it last night and ended up finding another family to teach! We taught the mom on the road and she accepted our invitation to come over and teach her family about the Plan of Salvation this week. $

So, from the ups and downs of this week the main thing that I noticed is that when we set high goals in prayer, Heavenly Father definitely helps us to accomplish them. I think that the reason we had so much success this week, even while having 2 days of no work, is because we faithfully set some realistic but high goals! I'm really grateful for the opportunity we had to help so many people this week. What more could you ask for as a missionary?? Not much really, just that these people progress to baptism!! 

I hope you guys all have a great start to 2015!! I love France! Talk to you soon! 

Elder Wood 
Hola Amigos, 

   I hope your post-skype-call Christmas was awesome! It's always great to see you guys. Weird that that was the last one! The rest of our day was good, we stayed at that members house and attempted to watch "The Other Side Of Heaven", which didn't actually work, then we just headed home and soaked up the rest of our Christmas day! The following days were up and down. You know how the day after Christmas is kind of strange because all the holiday hype fades away? I think all the Frenchmen were feeling the same lack of Christmas spirit because it was hard for us to find people to teach for a couple of days. But, we had an awesome post Christmas miracle last night! We were on our way to contact some less active families, but we could not find their apartment building. We turned around and there was a young women walking home, so we asked her for directions, and she ended up walking all around the apartment complex with us searching for this building, and when we got there, the family didn't even live there anymore. But she told us she had met the missionaries before so we got to talking, and we ended up teaching her and we're going to see her tomorrow! It was a great miracle for us because we were really in need of finding a new ami, and the tough moments definitely prepared us to meet her! 

  This is a short one, but really that's all for this week! Things are just moving right along in Reims and I'm super grateful to serve here! I love you guys and I hope you have a killer New Years! Au Revoir! 

Elder Wood 

Ps the good ol' camera is still on the fritz, and turns out the charger is still in St. Nazaire. Pardon! Pictures will come eventually. 


Howdy Cowboys
What a week! Just full of Christmas miracles. We are definitely being blessed here! My favorite miracle that I will share with the short email time that I have, happened with Jan and her sister, our new African friends. Last week (I don't remember if I already told you this or not? Sorry if i did!). We were contacting and we saw a couple ladies getting decorations for a party out of their car. We stopped and asked if we could help and they said yes. After we get everything is they went ahead and invited us to their African family party! We accepted that invite right quick and went over to the party later that night. At the party we mingled it up then invited the ladies we helped to our ward Christmas night and they said they would come, and they said yes! So the week passes and on Friday night, they showed up! They were impressed by how many people were there and the members did a super good job of welcoming them in and the members even invited them to church on Sunday. They weren't able to come this week but they said they really enjoyed the party and they gave us their phone number and we're going to go see them this week. Woop! Other chrimbus miracles include singing for many people at their doors, really cool change of heart conversations on the streets and members giving us lots of Christmas goodies.
Not only were the goodies delicious, but the feeling around this city and between people around Christmas time here has really impressed me. The members are feeling a little more bold with their invitations, people are really more open and willing to discuss and the spirit of Christ really is all around I think, even if not everyone might recognize it like that. But that feeling of joy and happiness and giving really is the spirit of Christ; That's what really counts during the season. I'm really grateful to be a missionary during this time and be able to be so focused on sharing the gospel and helping others, it's been a real blessing. I love you guys, I'm excited to be able to talk to you on Christmas! Have an awesome day and I'll see you soon :) BISOUS!
Elder Wood