Monday, April 28, 2014

It's P-Day Again. This Week Went By Quick!

Hola Familia! 

Out in a California downpour, it felt great.
How are you all doing? I’m doing pretty good! Just soakin' up the Cali sun every day! It rained here so all the smog and haze is gone. Now we can see the mountains and downtown LA which is sweet! That’s good to hear about how you are thinking about doing another mission.   

 Well this week went by very quickly. I can’t believe it’s already P day again! We had an investigator go to jail this week and she got sentenced to 5 years in prison for selling like $20K worth of Meth, so yeah pretty crazy. It is really sad because she left behind six kids. A couple are in and out of jail themselves, but the others are just young little kids and they are now living with their grandma. They are always talking about how "mommy is a bad person". It’s really hard to hear them say that, and we just try to help them as best as we can so that they aren't so sad about her leaving.

The LA Temple is beautiful, even at 6 AM.
Well, besides that, all of our other investigators pretty much ignore us and they are not making times to meet with us this week. We have only had  two set lessons, and the rest of the time has been spent knocking
At T's chicken farm. Check out the hat!
doors and riding around on our bikes. We did participate in a Helping Hands service project on Saturday which was good! We helped clean up Whittier’s parks and raked leaves and trimmed bushes, etc. It was like four hours long, so I can now officially say I have done a service project on the mish!  

Last night we attended a baptism for the B family. There were four people in the family and the baptism was packed. The whole ward came. It started at 7 pm and we soon realized that the B family and also the ward mission leader, Hermano C, weren’t even there. Eventually they showed up at like 7:20 and it started. It was actually a really good baptism!  Elder M, our Zone leader, baptized one investigator and then realized he had his camera in his pocket! So his camera is ruined and all his pics are gone! That was pretty sad.   

Elder H has a slack line and we like to practice in the park on P-day.
We went out to lunch with a member on Saturday afternoon and I tried octopus. We went to this seafood place. The octopus was pretty awful! It looked like a purple mess with all of its tentacles and suction cup things. It was like eating a gummy bear, at least the texture part, haha.

Besides that, this past week was really quick. I am also looking forward to calling home on Mother’s Day! I’m still not sure yet on the details as to when I will be calling home, but I will keep you posted!  Hopefully this upcoming week we will have more success! We just need to work and pray harder! The Lord will put people in our path in his place and time. So we just gotta have faith.

Well I hope you all have a great week! Sounds like everything is going well back home.  I miss and love you all! Stay safe!

Elder Woffinden

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Baptism on Easter Sunday, What a Great Way to Thank the Lord.

Hola familia!!

Como estan? Life sounds good back home, and it sounds like you all had a pretty good Pascua! Yes, I got the package you sent and thanks so much!! It really was so awesome, and I loved the Laker cup and Superman shirt!!  Did the grandparents get the letter I sent a while back? Tell them I say hi and love them! I’m so glad you got the text that T sent you after the baptism, haha. I was hoping you would respond back soon and you did, just as we were about to leave. It was so good to have you respond back so quickly!

T on his baptism day, Easter Sunday.
The baptism was awesome! T was so pumped, and so were we, haha. He asked me to baptize him last Monday and I was shocked and thought he was joking at first, haha. But I accepted even though I was terrified to do it in front of the whole ward. I was so nervous when it was time for me to baptize him even though I had practiced the prayer at least a 1000 times. I paused for about 10 seconds, and then I baptized him. It all went very well for my first time.

Today we went to the Los Angeles Temple. We left at 5 in the morning, so I am very tired right now, ha. It was so cool! The temple is way nice and it’s huge! I didn’t know this temple was so big, I was impressed. On the way there we drove past downtown LA and, of course, the Staples Center was on the right side of the freeway. I was mesmerized by it until we couldn’t see it anymore, haha. You can see the Hollywood sign from the temple
The Los Angeles Temple is beautiful and it's HUGE!
way off in the distance, so now I can say I saw it on my mission. The temple was a very enjoyable and relaxing experience for me.

Well, this week was good and crazy, ha. It was pretty slow at the beginning, but on Wednesday I was on an exchange with Elder Jenkins and we went to a house for a quick lesson. Afterwards they invited us to eat lunch with them, which we of course were excited about, haha. Anyway, they brought out a bowl of peppers, and I can’t remember the name of the pepper, but I tried one and WOW! I honestly about died! It was one of the hottest things I have ever eaten. It hurt to talk, breathe, and even drink liquids, haha. But, that’s not the worst part. The next morning I woke up so sick to my stomach, I felt horrible. To make a long story short, I was sick for 3 days and wasn’t able to do any work on a bike because I had to go to the bathroom every 10 minutes, it was horrible! Thankfully I got better on Sunday morning, an Easter miracle, and was able to go to church.

Elder H and I are doing great. We get along very well and he makes things fun even in the hard times. We are having more success and we have 4 new investigators that I’m hoping will stick with it and allow us to share our message with them.

That pretty much sums up my week--got sick, had a great first baptism, got some new investigators we are hoping to teach this week and then went to the temple today, so yeah, it was a pretty great week. I hope this week goes well for you all! I wish Meg and Ashley have a happy birthday! I love you guys so much and I miss you daily. Stay safe and thanks for all your love and support!!  Hasta luego familia!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, April 14, 2014

We Are Having Our First Baptism on Easter Sunday!

Hola familia!
Hey it’s great to hear from you! First, I’d like to say that next week we are going to the temple so I will be emailing on Tuesday not Monday because that will be our P-day, just a heads up.

Today we got to go to Signal Hill.  The view was fantastic!

So yeah, T is getting ready to be baptized on Easter Sunday! I’m so happy!  We are excited, but also nervous, haha. We hope everything goes the way we want it to. I attended my first baptism here on Thursday which was good, but kind of chaotic.

Well, I’m sorry to hear about everybody getting sick! That sounds awful. I had to go to the doctor here today, haha. Yeah, so I guess I have some kind of skin fungus infection thing that has been spreading for the past couple weeks. I had to go get a prescription today to help with that. Yeah, gross I know, haha. Today I also went to Signal Hill in Long Beach
Behind me you can see the Queen Mary...kind of.
and got a view of downtown Long Beach, the Queen Mary and the spot where we picked up our cruise ship, so it was awesome getting to do that! On Saturday we went to Seal Beach. I wish we could have gone onto the beach, but we couldn't, so we just looked at it from our cars, haha. It was great though! The smog here makes it so you can never see anything from a distance, so actually seeing the ocean was awesome.

How did Dad like Toronto? I’m excited to get the package! We are seeing everybody get packages here and we feel left out, haha, jk. I’m super jealous that Dad gets to do that bike race, that sounds awesome! I want to do one when I get home. I basically bike 50 miles uphill every day here anyway so I think I’m ready for one, haha. My companion is from Phoenix, your favorite city! Well, I hope you guys have a great Easter week; you will be missed! I wish I could be home for it.

It was great to see Seal Beach and the ocean,
even if just from a car window.
Well, this week was good and bad, but that’s just a normal missionary week, ha. It was full of biking all around town to people pretending to not be home even when we can see them sitting watching TV in their living room.

This week was, once again, another very hard week for me with the language. I froze while giving a spiritual thought. All eyes were on me and I was so embarrassed. This language is beyond frustrating. Yesterday we had 3 investigators come to church that we started talking to this week! So it was great having them show up. I was going to bear my testimony since it was Fast Sunday, but I got up on the stand and the bishop told me to bear it next month.  Yeah, not sure why!??  I was super bummed about it, but, whatever, it’s all good.

Mom, send more money for groceries.  I'm ready to eat just about anything!
Lizard's Tail

Have a great week. Thanks for all your support and love and know that you're all in my prayers! Stay safe and I look forward to hearing from you again.

Elder Woffinden

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Companion, New Crib, Doing Good.

Hola familia!

Como estas??   Sounds like a plan mom, I will be expecting your emails in total Spanish next time then, ha! I’m so glad you got the package I sent.  It was just full of some cool stuff from Mexico and I thought it would look good hanging somewhere in the house.   Well, thank you so much for the advice and for your example to me and for supporting me through my struggles. How did you guys like conference?? I really enjoyed that food spitting talk too because it is so true.  We have seen people do all kinds of crazy in front of us, such as going to the bathroom all over the road, chasing you down on your bikes because they are drunk, or just trying to purposely make you mad to see how we will react to their remarks.  So yeah, missionary life is hard, haha.

Last week was a very hard week for me that’s for sure, but I will tell you this week was better. What are the plans for Easter?  I can’t believe Brad is engaged!!   That is so crazy! Tell him and Jessica congrats!  That's so awesome.  This week was long for sure, the days seemed like years sometimes, but having conference this week was literally a holiday for us, haha. We just sit back and watch it at the church all day and go and eat at members houses after so it’s sweet!   Yesterday, a little girl made me a yellow and purple elastic bracelet looking thing cause she knows I’m a big Lakers fan, so I was super excited about that! We had T (one of our investigators) come to conference on Saturday and Sunday morning sessions so we were super happy to see him there! It was in English of course and he speaks both, so I was so grateful I could hear what the Brethren had to say.  Oh, good news BTW…T accepted our invitation to be baptized on the 20th!! Super stoked for him even though I have only helped teach him like 3 times, it's still pretty cool to have a baptism coming up in 2 weeks!   Our other investigators are J and G.  They aren't progressing as much and they just don’t want to follow the commitments we set for them which is understandable.  I understand addictions.  Life is hard and it’s not easy to change, so I completely know what they are going through. We aren't having any real success besides that though.  A lot of people do not like seeing us walking around.  Last night we had 4 older guys try to stop us and they offered us beer and said we got girls in the garage for you guys and then some other explicit language was said to mock us, but it was funny and I just laughed at them.  They were just lame drunk guys trying to push our buttons, haha.

Elder H and I.
My companion Elder H and I are getting along better, he is from AZ and actually served his first year in Colorado, but then got sent home and came back out here in January.  He speaks super good Spanish which is good.   He is like me personality wise, so it’s funny at times, but then again also difficult in some ways.  We are having struggles finding people and are often discouraged, but that is just the mission life in a nut shell, haha. It is super hot here in Whittier; high 90s this week and we hear the summers get boiling here, so it’s gonna be a hot summer for sure! We want to go mountain biking next Monday for p-day, but we just need to find a ride, ha, because we don’t have a car.  I can see downtown LA from some of the busier roads and I want to go there so bad, mostly just to go to the Staples Center, haha.  But, we are going to the temple on the 22nd so we can go downtown which I’m pumped for!

The language sucks, haha. I get picked on at dinners for my lack of speaking and everybody speaks in slang and in Spanish just to annoy me, haha. I am getting better at reading in Spanish and pronunciation of the words, but speaking and understanding is a totally different matter and is super difficult, haha.

I found out we are not allowed to have protein and or work out in our mission! I am devastated, ha. We are only allowed to run in the mornings which is awful, and they don’t want us to buy protein because they don’t want elders to gain muscle mass which is totally foreign to me, haha. So yeah, I’m pretty shocked by this news. So Brooke you might actually win our bet after all... ha.

Better Homes & Gardens it ain't, but it's home.
Our new apartment is good. It’s big, but was super dirty.  We spent so much time last week cleaning it because the elders before us destroyed it.  It had nasty trash everywhere and dirty dishes, carpet stains etc.  Plus, we have like 4 couches which we have no need for, so we just stacked two on top of each other to save space, haha.
Can you guess which bed is mine?
The pans and dishes look like death and are all warped so cooking is a nightmare, haha.

Yes, I am still cooking pancakes and eggs almost every morning mom just like back home, haha. I’m excited to be getting your package this week!! Cant wait!

SO, question, did you not meet Hermano Trejo?? Just curious. Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you all and miss you, but stay safe!

Elder Woffinden