Monday, June 23, 2014

We Had a Pretty Good Week!

HOLA familia!! Que honda!?

Meet my new companion. He gets a thumbs up!

Thanks for the email! Im glad to hear how good things are back home!! But mom, I hope you have a blast at Lake Powell! I am beyond jealous! I wish I was at the lake getting some sun wake boardin’ it up!

Well this past week was good! And my new comp Elder H is a really cool guy. He is 19 from Payson, Utah and loves to play basketball which is fantastic! We are going to play after I write this letter. He has been out for 9 months and though my first companion, Elder H’s Spanish is way better, we still manage to get by on what we know, haha. We found 9 new investigators this week! We even had a random lady stop us on the road and gave us a referral (which didn’t turn out), but still it was some success. We have been doing well and had one of the better weeks I’ve had while on my mission. However, my Spanish is still a huge hill I am climbing for sure. This past week we met all kinds of good people and performed some service for a lady who needed her leaves raked from her lawn which eventually turned into a Lesson 1 and a return appointment, ha, it was cool. She will have to be passed on to the English elders this week though if we are able to meet with her again, but it’s still all the same work.

Elder H saying goodbye to T before leaving.
Unfortunately Eddie, Tony’s brother, isn't getting baptized--the elders ended up dropping him!!! We were so upset. He was on fire with us, but then somehow lost interest when we gave him over to the Young Adult Elders. It’s really hard to hear that, but I hope that one day he will talk to the missionaries again and get that final push he needs. We also have been working with one of my favorite families, the M’s, this week. They are less active and are way fun to be around and talk to. We have tried so hard to get Hna. M to attend church. We went by their house like 5 times this week and she still didn’t attend on Sunday, so that was hard. In the end people still have their agency to choose whether to go or not. We also have been teaching Hno. E, a less active son of the familia E who are active in the ward. Both he and his girlfriend T, who is Catholic, allowed us to teach them on Wednesday and came to church yesterday! Though they only stayed for Sacrament Meeting it was still great to see them there! We have a return appointment this Wednesday, so I’m hoping that it goes well and we can get them
Hno. P, the funniest guy in the ward.
excited about the message we have. Elder H and I, as a form of finding people to teach have been going by Parnell Park to challenge people to a game of basketball. If we win, they let us teach them, and if we lose, we leave them alone, haha! Sadly, nobody has accepted our offer yet, but we are going to keep trying this week, so I’m pumped for that, haha. It’s weird having a new district and companion. I was so used to my last one and then all of a sudden, a huge change happened within 12 hours, ha.

We also have been going crazy with the World Cup. My whole ward doesn’t talk about anything else, haha. Yesterday we were able to watch the U.S. play Portugal which was a great game! Don’t worry, we only saw the last 10 minutes of the game. We were out contacting and came across a super cool Catholic guy who asked us to watch the ending, and we couldn’t say no. So yeah, ha!

Well that sums up my week; it was pretty good! I hope we continue to have the success and a good attitude about the work. I hope all is well and I hope your week is great! Thanks for all the support and love!


Elder Woffinden

Monday, June 16, 2014

Transfers are Here, I Get a New Companion

My District in Whittier
Hey Familia!! How’s it going?? Thanks for the email they are always appreciated! Also thanks for all the letters and things you send me! It really makes my week better. Well this past week flew by! I am officially done with my training and Elder H. leaves tomorrow in the morning for LB East.  Lucky him because that’s the area that is having the most success. haha   But it’s crazy to think it’s over.  My new comps name is Elder H. and I will meet him tomorrow.  Hopefully, he is a cool dude.  I know nothing about him so sorry.  Well, this week was good, we taught some really cool people and got two new investigators this week.  They are just like

Me and Elder Pecht
the normal nice friendly catholic people who just let you in because they can’t say no.    Maybe they will turn into something down the road who knows.   We also taught a less active lady this week her name is A. and she is awesome! She wants her 21 year old son to serve a mission, and he honestly hates us. haha   I told her my experience in the best Spanish I could and it was great.  She started crying and my comp and I almost did too! The spirit was so strong there!  She came to Stake Conference on Sunday, too so I am really happy for her!  I hope we can work with her sons because I know exactly what’s going on in their heads and I feel I can help them, but they just hate us so... who knows.  We talked to a ton of crazy people this week.  You can find some of the funniest people just walking or riding along the streets.

After mountain biking, I thought I could use a bath.
We went mountain biking today for starters! It was awesome and it felt so good to do something really fun for once!  Yeah the mountains here definitely suck compared to home.  However, it was nice to get out of the dirty smog.  This past week we talked to J (an old former investigator).  He let us in because he was watching the World Cup just like everybody here (I will explain more later), but basically it was to tell us that he watched a video about Mormons and how now he doesn’t ever want to be one. It was an anti-LDS video which just filled his mind with all sorts of crap and crazy stuff!  It was awful and we tried to talk to him about it, but he just wouldn’t have it.  It was hard losing J because he really was like a friend to us, not just a guy we used to teach.   
Taking in the view!
We had to leave and probably won’t see him for a while.  Now back to the World Cup, wow it is crazy here. ha-ha People in our ward and in Whittier in general are losing their minds over it!  Nobody answers the door or phones because they are watching Mexico or another team play.  Honestly, I don’t blame them because I would be too, if I was home.  It just makes missionary work hard. We had a baptism we attended yesterday and the people of the ward didn’t come because the Argentina game was on at the same time.  It’s sad because the girl had nobody there to fellowship here besides 11 missionaries and a few members.  It definitely makes our work harder because we had lessons fall through because the people were too drunk when we got to their homes, and so there was no point teaching them while they are intoxicated.

LA has the worst smog ever!
It’s crazy to think I’m getting a new companion though!  It’s already been 12 weeks!  Once I get used to somebody, I now have to change.. it’s weird.   A lot will now be on my shoulders since my comp won’t know the area and my Spanish isn’t what I wish it would be.  This transfer could be the one where my Spanish and teaching abilities grow because I will now be forced to do a lot more which is good, but it will be hard for sure.

We are having a going away party tonight for a couple Elders at a ward family’s house so I will get some get photos for you all. I hope your week was good, and I hope you all have a great upcoming week!  Thanks for all you do, I really appreciate it. Stay safe and know I love and miss you all very much!  Hasta Luego!

Elder Woffinden

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Another Week In Whittier

On our bikes
Hola mi familia!! Como le va??  It sounds like you all had a great week! I’m jealous about the dirty dash!! Sounds super fun! Lots of good times running in the mud of death! haha Yeah, Bubba is here now and I see him about 3 times a week.  He is now teaching T’s brother, E (our investigator that we had to turn over to the single’s ward) They are lucky that we prepared him so they could baptized him! Ha ha  I’m jealous!

This past week has been pretty good, not very successful again but it was still good. We had more bashes again. haha  I swear that’s all our area wants to do is try to fight with us and prove us wrong….it’s crazy. We knocked on a door and a guy answered and was "Oh, the anti-Christs are here!" (all in Spanish)  He invited us in to show us his shrines of La Virgin and Los Papas (the popes)  He started crying saying you are wrong! I am a disciple of Christ! I am! Not you! You are all wrong, etc. We just stood their confused as to what was happening.  We told him who were and why we were there which he rejected and so we left.
Knott's Berry Farm in the distance

The next day we went on exchanges and I went with Elder C who is from AZ, but is a native to Argentina. We had tons of crazy stuff go down.  For starters, we were contacting somebody when we saw a car just stop in the middle of the Leffingwell Intersection.  It was just stalled and wasn’t moving.  I knew for a fact it was because they ran out of gas so I dropped my bag and Elder C and I ran and helped the driver push her car out of the busy road.   She was Latino, and so what a perfect opportunity to help her with service and then share a message. haha. So that’s what we did. We walked with her quite a ways to go get a gas can, and then helped her fill up her car.  As we did this, we talked about our beliefs and we shared Mosiah 2: 17 with her.  We testified about that scripture and how we are always out looking to serve our fellowman. She didn’t want to have a return appointment, but hopefully we left a good impression of missionaries for a future date!  Later that same day, we contacted 5 different people all who accepted to hear our message.  A couple wanted the address to our church and our numbers (of course this isn’t my area).

Chillin in the hot sun! 
Right as we were talking again, we saw a dog come running by us followed by a pitbull barking and losing it’s mind in the yard next to us.  Within seconds that dog somehow escaped from the gate and bolted to the other dog.  This started a crazy fight right next to us.  So we tried to break it up, but it was pretty nuts and there was a couple times I thought I was gonna die.   haha   We did eventually grab the pitbull and throw the crazy animal back to it’s yard.. it was insane.Ha ha  Exchanges were good, I just wish we had that success in my own area. Our area is pretty dead still and we daily contact a ton, but nobody wants us to come over or they just fight with us. We did find two good potentials last night, so we pray that they are going to come through this week because they are golden!!

This week marks the last week of my training and I am 90 percent sure Elder H is leaving the area.  It’s sad because he is a solid comp!  It will be strange getting a new companion. But I hope that he is a super chill, hard working guy because our area needs a lot of work!  The Spanish is coming along little by little. It takes patience, which I lack.  I am hoping to get a native comp because I want to practice and begin to copy them and their accent to sound more official. haha. People are amazed to see two white guys speaking Spanish and they comment on it all the time with their eyes wide open. haha. It’s great when they are talking bad about you and you just walk by and say,  “Hola Hablamos Espanol Tambien” and the look on their faces, its priceless. Ha   But anyways, that’s about it for my week!  Still in the finding of people, but I hope you all have a great week and I love hearing from you all!  It’s packed at the library today so I don’t think they will give us more time.  I’m sorry if I can’t email all of you back!!  Thanks for all you do!  Love you all!

Hasta Luego!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, June 2, 2014

Visit From An Apostle - What a Great Blessing

Buddhist Temple
Hola Familia!! Como Le Va?? I'm doing pretty good! This past week was a crazy one for sure! On Monday, we went to the Buddhist temple which was super cool!! It’s huge and hidden up in the Haciena Heights area which is all mountains so it was awesome being able to go. The Monks there were dope.  haha They even had iphones, etc. and we don’t so we felt jipped!   All the art work and the huge Buddha’s everywhere were pretty cool to see.  It was great to ask questions and to find out more about their culture. They were just as curious to ask us questions, so we spent a lot of time talking about what our beliefs were. They were nice and seemed interested, but in reality they had no idea what we were talking about. haha.

Inside the temple
But later that night, I had a crazy experience one of my first real "bible bashes" out in the mission. We're supposed to stay away from these, but it’s hard to.  So we knocked on this house in the afternoon and a very old woman answered and was so happy to see us!  She knew who we were and said that she used to talk to us before, but her husband refused her to continue speaking to missionaries so she never got taught all the lessons. But anyways, she said that her husband had since died and she wanted to be baptized!! We were like WHAT!? haha   This never happens!

Do I look like the Buddha?
We asked if we could meet with her, but she said that we had to get permission from her granddaughter,who’s house she was living in.  So we had to drop by a couple hours later to ask her granddaughter.  So we go back, and she answers and immediately we knew who she was. She was from the Calvary Chapel church and they hate us.  She instantly looks me in the face and says, "you’re not Christian!" "You don’t believe in Christ, you just pretend like you do, you have a fake book and prophet."   Once she said that it was on with the bash.  She was saying how we are only saved by grace, not by works or baptism, etc.  We were quoting verses out of the Bible, New Testament and even one verse out of the Book of Mormon.   She was like.. "wow, where does it say that in the Bible?"   We are like that was from the Book of Mormon.  Her face was priceless as she tried to get back to arguing with us. I was not happy. It made me realize that we honestly are in a literal "war" with the adversary and he will do everything to bring us down.  Elder H and I were only able to testify that we know what we have is true.  Right as she was about to slam the door on us she said, "you need to honestly look at the facts and then I know you will realize you are wrong and so is your church!"  I had never heard someone actually tell me that before, but we testified and that’s all we could do.  So sadly we can’t meet with J so I just pray she is able to find missionaries some day so she can be baptized.

Carne Asada Food
Anyways, we celebrated two birthdays this week all Carne Asada bashes! ha That has become our new hobby and it is sooo good! But to answer your question about T’s brother we were teaching, we had to send them both to the singles ward elders, and they are now teaching them. E has accepted to be baptized on the 28th of June!! So we are pumped for him! We are now trying to work with his mom because once their mom joins, the whole family will join.

Happy Birthday!!
So this weekend was awesome too! Elder M. Russell Ballard came on Saturday!! It was so crazy! He taught us how to be better missionaries and how we need to be more positive. The spirit he brought with him truly was amazing.  He is actually a really funny guy too which nobody would ever have thought.  He was cracking jokes the whole meeting which was about 2.5 hrs long.  It was so crazy to be able to meet and shake the hand of a living apostle.  I am so glad I was able to have that experience on my mission.

So crazy news that just happened right now as I was emailing, Elder Bubba Pecht just came and tapped my shoulder and is back to the mission and in my zone!! haha   I am so pumped he is back.  Words can’t even describe!  I’m so happy for him to be able to finish his mission here.  Well this week has been nuts. We are talking to a ton of people, but still not too many lessons so hopefully this next week is better!  We are praying for help and we believe it will come just by how we show our faith and prove to God we truly care about his work. 

I hope this past week was good for you all!  Have a great week and have fun! Thanks for all the letters and support you all are awesome! Les Quiero!!

Love, Elder Woffinden

Our new car??