Monday, July 28, 2014

I'm Being Transferred to Compton!

Love this family.  I am going to miss them!

HEY WHATS UP! How’s it going!? How was everybody’s week? I didn’t even realize that the 24th of July was this past week, ha. I totally forgot! But, I am glad to hear that it was a great week for you all. Well, transfers are here and... I am getting transferred to the Long Beach 16th Ward and my new companion will be Elder B. I will move tomorrow. I’m nor sure at what time, but I’m sure it’s going to be crazy, ha. I honestly don’t want to be transferred; I really like it up here in Whittier. The people are awesome and I have made some really great friendships here. I have had a lot of great and crazy experiences up here in the "Black Hole," haha. I am excited to get to be in Long Beach, but it’s always awkward the first week of a new transfer, especially when my new comp and I are going in with no experience in the area at all. We won’t know anybody and will probably spend the majority of our time knocking and contacting in the streets which can be very tiring and gets old fast, ha.

My good buddy, Bob.
This past week was pretty good! The past 2 days seemed like 2 years though since I found out I was getting transferred on Friday. So I was just going around and saying goodbye to all our investigators and member friends. C came to church yesterday with his girl friend,ha! Forty-five minutes late, but hey, they at least showed up! He really enjoyed church and the members were very friendly to him and were talking to him for quite some time, so hopefully some friendships were made there. We have been doing very well though. We have been teaching the A family which is our miracle-find family, and they are awesome!  I’m pretty sad to leave them! Elder H is becoming a trainer so he will have a brand new greenie from Mexico tomorrow, ha, so good luck to him! I wish I could stay to teach them, but I guess it’s time for me to move on. The family is super humble and I can tell they are going to be awesome in the church later on in life! They already have testimonies that our message is true and they can feel a difference in their lives when they are talking about the church and gospel. I really hope that they get baptized because they would be awesome!

Eating My "Goodbye" Dessert.
We also have been teaching J and Y, a family with 5 boys all under the ages of 7, ha, so their house is always a nightmare! We are always having to battle the noise of crying babies and fans and Mariachi music by the neighbors, haha. It’s always an experience every time we teach them. We have recently just taught the Restoration and, of course, they have doubts like all people do. But, it’s good that they have questions because that means that they have been listening and are not just agreeing to everything we say and blowing off our questions, etc. So we are teaching them tonight; my last lesson here in Whittier! It’s gonna be good!

Yesterday we were going by member’s homes saying goodbye and taking pictures all night, but at like 6 PM we decided to go by a guy’s house we haven’t talked to in quite some time. When we got there we were shocked to see him sitting outside with 5 other people just chattin’ it up in the front yard, ha. So we ended up teaching him and his family and picked up 3 new investigators—which was our goal for this week. Up until then, we hadn’t found anybody, so it was crazy that we met our goal on Sunday night, haha. After we went to the C’s and B’s homes—they are my two favorite families in the ward. I just wanted to say goodbye and take some pics with them. When we arrived we saw they had bought me a cake and threw me a little party, haha, it was sweet! The cake had walnuts though... so I had to cut my piece in half and throw away the walnut part so that I didn’t die, haha. But, it was great! I really am going to miss them all! They are all such loving people and it’s always a great time when we go over to their homes.

Goodbye Dessert.
My camera has been having issues all week and actually stopped working! The lens wont pop out to allow me to take a picture. I have never dropped it or anything. It just decided not to work, but thankfully I had Elder H to take photos for me to send to you guys back home! I’m not sure how or when I am going to get that fixed, but I definitely need to so.  If you have any ideas let me know.

Well, that about sums up my week. It was a good week, but I am leaving now so I’m definitely curious to see how Long Beach will be, ha. Long Beach is the ghetto part of the mission and I think Compton and Paramont is my next area, haha, so I’m stoked if it is! But thanks for all you do and I appreciate all the love and letters! Mom I’m glad you got my package! I’m glad you liked it! But, until next week— hasta luego!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, July 21, 2014

Successful Week

Hey what’s up!! How did everyone’s week go?? Mine was pretty good… can’t complain! Sounds like a lot of great stuff is going on back home and you all sound like you’re doing well!

For me, this week was a long one, but it was a pretty successful one which I am pleased with. On Monday, we received a text from SLC headquarters and it was a referral of a family that attended the temple and loved it, and wanted to learn more!  What’s awesome about this is that Elder H** and I have specifically been praying for a family to teach and have been having no success whatsoever.   So this was a huge answer to our prayers!  So cool!!  We have been teaching them and it’s amazing to see how prepared they really are. They are so happy with us coming over and their 9 year old grandson is always asking to be the one to say the closing prayer at the end of the lesson.  It’s pretty sweet to have a blessing such as this one.

"C" and us 'reppin' the West side!
We also have been teaching C** a lot more this week and he hasn’t had a drop of alcohol for about two weeks now!  He looks so much better and we can honestly see a change in his countenance and he is just more positive now. He is having a problem with coming to church though.  He has promised for three Sundays in a row that he would come to church, and he fails to show.  It really is hard because he can’t truly progress unless he comes to church, but hopefully this week he will!

We have been doing awesome with the member present lessons! The ward is starting to become more and more active in the missionary work, and we are seeing the success from it.

Hermano "N" - super cool guy!
So this week we found out that one of our investigators, R** was involved in a "drive by" with a gang this week. We honestly spend 50 percent of our time each week on this street.  We are always seeing sketchy and crazy stuff going on, but haven’t had any problems with gangs.  I guess the gangs just respect us because we are spreading the "word" and they don’t want to mock God… so to say.  It’s still super crazy to think that I am in these neighborhoods all day long.  R** wasn’t hurt thankfully!  There are cars with bullet holes everywhere here so I guess we should have seen the warning signs!  Oh well, we don’t care.. ha we just go and do our thing.  

Baking soda water!  Yum!
So our apartment this week decided to give us "baking soda" water literally from the tap. The water here in CA is terrible! I will send a pic of what is still looks like, it’s nasty!! Transfers are next week and I really hope I don’t get transferred because I really want to keep teaching the people we are working with. I am also starting to get a better feel for the area now so I hope I don’t leave. Elder H** and I are doing good together, too and we really know how to have a good time even when the days are rough. The true test of faith is learning to put a smile on even in the worst of situations or times. There, that’s my word of advice for you all.  

So like three weeks ago we were called to give a blessing to a woman who said she was trying to quit smoking. We arrived and started talking and getting to know her.  We then asked her who she would like to offer the blessing. She picked me (of course) haha   I was pretty nervous because I have only given a handful of them in my life, and each time I get super anxious and nervous. But anyways, I gave her a blessing and was prompted to tell her that she would quit smoking by her date she had set…the 13th of July.   She has stopped!!  A couple of days prior to her “quit day” we went by and she said that whenever she got the urge to smoke she felt grossed out and said that she could literally taste every single chemical and bad thing in them and it made her sick.  She also noticed that she can now taste her food better!! So another miracle from God… pretty cool!  

Well, I hope you all have a great week!! Thanks for all you do and have done for me!!  Sorry this email is short, but I hope you all have a great week!!

Hasta Luego!!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, July 14, 2014

Service in Whittier

Hola Familia!! Hey thanks for the letter!! Sounds like you guys had an awesome week full of bday parties and all sorts of fun! I’m super jealous!  Well my week was actually pretty good! This past week we really committed to having members come out with us for lessons and it turned out great! We had one every single night up until Thursday so four in a row! The weekend is pretty hard for them to come out and we had three bail so that was a bummer, but it was a great week. The lessons were awesome. We are teaching a guy named C** right now and he really is in a giant hole in his life. He has a drinking and smoking problem so we have been teaching him the very simple things.  We had a great week of lessons with him, but it is hard with addictions. We are patient with him because that is how you need to handle the situation, but it is very sad and frustrating to see him always so depressed.  We know how to help him, but he doesn't fully want to accept or take action on what we teach.  He promised us he was going to come to church along with three other investigators we have been teaching, but at the last second they decided not to show up.  We even went by on Sunday morning to help get them up and ready to go, so that’s hard because you are just watching the doors at Sacrament meeting.

Helping with a move
This week we also have been busy movers! Haha We have helped three families move into their apartments at our complex. One of which is a recent convert family who was baptized in April and they are a solid family!! I truly love this family and they love having us over.  The B**’s have two kids ages 14 and 9 and they are always asking for us to come over and talk and teach them, etc. which is great! With them moving in and so close we are for sure going to take advantage of the Noche de hogars we can have with them.  They want us to teach them English in exchange for Spanish… which I am down for!  We spent all day Saturday moving them and two other families so it was a busy and sweaty day.  The humidity is killing me out here literally. My clothes are in such bad shape from sweat, tears and stains etc.  I got a flat tire on Friday and accidently got bike grease all over one of my shirts so that one is toast. Ha ha.  Also on Friday, we had a zone conference from 9-3.   Elder Pecht and I just chilled together.  And no, I haven’t been on any more splits with Bubba and I probably won’t unless I stay in this area for one more transfer.  Transfers end on your birthday mom so happy upcoming bday.

Driving home from church
Yesterday was a pretty good day! Church was long and I still don’t really get a lot out of church because of my struggles with Spanish.  It gives me a headache to try to follow all they say.  haha   We had some pretty good success last night. Yesterday, we pulled up to a new area and decided we needed to say a prayer to help us find three new investigators. I know it’s crazy to ask for three for one day, but we just hadn't met our goal for the week and really needed some help.  So we went out on foot to find people. Right then we knocked on a door and found this 16 year old kid who is golden! Literally he has really great potential.  We started talking and he really liked what we had to say.  We then asked him if he would be comfortable in saying a closing prayer to see how he would feel about pursing our messages more in the future.  We bowed our heads and folded our arms and all of this is on his front porch (btw) The next thing I know, it is silent.... for like 5 minutes... Seriously, not kidding.  It was so weird, he just stood there praying while we stood there silent. He said, “Okay that was good!"  “I feel good about it, you guys can come over some other time and I’m sure my brother will want to join too!”  Sweet! we were pumped! We aren't saying he is an investigator yet, but he has some real potential.  About five minutes later, we saw a group of kids out playing basketball in the street. There were 4 boys and 2 girls from the ages of 9 to probably 16.  Their ball rolled down the street and came right to where I was walking so I picked it up and started contacting them. We challenged them to a game of basketball and of course they just laughed at us.  They were like, “What do you want, etc.?”   We told them that if we win, we get to talk to them and their parents about our message, but if they win we have to do a ton of push-ups and never come back. haha.  They accepted and we started playing literal street ball in our "pros" clothes. haha   It was pretty weird… I will be honest, but Elder H** and I did our work and the hoop was maybe 9 feet, so the hoop was easily dunk-able.  It was great! We had a great time and after we won (of course) we went over to talk to their dad with them. Sadly, their dad didn't want to have anything to do with us so we didn't actually get a lesson in, but hey it was still fun!

Well that pretty much sums up my week.   It was good!   We’re hoping this week is just as good if not better. I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all your love and support love you guys!

Hasta Luego

E. Woffinden

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

LA Temple
Hey!! What’s up family!! How was everybody’s week!?  A lot of funny stories happened this week and I wish I could tell them all and tell them in detail!  It’s super hard to explain over email, and I guess it’s also better when you see it in person. Haha

Well at the start of this week we had a really awesome FHE with the familia ….’E’!  We had a great lesson of El Espiritu Santo and how we can better prepare ourselves to listen and follow the promptings of the spirit. We then had dinner and played a game called, "Amas a tus vecinas", which is, "How much do you love your neighbor." It was really fun and got pretty intense.  Haha  We have a goal to make better relationships with the families in our area, and I feel like we succeeded on Monday night, so it was great!  Later we went to a lesson with the bishop but sadly ‘C’ cancelled on us so we didn’t get to teach him which was sad because we had the bishop with us.  It didn’t stop there... we had four (member present) lessons fall through this week all of which the investigator cancelled or just didn’t answer their door.  It’s really frustrating and hard trying to get help from the members, and then when they come with us and the our lesson cancels.... No Bueno. 

Foot massage with a lesson.  Anyone??
We did have one last night that got beyond weird. Haha  So we invited a Hermana from our ward to a lesson with ‘R’ and his grandma.  So when we arrived the ward member immediately clicked and started talking to the grandma which was great!  So we started the lesson and everything was fine until the next thing I know the grandma puts her legs on Hermana ‘O’ and hands her a bottle of lotion while speaking Spanish. I clearly didn’t understand because right then our member starts giving her a full on leg/foot massage in the middle of our lesson!!! AHH!!   We were freaking out!  Our member completely forgot what she was there for, and the lesson ended up being a nightmare! We didn’t even finish because we couldn’t believe what was going on. ‘R’ just started laughing which made us start laughing so we just stopped the lesson. To make a long story short, last night just turned out so different than what we had hoped for, but that’s mission life!   

What did everyone do for the 4th?? Any cool firework shows or BBQs?  We just rode our bikes around all day knocking doors because we didn’t have any set lessons.  We interrupted a ton of drunk BBQs which instantly, when they saw us, we became the main topic of conversation and they were laughing about us.   It was super hard to watch the firework shows from our bikes riding up Leffingwell Street.  It made me super homesick thinking about all the firework shows, BBQs and rodeos I would be going to if I were home, and here I am riding a bike at 9 pm at night.

Elder H and I at LA Temple
So today we went to the LA temple for the 5:30 am session!  It was great! We had to get up at 3:15 am and I am exhausted.  I can’t believe how many cars are on the road at 5 am here in LA!  We almost didn’t make the session in time, but I’m glad we did because it was awesome. The LA temple is probably one of the coolest I have been in, besides the SLC, of course!  It’s huge and has a great view of LA off in the distance and the Hollywood sign over on the hill so I got some cool pics!

We are going to watch the Brazil vs Germany game today with a member so I am excited for that! The world cup is now one of my favorite things to watch.. it’s great! And everybody here is obsessed with it.  People skip church for the games, etc. haha.

But on a more serious side, this week was honestly pretty hard considering all the dropped lessons and investigators who said they would come to church early Sunday morning and didn’t show. The Spanish is pretty tough especially now with me interacting more with the members.  I feel like I understand them enough to get what they are saying, but wanting to share what I’m thinking or contribute to a conversation, this is still impossible for me. But with that being said, I’m still working hard and am trying my best every day!  Don’t worry about me out here in CA.   I’m doing fine :)  Thanks for the package btw! It was great! Haha so much stuff crammed in there, I was shocked.  But thanks for everything and all your love and support! I hope you all have a great week and until next week... nos vemos!

Elder Woffinden

Elder H and I

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Teaching with my homie, Elder Pecht!

HEY!! What’s up family!! Hey thanks again for the emails! I love hearing how everything is going.  This week has been pretty good.  We taught 2 families that are showing really good potential in progressing with hearing the message so I’m hoping for this week to be a good one.  Tonight we are having a noche de hogar con la famila E and it’s going to be on the Holy Ghost and how we can feel he answers our questions through our feelings and thoughts etc.  We are also going to be teaching a non-member tonight as well.   I really hope the lesson goes well!  Pray for my Spanish haha.  It needs all the help it can get! We also have the Obispo (bishop) say that he could come out tonight to teach C and N, a really solid family we found.   They really have no background of religion besides being Catholic by tradition and never actually acting on their faith.   So tonight should be great!

Well this week I went on exchanges with Elder Pecht! It was so sweet! Just two homies from home in the same mission is pretty sweet! We had a really great day even though we had to cover both his and my area which is giant! So we were in the car for the whole day. ha.  We had to cover my area therefore meaning it was Spanish and Elder Pecht doesn’t speak Spanish at all.  We had a couple lessons planned for the afternoon that I knew I was going to be the only one who could communicate to these people and I was trippin!  Ha I was so scared and I was dreading the hour when it came because it was all on my shoulders to teach, understand, and extend commitments.  So Elder Pecht gave me just the best pump up speech in the world on how I am going to just give a bomb lesson and everything is going to be great and to not have any worries. Then once we arrived he said, “Well with all that being said, this should be fun to watch!" haha and I about died.  She wasn’t home...  so I didn’t have to give the lesson after all.  Then we saw one of our old investigators in the street and he invited us to come inside.   Then I did have to give the lesson in all Spanish so I couldn’t escape.  Ha ha.  The lesson went well, but it was for sure bad Spanish, but it was a funny moment for us to experience together.

This week Elder H and I made some new goals.  One was to sit by a new family every week at church to get to know them and become friends.   Missionary work doesn’t work without the members!  It’s so true, knocking doors and contacting in the streets only get you so far so we hope to build a good relationship with them.

You said you wanted to know more about Elder H...  Well he is the District leader here and he has been out for 9 months.  He has the best ties in the mission in my opinion. haha   We get along pretty good he brought some weights with him from his last apartment so we lift in the mornings now.  We both are meat head junkies that loved to pump iron before we came out so we get along great. ha  We have a zone meeting coming up on the 18th of July and we are going to the temple on the 8th!   That means my next p-day won’t be until next Tuesday, so plan on that.  I’m doing good and things are moving along and improving slowly but surely.  I hope everyone has a great week! Thanks for all the love and support!!

Hasta luego!

Elder Woffinden

No time to send any pictures this week!