Monday, October 27, 2014

A Long Beach Halloween!

Elder A and Jason
Hey!! What’s up everyone! Thanks for the email and for all you guys do!! I'm doing awesome here in LB.  This past week was great and we had some good success and a couple of branch Halloween parties which were off the wall! I was shocked how good they were.  I was not expecting it.  Ha-ha.

Elder P's last day! - Nos Vemos Amigo
To start with our teaching… we have been doing great with our investigators.   D** and L** and their mom M**.  We set a baptismal date for the 16th!  So pray for them please!   They are awesome and always keep their commitments of reading in the B of M and seem to understand the lessons pretty well.. So I'm super stoked about that.  Yesterday at church we realized that nobody had showed up to church! Since we have class first then Sacrament meeting, last Elder A** and I left church and literally went to their house and dragged them to church. Ha-ha it worked! They really liked it too even though all the speakers were English speakers with a missionary translator at the stand.  It made it very hard to feel the spirit, etc.  (Please pray that I never get called to translate..super hard stuff.) V** our other solid investigator has been struggling with his drinking lately and disappeared for like a weekend so we have no idea what happened to him.

Long day out on the streets of LB - still sick!
This week I have still been fighting my cold and it’s gotten worse.  I think I have bronchitis so that's been annoying to deal with coughing every 10 seconds.  Besides those investigators, we aren't really teaching too many another solid people just a lot of potentials and a couple miracle finds.

Okay so this Halloween party that we went to was at our Ximeno branch and the 10th ward (white) and it was huge!  A big success!!  I will try to send pics next week! There was a costume contest and food contests and everybody was dressed up.   About 3 hours before the party we were out working and we came across a yard sale, which are famous here, and I saw an "angry birds" costume for 2 bucks.  I bought it and that was my costume.  Ha-ha   It was super stupid but it worked! All the other missionaries were lame and didn't do anything so I was proud to represent.  There was trick or treating and tons of games for the kids and even a bounce house which soon became a missionary war zone! We went nuts in that thing.  Ha-ha

Trying out the new camera - Fish eye effect.
Well the rest of my week was pretty slow but really good!   I went on exchanges with Elders T** and S** on Friday and was glad to be out of my area for a little while.  My Spanish has gotten tons better!  Honestly, I just decided to not care and when I did that, it got better.  So the key to life is just don’t care about anything and good things come from it! Ha ha (jk)

This week is going to be good and I am excited for Halloween even though we aren’t allowed to do anything past 6pm due to missionary imposters! Ha-ha yeah pretty dumb but things are going good here missionary wise.  It’s still super hard and stressful and there are days when my "ganas" are just close to zero and I don't want to do anything (especially being sick), but by going out and working that's when the blessings come.  If we do our best, that’s all the Lord asks of us.  Well that’s all I can remember for this week.  Love ya’ll! Have a great week and thanks for everything!!

Love, Elder Woffinden

Monday, October 20, 2014

Typical Missionary Week

What is up everyone!! Hey thanks for the emails.  It is great to hear from you all again!  Hmm, where to begin with this week... it was a long one that’s for sure.  The days felt like years! ha-ha   It was also a hard week, too.  We had to drop a lot of investigators because they just aren’t progressing!   No reading, praying, church… nada so we had to say see ya… which is sad.  They will probably be picked up in the future when they are more prepared.

Monday was a bomb p-day!!  We went to a driving range to golf because an investigator works there and got us unlimited balls to hit!! ha-ha  It was sweet!  It’s all electrical and you don’t need to do anything but hit the ball and then another one pops up to take its place which was pretty sweet! We hit probably 500 or more and wow I am sore!! ha-ha   My body was wrecked from all the twisting and swinging since I am so out of shape now.  It was a blast!  It was also Elder Ps last p-day here.  He went home on Tuesday which was hard because he was one of my best amigos here and now he is home watching sports center etc. ha-ha   That is what he said would be the first thing he did when he got home.   Too funny!!

Okay, like I said, we dropped a ton of people, but we did find two super good finds!!  We found them out of desperation, honestly!  A** looks like she will be a super good find. I really hope everything goes well with them both because I feel pretty down about how none of our investigators really progress beyond a certain point. The whole coming to church part is their weakness and they never come!  But on a positive note, we have been working with some less active families.  The V** and H** families were both super inactive when I got here and now they have attended church three weeks in a row! So that’s always a bonus.

Police Helicopter spotlighting our house.
This week we had a crazy thing happen… like always! ha-ha  On Saturday night, we were in bed at like midnight when we heard a helicopter approach and start hovering over our house.  All of a sudden, a giant spotlight hits in our window and the entire room is filled with light.   We were like what the crap!?  It turns out that our neighbor was having a gun scare and was threatening someone.  I guess the cops were called and stormed his yard while the helicopter circled our little apartment providing light.  It was awesome!   Honestly, that really made my week. Ha ha

Well other than that I’m doing good! Long Beach is great and I am having a good time. The mission is super tough!! Very mentally challenging for sure with a whole lot of stress.  However, there are days when all the stress and tough times are worth it in the end.   There’s always room for improvement and believe me I need to be better! But I’m glad to have you all supporting me back home and it means a lot.  Well that’s about it for this week!  Have a good one!!

Elder Woffinden

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Staying in Long Beach East

Hey!! What’s up everyone!! How was everyone's week?? Mine was awesome!! So many good things I can’t even remember them all sadly... I always forget to write them down so I will do better from now on. But to start, this past week was the last of the transfer and.... I’m staying with Elder A** for one more.   I will honestly probably kill him since he goes home in 2.5 months! So I’m stoked for that!

This week we had some success.  I was on exchanges with Elder C** on Wednesday night and we had some great lessons during the day and everything was looking good for "prime time" (6-9 pm).   But, we didn’t teach anybody and we're having some doubts on if we would teach that night. At like 8:45 we made it to the street where we live and we knew we had to do an "obedience walk" since it wasn't 9 yet.   Honestly, I was tired and just ready to go inside. We started walking and were talking and having some great convo together when it finally was 9! Sweet! Time to go inside.  On our way inside, I saw a guy sitting by his fence smoking a cigarette.  My first response was its all good, let’s go inside, the day is over.  Something told me to talk to him so we decided to just bite the bullet and do it, and it was awesome!! This guy saw us and immediately threw out his cig and was ready to talk to us. We had a good short convo about life, etc.  He brought up the question, why are there so many churches in the world?  And boom we were ready to respond! So cool we now have a return apt. tomorrow and are super excited to meet with him.   Also this week we set a baptismal date with V** for the 2nd of Nov!  He is really doing awesome and his reading and prayers have improved tremendously since I first met him.

On Tuesday, we went to the temple with all the departing missionaries and it was great!  All 8 of us Spanish Elders loaded up into the big van at like 7am and headed to the temple, but what we failed to remember is that from 6-9 in LA is pure doom of traffic!!  Ahh.. the worst. We didn’t get to the temple till like 9:30 and it was just an incredibly long drive for such a short distance. haha  There are way too many people here!!   The temple was great.  I really loved it and we even got to go out to Denny’s after which I haven’t had in forever and it was bomb!  If you get an opportunity try the pumpkin cinnamon pancakes! Ha

This week has also been a week of really hard times too. This week probably sets a new record for me having people really trying to push our buttons and ridicule us. We had a guy throw his full sprite can at us while parking our bikes and it exploded everywhere.  We also got into a convo with these 3 super stoned dudes and they were criticizing us for where and how we get our authority, etc.  I noticed during the convo he was filming us on camera and it was just annoying.  We came across this guy who was walking around like he was so gangsta when he noticed us, he just comes up and shows us his arms that are tatted up and it says "anti Christ".  We were all, okay?? and pretty much just walked past him and ignored him. haha.

The branch here is doing great! We had a new Elder’s Quorum called and they are having a sports night every Friday night.   We can play volleyball, basketball, and ping pong. It has been awesome! haha   Now, I have no idea how to talk in "sports mode" in Spanish because back home I can talk trash or laugh and make jokes with people during games etc, but here I just sound like an idiot and have no clue what is being said at times. haha   Plus all our investigators were dropping some curse words every now and then which I have learned to catch now, and it’s pretty funny.  haha.

Well Elder A** and I are doing great! We have been doing some good work and he hasn’t been sick anymore.  I had a pretty knarly cold and was sick all week until yesterday.  My voice was pretty much gone which was terrible and I gave myself a headache from talking it was so bad, but I’m good now.  Since this next transfer is 7 weeks we are going to have Halloween and Thanksgiving together which should be cool.  I’m excited for this transfer and hope all goes well and that we hopefully get some baptisms! But that’s about it for me.  I hope you all have a great week! Thanks again for your emails, I really appreciate them!! Until next week!!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference was Awesome!

This bird wanted to know more about Mormons!
What’s up!! Hey how’s everybody doing?? Wow this week was fantastic! Hope yours was as well? Well, to start off it was a busy one full of meetings and of course conference! Pretty sweet! But this week we had the Long Beach zone conference with President Tew. It was great! The missionaries that spoke and gave trainings are studs, and I really respect them and their desire to serve. Oh also we were able to watch “Meet the Mormons” movie!! Sneak peak haha It comes out this Friday and it was fabulous! It made me super trunkie though!  haha   All the college football and other things in the film… especially the Salt lake part, but anyways it was great.  I would highly recommend seeing it because the funds raised go to a good cause so that’s boss.

After zone conference, the Combods (Cambodian zone leaders) and us went to Cafe Rio!!  First time in forever! It was amazing, even though I eat that food all the time.  It’s super different from homemade Latina food. haha.  Also this week Elder A** has been super sick.  I don’t know what’s wrong with him.  He has a doctor apt today at 3 and has been having severe stomach and abdominal pain plus yesterday was throwing up all during conference.  Hopefully he gets better soon!  This week we didn’t have a whole lot of time for "normal" missionary work, but when we did we had some pretty good success. We haven’t found many new people lately and our ‘member present’ lessons have nose-dived this week.  We have been progressing well with V**   He came to the Sunday morning conference session which was perfect for him! On Saturday night he told us that he wouldn’t really want to progress until he got an answer about living prophets and apostles and low and behold on the Sunday morning session it was full of that!! BOSS!  I was pumped!   God truly knows what is best for his children, and I know that V** learned a lot yesterday.  We also have set a baptismal date for R** for the 2nd of November!  We all know how the adversary works on investigators progressing towards baptism so we will just pray and help her along as best we can.

Well, conference was awesome! It honestly was probably the best one I have ever seen... it was amazing.  It amazes me how much I used to hate watching conference as a kid and especially in college.  Wow, it turns out it is more than old guys rambling on. haha. I really loved Elder Bednar's and Elder Christofferson’s talks… they were amazing!  What about y’all?   What stood out to you?  I loved how they really focused on living prophets and revelation in these days because "Dios es el mismo ayer, hoy, y para siempre! "   It was awesome!

So this week I am hoping that Elder A** gets better so we can work because the past two days we haven’t really been able to.  We need to find new investigators! This is the last week of the transfer so we need to go out with a bang.   That’s honestly about it for me this week.   LB is the bomb and the branch is sick so things are good.  I bought a new Spanish help book today at Barnes and Noble so I am hoping that will help me with the sentence structure, etc in Espanol. But love y’all!!   Have a great week!

Hasta Luego!!

Love, Elder Woffinden

My view... BOSS!