Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cool biker guy who bought us dinner
Hola!! Que tal!? How is everyone doing this week?? Thanks for the email!  I have seen the weather that is always playing in the Spanish Laundromat every Monday morning and man it is cold back home!! ha-ha  It is in the 80s here!  Yes I got the package and it was awesome!! ha-ha I loved the turkey it was so funny!

"Turkey" package from home!
Well this week was pretty good. Yes, Elder A** is better now and we have been back to work. I got sick again.  I was sick from Monday till Saturday with a deathly cough that would keep me up all night! I’m better now so no worries. Man I can’t believe Thanksgiving is this week! So crazy! We have dinner planned to eat at a member’s house. Elder A** said last year he had to eat four dinners ha-ha so I am not excited for that if that’s the case!! I will die!! ha-ha. On Friday night we had our branch Thanksgiving dinner at the Ximeno church building. It was awesome! I was shocked at how much fun it was! We may have a really small branch here, but all the members are super close and really know how to have a great time. The missionaries served all the food which was turkey and ham, etc.  I was giving out the gravy and Jalapenos. ha-ha so it was still a Latino meal for sure. There was dancing afterwards and all the members were going crazy! Not to mention the music they were playing was making me beyond trunkie!! All the teenage girls connected their phones to the speakers so I was dying.  We weren’t aware that all the members were watching every move we made.  When all 9 of us missionaries were chilling in one spot, a couple of us started to dance amongst ourselves since we can’t dance with the members.  We then heard this super high pitched shrieking sound coming from behind us.   All the women ages 12-90 were begging us to come dance with them. ha-ha It was super funny!  Sadly we had to decline and they were not happy at all.... oops.  We had our investigator M** and her nine year old son come to the dinner! It was great and the branch was bomb at making her feel welcome. M** is the golden investigator we have right now and our most solid investigator! So please pray for her to have a desire to be baptized because she is so close!

Great family - fed us dinner.
Besides the party, this week was interesting. We did drop a lot of investigators this week.  We just decided it was the best thing to do.  V** keeps slipping with drinking and doesn’t have a testimony of Joseph Smith so we now have to go back and start at square one with him which is really hard.  On Saturday evening, I went to the office to get yet again another bike... the ones I keep getting are pure trash.  ha-ha   We got back at 4:45 and dinner was at 5.  We didn’t want to sit and wait for our ride so we went into an alley and said a prayer that hopefully we could find someone to talk to.   We found two!  They are super cool, and a true miracle given by God. T** is a really old Hispanic woman who was out sweeping leaves with a broom in the street. We have return appointments with both this week.

On Saturday morning, I had an interview with President Tew.  It was an interview to see how missionaries are progressing and to check on the goals we have made for our mission. Mine is to be more "spiritually" minded and less "carnally" minded. (2 Ne 9: 39)  President had some great advice for me and for some of the trials I have. Sadly, missionaries are going home due to stress or other reasons and it’s hard to be positive at all times.

Well this is the last week of the transfer! It’s either I stay with A** or I train.... please pray for stay!! ha-ha. There are like 30 Spanish greenies coming in because 35 missionaries go home next transfer! The majority are Spanish.  I am ready for whatever.  If I do train I’m just going to pretend I don’t know Spanish and have my greenie begin to teach a lesson (Plan of Salvation).  I’ll just look at him and be like...all you man!!  ha-ha (jk)

But that’s it for me!! Hope ya’ll have a great week!! Love you and thanks for all the support and love!!

Mucho Carino!!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, November 17, 2014

Grateful for Promptings!

Missionary work is like riding a turtle.  Slow but Steady!

What’s up familia!! Hey thanks again for the email! Sounds like everyone is doing well and I’m glad that all the winter sickness is starting to end. We have been battling it as well even here in sunny CA.  Elder A** is sick again and actually lost his voice for like two days so I had to do ALL the talking.  It wasn't too bad, but really quiet when at home. Ha-ha.

Okay well this week where do I begin...  I will start with the bad news.  None of our investigators came to church this week after all confirmed 'yes' they would come.  We had some awesome lessons on Friday and Saturday, too.  So sad to say, but we may have to drop them.  It’s not final, but it needs to happen. We need to find people who actually want to take the steps necessary to change their lives. So we really aren’t having much success with our investigators.  To make up for it, we have put our focus on our dying little branch and the existing members here. There were only 61 members at church yesterday.  So we are in overtime mode trying to reactivate members and get people coming back to church!

Also this week we had a really good training given by President Tew and some of the Zone Leaders throughout the mission. It was really inspiring and really helped me personally to get my head back on the straight path and focus on my priorities here.

On Friday I went on exchanges with DL Elder C** and it was great! I love Elder C**.   He is awesome and we had a bomb day.  An experience I really want to share was when we were walking to dinner. (We were working in my area.)  As we were walking, I told Elder C** that I felt that we needed to go visit J**.  I felt a strong prompting to talk to him. So that’s what we did. (J** is an investigator we are planning on passing off to the English missionaries next week).   When we got to the gate, it was unlocked which is rare!   Also, he was home and he was a mess. He told us how his life has come crashing down on him and how he doesn’t know what to do to help his problems. We then had an awesome lesson on prayer and having faith during the trials that come into our lives.   We can know we are on the right path when hard times come because the devil wants to knock us off the path.  The lesson was great and we taught him the simple steps of prayer and how he can be strengthened by it.  We followed up the next day and he said he felt so much more at peace!  Wow, pretty cool how God helped us help him just by a quick thought.

Elder A and Ja.  Go UTES!
Also while on exchanges on Saturday night, Elder C** and I were walking down this street to an investigators home when a guy on a bullet bike (which had the Texas state flag decals all over it) stopped and waved us over to talk to him. We were thinking what the heck??  Do we go?? Ha-ha   So we did, and it turned out to be the best decision ever!   He was visiting from Texas and said he wanted to take us to dinner right then.... we were shocked because we hadn’t had dinner that night and now a random dude wants to take us out! We are just so used to people yelling at us or having people scream "SATAN!!" every time they drive by.  Ha-ha  He was the coolest dude ever! I grabbed a photo of him which I will send next week!

The rest of the week was pretty hard with no real solid success.  I am worried that we won’t be able to contribute to meeting our goal of one baptism per companionship before the end of the year. Could you please pray for our investigators?  Thanks!

 I’m doing good and the Spanish is always improving.  Hope ya’ll have a bomb week!! Love you all!

Hasta Luego,
Elder Woffinden

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Service Surprise!

Elder A and Jason at the temple
Hola familia!! Que tal??

Wow crazy that another week has come and gone.  It seems like whenever I turn the corner p-day is here again.  This past week was great! To answer your question about our service project on Saturday… yes we saw Elder A**’s brother.  We were in line getting our t-shirts and volunteer badges when his brother came up from behind and surprised him. Ha-ha. He was shocked and didn’t really know what to do… it was hilarious. He was "trunkie" for the rest of the time there because of it.  The service was good, it was for some band performances and we were in charge of checking people’s stamps to allow them into the event.  We sat in the sun for 5 hours checking stamps and my face got fried which I don't mind because it was some much needed sun! ha ha It was fun and we got to see some of the performances which were pretty good.  It just made me super “trunkie” for college football.  Also, that night nurse Adams took us five missionaries to Buffalo Wild Wings!! My favorite!  I ate WAY too many wings.  It was fantastic! Not to mention the tender mercies of the college football games playing on the TV while we ate. Ha ha   So... Saturday was awesome.

Ja and Elder C
As for the rest of the week we had some good success with some of the investigators we have. D** and M** are doing awesome! They are reading in the B of M and M** even came to church yesterday without us having to tell her! Okay maybe it was because of the "Sabbath Day" throw-down lesson we did on Thursday that made her come.  We were just happy she did!  It’s pretty hard teaching D** and S** who are both 16 years old. We have to work around their high school routine which is hard especially since they both have bap dates for the beginning of December. We were able to teach them a couple of times this week and they have made some great progress.

On Thursday, Elder A** and I gave a 30 min training on accountability during our zone meeting.  I was pretty nervous to do it!   I felt they chose the most unaccountable missionary to do it. (jk) But after many days of working on our lesson and practicing it turned out really well and we gave a bomb training!  I think I taught myself more on how to be more accountable for myself and my investigators from the training than teaching others which I’m pretty happy about.

This week we didn’t really have a whole lot of success finding any new people to teach sadly. However, we did find one named Y** and she truly was a miracle find! On Friday, we had been walking around Long Beach all morning and we had zero success. My back was killing me and we were both not too happy about what was going on so we just stopped and sat on a curb to rest. After about 10 minutes, we just decided to pray to see if maybe God had someone in mind for us. After praying honestly I still had no idea what to do, but we just stood up and decided to walk a mile or so up the road. Once we got there we had an impression to go by P** (who is a potential investigator). She has shown no signs of wanting to talk to us so it didn’t really make sense to knock on her door, but we did anyways. Lo and behold we found her daughter Y**!  She is super cool and was really grateful for the message we shared. She loves to talk about God and said we could come by some more to talk next week!  Pretty cool.  We had all our less active families except for one come to church and one investigator so it was a good Sunday!

Fun at the Halloween branch party!
As for me this week, it was a tough language week.  I feel like everybody stepped up there Spanish and kicked it up a few notches. Everybody was speaking faster and with words I had never heard of before and it was just dominating me during lessons, etc.  It took a huge toll on my confidence and abilities to communicate which I have been battling with. I’m hoping that I can improve and catch up. I just need to have more faith I guess and just trust in God. Even when things get rough the best thing to do is never give up!

Well that’s it for me. I hope you all have a great week!

Love you and miss you thanks again!!

Mucho cariño! Elder Woffinden
Elder A and Ja buying food at Target

This picture was taken by a sister in the Long Beach 10th ward.  She also gave them $50 to help pay for groceries. Both boys were out of money in their missionary debit card so it was truly a blessing.  We are thankful to the CA members for taking care of our missionary sons.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Preachin' in the Ghetto

Preachin' in the Ghetto
Hey!! What’s up!! I hope all is going well for everybody, and again thanks for the emails.  Well, for me, this week was great! We have been getting baptismal dates set with more of our potential investigators. We are having problems with them not coming to church however.  Every week they don’t come, we have to push their baptismal date back which is frustrating beyond belief, but I guess we just need to be patient and rely on the Lord and in his timing of things.

P-day this week was super fun!  We combined as two zones for a giant "nerf" gun war in the stake center gym. It was way fun! We had set up all the tables and chair racks as bases and objects to hide behind while we just went all out on each other with the guns we had.  It was awesome!

This is what "Macho Missionary Models" look like.
This week we also did something called a "blitz" here in our zone. We all met at the church then went to each other's areas in search of new investigators. It was great and very successful. We found new investigators in every area we went into because there was about nine of us in the area at one time.  Elder A** and I found a way solid lady named G** from Honduras in Elder T** and P**’s area.  I spotted her from down a street in her garage moving boxes so we decided to walk all the way down to contact her.  At first she was not having it at all.  She was sort of ignoring us and packing, but something switched and made her sit down and actually talk to us. After talking for a while, we found out that she is and has been mad at God for many years because she feels that he only answers others prayers and not her own.  Wow, just like that her doubt smacked us in the face and we knew exactly what to do!  We then had a great short lesson and passed her off to Elders T** and P** to teach!
Thanks mom for the Halloween treats!

Always a Utes fan!
Angry Birds Costume for the Branch Party.
HALLOWEEN NIGHT!!!! was super lame. Haha We just stayed inside and cleaned. However, thanks to everyone who sent me Halloween packages!! They were awesome and I have sooo much candy.  It’s unreal.  I was praying for trick or treaters to come by my house, but no.. so I will just get fat off of it.

We picked up some new investigators this week including an old former investigator.  We set a BAP date with her on Dec 7th!  We are so excited to work with these awesome people and hopefully help them reach the goal of baptism! Also, other good news is that all the less actives we have been teaching the family V**, and H** are now fully active!! They have come to church for well over a month now and Hno H** even blessed the sacrament yesterday which was sweet!

This week I read a book called, “The Peace Giver”. It was awesome! I read it in less than a day which is unheard of for me!  It really teaches some good lessons about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and about forgiveness and becoming free from the chains of the adversary. I highly recommend reading it! It’s about 200 pages, but super good.  I received a ton of great insight and revelation from it!

Well, I can’t really think of a whole lot more to talk about. Elder A** and I are killin' it here (at least we think so) haha and our investigators are great! My Spanish has improved a ton! People in the branch have said I sound Mexicano, so I guess that’s a good thing! We had a huge rain storm here also and I really loved finally being able to work in the rain and get out of the hot weather of S. CA. I hope everyone has a great week!! Thanks for all you do.  Love you guys!

Hasta Luego,
Elder Woffinden