Sunday, July 26, 2015


Early Morning on Huntington Beach!

What’s up!!! WOW Feliz Cumpleanos to my brand new baby niece born today (July 20th)!! I can’t believe another one has already arrived. How many is that since I have been gone?? 3 or 4?? I lose count. haha. But congrats Brooke and Tanner on the new baby girl! I can’t wait to see pics!! Also happy upcoming B-days this week to Grandma Davis, Annee, and to the greatest woman ever mi Madre en la semana que viene:)

Wow where do I begin with this week, we had a great one for sure! We found 9 new investigators and have 4 investigators who have high hopes of getting baptized within the next couple weeks or months talk about cool! We also had a specialized multi zone "finding training" which was pretty cool and also were able to teach an English class to about 8 Latinos this week. Haha so it was pretty eventful.

To begin, I’ll start with how the work is going. AWESOME but freaking hard at the same time. Like I explained earlier we have four investigators who will be baptized if not soon or in the near future. . Every one of their situations has its own problems however. A** and J** have the problem of their fathers will not allow them to get baptized at this time even though all of A** siblings and mom are already members and J** just turned 18. M** can’t because her "husband" aka boyfriend of 20 years won’t marry her and they have children so obviously splitting them up isn't an option. And L** is still not being able to come to church because of his leg. They all are progressing great but it’s gotten to the point that we both have not a clue in what to teach them anymore! We are left clueless and have no idea at all since they have been taught it all for a while now.  We did find 9 new investigators this week by knocking and going by potentials and formers so it was good to add more people to the teaching pool. Three of which we are really excited to work with this week and to pass by very soon.

On Tuesday we had a member in the stake have us come and teach the weekly English class to a group of about 8 people. Haha Man it was super fun! We figured we could all help each other so they would pronounce the sentence in English and we would have to do it in Spanish so we all were getting help. I had to make it fun and not boring so of course I got a little animated with some of the sentences that I would create on the board or with some questions I would ask them.  They would just laugh and had a good time so it was a success!

We have both been doing really well and our area is really starting to turn around.  I’m sorry this email is a short one, I just don't really know of anything more to say.   I love and miss you all and hope everything is okay back home and that the moving situation gets finalized as well! Thanks again for all you do for me and I look forward to your emails next week :)

Con carino,

Elder Woffinden

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bomb Week!

John the Beloved in the new Bible videos!
Hello everyone! How was everybody's week?? Thanks again for always writing me and keeping me informed of your lives. It’s always so good to hear from you all.  Okay well as for my week we had a bomb week! It was super great and I actually want to share what just barely happened about an hour ago.   As a zone we had the opportunity to have "Spencer" the man who plays John the Beloved in all the brand new Bible videos come here and talk with us.  He showed us some behind the scenes footage of them filming the life of Jesus Christ and the New Testament dialogue. It was fantastic! He is a super real down to earth guy and was a very good speaker. He actually lives in one of the wards I cover and said he would come out to lessons with us since he speaks Spanish from his mission in Peru. Now how many missionaries can say they have had John the Beloved come out on splits with them??? Yeah not many :) ha-ha For those who don’t know who he is, he is the long haired clean shaven apostle in the videos.  So go check them out. They are amazing and I learned so much about them!!
Chating with John  the Beloved!
As for our teaching this week, we had a great week (even better than the week before).  We have improved in every way and in our numbers and confidence as well. Elder J** and I are doing great together and really have seen the Lord bless us as we have tried to live and work to the best of our abilities. Okay so as for baptism dates, we still have A** who should be baptized on July 26th! We also now have a man named L** who has a date for Aug 22nd.  I will explain more about him in a second. But A** is by far the world’s coolest and most prepared 9 year old I have ever met! She understands everything and every time we come over she is always asking us to teach her friends or cousins or somebody random.  It’s always great!  Ha-ha. L** is a man in his 30s who is going through some very tough trials in his life at this time. He has severe type 1 diabetes and is suffering from that and he also had an accident at work where he completely destroyed his foot and so his whole leg is bandaged up and he CANNOT get it wet. He has accepted everything and said he knows this church is true and that he will be baptized once his leg heals. However it has been in a cast for over a year now due to the lack of blood flow from the diabetes he doesn't heal very quickly. So please keep him in your prayers that he will heal and be able to stand and go into water!

Sprained ankle!
We also have been teaching a man named R** who is a crazy miracle. So on Tuesday, we were getting ready to go to the doctor for my foot since I was hoping on my foot and couldn't walk at all. So I hoped into the car and shut the door and was waiting for Elder J** to come in when I heard a guy contact him and they started to talk outside of the car.  At first I didn't think anything of it but then I was all, "what the heck am I doing??'" ha-ha So I got out and we all started to talk. Turns out he has just gotten out of prison of 12 years and is ashamed of his life and wants to change and be clean from all the guilt he has in life. His family kicked him out a while ago and he has nothing and lives on the streets. We talked with him and had two great lessons with him this week! He said he wants to join our church as he continues to learn more!! Wow God puts people in our path when we least expect them and I am always being reminded as to how I need to talk to more people and never ever judge anyone! All of us have sinned, and the atonement is for all. It was a great week overall and we just hope to keep teaching more and improving daily.

Fun with the Seniors.
I was also able to go on exchanges this week with Elder B** who I watched be "born" into this mission back up in Ximeno.   I was able to go into his area and it was great to see how much progress he has made especially in the language. At first he spoke not a lick of Spanish but now he is making great leaps so props to him.  We had a great exchange and were able to teach a lot of less active members in his area. As we passed by one member’s house in particular we were able to talk to her 15 year old daughter at the door. She explained how she has had a rough life and suffers from depression and all sorts of other problems and how she started binge drinking at age 10 and then got into drugs later and how she has decided to stop and put God in her life so that she can receive more guidance and strength. Wow it was very humbling! I have never met anybody who has started that young and was able to want to change their life around so quickly.  I hope we will be able to help her down this road.
Horseshoes with the Seniors!

But that’s about it for my week! We have of course still been passing by our older ladies at the senior center to play lawn bowling, bingo, and horse shoes. Ha-ha There is a 97 year old woman who plays with us and she is hilarious. Ha-ha Love it. But love you all and miss you so much! To everybody who reads this just know how grateful I am for each and every single one of you and for the impact you have made in my life whether big or small.  I do appreciate it :)

Dios sea con todos ustedes esta semana!! Nunca se den por vencidos!

Con amor "el lobitio"
Elder Woffinden

Monday, July 6, 2015

It's Great to be in Huntington Beach

Welcome to Huntington Beach!
HBello!!! Get it?? Hey how’s it going everyone?? Wow, what a great week it has been being down here in Huntington Beach, minus the fact that I sprained my ankle pretty bad while playing sports today. So, I am just chilling at the church emailing with my ankle the size of a softball. It’s huge!! But, this area is very different from any other area I have served in that is for sure. There are 4 Spanish elders here and Elder J** and I cover all of HB while the others cover Fountain Valley so it is a pretty big area to drive and to work in.

Halfway done with our daily 6-mile run.
To answer questions about my companion, he is from Kansas and has been out on his mission I think for 7 months. I served with him up in Pico Rivera when he was getting trained by Elder C** and the follow up training by Elder T**, so I really know him pretty well already. Our apartment is pretty sweet and big, and we are only like 3 miles away from the actual beach which is pretty sweet. However my first day I arrived here I received a lovely parking ticket notice for the "street sweeping" which was super stupid! $44--all for the streets to get swept and never look clean, haha.

Here in HB we cover 4 separate wards and go
G** from Pico Rivera and me.
to 3 Sacrament meetings every week! Yeah, I about died doing that yesterday. I had to translate in Sacrament meeting for a couple of Spanish people with the head sets and all!! It was sooo hard. I can do Spanish to English, but from English to Spanish, and especially a testimony meeting when people are explaining how their grandfather was in WWII, and his plane got shot down in flames, etc., let’s just say I was way out of my league! Thankfully, there was a returned missionary from El Salvador whose Spanish was pretty dang good! So he helped me out a ton and took over for some of the meeting. I feel pretty stupid since his Spanish was so more advanced than mine but, I guess that's just the price you pay serving in the states,  especially with it being Fast Sunday. We have the richest ward in the mission called the Sea Point Ward which we cover and the people in that ward are beyond loaded with cash! Their homes are crazy and have just the nicest cars and pools, etc., so it is a huge culture shock to what I have been used to serving on my mission. But, all the members are very cool and nice, and the dinners have been just like home, so no complaints here.

Okay, so for the work, we have a young girl named A** who has a baptismal date for the July 26!
Our new way of contacting--Surf-tacting!
We set it on Tuesday and she is super, super prepared! She has been getting taught since she was 4 and she is 9 now so she knows everything like the back of her hand. The only issue was her father wouldn't let her be baptized and has been pretty strict with all the kids when it comes to church. The mom is already a member and wants us to get her baptized and feels her husband will ease up this time and sign the papers. SO please pray for A**! We are pretty much white washing her since I am brand new in the area and know nothing or nobody, and Elder J** doesn't have an idea either, haha. So it’s just like Compton again! However, we had a pretty successful week and taught a fair number of lessons and the members are pretty willing to help out with the sets that we have. I still don’t have too great of a knowledge of our investigators since I have only been able to meet about half of them, but I am hoping to report more about lessons or experiences with them in my next email.

We are trying to teach this super awesome couple from Argentina, but they never have time.  I just
Saying goodbye to Y** in Pico Rivera
have a feeling that they will progress due to this one lesson we had with them my first night in the area. They said they have been wanting to think about becoming Mormon, but don't want to be rushed especially the wife since she had a stroke recently and is like half paralyzed on her left side of her body. SO, hopefully we will be able to progress with them this upcoming week!

Elder J** and I have been having a great time though, and something happened that was pretty cool on Thursday while we were out contacting and visiting potentials with a member. We were walking down this street called Florida when I saw this super nice Maserati and Porsche sitting in this guy’s drive way. SO I was all whoooa!! Dude, let’s go take a look at this! So as we
Our new mission car--a $300K Ferrari.
approached the house, I see this brand new gray waxed-up Ferrari with the windows down sitting in the garage, haha. I immediately went up and knocked on the door. This super jacked ripped guy opens the door with his shirt off and is all, whats up? And I replied hey bro, can I look at your Ferrari?? He paused and said, "yeah sure," haha. So we all went into the garage to look at all these super nice cars and bikes that he has. As I was looking at his car I was wondering how he was able to afford a $300 thousand dollar car and all these other toys when I noticed all around his garage there were pictures, posters, and ads--all of him as a world champion MMA fighter, haha. I forgot his name sadly, but he is from Brazil and he and his brother are like double black Jujitsu fighters that have been living here for about 10 years. We had a great discussion but, sadly he was not interested in our message or what we had to offer him... but I did get some great photos, so that was pretty sweet!

My Zone and District are pretty cool! Being by the beach is awesome, we are there just about every day driving past or walking around. Every day elders F**, R**, J** and myself wake up at 6 am to go to the church to do Insanity tapes in the gym, haha. It is great, but it killed me this week since I am so out of shape. On Saturdays we do our beach run which is a 6-mile run from the elder’s apartment down the boardwalk by the beach and then back. We did it this past Saturday during the 4th of July and it was packed!! I guess every year here in HB they go all out for the 4th of July and all the streets from Main on down get shut down for parades and EVERYONE goes to the beach and sets up camp for the fireworks which are launched off the pier. We were able to run by it at like 7 am while they were getting ready and it looked super fun!

Saying goodbye to another great family in Pico Rivera.
Our 4th of July was good! We had a decently successful teaching afternoon, but at night, nada! But we were able to watch the fireworks with some cool members from the Sea Point Ward and it was super cool! It reminded me of home when we go to the firework shows in Sandy. We also were able to do some service here and have now signed up at the old folks home here twice a week, every week, haha. It is super fun!! We play bingo with them and all other sorts of games. They are all nice old ladies (there were about 9 of them) even though a couple of them are the bossiest people in the world, haha. We do it every Thursday and Saturday and just go and have fun with the seniors. One of them grabbed me by the hand and asked, "you are such a good looking young man, why are you not in the films!?" haha. Then she asked how old I was, and when I replied 22, she said, “well too young for me,” haha. It was great!

Say hi to my new pet, Willie!
That’s about it for me!! Things are going good! I’m not going out to work tonight since I can barely walk but, I look forward to this week! Hope all is well with everyone and just know I love and miss you all! Have a great week!

Elder Woffinden

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Transferred to Huntington Beach South

Y came to Church!
What’s up!! Hey how are things for everyone?? Super good to hear from you all again. It’s always awesome. Lots of questions for me but I will try to answer them the best that I can. To start off, I know everyone knows that transfers are here and that there was a good chance in me being transferred, and it came true! I am getting moved to Huntington Beach South which covers the beach and all the tourist spots, etc. (aka temptation avenue so they call it here!!)  ha-ha  My companion is going to be Elder J** and if that name sounds familiar it is because he was here with me in Pico Rivera for 2 transfers and then was transferred out last transfer.  Super excited to head down to the beach, but it is going to be very, very tough being there in the middle of July. (Ha ha) There is no Spanish ward down there so we actually will cover a whole stake of English wards. I heard that on Sundays we have to go to three or four different wards that are all white wards and when we do bring investigators we have to translate the meetings into Spanish for them. Yeah, it’s gonna be a journey that's for sure, but I am ready for the challenge.

I have put on a little weight!
I also completed my two week Book of Mormon reading goal on Friday and it was awesome! I have never read the whole book that fast before and I truly can say it helped me out a ton to appreciate the book and how it blesses lives. I have a goal to complete it every transfer which means I will read it 5 more times before the end of my mission. It takes 9 pages of reading a day for 6 weeks to do so I am pumped!!

So that is what’s happening here with me! Pico was great! I loved it here, the people were awesome and the work totally humbled me as it always does. The Lord always makes sure to wake me up to realize that nothing happens here unless we are asking and relying on him and his infinite wisdom.

J is giving him a punch!
There is a story I want to share that actually happened on Saturday with our new investigator Y** that we have been teaching.  She is progressing great! She doesn't have a real strong knowledge in God as to who he is or if he really exists. She has grown up Catholic and only went to church when she was forced to go to Misa. We have been really focusing on teaching her about prayer and how God is a loving father figure to her personally. There is absolutely no point in teaching the lessons to an investigator who has no idea who God is.  Even if we explain it, she has to internalize it or else it is just words. So we had a church tour with her on Saturday afternoon. We had many members from both English and Spanish wards at the church due to a bridal shower and two baby showers that all happened in the gym (which we were invited to and gladly participated in after – ha ha) We went into the chapel and had a very short but powerful lesson about church and why we go and why God wants her to go. I had a question pop into my mind to ask her how her praying has been coming along and she responded that it has improved by a lot of gradual progression. So we then invited her to take as much time as she needed and to offer a silent prayer by herself while we moved to another part of the chapel to give her some alone time. We told her to pray for a specific question to help her know if this is something good.  She took about 15 minutes and it was pure silence the whole time while we sat there prayed and just meditated. It was very powerful! When she was done she explained how she had never had anything like that happen to her and how she had felt such a peace and calm fall upon her. She was very moved by it. We then later invited her to be baptized with the promise that she can always feel that way.  She accepted for the 26th de julio!! Pretty sweet! She also came to church yesterday and LOVED IT!!  We watched “Meet the Mormons"  :)
One of our great investigators

As for Elder B and I, the rest of our week was pretty good. Sorta slow with a lot of the work, but we spent a lot of time performing service. We did about 12 hours this week for IFC, and we also helped a business move furniture around.  Aka, I was the "dolly" and moved the furniture. ha-ha. It was freaking hard! But it was great and it always makes you feel good when you are helping others out!
Elder B's Hump Day!
Things are great!! The despedida was awesome yesterday! As always, I’m sure you all saw some photos from that.  ha-ha   It always makes my day seeing all the members and friends I have grown to love on my mission!!  It really makes me know how blessed I truly am and how I would do anything for each one of them. But that's it for me this week!!

Hasta la semana que viene!! Los amo a todos mucho!!

Con mucho carino y amor

Elder Woffinden