Monday, October 26, 2015

Happy Halloween!

Carving pumpkins with my District.
Hello my family!! Whats up?? Thanks again for the emails! (Mom and Dad, haha, jk). I’m still here in Huntington Beach and I’m just trying to finish this last week of the transfer off strong. It’s crazy to think that I only have 2 transfers left after this week! Wow... 12 weeks. It’s going to fly by and I can’t believe it. I need to leave it all out here on the field her in HB because I am pretty sure I am dying here. Speaking of the work, we had a pretty slow week honestly, it was not very exciting. However, I will do my best to make it interesting :)

Visiting our good friend, Ann Ward.
This week we were able to visit a very good friend of ours in the hospital named Ann Ward who just turned 90 a couple of months ago. She is the sweetest lady ever. She reminds me of Grandma Phyllis, haha. She is from South Carolina and her accent is fantastic. She will talk to us for what seems like hours, but it is super fun. She isn’t doing too well, so Elder J** and I went and gave her a blessing on Wednesday and also paid her a visit on Saturday and she was doing tremendously better! So we hope she keeps improving. I am pretty sure I sent a photo of her to you.

 The rest of the week was slow like I mentioned. We couldn’t find anybody home and L** and P**, two of our solid investigators, have just disappeared from off the face of the earth and won’t get back to us so, oh well. I really don’t know what else to do. That just means more and more finding! That pretty much explains my entire mission, haha. 

Good news! To help with our finding we received a text on Tuesday night from the APs telling us to come to the office for a gift, haha. So we did and the gift was a brand new 2016 white Toyota Corolla! Pretty sweet! We turned in the 2011Ford Fusion and got the newest car in the mission, so we feel very special! :) It is leaps and bounds better than our old car. What’s even better is, since we have a new car, we get 1,050 more miles to drive for the month! So to use all these extra miles we had to go to the good old DMV in North Huntington! Elder J**’s license expired so he had to go get a California license so he could drive. Like all DMVs, it was pure death--the lines and waiting were terrible.I brought study materials and actually had a good conversation with some Hispanics from El Salvador, so it wasn’t too bad. Thankfully Elder J** passed so we don’t have to go back there again.
Elder R** 21st birthday!

On Wednesday night we had Elder Passey meet us at the church for the baptism interview for A** and she passed!! It’s official, November 14th at 3pm so you all need to be there!

On Saturday night we attended a multi-ward "Trunk or Treat" party for Halloween and it was awesome! We dressed up of course as missionaries so everybody loved our outfits... but it was good going back to the good old days, trick or treating with pillow cases and walking around the church with all the little kids in a Halloween parade, haha, it was great! At the end, with our pillow cases stuffed with candy, we walked around to all the kids under the age of 5 and gave them our candy, haha.

Honestly, there isn’t a whole lot more to talk about for this week. The work is slow, but we are still being hopeful and relying on the Lord to provide the means for us to keep going and to truly take his "yoke" upon us to pull our half of the burden.

Thanks again for everything!

Love you all!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, October 19, 2015

New Investigators in Harper Park, Who'd Have Thought?

Crusin' in the rain in HB.
Hey what’s up my family!? It’s super good to hear from you. Thanks for the emails and support you bring me all the way from the foreign land of Salt Lake City, Utah! Also, happy late birthday to my wonderful sister Brooke!! Happy 25th b-day!!! :)

Who is Voniece? And, why are there no cakes and cookies?
This week was a pretty good week for Elder J** and me. We experienced a lot of highs and some lows, but felt the hand of the Lord especially with the work. For the past three transfers that I have been here in Huntington Beach, we have served in four wards and out of the four wards, two of them have been pretty successful with having Spanish speakers in their boundaries for us to teach. However, two of them were super, super "white" and claimed to only have members living there. One ward in particular was the Harper Park Ward. I have never had an investigator in that ward and honestly, I never thought I would with how small and white the boundaries are, but good news, we found 6 investigators in that ward alone this week!! One is a pretty cool family that I will explain more about in a second, but the others are teenagers in high school whose parents all speak Spanish so we hope to pick them up soon.

You're not going to hit me with that ball are you?
As for the week, we had a slow one honestly. We didn't teach nearly as much as we normally do. A**'s baptismal interview is this Wednesday. We have finished her program, now we just have the painful wait until November 14th when she will be baptized. L** was out of town this past Sunday so we are going to have to move her date back a week. I’m not really sure what else to say for the work other than it’s going good and that we are hopeful to have more success. We had many people out of town such as L** our main and most solid investigator. She went up to San Francisco for the weekend with her husband, but hopefully she will come back tonight. We had a hard time finding many other investigators home throughout the week and it was the same situation with all of the less active members, so we had a slow week for sure. The success we had in Harper Park Ward was one family we taught on Friday night and it turned out to be a solid lesson! On Tuesday we contacted the mom and she told us to come by on Friday at 6:30 since she was busy with her English homework for college. We brushed it off like, sure... okay see you then… wrote it down and were positive it was going to be like any other contact. But as the week rolled on, we had a shocking surprise. Within one knock of the door, the husband F** opened the door wearing just a rug, well not literally a rug, but it was his chest hair which I thought was a rug, hahaI He was all, “oh hey, come in, come in!” At that moment we were a little shocked and not sure what to do, but we went in. Then the wife dropped what she was doing and was even more excited than he was and was all, "Hello!! We have been waiting for you! Please sit and make yourselves at home". By this time, I am shocked and can’t believe that the lesson is actually going to happen. Both Elder J** and I are wondering what is going on? Why are they being so nice? Haha.  It went great! Their youngest son Esau even came in during half the lesson and we taught him as well. So, that was a good tender mercy for sure. This coming Wednesday is A**’s baptismal interview at the church. We have completed her program and now have to painfully wait for November 14

Elder Ja--Machete Man
This week we did a lot of service for many old ladies. This one lady had the "Congo jungle" for a yard. She handed me a machete and told me to go to work, haha. So for about an hour I was having a grand old time hacking away at vines, trees, bushes, attacking spiders and who knows what else, haha. While I was relentlessly attacking her bushes, Elder J** took down her huge tree that had over grown so we created quite the pile of trash. It was super fun and she actually loved being able to see her back yard.

Well, that’s about it for this week. I hope all is going well back home! Good luck with all the remodeling in the new home. Thanks again for everything and have a great week! Go Utes! I heard about the win!! Super dope!!

Con mucho carino!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, October 12, 2015

A Great Week After a Great General Conference

The BIG 21 for my comp, Elder J**
Hey family, what’s up??

I thought this Conference was awesome! I’m sure like many of you it was crazy to receive three new Apostles, but I did say that Ronald A. Rasband would be one of them! The other two were a surprise. There were a couple of talks that really stood out to me from conference. President Uchtdorf’s from the Priesthood session was one of them. It was great! There were many others, but at the moment my mind can’t recall them so, oh well.

Unfortunately for me this weekend, and especially today, I was sick again!! I re-caught the same cold I just got over last week and have been hacking my lungs out, literally, haha. How did you all enjoy Conference weekend?? Yeah, I have to agree that Pres. Monson’s really struggled with his talk. It’s crazy to me that he has been a General Authority for almost as long as you have been alive Mom, haha.

 This past week was awesome!!! Don’t worry, I am feeling better. I went to the doctor and they gave me some antibiotics that kicked out the monster bug that was wrecking me, haha, so I feel much, much better!!

I got my release papers telling me when I will be coming home and they said January 26th, so that is the day then! I have thought a lot about going home early, but President Tew told me it would be impossible to send me home in December before Christmas, and I also want to serve the full time that I signed up for, so I will see you all at SLC International on January 26th!!

Today being P-day has been a good day. It is Elder J**’s birthday, so while we were grocery
Elder J**'s birthday sweet roll.
shopping, I bought us and Elders Rhodes and Oniki some cinnamon rolls and a 21 candle and we had a little b-day breakfast, haha.  It wasn’t much, but it was the best I could do considering we had no food... Oh well, haha.

Okay, there is a lot to talk about last week, so much I am trying to remember it all, but I will start with the work and with my investigators. A** is super good!  The baptismal date is still planned for November 14th and she is just a champion. We are reading with her in her little children’s Book of Mormon and she truly loves it all. So we are just biding our time till the day comes. We have L**! She is the miracle story and investigator that I want to tell you about.  L** is a middle aged woman with 5 children and her husband Oscar (who doesn't like us, but whatever). She has a wine collection of over 600 bottles, but hardly ever drinks she says. It’s only a hobby to collect the bottles?? Okay... ha, but we made tremendous progress with her this past week. We taught her about the Restoration and also the Plan of Salvation and had two of the most powerful and successful
Having a good time with Elder O** 
lessons of my mission, hands down. When we first met her, I’ll be honest, I was thinking “,… well here we go again,” as I was looking at the huge Mother Mary shrines and all the candles in her home. So I was very skeptical of her progressing. However, do not under estimate the power of God and the Holy Ghost!! I have truly seen how conversion comes through them and not my selfish self. As we finished teaching lesson one, we invited her to read Moroni chapter 10 and to pray about it. She was determined to do so, and she did!! She explained how she felt so at peace and how it was one of the best feelings she has had. She also brought up to us how she is dealing with a lot of hate and anger towards people in her family for things they have done to her and she started to cry. She wanted to know what she could do to feel the peace and love she desires in her life. Immediately the thought came to me to explain about baptism and to invite her to be baptized. So as we did and she didn’t hesitate for a second. We told her that it is the first step to finding peace, forgiveness and the love she needs to forgive and be healed. We invited her to be baptized November 1st and she said YES!!! I was so shocked and happy I think I looked stunned when she accepted, haha,  but as the week rolled on and we taught lesson two, I can truly see that she has potential and really will commit! She promised to come to church on Sunday but, early on Sunday morning she cancelled because she had to go to the hospital to visit her mother-in-law.... Satan is working hard on her now and it makes me so irritated!! We just need to be patient and help her make those necessary steps. We currently have 4 baptismal dates set and we are hopeful that all will go through! So please pray for A**, L**, L**, and M**.

The Huntington District
On Wednesday as we were heading home from our District Meeting, we received a call to go give a man who was not a member a priesthood blessing. So we went right away. He was having surgery for bladder cancer I think. All four of us went and gave L** a blessing and it was super good! It was the first Spanish blessing Elders Rhodes and Oniki had participated in and they said it was cool to be a part of it. Elder J** anointed him and I gave the blessing. We were also able to do some good service this week at the old folk’s home and also at a member’s home, so it was a great week for us all. We are doing well and I can’t believe how fast the time is flying by!

Well, I hope the best for everyone and I love you all!!

Gracias por todo que hacen para mi! En verdad ustedes son una gran bendicion para mi!! Los amo mucho :)

Elder “Lobo” Woffinden