Monday, November 23, 2015

I'm Loving Every Minute I Have Left!

My Zone in HB with Elder Zaballos and President and Sister Tew.
Hey! How is everyone doing this fine week? It has been awesome here in So CAL and I am loving every moment I have left here in the mission. Last week I received a letter from Church headquarters with my flight papers to head home... wow crazy!! So here is the info for anybody who wants it. I arrive on Tuesday, Jan. 26th at 9:49 am in the Delta Airlines Terminal 2.  So I will see you all then, ha-ha.

The work here has been going along very well. This past week has been a very 
The history of my mission...on a long board--awesome!
good one for Elder P** and myself. We didn’t teach quite as much as last week, however, we did do a lot of things better and that were more fulfilling. We have seen a lot of progress with our investigator P** as she has returned home from being out of town, and also as we have helped her with service in her life.  On Saturday we  helped her set up Christmas decorations and her Christmas lights. As we have talked to her and started to teach her, she told us how she wants to raise her two daughters in a God-centered home with morals so that they will have a much better chance of not growing up and making the same mistakes she made in her life. We set a date for her to be baptized on Dec 20th and she accepted and said she wouldn’t feel right about being baptized if her two little girls didn’t join her! So we are going to keep praying mightily for this baptism to go through.  This past week I also was able to go on exchanges with Elders H** and C**.  Both are great missionaries and both great exchanges. We found new investigators on each one and were able to set a baptism date with E** for the 20th of Dec!  

I made Elder Conway a cupcake for his Hump Day.
This week for church we had E** (inv) come to church along with M** and M** (less actives) they brought a non-member friend to church too.  However, she lives in Santa Ana so we will not be able to teach her. But at the end of Sacrament meeting we and three other members (who spoke Spanish) taught the first lesson and it went very well! She has a great desire to learn. It was really a blessing that M** came to Church!  The whole five plus months I have been here, I have never been able to help her get to church.  However, the week we didn't go to her ward and we attended another ward, she comes... ugh frustrating, ha-ha. But, I was very happy that we had a good turn out and that all is going well.

This past Friday we also had a General Authority come and visit the mission. Elder
A nice place to be if you
have nut allergies like me!
Zeballos and his wife attended our Zone Conference and spoke to us along with President and Sister Tew. It was very long but a good meeting, and it was the last zone conference of my mission which is crazy! This next week is Temple P-day so I won’t be emailing on Monday but on Tuesday instead. 

I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend! I will try to not gain 40 lbs. out here this week, but who knows what will happen. I hope you all have a great week and Happy Thanksgiving!! Que Dios les bendiga a todos y que tengan una buena semana :) Gracias por todo que hacen para mi! En verdad estoy muy consentido ;) 

Con mucho carino,

Elder Woffinden 

Monday, November 16, 2015

We Had a Baptism This Week!

Akari on her baptism day!
HOLA mis queridos amigos y familiares! 

What’s up with everyone?? How is it being in the beautiful snow?? Yes I did say that I miss it, a lot actually! Even though I wake up freezing, and it’s only in the 50s and 60s in the afternoon and I want to just die, haha. It’s official the weather here has turned me into a wuss, but oh well. 

I had a greet week here in Huntington Beach and we truly saw many miracles, one of which of
Akari and her family.
course was that AKARI GOT BAPTIZED!!! Whoo! Saturday was an awesome day. Even though there were some slight hic ups in the program, and a couple things turned south right before the baptism, we still had a great service and she looked super cute in her princess outfit! The Lord truly blessed me to have been able to meet the A** family. Even though A’s father doesn't show interest right now in the gospel, I have seen him grow so much just by having us coming by, and by seeing the change in his daughter’s life. I know he will join some day and I just pray that I will be able to attend his baptism whether it is next week or 40 years from now. Even though I am not a perfect missionary and I have made mistakes and have flaws, one thing I have learned on my mission is how to love people and express love through actions and service. It’s awesome the change that occurs. After the baptism, we went to her after party where there was this giant carpa (tent) and a DJ, bounce castle, tons of food. They also hired people to make all you can eat tacos, haha. So, of course I gained at least 10 lbs. just Saturday night, but it was a lot of fun even though half of the people there were drinking and having a good time, haha. I will send pics of the after party next week when I have my SD card with me. 

Elder P** and I had a really solid week.
Besides having a baptism, Elder P** and I had a really solid week teaching as well! We taught about 25 lessons and really saw some progress in a couple of people. We were able to meet L** again, finally! I was on splits with a 16 year-old kid with a mow hawk (without gel) The sides of his head were shaved so the missionary image was great, haha. However he has a super strong testimony and actually speaks a decent amount of Spanish for a white kid, I was impressed. He speaks much more than I ever could at his age. As we taught her we were able to also teach her daughter!  Her daughter at first wasn't too thrilled, but then she smiled and was all "Ok, fine this one time," haha. It might be the only time, but I hope she felt something as we taught her! She seemed happy to talk with us and participated a lot so, who knows? We have a giant area to cover and so it is hard to meet with everybody, but we are hanging in there the best we can. Yesterday we had two investigators show up to church that we didn’t even get a chance to teach last week which was crazy!! Maybe that’s the trick! Don’t teach them and they’ll come to church... go figure, haha. But I was super happy about that! 

This week is a zone conference and we are having a visiting authority come and meet with us on
My best friend and study companion.
Thursday, so it should be bomb!! I’m looking forward to that! Also, Temple P-day is on December 1, so when I don’t email on that day you will know why this time, haha. It’s crazy to think that this is my last temple trip of my mission! (except the week before I go home when I go with President Tew). I can’t believe how fast the time flies, but I am going to continue to make the best of it while I am here in HB. With the holidays around the corner, I expect it to be super good here! I am looking forward to them :) But I hope you all had, and will continue to have, a good week, Thanks again for all you do!! 

Gracias por todo que hacen para mi!! Les amo mucho.

Elder Woffinden 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Life is Good! We Have a Giant Area and We Are Swamped With Work.

Akari's 10th birthday party...she will be baptized this week.
Buen dia a todos!! Hey what’s up!? How is everyone this week? This past week has been a very long and cold one! Yes, I said cold.  Cali has turned me into a wimp, and every morning when we wake up I just want to die it’s so cold, haha. It has also been raining a lot too and it poured this morning. All of Huntington Beach was a giant river and we were out driving through it while we were doing our P-day routine.  :)  But, this past week has been good being with Elder Passey. We have a GIANT area
We have a BIG area, so I'm glad we have a new car.
to cover and are very swamped with work right now. Yeah, I know that's not what missionaries usually say, haha, but there are not enough hours in the day to go by everyone that we want to visit in both areas, so it has been giving us some real challenges. However, Elder Passey and I get along great and have been really working hard.

Elder P** is 19 years old from Grantsville, Utah. He has been out for almost 16 months and he served with me during the "dream team" months back in Ximeno with the best district ever! So we get along really well. We have been setting high goals for these next 3 months since we have about 25 investigators and tons of less actives and people to go by and visit so we have set goals to invite all our investigators to A**'s baptism this week to weed out the solid ones from the weak ones and to have threee baptisms by January 1!

Akari's family enjoying her birthday.
A** is all set to go with the program being made this week and she will be baptized by a member of the ward that is a really good friend of the family, so we are really excited for her!! I am so stoked! I have been waiting for her baptism for the longest time and now it’s finally happening! This past Wednesday was her 10th birthday and she invited us over to be with the entire family!  It was such a typical Hispanic party, haha, loud, men watching Chivas play Leon in soccer, and kids running around like crazy while the women converse and cook in the kitchen, haha. LOVE IT! We made her cookies and gave her two big teddy bears we had obtained from random service projects we have done and she loved them! It was a lot of fun, and it was good to be involved in Spanish party land again for a little while.

As for the rest of the work, we haven't been able to find L**, again.... She was in the shower last night when we passed by and so I am very frustrated because I know she can easily progress, but she just won’t make time for it right now. Luis is reading like a boss and is now in the Book of Jacob! He wants to be baptized and has a good understanding and testimony of the lessons we have taught, but he is afraid to leave his home unattended with his diabetic "foot", so he uses that as an excuse to stay inside. So I’m not really sure what else we can do at this point, just pray we find a solution to this problem.

We found four new investigators this week, all of which were teenage girls with ages between 15 and
Kowabunga! Take me right over there so I don't get my shoes wet.
16... ugh! All they care to do is flirt, so I don’t really plan on teaching them for too much longer, it’s just a waste of time. However, I am hoping to teach their families all of which are Hispanic, so that would be the ideal situation! We also are teaching a woman named C** who is new and is progressing to a certain extent. We asked her if she believed what we have told her is true and she said yes! However, that’s only because she doesn't think we would lie to her... so we told her she needs to pray and take the steps necessary to find an answer for herself, but she just won’t do it. We have taught her about prayer like 10 times and she still just doesn't get it, so.. yeah, haha. I need to be patient with this one.

I look good on TV! At least on a Walmart Security Cam.
Another person to mention is a man named R** that Elder P** has been teaching, and so now I am getting to know him better. He is a middle aged man who has been a smoker since he was a teen and is in a ferocious battle to quit smoking. He is super cool and an amazing painter and has been getting taught for a couple months now and wants to do what’s right, but he says that if he were to get baptized it would be with a cigarette in his mouth, haha.

I am looking forward to what this next week has to offer and I am ready to reach the goals we have set. I’m doing well and HB is treating me good. Thanks for all that you all do!! Have a great week!

Elder Woffinden

Monday, November 2, 2015

Staying in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach Zone

What’s up everyone? How was your Halloween weekend? What fun activities did you all do?  As you all probably know this is transfer weekend and the results are in! I am staying in Huntington Beach!  The zone has lost a companionship of Spanish Elders.  Now there is only my companionship for all Spanish speakers in all nine wards here in the Stake!! My new companion is Elder P**!! Woot! Elder J** and Elder B**, both our junior companions, are leaving to Whittier to be in Spanish land and the senior companions are left to take care of HB, ha-ha. So I am very happy and excited for my last two transfers here! However that is a lot of work and a huge area to cover for one companionship.  It will be a big change and a lot of work and miles to cover. But with that being said, I feel that we are going to be blessed and will have success and baptisms. Speaking of which, A** is still good to go so we are ready for that and also we are planning on setting a couple of dates this week with L**! (We finally found her again, she was super busy) She has been reading in the Book of Mormon and praying the whole time we haven't been able to visit her and her desires to keep learning and want to progress in las charlas (the chats or discussions) has still increased! So I am very happy to be working with her again. I also know that the other Spanish elders have some great potential also. So elder P** and I are ready to set dates and get to work.  I'm also glad to hear about Brooke and Tanner getting a new car!  Brock, I will expect to get hooked up as well okay? Ha-ha, jk. But really though... that would be sweet.

Ja and Elder R
The Zone has made a ton of changes and it’s sad to see missionaries leave! I have some solid friends here and it's gonna be hard saying goodbye to them all.  It’s crazy that I only have 12 weeks left on the mish!! It’s amazing how fast time really does fly by even when there are days where it feels like an eternity. I am looking forward to setting new goals and plans to better prefect myself and become a better missionary. To be honest, I was very saddened that I was never called to train, etc. It for sure made me feel like I was an inadequate missionary and that I wasn't good enough. However I guess things happen for a reason, but I just need to finish off strong and keep being positive.
Huntington Beach District
The work here is going to be crazy now since I am adding five more wards of work or just members to try to get to know! It’s lame when members come up to you at church and are all, "Oh hello, are you in our ward?" :/ terrible.  I have been here for 4 months... ha-ha.  Elder J** and I did some great work and he for sure will be missed.  He was a great companion and I hope he enjoys Spanish land and progresses more in the Spanish language. We have several strong investigators  right now, but have had to drop a handful of others who were not progressing. There's lots to do so I hope we have a super good week.

Halloween was pretty cool! We cleaned! Ha-ha. Then we went to the Stake Center and had the zone leaders give us a couple of trainings.  We received transfer facts about the upcoming transfer. On Sunday at the Despedida, Elders O**, J** and P** did a musical number for the fireside and it was super bomb!  It was my free ticket in without an investigator, ha-ha. But, it was a great fireside and I was able to see Y** (my recent convert) and also many other members of different wards in areas I have served in. I absolutely love going to those!!

Well that’s about it for this week, but thanks and love you all!!


Elder Woffinden