Monday, January 18, 2016

My Last Sermon.

The Mann's have been super good to us here.
Well, this is it. To begin, I cannot believe how fast two years can really pass by. I remember my first week in la CMM in Mexico City and having thoughts such as, "Wow two years... that's a long time!" Or, "can I actually do this?" At times on my mission I really didn't think it was possible or that I even wanted to complete it. However, I changed and I grew to love my mission, the people, my companions and even the people who I wanted to hit in the head with a two by four because of the trouble they would give us, haha.

This really has been the best two years of my life, and I HATED it when people would say that back home. I always thought it was tacky or fake but, it really is true!! I have grown so much by living gospel standards and trying to put my will behind God's and allowing him to work through me. Was I perfect at that? No. But, we can't live a perfect life or even serve a perfect mission, so that's why we have the Atonement and all eternity to better ourselves!! I have come to know for myself that this gospel is true. How? By simply living it. You can't say something doesn't work or will work in your life if you don't try it out first, and I have and I have loved every minute of it! The experiences I have gained from these two years of service will forever live in my heart, and I will always love the people whom I have served, taught, and associated with. Christ lives and is our Savior and Redeemer and God our Father loves us and has provided us with everything we have for the benefit of his children and to help us return back to Him.

Our good buddies, the Gallacher family.
Thanks to everyone for the support, love and prayers from back home or here in good 'ol' Cali!! Gracias por todo que han hecho para mi!! Les quiero a todos de ustedes! No puedo esperar por los momentos buenos que tendremos juntos en poco tiempo! Me encanta la mision!! y ahora tengo que enfocarme en la obra del Senor por solomente una semana mas! Les vere pronto!! Que Dios los bendiga a todos!

Okay, now to update you all on the work here :) So... Emilia will be baptized this Saturday at 11 am!!! I am super excited and she has asked the Bishop to baptize her and for me to confirm her, so I am so happy that I get to do that on my last Sunday in the mission. However, Jorge and Xochilt didn't pass the interview. It's a really long story, but I will say that they will be baptized in February!! They just have to work on their testimonies a little more. Honestly, I was super depressed when they didn't pass. President Tew interviewed them and then he came out and informed us they won't be baptized at this time. When he said that, I about broke down into tears, it was crushing because I took it personally. I felt like I had failed them and not taught them well enough. It was really hard because I love this family so much and it was my last chance to get them baptized while I'm still in the mission. But, it's not going to happen. However, I am better now and I am prepared to watch their progress from afar and hopefully attend their baptism in February!! Amelia (different one) came to church yesterday with her whole family and they loved it!! All the little kids loved Primary and were super sad to leave because they had made friends and were eating donuts, etc., haha, so I was really happy about that :)

Okay, I expect to see this in the garage waiting for me when I come home!
The work is going great here! I am happy to see you all soon but, I am also super nervous to come home. Please note my flight has changed, and I think I will be landing in Salt Lake City at around 10:15 am now, so just wait in the airport until noon and hopefully I will show up! But, thanks again for everything!

Con mucho carino,

Elder Jason Woffinden

Monday, January 11, 2016

Only Three More Emails Left!

Yadira's sister, Janet got baptized! It was a great day!
Hey everyone! So this week was awesome! I am going to try to be as short but specific as possible...this week things here in Huntington Beach are amazing! The work here really is blowing up. Jorge and Xochilt and Emilia are all getting baptized for sure on January 23rd!!! Its official and we have their interviews this Friday at the church with President Tew.

It was great to see old friends and missionaries from Pico Rivera.
Jorge and Xochilt have come to church 3 weeks in a row and the most recent lessons we have had with them have been some of the best while I have been here in HB. We finished up teaching all of lesson 4 and the Commandments and we had the Bishop there (he speaks Spanish). Jorge bore his testimony and it really was one of the best I have ever heard! He expressed his gratitude for our examples and our persistence with him and his family, and also for the blessings God has given them. The said they wouldn't drink coffee anymore and that they wanted to go through with their goal of being baptized! We are currently teaching their youngest daughter, Naylea, right now and we are trying to get her up to speed with her parents. I am guessing she will be baptized sometime in February along with her two other sisters that we passed off to the YSA elders.

My good buddies, Elder Jumonville and Jorge.
Emilia is also super super solid! Probably one of the most prepared people I have ever seen. On Wednesday we were teaching her the Word of Wisdom and she chimed in with questions about the Law of Chastity and tithes and offerings! Her husband has been a member for 2 years, so with the help of the bishop of their ward, we taught her all three of those lessons in just 1 hour.

The Romero family.
Yesterday I was invited to go to the baptism of Yadira's younger sister Janet!! Back in Pico Rivera, Elder Brown and I found her while we were looking for Yadira. We started to teach her all the fundamentals, then we found Yadira, Yadira's baptism has impacted their whole family (except the mom--shes hates us, haha), but it really is amazing!

Ruby, a new member, and her daughter.
Since there are no longer any Despedidas in the mission, yesterday at the baptism I was able to say goodbye and take photos with a lot of friends and other missionaries I haven't seen in a really long time, and probably won't for a while either. Overall, it was a great afternoon up in Pico Rivera.

It as fun to see Elder Brown again.
This week was also a very wet week. It literally dumped rain here!! I haven't seen it rain so hard in a really long time. All streets were flooded and to be honest, it was a blast, haha. Elder Garcia, one of the elders  that we drive around, wrote the following in his email,  "OH HOW COULD I FORGET, El Nino hit on Wednesday, haha. That was kinda much much water, haha. Jason Woffinden (Elder Woffinden) was driving us home in it and he hit every puddle he could find. Lemme tell you...there was a point where we were hydroplaning and water was spraying on both sides of looked like we had dope!"

So yes it was super fun, haha. But, due to the large amount of water, there was some serious flooding here in Huntington. So on Saturday we as a zone went to a couple local fire stations and helped fill sandbags for people to come pick up and use as a boarder around their homes and garages. It was a lot of work and some real manual labor--those things are pretty heavy, haha, but we are scheduled to do it again on Thursday and Saturday of this week.

Well, that's about it for this week!! I love my mission! I have seen so much change in myself, but mostly in others, and it will forever be a foundation block for me and my life after the mission. Thanks again for everything and for all your love and support! Keep it real and para siempre Dios este con vostros!!!

Elder Jason Woffinden

Monday, January 4, 2016

It's Been a Really GOOD WEEK!!!

I love singing in the choir!

Hello, so writing emails is getting harder and harder... but I will do my best.

HEY! whats up everyone? So this is going to be a really short but to the point email, so y'all ready?? Okay go!


Thanks, love you all!!

Elder Woffinden

Nah Jokes. So this week really was a good one though! We have seen so much progress and miracles happen here in Huntington Beach that it is truly amazing! Right now we have 7 people who have accepted baptismal dates, 5 of which are for January 23rd!! So it could be a super successful and blessing-filled last Saturday of my mission!! Please keep them all in your prayers! We were able to
Jorge and family at the LA Temple.
have Jorge Xochilt, Naylea and a new investigator we received, Emilia come to church yesterday!! It was so awesome! It's the world's best feeling when you are sitting on the stand in Sacrament meeting translating and you see all of your investigators walk in grab a head set and sit down! We have a lesson with this family tonight and I am pretty nervous honestly for these last weeks...they are working towards being baptized in two weeks and we still have a ton of work and teaching to do! So we might have to push their date back to the 23rd, but overall they are progressing really well. We had to pass off Angie this week to the YSA elders since she is 22 and she is GOLDEN!! I was able to sit in on one of the lessons with her, and she said when they paused for prayer, she offered a prayer in her heart and she said she received an answer and really does want to get baptized!! It was super cool!

The Tree of Life at the LA Temple.
We were able to have a super good church tour this week with Amelia with members Araceli and Leicy. We showed her all  the paintings in the church and explained them and tied them all into the main message of receiving answers to prayers. Once we made it to the chapel we watched the baptism of Jesus Christ from the bible videos then invited her to take as much time as she wanted and then offer a prayer about her baptismal date. She took about 15 minutes then stood up and walked over to us and we asked her how it went and she responds really well! I feel great, however I still haven't received an answer.... ugh I was shocked it was not what I was expecting at all. I learned a very valuable lesson that night about even if you work as hard as you can and are doing all you need to you still need to work within God's timing. So it was hard, but we are still working with her.

I do have some more good news! Last week I received a very interesting call from some sisters in the zone and they asked me if I could do a baptismal interview for their investigator. Of course I said yes. We discussed when and where and then they said, oh yeah, it will need to be in Spanish... umm what?? Why? Because she mostly speaks Spanish, haha. Yeah, so I requested to sit in on a lesson with her so I could watch the sisters teach her and see how much English she really does understand. Well, she can only speak very limited English, and can only read in Spanish and her husband has to repeat things for her in Spanish. So we made arrangements with the sisters to pass her off to us. It isn't a matter of who ends up teaching her, it's all about conversion and understanding in her native language. So we have been working with Emilia now and she is wanting to be baptized on January 23rd!!

 But everything is going good! I'm loving life and the mission is awesome.

Love you all, and see you soon.

Elder Woffinden