Monday, September 30, 2013

Wow...What a Week

So, let's start off with the comparably boring news. I got transferred to Carlsbad, California and my new companion is named Elder Blomstedt. It's a really nice area, and almost anywhere you go you have a nice ocean view. Also, the weather here is awesome so far. It has never gotten extremely hot or really cold. It has been great.

But that is less important.

The main thing that happened this week was that I got into a bike accident involving me, a downhill slope, and a loss of stability on a bike. To make a long story short, my companion and I were going down a fairly large hill in our area, and when we got to the bottom I lost control of my bike and went flying...until I landed...on the hurt. So, I got quite a bit battered, bruised, and slightly broken, but I am a lot better off than I should be probably.

I attribute my relative lack of injuries to two main things:

1. My helmet. No matter how ridiculous wearing a helmet looks I will forever promote the use of helmets in the future. Without the one I was wearing I would probably just be a splattered missionary on some road in Carlsbad. Unfortunately I will not be using that helmet again, as the impact broke it.

2. My Father in Heaven. It is really clear to me that I should be a lot more injured than I am. Since the only protective equipment I was wearing was my helmet, and I obviously would not just land on my head, the rest of my body should be a lot more injured than it is, but other than my knee (which did get fairly road rashed) and my shoulder (which was dislocated [then I somehow relocated it without knowing it]) and a few other small scrapes and bruises, the rest of me is perfectly fine. And I don't think it should be. So I know that there was some divine preservation involved in this whole accident. And I am extremely grateful to know that this came from my Heavenly Father who loves me dearly and wants the best for me.

So now I have spent the last few days visiting hospitals, a couple specialists for some of my more severe injuries, and being taken care of by Elder Blomstedt. He has been absolutely great these past few days, doing everything he can to help me out. Which just shows more of God's love for me, assigning me to Elder Blomstedt just a few days before this happened.

During this whole thing, there has been one scripture that has been going through my head very often. This scripture is D&C 122:7. In the scripture it lists off many trials and tribulations, but it is the last line that really sticks out to me, "all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." Even though at this time I may not be able to see why, I find comfort in the fact that this whole crazy thing that has happened to me will, in the long run, be for my good. And I know that I have already gained some experience from this, and I hope that I will be able to share this with others in the future.

I am so grateful for all the support and love that I receive. It has really been a great help for me these last few days. Thank you all!


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 23, 2013

The End of My Journey in Murrieta

To start off. I made an error in my email last week. I said the visiting authority for stake conference was Elder "Bassnet" but his name is actually Elder "Basset." So, sorry for the confusion...if I caused any. you can guess from the title......(pause for dramatic effect)......I'm getting transferred. Going to be going to the mission office tomorrow, and then I'll find out where I am being sent. So I'll say more about where I'm going next week.

The more startling thing is that it is not just me leaving, but Elder Bird is being transferred out as well! According to the Assistants to the President we are both getting transferred due to a logistics issue because of this next influx of missionaries. So, even though it came as a big shock that both Elder Bird and I will be departing from good old Murrieta, it is a bit comforting to know that we are both leaving because of how much the work is progressing on a world-wide scale.

After that bit of exciting news, the rest of my email is going to be dull by comparison probably. But I still thought it was a good week, so I'm going to share about it anyways.

One awesome thing is that even though I'll be leaving Murrieta here in a bit, I was able to see the first project of the big City Service Project all the way through. Since the announcement of this monumental project about two months ago, us missionaries in Murrieta have been working in a park called Firefighter's Park. When we got there we were put right to work giving the park a "face-lift" as it was described. We sanded, scraped, painted, re-mulched, and worked really hard making this park look good for the past couple months, and this last week...we finished it! It has been really fun to be working so closely with the city, and it was also just great to be able to provide service that otherwise would not have gotten done. But I'm really glad that I was able to see this phase of the overall project all the way through.

The rest of this week has been spent trying to track down some of the area's potential investigators. So in other words...lots and lots of bike riding. Though it was well worth it. We were able to contact quite a few of these people, and set up appointments with a few of them...though...I won't be seeing those appointments through...but at least the new missionaries coming in will have something to do right from the get-go!

Now, before I end, my traditional spiritual thought. This last Sunday (so post finding out that Elder Bird and I were getting transferred) our Bishop said something was really cool. He said something like, "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." In other words, I may be able to see the work that I have put into this area, but I will never be able to know what will come from it in the long run, or how many people I have affected without even realizing it. This reminds me a bit of the parable of the sower that Christ tells in Matthew 13, where a man is sowing seeds, and some of the seeds fall by the way side and were eaten by birds; some fell among stones, grew quickly, but died in the sun because they did not have roots; some fell among thorns and were choked, and some fell on good ground and brought forth much fruit. The reason I think of this is I (and all missionaries for that matter) are like the sower, but we don't always know where our seeds land, and we also don't really know which ones will grow and bring forth much fruit. Even though I will be leaving Murrieta shortly, maybe there will be someone I have affected in my time here that will one day come into the Church due to what I said, possible without me knowing it or them even remembering me. All I can do is work my hardest and hope that some seeds will grow from my labors.

Well, that is all I have for this week. I'll talk to you all again from wherever it is I am at!


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 16, 2013

Stake Conference Awesomeness

Another week has come and gone already!

It is pretty insane how quickly time seems to move when you are working all day. And Elder Bird and I have been working quicker than ever now, as we have started to ride our bikes around now instead of walking everywhere. Even though we have a small area, we are still able to get so much more done each day! For example: this last week we have been spending a lot of time going by most of the names on our potential investigator list, and then going by again, and again. Sadly, we haven't been able to meet quite a few of these people, but we were able to contact a few of them and talk about setting up appointments, so we will see how that works out!

Other than that, pretty much the only really exciting thing that happened this last week was Murrieta's stake conference. The presiding authority was a member of the seventy, Elder Bassnet. There was lots of great council given at this conference from the Stake President, a couple of youth speakers, another member, a visiting member from the San Diego temple presidency and his wife, and from Elder Bassnet. Elder Bird and I weren't at the Stake Center, and at one point during the broadcast the screen froze up for about ten minutes of Elder Bassnet's talk. I was a bit sad about that, but according to Elder Wongsuwan and Elder Daley (who were at the Stake Center) all we missed was Elder Bassnet building up to the climax of his talk, and then thankfully the problem was fixed at our building so we got to see that.

Two of my favorite points/scriptures from Elder Bassnet's talk:
First - 3 Nephi 17: 11-24, With these scriptures he focused on three main spots.
1. Verse 14, where Christ begins His prayer and says that he is ,"troubled because of the wickedness of the people of the house of Israel"
2. Verse 20-21, where Christ proclaims that his joy is full, and then he weeps tears of joy. Elder Bassnet compared this to a cup of water that when it is full and you try to fill it more, it overflows.
3. Verse 23, where Christ says "Behold your little ones" and going back to verse 14 could also be saying watch over and protect your little ones from the wickedness of the house of Israel.
Second - Mosiah 18: 30, here he focused on the line, "how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer" in referrence to the waters of Mormon mentioned in the same verse where Alma baptized many people. Elder Bassnet compared this to us by saying that the place we were baptized or converted is our waters of Mormon, and that they are " the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer."

So that is pretty much all from this week.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Epic Missionary Activity Party

Well, this last week we had a really cool thing happen here in the ward. A giant party that was planned solely so the members could invite their non-member friends. It was held at a member's property....and it's a BIG property. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of it during the missionary activity, but I have a couple from a zone activity we had there a couple months ago, so I'll attach those so you can see how large it is. One thing that made me a bit sad was the fact that the main attraction there was the giant (and by giant I mean lake-sized by legal standards) pool. The only reason why I was sad about it was that missionaries aren't allowed to swim.

Anyways, back to what the party was about...the goal was to have the members invite their friends so that their friends could see that us Mormons do in fact have a normal social life. Elder Wongsuwan and Elder Daley, along with Elder Bird and myself, are really hoping that these people will want to now learn more about what their friends believe. And I've heard that at the party itself some of the non-members were asking their member friends to tell them more about their beliefs. So that is a good sign! We really think that we will be able to visit and teach a lot of these people due to this very well done activity.

One of the coolest parts of the activity was that instead of just going around talking to people all night, they actually had us four Elders serve the food. What this means is that everyone at the activity, member or more importantly non-member, interacted with the missionaries in some way. So that was really cool to be a part of that!

The rest of the week was a bit less exciting than the missionary activity. Though it was still good. We have a lot of potential investigators that we're hoping to contact during this next week, and we are really hoping to contact our investigator that we do have. Other than that we had some really good lessons with a couple less active families and with some member families. But yeah, the rest of the week was not as exciting as last Saturday.

So, this last week I have been reading in the war chapters in the Book of Alma, but there was one thing that I saw that really has stuck out to me. In Alma 50, there is a verse that I found really interesting. It goes, "But behold there never was a happier time among the people of Nephi, since the days of Nephi, than in the days of Moroni, yea, even at this time, in the twenty and first year of the reign of the judges." What I found interesting was that even though they are in times of war, the people were still incredibly happy. And if we look back at when Nephi was alive, it says that they "lived after the manner of happiness" by living the commandments of God. So what I take this to mean is that whether it be in times of peace or turmoil, those that live by the commandments will always be happy because of the blessings that God provides.

Well, that's what I have for this week. Thanks for all the support!


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Train is Leaving the Station

Wow...I can't believe it's already September. It's insane to think that three months ago I was at home, and yet it feels like a lot less than that...

Anyways. This last week was pretty exciting for me. And the reason for the title is that Elder Bird described the work in the area as a "train that is leaving the station. Slow at first, but once it picks up speed it will be impossible to stop."

The main reason for my excitement is that this last week Elder Bird and I have gotten a new investigator! After all the excitement of the three baptisms in July, and then the slow period in August, things are finally starting to pick up again! Our investigator is named Belinda, and she was a former investigator of the area, and she said to us that when she was taught before she didn't feel ready to make the commitments needed to progress, but now she is ready to re-kindle that desire to learn of the Gospel and change her life around for the better. So I am really excited about this!

Also, I had my first zone conference this last week, which was really exciting! It was a really good meeting, and there was a lot that I learned in the trainings from the Assistants to the President, and President and Sister Kendrick. After that Elder Bird and I got to team up with one of the Assistants, an Elder by the name of Elder Petersen. It was a really good experience sharing this time and learning from this more experienced missionary. I feel like I picked up a lot that will help me out as I progress in my mission.

The rest of the work here is starting to pick up (as I'm sure you all guessed with the train reference). Elder Bird and I have found lots of potential and former investigators that we think could have great desires to learn more about the Gospel. And the members here are as wonderful as ever when it comes to helping us out. In fact, one of our potential investigators came about when one of the members here took us out on an unplanned team-up, and then proceeded to take us to a non-member friend of his and ask her if she wanted to take the lessons. She agreed, so he said he would set that up. That was really cool for Elder Bird and I.

From this last week a scripture that really stood out to me was D&C 29: 34-35. I'll let you look it up and read it, but in a nutshell it says that no commandment that God has ever given to mankind has been "temporal" or physical. But every single commandment has been set to help us grow spiritually. Even commandments like the Word of Wisdom, where the commandment itself is a law of health that is telling us what we should and should not put in our bodies still is a "spiritual" commandment. Because in the case of the W.o.W., those things that it commands will either help us feel the Spirit more as we obey it's words, or cause us to be numb to the Spirit as we disobey. Recently in a Gospel Principles lesson on the W.o.W., someone in the class suggested that those things we are commanded to not put in our bodies "mimic" the feelings of the Spirit, thus dulling our senses to what the Spirit actually feels like. So even commandments such as the W.o.W. are still spiritual by nature. This doesn't really have anything to do with what has been happening this last week. But I just thought it was cool to think about.

Well, that's about all I have for this week. I'm really excited to see where the work here is going, and I feel really blessed to be a part of it!


Elder Wixom

Saturday, August 31, 2013

I Really Hate Allergies

Another week has come and gone by before I realized it. The time has just been flying past me! It's crazy to think that in a week and a half I'll have already been out for 3 months! That's and 8th of my mission!

This last week has been a tough week for me. I had a bit of an allergy attack, so I felt a little...bleh...for a few days. But, I still went out to work because I figured I could either mope around inside all day and not feel any better because of it, or I could go out and work and possibly bless someone elses life. It was hard, but I feel like it was worth it, and while I was out working, I never really felt that terrible, it was only once I got home or woke up the next morning that I felt miserable. So...blessings from above!

One thing that was exciting! We finally finished the first project from the Community Service Project. For the past while we have been scraping, sanding, prepping, and painting a long rod iron fence, and's finished!!! So that means we got to start working on the next things that need to be repainted in the park! Which right now is a short rod iron fence surrounding one of the play-set things, and one of the pavillion canopies. But I'm just glad to be done with that long fence.

The missionary work here is still a bit slow, but it is really starting to pick up. Which is really exciting, especially since we have two companionships in the ward. It is still such an opportunity to be able to work with the other companionship to try to further the work in the ward even more than Elder Bird and I could do ourselves. But soon my ward won't be the only ward with that opportunity, because pretty soon there are going to be multiple companionships in lots of wards, and hopefully every ward in the mission!

One of my favorite talks by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland is his talk, "Safety for the Soul." In this talk, Elder Holland bears a powerful testimony about the Book of Mormon, and every time I hear or read it it boosts my own testimony of the divinity of that book. I encourage you all to read this powerful talk from an Apostle of God about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, of Joseph Smith, and of the Restored Church.

That's all I have for this week. I'll write again next week.


Elder Wixom

Monday, August 19, 2013

Elder Influx

So, today's P-day has been a bit crazy, so I don't have much time to write. There is one thing I am going to write about that will probably explain the hectic-ness of my E-mail today though.

As I said last week, the next day was transfer day, and with transfer day came new Elders and one new Sister, but it also meant the loss of some Elders and a Sister. It was a bittersweet occasion, because I grew close to some of the missionaries that left, but now I'm excited to get to work with new ones!

Not only did we get an equal amount of Elders coming in as going out, but we actually got quite a few more! Including another pair in the Los Alamos ward. So my area got split in half, and Elder Bird and I are in one, and Elder Wongsuwan (or Elder W) and Elder Daley (a brand new greenie!) are in the other. They are really cool Elders, and I am stoked about the opportunity I have to work with them!

But the "Elder Influx" as I'm calling it had some unforseen side-effects. One of those being that there are now more missionaries than our cars can carry. So that is why this E-mail is going to be really short.

Again, I am really excited to be here in Murrieta at this momentous time in the Church's history here! The stone cut without hands really is rolling forth to fill the Earth!

I'll write more next week hopefully!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

And Now...Time for the News

Well, summer vacation is finally at an end. And being excited about that seems really funny to me. But this last week has been very slow since everyone has been out of town trying to get that last vacation in before summer-time runs out.

But as of this last week I have finally been out on my mission for a full transfer cycle! In actual time I have been out for two months, but due to all that excitement of the missions changing this is the first time I have actually filled an entire Daily Planner from Week 1 too Week 6. Yay! But we all know that with the end of a transfer cycle comes the exciting transfer calls! So...drumroll please....I'm not going anywhere! I'm staying in Murrieta for the next six weeks, as is Elder Bird! But there are going to be a few changes in our area, the major one being that the area is being split in half(ish). We are getting another pair of Elders in the ward as of tomorrow, so next week I'll talk more about that.

In less exciting news. Elder Bird and I have spent much of this last week going through our Area Book (the binder that has all of the records of people the missionaries have contacted in the area and what they have been taught). We have really focused a lot of our efforts at trying to contact former and potential investigators...without much far. But we still have high hopes that we will be able to get back in touch with someone in our area and teach them the Gospel! And personally it has been teaching me to have faith as we go and knock countless doors looking for these brothers and sisters. Because though I do not know if the door will open, or if the door opens I don't know if they will be interested, or even live there anymore, I still know to trust in God and as I work hard then He will bless me by leading me to someone who has been prepared to hear the Gospel.

In slightly more exciting news! The work with the ward here is about to skyrocket dramatically. This is due to a new(ish) strategy to do missionary work called the Ward Mission Plan, which, in a nutshell, is the auxillary presidents, the ward mission leader, and the bishopric prayerfully decided on some names of families that they believe can benefit from having the missionaries teach them. So once this gets rolling (which it is planned to start this week) we are going to have a lot more lessons and a lot more teaching opportunities coming our way!

Now time for some just plain funny news. The funny news I have is that one of the families here gave Elder Bird and I a couple tiny cantaloupes. These were fully ripe fruits, just, they were the size of oranges instead of the size of melons. But mine still tasted really good with my bowl of cereal for breakfast. Also, in the Community Service Project thing we are doing with the city of Murrieta, we have started to paint. After the first day of painting, my arm looked like a Smurf had sneezed on me (the paint is blue)!

Now for a bit of cool news. This last Sunday (yesterday) in Sacrament meeting we had what I am going to call a "Hymns Sacrament Meeting." What happened was that there were six speakers, and all of them told us what their favorite hymn was, why it was their favorite, and why the hymn has special significance to them. And then the congregation sung the hymn. It was awesome! The reasoning behind having this was that people always talk about how they wish special musical numbers could just keep going because of how much the hymn being performed is able to bring the Spirit into the meeting. And so, this meeting was basically a lot of special musical numbers. And it was fantastic! It really goes to show that what Doctrine and Covenants 25: 12 says is so true, "For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads."

Well, that's pretty much all that happened this last week. Thank you for all your love and support!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Slow and Steady Work

So, this last week has been kind of a slow week here in Murrieta.

The community service project has been going really good! It has been so nice to be able to serve the community and help them complete projects that otherwise wouldn't be done! And there have been blessings granted because of this already! Our pair of Spanish speaking Elders have gotten a new investigator, and committed another person to a baptisimal date while working on the service project! It was really cool to see the blessings come from our service!

Elder Bird and I have been working hard to try and re-establish contact with former and potential investigators of our area, but unfortunately this has been less than successful so far, but we still have high hopes for these people. And the members here are still doing a fantastic job at member missionary work. When we go to talk with them about what they have been doing, they always get excited about trying to find new ways of inviting their friends to Church activities, and it is really great for Elder Bird and I to see what they have already been doing!

So the weather here has been really weird lately...or at least weirder than the members have told us it usually is. Some days it is hot, and then the next day it will be rather chilly, and then right back to hot! The people here say that for August and September it is just supposed to get hot! And there was one morning where Elder Bird and I woke up to do our morning run (I'm not sure if I ever told you, but in the Carlsbad mission it is mandatory to run for 30 minutes every morning) and there was fog...everywhere. While we were running around the local park, we could not see the other side of the park as we ran the fog was so thick! So yeah, the weather here has been really bizarre lately, but hey, it keeps things exciting right?

I have been studying the story of the sons of Mosiah, and looking back on it there are a few parts of one of the verses that I feel really applies to me right now, and can apply to everyone who has to be patient and hope for great things to happen. In Alma 17: 11 it says, "11 And the Lord said unto them also: Go forth...and establish my word; yet ye shall be patient...that ye may show forth good examples unto them in me, and I will make an instrument of thee in my hands unto the salvation of many souls." It is such a blessing to know that if I patiently wait, and make myself into the best example of Christ I can be, then the Lord will know how to use me to bless the most of his children as I can. And this can work for any other situation. If you patiently endure any struggle, God will bless you because of it.

So that's really all I have to say this week. The Church is true and this work will move forward!


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Excitement Brews in Murrieta

Well, there have been some exciting things happening this last week that could be leading up to a really good time to be a missionary in Murrieta!

First, excitement in Los Alamos Ward: Since the big switch-up where I got Elder Bird, he and I have become really good friends and have had lots of good times being around each other. But more importantly, we have been working our tails off trying to re-build the pool of investigators (since basically all of them are now new members, and no longer investigating the Church). So this last Wednesday Elder Bird and I tried to contact some of the former investigators of the area to see if they would still be interested in talking to the missionaries, and basically no one was home, or at least answering their doors...except for one person. A young man by the name of Matt. He was being taught last year by some of the previous missionaries, but before he could get baptized he had to go to Boot Camp. As we talked with him he said that while at B.C. he still studied the Book of Mormon almost everyday, and then he dropped a big bombshell on us...he basically asked, "So...where can I get baptized?" We were so excited! So we have been trying to work with him and get him ready for baptism, but it was a really amazing experience getting back into contact with him! And I know that the Lord had a big hand in making sure we stopped by Matt's place at just the right time so that we could re-establish contact with him.

Another thing that is exciting that has been happening here is that as the weeks go by the ward has been trying to work closer and closer with the missionaries, and just recently Elder Bird and I have been working with the members, and asking them what they have been comfortable with as far as doing thier member missionary work. We have had lots of good experiences with the members, and the members are always excited to help us out, and to do more to move the missionary work in this ward forward!

Second, excitement in Murrieta: For the past few weeks, the Murrieta Stake has been trying to forge a plan with the City of Murrieta for the missionaries to do service in the community that otherwise would not get done. So, this last week we had our first day on our first project! The project itself is performing maintenence  in some of the city parks, which according to the Parks Director said wouldn't normally be done until the park needed repairs, but now with all the willing missionaries can be done before it reaches that point! And so, yesterday was our first day of community service, and we got to spend the day prepping a metal fence for painting. Though it doesn't sound too exciting, it was actually a lot of fun! I was really happy to be doing service for the city, and also I was able to grow my friendships with some of the missionaries I was working around. It was a really good experience, and I was really happy to be a part of it, and I am excited to continue to serve the community over the time I am here in Murrieta.

Well, that's what happened this last week. Overall it was a really good! Lots of time just going around serving others, which has always been one of my favorite parts of being a missionary! It's crazy to think that next week I'll have already been out for 2 months though! Time sure does fly when you are working hard!

Now, time for my regular scriptural thought. A scripture that comes to mind is Alma 26: 11-12, "But Ammon said unto him: I do not boast in my own strength, nor in my own wisdom; but behold, my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God.Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." All the excitement that has been happening here in Murrieta is not because of me, or Elder Bird, or even the members, but it is because of God's hand playing a role in helping us all move the work forward. It truely is an amazing thing to witness! I know that if we all take a moment to look back on our day, we will all be able to see God's hand at work in our lives constantly!

That's all for this week. Keep your spirits up!


-Elder Wixom

Just so you know, P-day is now going ot be on Mondays, starting next Monday (August 5th), so if you would please spread the word that if anyone wants to E-mail me they should get it written before 10 o'clock on Monday, or else I might miss it until the next week.

Well, hope to hear how things are going back home soon! Love you all!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

19 Years and Counting!

Wow! It's crazy to think that I am 19 years old! But honestly, it doesn't feel much different than being 18. But it is pretty cool to think that at this time last year we thought I would barely be leaving on my mission at this point. And I am! Already almost 2 months done! My word time has flown by! Before I know it I'll be back home, but for right now I am trying to appreciate the short time that I have to serve the Lord.

Anyways, thanks for all the presents! The music and treats will be very much appreciated! And I really like the tie!

This last week has been farely exciting though. Due to some idea of who-knows-who, some unexpected changes were made and Elder Davis has gotten transferred out of Murrieta and I have gotten a new companion. His name is Elder Bird (yes, like the species of airbourne animal) and he is a really awesome person! He has a personality a lot like mine, which makes me very happy! He is from Utah (go figure), and has been out for about 9 months. I'm really grateful for this chance I have to work with him, and I know that even though I didn't expect it, God has something that he wants me to learn from this unexpected change in companions.

Other than that plot-twist, most of this week has been spent trying to re-grow our teaching pool of investigators (since all of our old ones are now baptized). So Elder Bird and I have been really trying to urge the members to think of who they can invite to be taught the Gospel. And we have been trying to track down some of the former investigators of the area, especially the ones that seemed really interested in the Gospel before. So I'll keep you posted on how that endeavor is going.

One thing that was sad was that we were supposed to have a baptism this last week, but a couple weeks ago our investigator dropped off the map, and we could not regain contact with them (not for lack of trying on both ours and the wards part). But, I still have faith that one day that investigator will come back and come into the fold of God. So I am not too distraught over this incident, because I know that the Lord will provide a way for all of His children to have the chance to accept the Gospel.

So, I have decided to re-read the Doctrine & Covenants, and a line that really sticks out to me from both Section 4 and 6 is "...the field is white already to harvest." Not, "the field is brown already to plant seeds in" or "the field is rough already to plow." No, the field truely is white, and I know of the blessings that I have felt in my life as I have tried to harvest it, or rather, bring my spiritual brothers and sisters to a better knowledge of their Savior.

I really am so very grateful for this opportunity I have to serve the Lord. And I am so grateful for all the support I have gotten.


-Elder Wixom

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Members + Service = Happy Elder

I can't believe how quickly time has flown! It feels like yesterday I was barely getting on the plane to come here, and now I've been in California for a month! My mind always wants to tell me that it is still June, not the middle of July!

Anyways...this last week had some excitement. Mostly in the form of a baptism!!! Last Saturday we had a double baptism for a mother and daughter here in the ward, and it was awesome! Their names are Gina and Zoe, Gina is the mother and Zoe is the daughter, and they are such wonderful people! I was so excited to be at their baptisms! On a side note, on the first day here in Murrieta, the first lesson I was part of was a lesson for Gina and Zoe, who had both already committed to baptism, so I was really excited to finally see that happen for them! Elder Davis got to baptize Gina, and one of the ward members baptized Zoe. In attendance at the baptism were some of Gina and Zoe's family, who are non-members (for now) and it was clear that they could feel the Spirit of this wondrous event. It was such a blessing to be at Gina and Zoe's baptism, and I'm so grateful that I got to be here for it.

One thing I am really excited about is the big push for member missionary work. I know how critical member work is, because all the baptisms I have been a part of in my short time here have been directly related to members inviting their friends to Church activities.

Got to meet my new Mission President. And President and Sister Kendrick are both awesome people! They are both really excited to be here and to work with the missionaries. I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with them!

Something I studied this last week was the start of King Benjamin's speech to the Nephite people, found in Mosiah Chapter 2, and one thing in there that really stuck out to me was all the times that he talked about serving others. In verse 18 he says, "Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another?" I really like that he says that even though he was the most powerful person there, he still served others. I know how great service is, and I always feel grateful when the people here give us missionaries a chance to serve them. There is just something about helping others that always makes me smile and feel better inside.

Well, that's all from this week.


-Elder Wixom

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Good Things are Happening Here

This week has been a very exciting week for me. As of last Monday (July 1st) I officially became one of the missionaries for the California Carlsbad mission, and that has introduced a few new things into my life here.

First and foremost I got a new Mission President. His name is President Kendrick, and...well...I haven't met him yet. Though I get to this week, which is exciting! Another thing that has changed is my expected release date. Originally my release date was expected to be June 2, 2015, but when the mission changed, and us missionaries from the old Riverside mission were put into the Carlsbad mission, our transfer cycle did not line up with that of the Carlsbad mission. What this means is that while we were still in the middle of our transfer cycle, the Carlsbad cycle had just finished, and because we are now part of the Carlsbad mission, ours finished as well...just...earlier than expected. So to make a long story short (too late), I will either be coming home earlier, which lands in May, or later, which will push my release date into the middle of June, all depending on which transfer cycle I decide to end my mission. I have not quite decided which is right for me, and have been seeking inspiration from above about which is the right course for me, but in the end it was quite the shocking realization that this needed to be a choice in the first place.

In other news, this last weekend I officially had my first baptism as a missionary! It was such a wonderful experience, and the Spirit that was there was so full of love. The man of honor is a wonderful person by the name of Eric, who is a close friend of some of the members of the ward. He has such a strong testimony of the gospel, and I know it will only get stronger as time goes on and he grows even more as a member of the Church. I am so blessed to have been able to be a part of this wonderful event, and it is an occasion that I will not soon forget. Something else that is exciting is that we have two more baptisms scheduled for this next weekend, a wonderful mother and daughter by the names of Gina and Zoe respectively. The are such amazing daughters of God, and I can feel of their spirits and their desire to choose the right as I get to know them better. Exciting things are happening, and I can plainly see the Lord's hand here in Murrieta as He progresses his work of salvation.

It is such a joy to be here in the Carlsbad mission serving God and being His instrument as He works His mighty miracles. I have grown so much as I have been here, and my faith in our Heavenly Father and His son Jesus Christ has grown exponentially, and in ways I could not have before comprehended! There is no doubt that this Church is the true Church, and that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has once again been restored to the Earth to bless humankind.

A scriptue that has been on my mind a lot recently is Proverbs 17: 22, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." And it is such a true scripture. A positive attitude can brighten even the darkest days, whereas a bleak perspective can make any day into a horrid experience. Being happy is crucial to being able to accomplish anything, whether that be school, a job, missionary work, or anything else. I have been trying to keep a happy outlook, and I have seen the blessings that come from being joyful.

I'm excited to be here! The Church is true!


-Elder Wixom

Thursday, July 4, 2013

One Month Later

Wow, I can't believe it has already (or should I say only) been a month since I left home! I can really back up the statement that, "the days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days." Though the days feel jam-packed and completely full, the last couple weeks have completely flown by. I have grown so much that in my mind it feels like I should already be packing up to come home, not expecting almost two more years of service. Though, I'm not complaining that I still have all that time, I know that it will be over before I know it and I want to savor every moment I have in this time allotted to me to completely serve the Lord.

But I am really excited for this month! I have been able to clearly see the Lord's hand as he works his miracles in this area. I say this because for the month of July, Elder Davis and I are planning on having four baptisms! I am super excited for these four brothers and sisters and their choice to come to the fold of God! It is a really exciting time here, and there is no way I can take all the credit, or even most of the credit, because it was by the efforts of the members and of the Lord that these four have decided to learn of the Gospel! All I am is God's tool to teach these people after the members bring them to us, and that makes me extremely happy that the members are helping with the work of Salvation!

Other than that awesomeness, things are going really good here. Though it is extremely hot, and slacks get really hot, especially when the highs are over 100 degrees...everyday. On the bright side, the weather here is a lot like back home, so I'm more used to the intense heat than some of the other Elders and Sisters. Thankfully the members here are always eager to help out the missionaries by offering ice cold waters when they see us!

Elder Davis found a scripture in Matthew 10 that is really quite entertaining for us, and is a rather good scripture for missionaries who have to go around in the hot sun. The scripture, verses 40-42, talks about receiving prophets or righteous men and the blessings that come from it, but my favorite part is in verse 42 where it says, "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these...a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple...he shall in no wise lose his reward." Moral of the story, if a missionary looks thirsty, please give them a glass of water, because they probably need it and will be forever thankful towards you. I know that I am always thankful when people offer water to Elder Davis and I as we go about serving in the hot sun.

That is really about all for this week. I'm super excited for the month of July! The Church is true, and needs everybody to help in the work of sharing the Gospel!


-Elder Wixom

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Letter from President and Sister Smart

As many of you may know, Jon was called to serve in the California Riverside Mission.  Subsequent to his mission call, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the formation of 58 new missions.  Part of that process was through realigning of current missions and the California Riverside Mission was part of that realignment.  This change will go into effect July 1, 2013.  Below is the email we received from President Smart of the Riverside Mission explaining the changes: 

Dear Brother and Sister Wixom,

Last February the First Presidency announced the creation of 58 new missions.  That announcement included modifications to the California Riverside Mission boundaries. Beginning in July, those boundary changes will move four of our zones (Palm Desert, Redlands, Yucaipa and Yucca Valley) into the California Redlands Mission.  A fifth zone (Murrieta) will transition to the California Carlsbad Mission.  Seven zones (Corona, Hemet, Jurupa, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Moreno Valley and Riverside) will remain in the California Riverside Mission.

Separating our mission into three pieces has been a difficult assignment for us, even though we realize the growth and opportunity it represents for the progress and maturity of the Church here.  With this change, about 40% of the missionaries we currently serve with will be working in a different mission with a different mission president.  This is a hard thing for us; kind of like sending about 100 of our own "adopted" children off to the mission field, all on the same day.  I tried to describe the change to our missionaries as a "longer transfer than normal" and look forward to having opportunities to see everyone from time-to-time when we finish our missions.

Beginning in July please begin sending mail to Elder Wixom to the following address:
Elder Jonathon D. Wixom
California Carlsbad Mission Office  
451 W Bobier  
Vista, CA   92083.

We love Elder Wixom, and have loved serving with him.  He brings great strength to the work here and our association with him has been a great blessing to us as well as all those he has served.  Thank you for your love and support.


President and Sister Smart

Monday, June 24, 2013

Riverside is a Short Term Assignment

So, I don't really feel much need to talk more about what went on in the MTC, because it was pretty much the same as before, except for instead of being nervous about being there, I was nervous about leaving. So lets start there...

I have decided that I don't really like all. The thought of being trapped in a metal tube tens of thousands of feet above the ground really didn't sit too well in my lower stomach. On the bright side, my paranoia turned out to be falsely placed, as I made it to Riverside safe and sound. The people at the Mission Office were super nice, and very helpful as they talked to all of us greenies about some of the general guidelines and rules for the mission, as well as the hopes and goals. But sadly...then came the time that I had to say goodbye to my MTC District, and happily say hello to my new companion! Elder Davis is his name, and he is a very exciting guy to be around!

With that assignment of being Elder Davis's greenie, we also got put into the lovely city of Murrieta, which in fact is the only city (I believe) in the Riverside mission to be getting moved to the Carlsbad mission at the end of the month. So I got to the Mission Office that morning thinking I would be going to the Riverside mission, and that night realized I would only ever go back to that Mission Office once more, when we have the Riverside mission goodbye meeting before we split. Although, that means that I'll get to have the opportunity to know two awesome mission presidents! President Smart is a great guy, and he was sincerely happy to see each and every one of us new missionaries, but now I will be leaving him, and instead get the opportunity to meet the mission president of the Carlsbad mission (whose name I do not know yet, but I will make sure to talk about him more when I find out). Overall, I'm not sure how I feel about finding out that I'll be in the Carlsbad mission instead of Riverside. It makes me happy because I know that as long as I put my faith in the Lord I'll always be right where I need to be, but it makes me kind of sad, because it means that the only people from the MTC that I knew that will be in my mission are one Sister from my District, and an Elder that was part of our Zone...but, guess this means I'll be making some new friends!

And I have made new friends here, because besides Elder Davis the two missionaries I see fairly often are two of the Spanish Speaking Elders: Elder Villalobos and Elder Burbidge. And these two Elders are great! Such a blast to be around. Also, the ward that I'm serving in (the Los Alamos Ward) is wonderful! The people here are so fantastic! Even though I'm the new guy they opened up to me like I have always been there, which has been such a blessing and a joy for me!

I was really excited with the announcements from the Leadership broadcast last Sunday! Not just the announcements about tours of the church buildings and the upcoming surge of techno-missionaries (though that one does really excite me), but mostly about all the focus that was placed missionaries working with the members, not the members doing their own thing while leaving the missionaries to tract constantly (cause it doesn't work very well). I'm really hoping that members and missionaries work more unified together in the future, because even though it is good now, it can be much better. And that aspect being much better would in turn make missionary work in general much better, and make it easier to bring others unto Christ! I can really see that "the field is white" and it is harvest time, and if you have the right attitude you will be able to "layeth up in store that [you] perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to [your] soul" (D&C 4) and help others feel of the blessings of the Gospel of Christ.

Well, that's all for this week, until next time. The Church is true!


-Elder Wixom

The pic of the orange and blue tie I borrowed on the 15th to support the girls is attached.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

End of Week One!

Wow! What a full week! You should really have the family go a few days without any technology and just see how much more time you have during the day. Maybe that is just the feeling here, but it seems like I have already been here a month and it has only been 7 days. I'm really not sure how Wil lasted as long as he did here, it must have felt like forever! Don't get me wrong, this place is amazing, but I am so ready to be at Riverside! And I know this is fairly predictable of me, but something that I really am starting to miss is a nice home-cooked meal. The MTC food is only satisfying for so long.

Speaking of the cafeteria, guess who I saw working there? One Sister Hannah Hall! I was really surprised one day to be walking down the counter, deciding what I wanted to eat, when I hear shouts of "Elder Wixom! Elder Wixom!" from behind the counter. Since then I have seen her a few times working the cafeteria, so apparently she has a job there. Other than her, I have seen many of my friends from home here at the MTC. Some of them I expected, like Elder Colton Marshall and Elder Trevon Beutler, but I have seen at least 3 or 4 others that I didn't expect to see at all!

I have to say that I absolutely love it here! The Spirit is so special here. It is unlike anything I've felt before. And I personally think that this special Spirit has to do with the District and Zone I am in here. A week ago I didn't know who any of the Elders or Sisters were, and now they are as close as many of my other friends after only a week, and I consider my District as my family away from home! But don't worry, they will never replace you guys.

Yesterday we had the Tuesday evening devotional, and Elder Arnold, a member of the seventy, came and spoke to us. And it was AMAZING!!! The Spirit was so strong there! The cool thing though, is that the Devotional was at the Marriott Center on the BYU campus, and it was the first time the the missionaries from the main campus and the west campus in Provo all met together for a devotional. I was lucky enough to sit near the front, and at one point I turned around just to look at the seats behind me, and there were so many Elders and Sisters there that I was just amazed! This work really is a stone rolling to fill the whole Earth! After the Devotional ended and we missionaries had to walk back to the MTC campus was easily one of the highlights of the day though. There were many of missionaries, myself along with the rest of my District included, all singing Hymns and Children's Songs all the way back. I imagine it was a really impressive sight!

While I have been here I have really come to feel that the scripture D&C 122: 7 has really applied to me. Though I have not been thrown into pits or had the sentence of death cast upon me as Joseph Smith did, I still have experienced long hard days, short nights, early mornings, lessons where I disappointed myself by my lack of teaching experience, and many other struggles that I have gone through that I know are all for my experience and good as the scripture says. I have really grown here, and even though I have not been here for very long, I still feel like I have changed dramatically for the better. I feel closer than ever to my Savior and my Father in Heaven. I feel such love for my District, my Zone, my teachers, and this Gospel that I have been called to share.

Keep up all the support I have felt from you! I know that I have been strengthened by your prayers! The Church is true and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share it!


-Elder Wixom