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 planes...at 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