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