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