Monday, March 31, 2014

An Exciting Week

Can it really already be the last day of March!? That really doesn't seem possible! But I guess it is because my watch is saying 3/31!

This last week has been pretty awesome. And here are the highlights:

Early in the week Elder Rupper and I got to go on exchanges/splits again, but not the kind of exchange where we swap companions with another pair of missionaries, but the kind where the "Travelling Zone Leader" Elder Hansen came and spent the day with us. He is an awesome Elder, and one of the coolest parts...he is 6'10"! Yes, I am going to include a picture of him with Elder Rupper and I so you can see the height difference for yourself. But that day was really good and with the help of Elder Hansen we were able to pick up quite a few potential investigators.

Later in the week we went by for our appointment with one of our potential investigators from the split with Elder Hansen...and we were able to pick him up as an investigator! He is a really cool guy that is open to hearing what we have to say. It was really exciting to finally begin to see some of the blessings that have come from our efforts.

Another little blessing was when we met an older lady who told us she had had a friend who was LDS, who then moved away. But this lady said that she and us really believed in the same things, so after she heals from a surgery she had recently she is going to have us (or whoever the missionaries are at the time) come and teach her! It was really exciting!

Got to go and do some service for one of the members in the ward also this week. Elder Rupper and I got to help him paint some of a shade/canopy thing he built in his backyard. It was really fun, but after wards they, meaning Elder Rupper and this member, pointed out to me that I had a line of white paint in my hair. I guess that is what I get for being tall and bumping my head against the wood I was painting.

And this Sunday Elder Rupper and I got to teach the 16-17 year old Sunday School class, and we were supposed to get them excited about General Conference. So we played "Conference Jeopardy." It was really fun! Though some of the questions turned out to be a little too difficult, which didn't really surprise me as they were mostly about things in the General Authorities' lives.

That was pretty much what happened this week. And to end I think I'll just share one of my favorite scriptures that I actually got to re-read this morning. Mosiah 4:27, "And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order." One of the reasons I like this scripture is just because I find the line about running funny considering I am in a "running" mission, but I also like it because of the principle that you need to do things in the right way in the right time in order for them to work properly or to their full extent.

That is all for this week. Thank you for all your support! General Conference this next weekend!!! I am REALLY EXCITED!!! Talk to you all afterwards!


Elder Wixom

Monday, March 24, 2014

One Month Later

It's already been a month since I've been out! Oh my goodness! How the time seems to fly! Anyways, on to this week:

We have spent a lot of time walking this last week. And I mean, a LOT. Every single day we spend at least a couple hours out pounding the pavement - metaphorically and literally. That's because right now Elder Rupper and I are in major finding mode. Trying to find our potential investigators, as well as our many less active members. So I expect that by the time I get home I am going to be extremely fit, especially because I have been trying to eat healthier, lots of salads and not many sweets.

A new holiday I found out about recently was National Live Happy Day. It was on March 20th, and the point was to just go around spreading happiness to everyone. This is something I really like, because as members of the Church that is what we strive to do anyways through service and sharing the gospel with those around us. But it was just good to know that there is a day where everyone, regardless of religion, ethnicity, or economic background, is encouraged to just go around spreading happiness! And, as one of my favorite scriptures says, "Wickedness never was happiness" (Alma 41:10). And if wickedness never brings happiness, then the opposite must also be true: righteousness always does.

Had a few meetings with the zone this week, the first was a zone training meeting, which was really good. President and Sister Kendrick came to our meeting and President Kendrick shared some very powerful thoughts on how we need to help bring the light of the Gospel into the wicked and dark world that we now live in. The other meeting was at a breakfast for the zone provided by the Stake President here in Temecula. It was really good, and we had a couple really good messages shared there as well.

Got to go on another exchange with the Elders from last week again. Just with the different companions this time (one of the other Elders is the district leader so this time I was with him). It was also a good experience.

And the last memorable experience of the week happened during sacrament meeting on Sunday. Right after the sacrament prayer for the bread, a young man hurried down the aisle towards the back doors, passing me on the way. When we was pretty close to me, I found out the reason he was hurrying...he threw up. It was...exciting. The cool thing was that immediately several members got up and like bees in a beehive worked together to clean it up before the prayer on the water. It was really cool to see these members, and it really did drive home why us members are sometimes compared to the bees in a beehive, because even though there really didn't seem to be organization, each member helping knew exactly what they needed to do so they were very efficient.

Well, that was this week. Can't wait to see what the next week brings! It promises to be exciting as I already know a few things that will happen. But more on that next week!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Happy St. Patty's Everyone!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! And yes, I am wearing my green tie, and for proof I'm sending a picture of me wearing it that I took while writing this!

This last week was pretty good. It all started off with meeting the new Elders and Sisters in the zone, which is always nice as it helps build friendships with the other missionaries.

Spent much of the week trying a different approach to finding new investigators, over the past couple weeks we have been trying by our many potential investigators, but this week we decided to try something different. Less active members. So far it hasn't really been all too successful, but you never know what will happen!

I got to go on exchanges with the other set of Elders in my ward here (I'm not sure if I ever said but there are four Elders serving in my ward). Which was a really good experience. I got to spend Sunday in the other half of the ward, but Elder Rupper actually did the math, and other than sleeping time, there was only about 5 hours that him and I were actually separated because of church, other meetings, and dinner. But it was still a good experience.

And now for the really exciting thing! This last Sunday I...drum-roll please...gave my first talk in Sacrament meeting as a missionary! This last Wednesday Elder Rupper and I got asked to speak in church. Him speaking about tithes and offerings and I was to speak on faith. I thought my talk went really well, and there were a few people who actually commented on how good it was, or how they took notes from my talk, so that made me feel really good. Some of the things I liked best as I prepared for my talk were: a proverb President Uchtdorf quoted in his First Presidency message in the January Ensign, "The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, the second best time is now." I compared this to the "seed/tree of faith" in Alma 32; a story in the January Ensign entitled "Can He See Me?" that dealt with a 5 year old boy named Daniel and was a great story about childlike faith; and a dictionary definition that really defines faith simply, "Complete Confidence."

To end, I just want to share one of my favorite verses from Alma's metaphor of the seed of faith, 32:41, "But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life." I love this verse because it really emphasizes how important it is to continually work at growing faith, because faith is not a passive word, but an action word.

Well, that's all for this week! Thank you for all the support!


Elder Wixom

Monday, March 10, 2014

Getting Ill Stinks!

Well, this last week has been an interesting one. Not too much really exciting has happened, but there were a few moments. As you can guess from the title I got a little ill, but more on that later. First some of the good stuff:

Over this last week we have spent a lot of time trying to find our many potential investigators, doing some old fashioned door-knocking, and though not much has come from it yet, I sincerely believe that something good will come from our efforts to find this people. Recently I heard a story about how a person got baptized after some missionaries knocked on their door, and the records in the missionaries area book was 12 years old! So I have hope that something will happen, as our records only go back a few years at most.

Shortly after e-mailing last week my zone had a zone activity at a nice member's home. There was pizza, soda, root beer floats, and multiple other goodies! Also there was Ultimate Frisbee and Kickball. Rather than play, I took the opportunity to catch up with Elder Tyger, the only other Elder to come from my MTC group into the Carlsbad mission. We socialized and played Ping-pong, and watched all the other Elders, and a few Sisters, play the big games. But I did take some pictures of these games, so those will be included (my companion is the one in the tie-dye shirt and red shorts).

This past week Elder Rupper and I have been able to find and meet with some more of the wards recent converts and less active members, so that has been great! We also had dinner with one of our investigators, a 10 year old boy, and his mother, a convert of about 5 years, so that was really good!

Now on to the less than exciting part: Saturday night and all through Sunday my stomach hurt really bad, I'm not sure if it was something I ate, or something else, but it was bad enough that Elder Rupper and I stayed in on Sunday, with the exception of Church. It was not fun, because we weren't able to go out and work, and we had to cancel an appointment with a particularly enthusiastic recent convert of ours. It was so sad! But thankfully my stomach is feeling a lot better now, so that experience is over with, and we can now focus on missionary work again!

That's pretty much all I have to say this week. The scripture I'll leave with you all is one of my favorite Proverbs, it's 17:22, and it says: "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones." And even though the last day and a half was pretty bad for me, I still tried to keep my spirits up as much as possible, and I believe that has helped me, and always having a good attitude is something that I think is very important in this work, or in any other aspect of life.

Talk to you all next week! Oh, by the way, transfer calls came this last Saturday, I'm staying in Temecula and so is Elder Rupper. So nothing new there. Just thought you should know. Bye!


Elder Wixom

Monday, March 3, 2014

Slow But Steady

Hello everyone! It's been two weeks since I was driven out here to return to service! Seems crazy that it has already been that long to tell you the truth.

Well, I am still in Temecula, I wasn't moved again, nor do my companion and I think I will be, as his last companion has felt he needs to stay at home. We spent most of the time this last week sorting through our multiple pages of potential investigators, and then starting to try and meet them. It has been a very long process, but I hope that we will be able to see the fruits of it come about.

One of the days we were out knocking on doors, we met a group of people moving one of the group's parents' into a new apartment, and they were storing most of their stuff in their daughter's garage (which is the place we were at). So naturally we ask if they needed help, and to be honest, their answer of yes came to me as a pleasant surprise! But not only were we able to help them with that one load, but with two more loads throughout the day! It felt really good to just go about giving service, because at it says in Mosiah, "...when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." And service is something I really do believe in. I have a firm testimony that when you do service for someone, not only are they blessed because you helped them, but you are blessed as well. And I was able to feel that as we helped, I was able to feel of the joy that comes from selflessly serving others. And even if nothing comes from that as far as teaching opportunities go, I know that they were left with a positive experience with members of the true church of Jesus Christ.

Oh, one other really awesome thing that happened this last week...TEMPLE TRIP!!! It was so nice to visit the House of the Lord in San Diego. And I always leave the temple in a better mood and with a happier spirit than when I got there.

Yesterday was Fast Sunday, and the unplanned theme of the testimonies was that even though in life we may go through trials, If we are patient we will see the hand of the Lord blessing us. And thinking back on my latest trial, I can really testify of the truthfulness of the promise the Lord gave Joseph in Liberty Jail, "...peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;...Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands...know thou...that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." (D&C 121:7,9 & 122:7) applies to all of us, and that we can all feel of the peace that comes from trusting in God during our times of trial and affliction.

But that is all that really happened this last week. As always I look forward to what the next week will bring.


Elder Wixom