Tuesday, September 30, 2014

One Week Till General Conference!!!

I am really looking forward to Conference! But anyways, that is next week. Now on to this week!

This week was a pretty good week. And we had some really fun stuff, and a few really cool things happen. One of those cool things was talking to a less active lady in our ward. Elder Ball and I have tried to stop by less active members a lot in the recent weeks in hopes that we'll be able to find someone to teach through them. And we have gotten very used to doors opening, a quick, "We're not interested," and the doors closing again. But this time! The door opened, and the lady was really nice to us, and when we asked if there was any service we could do for her, she actually said yes! But she didn't want us doing anything in our shirts and ties, so we scheduled to come back the next day in regular clothes.

The next day, we came back and helped her out, and over the course of the conversation she told us that her husband wasn't a member, but she thought he would be willing to listen to the lessons if we could fit it into his really busy schedule. She also was very appreciative of our help, and even though she said that she had gotten baptized, but then started going to another Christian church because it was more entertaining, she said that she would be more than happy to have us come by and talk to her about religion. And she also mentioned that when she did get baptized, she had felt extremely happy for a while afterwards (can anyone say Holy Ghost?).

Also this week we had a cool lesson with a part member family in the ward. they are the home teaching family of one of our ward missionaries, and so he invited us to come along with him to his home teaching lesson, and it was really good. The wife is the member, and her husband is not, but her husband comes to church with her frequently, and even came once by himself! So sometime this week we plan on going by and inviting him to officially take the missionary lessons, and hopefully he will decide to get baptized!

Another fun thing this week was we got to go to the baptism of an 8 year old girl in our ward. It was really good, especially because a year and a half ago their family was pretty much completely inactive, but have since become active again. The reason why we went is because recently they have started wanting the missionaries to teach a short Restoration lesson (usually, unless the family requests something else) while the people get changed after the actual ordinance. But I really enjoyed being able to go to the baptism, and I always love the feeling of the Spirit at them.

My spiritual thought this week is based off of a quote from our ward mission leaders lesson this last Sunday, and a spiritual thought I gave in our District Meeting last week. The quote from the ward mission leader is, "The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing" which he applied to keeping our main thing following Jesus Christ, and to tie into that my spiritual thought was about the missionary purpose, "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." Which is how we as missionaries, or members of the Church in general, can help others find the main thing so that they can keep the main thing the main thing. It's our duty, and should be our desire, to help others come to know of the truthfulness of the Gospel that we have in our lives.

That's pretty much all for this week. I'm really looking forward to next week and the chance we'll have to hear from living prophets and apostles of the Lord!


Elder Wixom

To watch or listen to the live broadcast of the LDS General Conference, click here.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Quiet Week

Not too much actually happened this last week. But on the bright side! The week really seemed to fly by so now we are passed it! And hopefully on to some more exciting stuff! But I'll try to think of some fun stuff to tell you about!

Last week after emailing we had a really fun District Activity. We played a game called "Assassin" where we had two missionaries with Nerf swords, and the rest of us with Nerf guns. The ones with the swords went and hid in the church building, and the rest of us waited outside...until we realized it was way to hot to wait outside and so started waiting in one of the rooms. Then after a little bit so the assassins could hide, a few people went out as the first group and a few minutes later the second group went out. And then the goal of the assassins was to poke and "kill" everyone with their swords, hiding around while they did, while the rest of us tried to shoot them with our Nerf guns before getting stabbed. It was a lot of fun and a really intense game! Oh, and I forgot to mention, all the lights are off when you play. It was a blast!

On Wednesday we were out with one of our members going and knocking on the door of a referral and when she answered she said she didn't have time to talk because she was just leaving. We go back to the car, wondering if "I'm just leaving" really meant "I'm not interested but too nice to tell you" (which is actually an excuse some people use, believe it or not), but sure enough! A couple moments later she pulls our and leaves! So I guess we'll go by later and try to catch her when she isn't busy.

Had dinner with our investigator couple and their RM son this week, and while there talked about his mission. It was really good, and his mom actually said at one point that she knew what his favorite part of the mission was. Namely...baptizing people. So in my head I was thinking, "Yes, that is his favorite part, and most missionaries favorite part. Want to help out Elder Ball and I with that!" But it was really good, and this next week we have a lesson planned with them, where hopefully we'll be able to talk to them along with the help of their son.

On the note of not much happening this week, there is a Mormon Message that I really like about patience. It is called "Continue in Patience" and is from a talk that President Uchtdorf gave a few years ago. And the message is so true. Sometimes we need to be patient in our circumstances, trusting that things will happen in God's time and in God's way.

Thank you for all of your support!


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 15, 2014

Surprisingly Calm

 My mom passed away this morning.  This is Elder Jon Wixom's response to the news.  He is such an amazing young man.  Rick and I are so blessed to have our children. 

Before I write my weekly report email. I wanted to just write about your last email.

To be honest. I'm really calm about the whole thing. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think I'll attribute it to my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation.

Rick's mom Lorraine, Jon, my mom Janet, my dad Henry
I know that Grandma is gone from this life, and honestly, this morning I had a feeling that something like this was going to have happened. But I find peace in the fact that even though her mortal life is over, Grandma is just beginning the next phase of her eternal life.

I know the Gospel is true, and that I'll see Grandma again.

I love you all very much.

Elder Wixom

Read more about the Plan of Salvation here.

Week of Gratitudes!

Hello everyone! This week has been a really good week, and a lot of things are happening that make it seem like the next few weeks are going to be really exciting!

First off, last Monday we had a really fun Zone Activity. We went to a local sports/rec center and went ice skating! And I've decided I'm really terrible at ice skating! But it was still a lot of fun, and by the end of the day I was actually able to shuffle along without the help of a wall or person! So I feel accomplished!

The next day we had the chance to help out the kids of someone in our ward. And why I say kids, they are actually all adults. We had the chance to help them out because their mother, who was a member I had visited a few times and had been ill with a terminal cancer since the beginning of the year, passed away earlier this week. So Tuesday morning we visited and asked if there was anything we could do to help out, and they said no (at first) but expressed how grateful they were for the members that all week had been helping them out.

 Later in the day however, they called us again and asked if we could act as greeters for the viewing. And that was a really good experience being able to help out there, and though none of the guests talked to us much, we heard that with the other guests many people commented on how nice it was that we were there. The whole experience really made me happy to know about the Plan of Salvation, because without that wonderous plan death would be much more painful, because there would be nothing past it. But because of that plan I know that we will have a life after this one with those that we love and hold dear.

 Also this week we were able to officially meet a really cool couple that recently moved into our ward. The wife is a member, but her husband is not, and had been investigating for a while back where they used to live a few months ago. At church he even introduced himself to everyone as an investigator. So that was a little funny to see everyone's faces at that. But we are hoping this week to meet with them and try to help him get baptized so that their family can be eternal.

This week I have really been thinking a lot about eternal families. And in one of my favorite Church documents, "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" a line says, " The divine plan of happiness enables family relationships to be perpetuated beyond the grave. Sacred ordinances and covenants available in holy temples make it possible for individuals to return to the presence of God and for families to be united eternally." I know so much that families are eternal, and that the Plan of Salvation is real and is designed by a perfect and loving Heavenly Father who wants the greatest degree of happiness for all of His children. I rejoice to know that even when I die I will be able to be with those I love, and with my Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ!

 I love you all! And I am grateful for all of your support. I hope you enjoy my list of "gratitudes" that I've had this past week.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blindfolded Teachers of the Gospel...Sort of

This last week has been really good! And some really fun stuff happened! So now let me tell you about it!

First off, we had a chance to go and do some service as a district. And that was really good. We were helping to move and organize some supplies at a foster care facility, and it went well. I always love it when I have the chance to go and do some service for someone else!

missionaries being funny at the service project
The rest of that day was really spent on exchanges, which was really good...but it was one of the weirdest exchanges I have ever been on, because a lot of it was spent in the car dropping other missionaries off at one place or another. Eventually we had some time to do some good ol' fashioned missionary work though, and it was really good. I like working with other missionaries on occasion, just to see different ways that missionaries do things. It's kind of fun for me. But then after exchanges I was really glad to get my regular companion back.

 lunch with some other Elders one day
We exchanged back at our District Meeting, and that was really good. We had a training at one point where we tried to find our "investigator's" (a missionary acting as an investigator actually) concern....but both missionary companions were blindfolded. It made it a bit more difficult to teach together, because we weren't able to use nonverbal cues to signal the other missionary to teach, but it was really cool because it really helped us practice truly listening to not only our companion, but also to the investigator. And it really helped with listening, because we couldn't be distracted by things we see in the room. Overall it was a really cool training.

Then this last Sunday was Stake Conference for us here in San Marcos and Escondido. And that was a really good meeting! The messages that were shared there were awesome. Some of the best were one about charity, one about how the Atonement not only heals us spiritually but also heals all other aspects of our lives, and a talk by President Kendrick about being ready to give an answer at any time we are called upon to talk about the Gospel. In the end, it was an awesome meeting.

 One character in the Book of Mormon that I really like is Zeezrom, possibly because that is one of the big characters I have been reading about at the time. But anyways. I really like how Alma and Amulek are teaching those in Ammonihah, and Zeezrom, as well as the other lawyers, start contending with them. Over the course of chapters 11 and 12 of Alma, Zeezrom goes from trying to trick and deceive them, to beginning, "to inquire of them diligently, that he might know more concerning the kingdom of God." And then Zeezrom believes their words, and eventually gets baptized in a later chapter. And I really like this story because it really shows how the Spirit can soften even the hardest of hearts, and help convert even the most cunning and deceiving of people.

That's all for this week! Talk to you next week!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

We're Out Here Having A "Ball!"

So, the title is just a little bit of a joke because my new companion's name is Elder Ball. And I just figured I couldn't resist the opportunity to make a cheesy joke. Anyways! Now on to bigger and better things!

Elder Wixom and Elder Ball
Elder Ball is really awesome, he is from Idaho Falls, and so far we have been getting along really good. And this last week we have spent a lot of time going around, and knocking on every possible less-active member's door we could. This was answered with...mixed results. Some of the doors the people were really nice to us, and some even invited us to stop by another time when they weren't so busy. But then other doors, though the people were still nice, they said that they weren't interested and to not stop by again. Which in all honesty makes me really sad, because I know how much the Gospel can bless their lives from seeing how it has blessed mine. But we have to let people have and use their agency.

One of the cool experiences we had with knocking on the doors though is that we stopped by the home of one less-active member, and ended up meeting his parents, who were really nice to us, and when we said that we were also looking for opportunities to help out and do service, they asked us for our phone number and seemed to be really genuine when they said they would call us if they needed help. So I am really hoping they call!
Had a cool "Zone Review" meeting. And during the meeting President Kendrick talked about how it not only the physical action of baptism, or any other ordinance, that makes it important, but it is the physical action with the covenant that really make an ordinance. It was just a cool way to describe what an ordinance was that I had never really thought of before. That an ordinance is covenant plus physical - and very symbolic - action.

I am really looking forward to this next week though! Because that investigator couple that has a son on a mission. Well, he gets back from his mission this week! And so Elder Ball and I are really hoping to have a lesson with them sometime this week with him there!

Another cool thing that happened this week was we got a referral from another set of missionaries for a couple that was being taught somewhere else, but has now moved here. The wife is a member, and the husband isn't, but did have a baptismal date in their last area. So we went by, and talked to the wife for a few minutes, but we couldn't stay long because they were putting their baby to bed. And we told her when church was...and they came last Sunday! So hopefully this week we can set up another appointment with them!

So for my scripture thought this week, with how hot it has been recently, I have been thinking a lot about one of my favorite scriptures, that I think is a bit funny from the perspective of a thirsty missionary, but actually in my opinion teaches a really good lesson. "He that receiveth‍ you receiveth‍ me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth‍ a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward. And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water‍ only in the name‍ of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose‍ his reward" (Matthew 10:40-42). I really like the "cup of cold water" part, but even that simple act is a great act of service. And as we know from other scriptures, that when we do service for others, then we get blessed by our Heavenly Father. So even simple service like giving someone a drink when it's hot, or pulling some weeds for another person, will not only greatly bless the life of the recipient, but will also make us feel really good about helping someone else out.

Well, that's about all for this week. Hope you all have a good week!


Elder Wixom