Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy (Early) Turkey Day!!!

Hello everyone! Happy Early Thanksgiving! And Black Friday!

So...the results are in...I am now officially in.......Carlsbad 3rd ward!!! With Elder English! And so far I haven't almost died like last time in Carlsbad, so it seems to be going pretty good so far. But one really funny thing is that one of the wards that we share the church building with is Carlsbad 4th, and yesterday someone who I don't remember made came up to us at one point and made the comment about how I was in their ward for a short time before my apparently it was pretty memorable for the ward.

A last picture with Elder Ball
Well, now for the other fun stuff that happened this week, lets get to it:

My last preparation day in San Marcos was pretty fun. We went bowling! And I've decided I really stink at bowling, but that is OK because I still really love to bowl! It was really nice to be able to have one last really fun activity with my San Marcos district before I got transferred (because I am actually the only one in the district who ended up leaving). I'm really going to miss that district, there is something about riding in a minivan that brings people together...or something sentimental like that.

Then of course we had transfers which was really fun! I'm glad I got the chance to serve with Elder Ball for the time that I did, and now I'm looking forward to the chance that I have to serve with Elder English. I served around him in Temecula and he is a really awesome Elder! He is originally from Florida but his family has since moved to...Escondido. So that is always a funny topic.

We have been working really hard the past few days, constantly stopping by anyone and everyone we can. Potential investigators, less actives, active members, etc. It has been crazy! It doesn't help that I still hardly have any idea about where we are going so I'm pretty much just following along and hoping that I don't get lost.

One fun story from this week is that we were visiting a young man who is a recent convert this last week, and we get there and he tells us that he isn't sure how he is feeling. So he goes and uses the restroom quickly to try to see if that will help his stomach ache, and it does...for a bit. But after a few minutes into the lesson, he says he isn't feeling good again, so we take a quick pause for him to get some stomach medicine, goes upstairs, and well...threw up. It was really "exciting" and his mom (who is also a member) felt really bad about that happening while we were there. I felt really bad for the young man but it is something I won't soon forget happening.

Well, for my spiritual thought today I'm going to use a scripture Elder English and I have shared a lot this week. Mosiah 4:29-30, where King Benjamin, in his discourse, is talking about sin and how we need to avoid it. "And finally, I cannot tell you all the things whereby ye may commit sin; for there are divers ways and means, even so many that I cannot number them. But this much I can tell you, that if ye do not watch yourselves, and your thoughts, and your words, and your deeds, and observe the commandments of God, and continue in the faith of what ye have heard concerning the coming of our Lord, even unto the end of your lives, ye must perish. And now, O man, remember, and perish not." It is great counsel about how we need to always watch ourselves so we don't slip into sin, but stay on the straight and narrow.

That's all for this week! Have a great turkey day!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Someone's Having a Baby....Missionary!

First and foremost, the results from transfers.....I'm getting transferred! And the reason for my title is that Elder Ball is getting a brand new missionary! Straight from the MTC! So now Elder Ball is going to be a "father" and train his "son" starting on Tuesday. It's pretty exciting.

Now on to the rest of the week!

So one thing that I didn't mention last week that I meant to was that we were going to have a special speaker come to the mission this last week. Elder Teh of the Seventy visited and we had a Multi-Zone Conference this last Tuesday with him. And it was really good! There really wasn't a specific theme to the whole meeting (which is pretty understandable since it was a 7 hour meeting) but there was a lot of really good stuff shared there. On a side note, one really cool part of the meeting was that Elder Teh didn't have a single page of notes even though he was the one who spoke for the majority of the time (can anyone say...really good at following the Spirit?). But some of the best parts that he talked about were he talked about faith at the beginning of the meeting (and so did the couple other people who spoke then, so that was cool), in the middle he talked about how saying we "Almost Always" do something can be very good, but also can be very bad, especially when we relate it to inviting others to do things that will help them reach salvation, and lastly he also talked about how when we are part of any organization there is a current we have a tendency to slip into over time where we aren't making a complete effort, but we are doing "good enough" to get by. And he counseled us to make sure we don't slip into the current, or if we slip in make sure that we get out. (Below is a drawing I just made that he used to illustrate this current. The top is where we start off, where we are making every effort we can to help further the work where we are, and then in the middle is "the current" where we still make effort, but we let some things fall to the side, and we just kind of coast through and go through the motions, and then the bottom don't want to be at the bottom.

Other than that we had another really cool thing happen this week. Elder Ball and I were going around visiting less active members that we didn't know in this one apartment complex in our area. And we knock on one of their doors and the member we are looking for lets us in as soon as we knocked on his door, his name is Damian, and when we got in we met his wife Crystal and their two kids. The thing is, we weren't expecting a wife and kids because on the ward list he was the only name. But his wife is a member, and we think his kids are too. But they were very friendly to us, and had us give their son, the younger one (probably about 8, and his sister is 10) a blessing because he broke his leg, it healed, and then he ended up breaking it again, damaging his growth plate so he might need surgery. And then before we left Damian said that they would come to church on Sunday, and if they didn't to come back by until they did come to church! They did end up coming last Sunday, and Damian plans on getting work off on Sundays so they can keep coming! It was so awesome!

Lastly, we had a baptism in the ward this last weekend! Except due to a miscommunication the person baptized was actually taught by some other missionaries in another ward! They street contacted a 15 year old named Malik, and found out he lived off of a certain street, but this could have either meant our area or theirs, so they thought it meant theirs. And they taught Malik at the church, so they never found out where he lived. Well, one night a member had them and Malik over for dinner, and then when they dropped off Malik the two Elders realized he actually lived in our ward! So, since at this point the baptism was the next day, they called us and had us try to get some of our members to the baptism (which we were able to do). And then at the baptism more trouble happened. Because he isn't 18, the Elders had to get permission from his parent's to baptize him, and so they got his dad's signature. But it turns out that that isn't his biological dad (even though he was living with him since he was 4 months old) and doesn't actually have legal guardian rights, and it is his aunt that does. So about 10 minutes before the baptism starts is when they find this out, and the aunt tells Malik that she isn't going to give permission! Malik and her start talking, and it gets to the point where she tells him that if he can say what baptism means then she'll give permission. He does, and she finally gives him permission! It was a pretty exciting thing to be a part of! But pretty stressful as well! In the end though, Malik was able to get baptized and the service itself was awesome!

Well, in closing, my spiritual thought comes from the Gospel Principles class we had yesterday. We were talking about faith and blessings, and how sometimes we think of blessings being in a big rain cloud above us, but no matter how hard we try, God never lets the rain pour down, because of some imaginary expectation that we don't measure up to. But in reality, God is continually pouring blessings down, and we actually have an umbrella blocking the blessings from reaching us. This "umbrella" can be fears, doubts, disbelief, sins, pride, etc. And even though God wants to bless us we through our own choices stop the blessings from being ours. Below are a couple little doodles I drew in my study journal to help me remember this, so I hope you enjoy!

Well, that's about all there is from me this week. Next week you'll be hearing from me in a new area!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Knock Knock!

"Who's there? Missionaries? Oh, I'm not really interested but I really respect what you do!"

We heard this (or at least some variation of it) quite a lot this week. The reason why is Elder Ball and I are in major finding mode right now, and we did a lot of tracting this week. Probably more than I have ever done on my mission before! We had a few people that showed some potential and told us that we would be able to come back, but didn't really give us a specific date, just a general response. I can tell you that daylight savings ending is going to make missionary work very fun though, because quite a few times we would knock on doors, and even if it wasn't even 7 yet people would ask us if we knew what time it was because of it being pitch black outside. But nighttime isn't going to stop the work of the Lord, and Elder Ball and I know that we will be able to find someone to teach that really wants to hear about the Restoration of the Gospel.

Other than tracting we had a few fun things that we did. Last Monday we had a combined District Activity with another district and we had a major Nerf gun war, and played a few games with our arsenal of Nerf guns and bullets. It was a lot of fun!

This week we also started teaching an active family the missionary lessons. This was something that was an idea from another missionary to try to help missionary work, by bringing the Spirit that comes from the message of the Restoration into members homes so they will have a greater desire to do missionary work. We have been starting to try to do this, and as an added bonus it gives Elder Ball and I more practice teaching! Which is always something that we need as missionaries! And with the members that we started teaching this last week it has another bonus as well because they have a son who is working to prepare to go on a mission, so we may start having him teach a bit as some missionary preparation.

We had the chance to meet some really awesome members of our ward this week. They were in our records as being less active, so we went by where they lived, and it turned out to be a 96 year old man and a 90 year old woman! And the only reason they are "less active" is because the husband can't physically get to church right now due to some walking problems. But they are hoping to be back before too long. We had a really awesome conversation with them, and the wife, who was a convert that was originally Jewish, gave us some good advice about teaching, specifically Jews, but really anyone that has a strong belief in the book of Isaiah.

That's about all for this week. My spiritual thought for this week is to invite you to read or watch President Uchtdorf's talk from this last conference, "Lord, is it I?" This talk was the focus of Sacrament meeting this week, and it is a really good talk. One of the quotes from this talk is, "My beloved friends, a first step on this wondrous and fulfilling path of true discipleship starts with our asking the simple question: 'Lord, is it I?'” And the focus of the talk is how we need to, when presented with correction, not say that the correction is for someone else, but to be humble ask ourselves if the correction is meant for us. And as we do that, we will start "on [the] wondrous and fulfilling path of true discipleship..."

Thank you for all you do!


Elder Wixom

To read President Uchtdorf's talk referenced above, click here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Where Did October Go?

Wait, it's November? When did that happen! It's crazy to think that one year ago I was a broken and battered temporarily returned missionary!

This last week was a pretty fun week! So how about we get to it!

To start off, our ward had their ward Halloween party with a trunk or treat, and that was really fun. It was exciting to see quite a few members of the ward in creative costumes, and even Elder Ball and I dressed up! Guess what as? You got it! Missionaries!!! Who would have thought? But the activity itself was very fun, and some people were pretty creative for the trunk or treat, especially one of the members who turned their car into the "Teeny Tiny Tunnel of Terror!" A couple of our investigators were at the activity as well and they really seemed to enjoy it.

Got to go on exchanges this week with an Elder named Elder Phillips. He has been on his mission for about...a month, and this was his first time being in charge of the area. He did really awesome, and we had a really cool time together. One awesome part is that the members we ate with that night fed us tri-tip steak and s'mores for dessert, and Elder Phillips normal companion was pretty upset that it was on the one night he was gone. Also we got to teach one of their investigators, and that was pretty cool, we read Moroni 10 with him and just talked about the chapter, and it was really good.

Also this week it was Elder Ball's birthday, October 30th, and that was pretty fun. Not much different from any other day except for the fact that it was Elder Ball's birthday. Started off the day with a pretty fun District Meeting where we had a missionary relay race where we practiced the lesson bullet points, finding desires, and contacting all at once! And then later in the day the members that we had dinner with picked us up in their dune-buggy, so that was pretty fun to ride in!

As far as Halloween goes...honestly not much happened. We had a pretty awesome dinner with one of the sisters in our ward and a couple other members who were there as guests so she could feed us, and then we went in for the night because of it being Halloween. So Elder Ball and I just played a few games in our couple hours of "spare time" I guess you would call it. But overall nothing too exciting for the holiday. Thankfully there were no trick or treaters as we had no candy to give out.

And then Saturday was pretty fun. In the morning we got to go with some other Elders and clean up the stake center with one of the wards here, and that was pretty fun. And then for lunch that day one of Elder Ball's recent converts took us out to lunch. The reason why this happened is because Elder Ball used to serve in the Young Single Adult ward that covers San Marcos and Escondido, so now since he is back we have come across quite a few people that know Elder Ball, including one of his recent converts from the ward. It was fun to go to lunch with him, especially for Elder Ball.

My spiritual thought comes from something our ward mission leader shared in Gospel Principles this week. We were talking about the blessings of righteous living, and one of the scriptures brought up was Matthew 5:6, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled." And he brought up that in Greek the word "filled" could be better translated as "satisfied" and how when we are living righteously we really are "satisfied" and happy with our lives, and then someone brought up how Satan makes sin look appealing and "satisfying" but in the end we never are satisfied with our lives when we sin, and we are always looking for the next thing to entertain or "satisfy" us.

That's all for this week! Thank you for all of your support!


Elder Wixom