Monday, October 19, 2015

Well. Here We Are.

What a weird feeling. Hmmm...not sure what I think about it quite yet. As I ponder I'm just going to tell you about my week.

This was a good week. Lots of fun stuff happened.

One morning was really good because we were able to meet with one of our recent converts. The reason why we haven't been able to meet with him recently is he has been hiking up the Pacific Crest Trail (the PCT), a trail that goes from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. It's a really long hike that he had been on for the previous six months. But he's back now! So we went and visited him this last week! It was a good lesson. And then after that we were able to meet with one of our less active members that we have been trying to work with for the past little bit. So that was really good.
The pictures this week are of an old shirt that I have (which is really beat up over the course of a mission) so I used that, plus a stick that we have, and I made a title of liberty. It's pretty great, and then this morning we took it to the highest point in our area (and possibly the mission) and took pictures. It was awesome.

A couple fun things happened with the zone leaders this week. The first one is that this last week I had the chance to interview a couple of their investigators to get baptized. It was great! They were a couple 10 year old twins who have pure unique testimonies that can only come from children. It was so good to have the chance to talk with them. 

The other fun thing happened last night! They moved into our apartment! For the next few days. Their apartment is getting fumigated (one of the joys of living in Southern California is that, since there is no real winter, bugs, including termites, don't die. So every few years or so you have to get your house/apartment fumigated with bug poison to kill all the termites, but your living space becomes unlivable for a few days). So for the next few days they are staying with us. It's pretty crazy. But super fun.

This last Sunday was really fun! Mostly sacrament meeting! Because it was the primary program! I love the chance to hear from the primary children! This years theme was "I know my Savior lives" and it was really good. Just like the kids I had the chance to interview, all the kids had such sweet testimonies. And I love primary songs!

Well, now that I have my thoughts sorted out (sort of), today I'm going to close with my testimony of the gospel. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love Jesus Christ. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my friend. I am grateful for the chance that I have had to serve my Heavenly Father in the California Carlsbad mission. It has been the greatest experience of my life up till now. The church is true. It was restored by the Savior through the prophet Joseph Smith. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I love to read and learn from it's pages. The Savior lives and loves us all.


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

It. Was. HOT!

So this week was a good week.

Monday we played scatterball with everyone in the zone for Preparation Day (for recap, that's the free for all dodge ball where you can only take three steps when you have a ball, and it's last-man-standing). And it was a lot of fun! I've realized the most fun activities are the ones that everyone involves themselves and makes the most of it, and this was one of those times. We were all super sore from it for the next day or two though. It was pretty great.

The reason I know we were all really sore is that on Wednesday we had a zone training meeting, and at one point the Sister Training Leaders gave a discussion on managing stress, where we all took cookies (that Elder Groesbeck and I made for the meeting...from a mix...but we still made them!) and hot chocolate, and went and sat in a circle and talked about what stresses us and how people deal with stress. But as everyone went to sit down in the circle, almost every missionary starting groaning and moaning as our sore muscles fought against sitting on the floor. President and Sister Kendrick (who were at the meeting) found it really amusing. The rest of the meeting was good as well, we talked about how important the Spirit is in everything that we do, and practiced asking inspired questions to help our investigators and using How to Begin Teaching to also help them open up and feel comfortable.

Got to go on exchanges this week. I went with Elder Mardesich into the Santa Fe Hills ward. And it brought back many many good memories of that ward. Dinner that night was with Elder Norton (who I have seen quite a bit since he and his wife are in charge of checking apartments in the stake, but she was ill so couldn't come to dinner), but I also got to see the Smithson family! As a reminder, Sister Smithson is the Norton's daughter, and they were super happy and surprised to see me! And I was really happy to see them as well! And then that night I got to see Bro. Wright again, as he was going with us to a lesson with a recent convert. That was funny though, because we got in the car with him, me in the back, and he gives Elder Mardesich a handshake, and leans back just like normal and gives me a handshake...then does a double take when he realized who it was and said excitedly, "Wixom!" It made me happy. It was a really good exchange that took me back to the days in that ward.

And then this weekend was hot! Especially when you are walking and biking around all day! I'm so glad for water and air conditioning. But it was still a really good weekend. Despite the heat Elder Groesbeck and I really enjoyed going around and working. Despite rain, heat, or snow (which I never have to worry about), serving a mission is awesome! And don't worry, we both stayed well hydrated, thanks in part to the wonderful members I get to serve with here.

Well, as far as my spiritual thought goes. I finished reading the Book of Mormon again this last week, and I wanted to share one of my favorite verses from Moroni chapter 10, and it probably isn't the one you are expecting, "Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God." (verse 32). I love this verse, because this is really the last invitation of Moroni, and it made me think that in the end, that is what we should always be inviting people to do. To "come unto Christ" and feel of His love. I love that that is the invitation at the end of this marvelous book of scripture.

I know that the Book of Mormon is true, and I know this through the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. As I kneeled this last week and prayed to know again if the Book of Mormon is God's word, I got the undeniable impression, as if someone just whispered to me, "You already know it's true." And I smiled and thought, "Yes, yes I do." I love the Book of Mormon and the gospel. And most importantly, I love my Savior. Jesus Christ.


Elder Wixom

Thursday, October 8, 2015

General Conference. Enough Said.

In complete honesty, Conference was not the only fun thing from this last week, but I do think it was definitely the highlight. This last week a lot of the highlights I was sitting. I did lots of sitting this last week. And all for good reasons.

Tuesday: We had a zone conference. And it was awesome. Talked about how when we are teaching, we need to make sure we spend our time teaching those people who are the "elect" meaning those who hear the gospel and want to know more. The ones that are touched by the Spirit and are driven to try to understand the things of God. Really, overall we just talked about how we are out here, not for very long in the grand scheme of things, and we need to spend the time we have to fulfill the missionary purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ.

Had exchanges in the middle of the week (don't worry, this part I wasn't sitting). Went to Discovery Hills again, but this time with Elder Waite. We had a good exchange, started off with taking Elder Johnsrud to the doctor's office because he has a nasty cough lingering from being sick (don't worry, now they have him on medication and he is doing a lot better), and then Elder Waite and I had a really good exchange. We spent most of the time going around trying to stop by potentials, but we did talk to a really nice elderly lady named Sister M, who due to health can't come to church, but is super sweet.

Sort of went on another exchange this last week. It wasn't a traditional 24 hour exchange. It was just that I, along with Elder Leal, the other district leader in the zone, got invited to go to Missionary Leadership Council (MLC) this last week. It was pretty cool. A really good chance to hear and talk with President Kendrick about how we can help the mission fulfill the missionary purpose more fully. It was also really nice seeing a lot of my mission friends again, because many of them also happen to be district leaders and zone leaders. So that was pretty fun. But the meeting itself was really good. We had lots of good talk about managing stress and at the same time feeling the urgency of the work. Which doesn't really make sense that both of those work, but they do. It's great.

And then General Conference this last weekend. Oh. My. Amazingness! It was so good! Got to do the normal missionary thing where all the missionaries in the stake gather at the stake center to watch conference. Which is fun because I get to see all the other missionaries in the area (including Elder Spencer again), and it helps us stay focused because we are in the quiet reverence of the chapel. I really loved the overall theme of conference, of building our testimonies on the simple truths of the gospel, and also the theme of doing a self assessment, asking ourselves what we can improve on and seeing how solid our testimonies are. A couple things specifically that I liked were in Elder Bednar's talk, where he quoted Elder Worthlin saying, "Come what may. And love it." Good words to live by. I also really liked President Eyring's talk about how no matter how small or insignificant the success of our labor may seem. We need to work our hardest to fulfill the purpose the Lord has for us. And then I really liked Bro. Durrant's challenge to "ponderize" a scripture per week. I'm definitely going to do that.

Well, by way of spiritual thought...go back and re-watch conference. Because I know that as we "feast upon the words of Christ" and study the teachings of the prophets, "the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." (2 Nephi 32:3). I love hearing from the living prophets and apostles. It is such a blessing to live in this day and age.


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What A Week...What A Week

What an exciting week. Not so much as far as missionary work, but just because of what happened.

Went on exchanges this last week with Elder Johnsrud in the Discovery Hills ward, and it was a really good exchange. He was getting over being ill so we took it a bit slower than usual, but he still was working really hard. His nose started bleeding a couple times throughout the day though, once we were just out of the apartment and we just turned around so he could get cleaned up, but the second (and worse) time we were no where near the apartment! We had just gotten out of dinner. Thankfully we were near their ward mission leader's house (who also happens to be an ER doctor), so we gave him a call, he said he was home. Went by, Elder Johnsrud got himself all cleaned up, and it was all grand. Thankfully his nose stopped bleeding though, because Bro. Bennent had gone upstairs to get some tools to cauterize his nose...which would have been unpleasant. Instead he just ended up giving Elder Johnsrud some tissues and a new tie because Elder Johnsrud bled on his. It was pretty exciting.

Then Thursday and Friday were great (exchanges were on Wednesday). Had a couple awesome dinners (one was from a couple where the wife is from Tokyo, and she made curry. It was great, reminded me of Wil's curry, but I can attest that he learned well, because his was as good as hers, and he's not Japanese. Visited some great members. Contacted into one of our potential investigators while he was walking his dog and ended up talking to him for about half an hour or so about the church, invited him to church, and he said he would consider it. It was awesome!

And then Saturday hit.

Started off good. Elder Groesbeck was super nice and made me pancakes for breakfast, but then right as we were about to start companionship study I started feeling really...not good. So I went to go lie down for 15 or so minutes...and died (figuratively). Within a couple hours I could barely move. Called up the zone leaders to have them come and help Elder Groesbeck give me a blessing, and that was great, but then Elder Groesbeck made lunch for them to be nice (pancakes again), and I could hardly eat anything (which if you know me that's saying something). But for the rest of the day I was just dead with many flu-like symptoms. The really sad part...I got a flu shot a week ago! I'm not going to point fingers or anything...but I'm pretty sure I got whatever Elder Johnsrud was getting over, but hey, life happens. So the rest of the day I was pretty incapacitated, but on the bright side I caught up on sleep! And it gave Elder Groesbeck plenty of time to study.

Sunday I was doing a lot better, and I was up and healthy enough to go to church (though I did refrain from shaking hands just in case, and I used lots of hand sanitizer). But then after church I got worse again so I became pretty incapacitated again. I can testify of the power of prayer though! I prayed for the energy and ability to go to church. I was fine through church. Got back home, and instantly didn't feel good again. Prayers are answered.

And then today (the reason why my email is so much later than usual), I am not only feeling much much better and will be staying that way (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc), but we went to the Safari Park in Escondido! It's a branch off of the San Diego Zoo, and it was pretty awesome. I got a lot of really great pictures.

Well, now that the summary of my week is done, time for a spiritual thought. "And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true." (Ether 5:1-3) I read this part during this last week, and this stuck out to me because it seems to be a personal message from Moroni to whoever translates the Book of Mormon (aka Joseph Smith). I really liked this because it was just a reminder to me that the Book of Mormon really is written for our day, and we can find personal messages to us within it's pages.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 21, 2015

Water Works

So you don't look at the title and imply that I cried or something like that, I'm going to start off with that story.

We stopped by a potential investigator this last week, and we were actually able to catch him at home. Though, when he answered, he told us that we had caught him at a bad time because he was waiting for someone so he could do paperwork, so we set up an appointment for the following Sunday. After setting up the appointment however, he asked us if we needed some water, we said we did (because it was warm and we were biking...and who would say no if a potential investigator offers you water?) and he let us in to give us water! So then for the next ten-fifteen minutes or so as we drank our water and waited for the person he needed to do paperwork with, we talked and testified briefly about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Book of Mormon with him. It was great. Sadly the lesson on Sunday didn't happen as he said the day ended up not being good for him, but we're going to set up another appointment and it's going to be awesome!

Other than that, something else that was fun this week was we had a district activity on Monday. So, bit of backstory, in Elder Groesbeck and my apartment for some reason we have a big blue yoga ball in the closet. Elder Spencer (who is serving in another ward in Escondido) gave us a call asking if they could borrow it for a district activity they were having, and we said yes, so the Young Single Adult Elders came and got it for their activity. Well, we went to the Borden building for our activity...and they were there! Playing giant four square! (You know, that game you play in Elementary School) And of course, we joined in with them until the rest of the district showed up. It was great. Then for our activity we played volleyball, but because we didn't have an actual volleyball, we played it know it...the giant yoga ball! It was great! Lots of fun.

Went on exchanges with Elder Smith this week, he is our new zone leader, and that was a lot of fun. Met some really awesome people and just overall had a grand old time doing missionary work. The weird thing is that we have a very similar personality, so there was lots of times through the day where it threw me off for a bit. Still great though.

Also had some rain this last week! It was a pretty good storm for Southern California. And we got to enjoy it immensely as we walked around trying to talk to people. And though I had my umbrella, it didn't help much because by the end of the day it was almost just a super thick mist, so the water was hitting us from every single direction! But it was still really great, and the area down here really needs it as we are in a bit of a drought.

Well, that's about all the random fun things I can think of for this week, so now on to a spiritual thought! I read through 4 Nephi this last week, and in verse 17 (it's only one chapter as we know) it says, "There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God." And that made me think of something that I love about the gospel. That it really doesn't matter who you are, where we came from, or what the circumstances of your life have been, as you embrace the gospel and are around others who love the gospel, we are all equals. We are all brothers and sisters. It is a great thing to know that this is the biggest family on Earth, the family of God, and everyone is included.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 14, 2015

Driving And A Little Miracle

Well, back down to just a companionship. It was very quiet for the first few days, and our apartment feels a lot bigger without having three people there. It's a bit refreshing though because now we don't have to worry about the logistics of managing two areas, and both areas will be able to get the focus that they deserve.

Wednesday (day after transfers) we were in the car a lot. First we had our zone introduction meeting in the morning, which was really good, the mission is emphasizing refocusing on our purpose this transfer, so that's what the meeting was really focused on. After the meeting we (Elder Groesbeck, Elder Johnsrud, Elder Waite [Elder Johnsrud's new companion] and myself) went to lunch and went shopping since Elder Waite barely got here. At this point we were going to drop them off before going to Vista to see Elder Smith (our senior missionary vehicle guy) but then we ran out of time, so we all went to Vista and let Elder Smith look at our car so he could see the damage, and he told us to take it to the auto body shop the mission uses to get an estimate, so we did that. And then! We needed to go to the library to go take online surveys the Church Missionary Department sent us. And then!!! We ended up needed to drop the other Elders off at dinner after getting our groceries from their apartment. Then we drove to our apartment and went to dinner. It was great.

That night though we had something really cool happen. We were walking back towards home to go in for the evening when this guy came up to us in the parking lot we were walking through. If you have ever heard of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) it is a trail that goes from the Mexico border, up the west coast, all the way to the Canada border. Well, on this trail, there are people called "trail angels" that will help out the hikers. This guy calls himself a "missionary trail angel" and to make a long story short, ended up getting us some California burritos and horchata from a restaurant in the parking lot called Senor Panchos, more commonly referred to as "The Taco Train." It was pretty awesome and super amazing of that person to do that. And he does something similar whenever he sees missionaries! The coolest thing. He isn't a member! He just does it because he has friends who are LDS and really respects them and us missionaries, and because he is just a great person!

Other than that this week was pretty quiet. We are just trying to do a lot of member work and helping our ward to get more excited about doing missionary work. So it's something that will take a bit of time, but like a train it will start off slowly but when it picks up it will be unstoppable!

Spiritual thought for the week!

I studied the first part of 3 Nephi this week, and in chapter 9 when the Savior talks while the land is covered in darkness, there is a verse that I really liked, verse 14 says, "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." This really is how the Savior is. He is not sitting, waiting to kick us all out of heaven because we didn't measure up. He is waiting for us to turn to Him so He can heal us, can change our hearts, can make us better. He loves all of us. I have learned this so much on my mission as I have felt the love that Jesus Christ has for those I serve. It is marvelous.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cars and Ties, Calls and Pies

Well, it has been an exciting week. I'll start off with the things from the title and then move on from there.

Ties and Pies: So this last Monday we had our zone activity, and one part of that activity included pushing shaving cream pies in people's faces to celebrate the end of a competition this transfer called, "Fellowship of the Zone" (yes, it is a reference to Lord of the Rings). It was really fun, and for me it started off walking dramatically up to the group, and Elder Mardesich walking up to me with a pie that I though he was going to give me...and he did...he just gave it to my face. Thankfully he had someone record it and it was great.

Also that day, after the activity, Elder Groesbeck and I bought tie bags from a thrift store called "Valley Thrift" and it was just like Christmas. In each bag is about 60ish ties (each tie came out for me to be about 14 cents), and there are a lot of different kinds of ties in bags. For example, my favorite tie I got has Snoopy the dog playing the saxophone on the tie (and it was great because I love both Snoopy and saxophones). So it was really exciting.

Calls: Transfer calls! We're both

Cars: Last Friday we were starting to go across an intersection, when a person changed lanes mid-intersection and braked! Thankfully our brakes worked great and we stopped before we hit them! Not as thankfully, the person behind us's brakes did not work as good, so they hit us, though not very fast thankfully. So no one got injured, and it just made for an exciting story for the day. The funny part, apparently he had gone to our church a few times when he was younger. So we got his information and passed him off to some other missionaries.

On to the rest of the week!

Tuesday was insane. We were supposed to go help our investigator M move stuff out of her apartment that she was leaving to a storage unit in the morning, but it got pushed back a bit. So we went and did service for another person who had asked us to. Then (after getting pushed back again) we eventually did go over and help out M, and it was crazy. We didn't know what to do half the time! But everything worked out ok, it was just an exciting move. One of the best parts! At one point someone was moving a box, and the bottom opened up! So we were all surprised for a bit and then helped refill the box. It was great.

Also got to go to a baptism in our ward this last Saturday for an 8 year old (the father asked Elder Groesbeck to give one of the talks). The crazy part, the wife isn't a member! But comes to church every week! She is also active in her church, which is really why she isn't a member of our church, but we are hoping that seeing this baptism (because it was good despite how giggly the girl getting baptized was) will help soften her heart and help her to progress in the gospel.

Well, spiritual thought for this week:

I read the story of Samuel the Lamanite this last week, and one thing stuck out to me that I hadn't noticed before. Verse 10 of Helaman 14, "And now, because I am a Lamanite, and have spoken unto you the words which the Lord hath commanded me, and because it was hard against you, ye are angry with me and do seek to destroy me, and have cast me out from among you." We know that through the majority of the Book of Mormon the Nephites are typically the more righteous (or at least less wicked) people, but at this point it is the Lamanites who are not only more righteous, but are following the Lord in all they do, rather than the very wicked Nephites who have willingly let themselves be led by very wicked men. So now, when a Lamanite comes and preaches to the Nephites, they are so prideful that they still think they are the better nation! And in doing so many ignore Samuel! But that's not the case! God doesn't care about what nation we come from, He cares about if we listen to His work, and He will use and call servants from all nations that will listen to him. Se we need to not judge others or think we are better than them. Because God loves all His children.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 7, 2015


This week has still been super fun-filled with tripanionship type of stuff. Which still makes it a logistical-nightmare at times, but it's all good because it's awesome!

Tuesday night was one of those logistical nights that was super fun and crazy. Started off great, we had a super awesome dinner in the Discovery Hills ward with one of their recent converts. It was pretty sweet. And then after dinner with that family, over in our area (San Elijo Hills) we had a ward BBQ that we had to get to. And then! After being there for only a short time Elder Groesbeck and I had to go BACK to the Discovery Hills area to pass off one of Elder Johnsrud's investigators to the Spanish missionary, because Elder Johnsrud had to go with one of his ward members to teach missionary preparation class. So before we could even do that we had to get Elder Johnsrud with his member, and the member went to the wrong park in San Elijo (there are a couple, the BBQ was at one, and the member was going to another park) so we went over there and met up with him, and then Elder Groesbeck and I got to the pass off lesson a bit late...except the investigator didn't make it. So it was a pretty crazy night, but it was a whole lot of fun!

Another fun thing that happened in Discovery Hills this week was we got to teach an awesome guy named V! It was pretty great. He was super receptive and had lots of great questions. The only thing is...he is also going to need to be passed off to the Young Single Adults. But it's all good because that's the best place for him.

One thing that happened in San Elijo this week is that we were able to meet with one of our less active members named W. He is a pretty cool guy that is super nice and really loves the people in the church. He just told us he never really believed it was true, and got baptized out of social reasons. But we still had a really good conversation with him, and he agreed to read a couple verses from the Book of Mormon each day. So we get to follow up with him on that this next week!

Lastly, had an awesome stake conference this last week! The theme of the whole conference was "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21) and I'm actually going to use that for my spiritual thought for this week. Because it really is true. The things that we put our focus on, our "treasure" is where we will spend our feelings and our passion seeking after, our "heart." So we need to make our "treasure" the furthering of God's work using our talents and abilities. And as that becomes our focus, our "hearts" will yearn to do all we can to help our Heavenly Father fulfill His work.


Elder Wixom

Thursday, August 27, 2015

So....It's Gotten Exciting... and Tri-panionships Make Things Really Fun

So....It's Gotten Exciting...

What a week...what a week. Actually, mostly just the weekend. And to leave you in suspense for a little bit longer unless you just look at the end of the email I'm going to tell you about the beginning of the week first!

Got to go on exchanges with Elder Mardesich this week. It was pretty awesome. We had an awesome time going around trying to stop by some less active members and potential investigators. That night for dinner I finally had my "chicken curse" as I'm going to call it, broken. The previous nine days for dinners we had chicken in some form or another. And don't get me wrong, each different way was super delicious and I loved every meal, but it was super funny that for some reason we were having chicken each night. But that was broken on exchanges! We had a delicious bacon pasta dish instead. But exchanges were super good, especially because it gave Elder Groesbeck a chance to lead in our area for the day without me there. Good learning experience!
Elder Wixom and Elder Groesbeck at one of the higher points in the area

Wednesday after exchanges ended we had Zone Training meeting, which was really good. Lots of great trainings and discussions on Christlike communication, receiving revelation, and working with members. It was pretty great.

Alright, now time for the title. If you didn't already skip ahead to this you are probably dying of curiosity right now. If you did skip can read it again.

This Friday after going over and helping some members out with some service, we were sitting in our apartment for lunch...when we got a call. And it was a very exciting call. In this call, we got told that we were getting a third companion, a new area, and that I was getting assigned to be the district leader. To clarify, our third companion is one of the Discovery Hills ward Elders (another ward in San Marcos, where Elder Mardesich and Elder Johnsrud [our new companion] are serving), our new area is the Discovery Hills ward, and I am now the district leader because Elder Mardesich (the former district leader) got assigned to another Elder after a missionary went home suddenly. It has been pretty crazy. And more than a little bit stressful. But it's all good though! Because the Discovery Hills ward is really stepping up and getting Elder Johnsrud a lot of splits to go on so we can still work in both areas, and where there ward isn't able to, our ward is stepping up to fill those up. It's going to be great! And it really helps my stress level drop drastically!

Nothing hits the spot like a manly mug of fresh squeezed orange juice.
For my spiritual thought this week, I want to share Isaiah 41:10, "Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness." And I just know that though it seems like half of the time the last few days I have had no idea what's going on, I know that the Lord is going to be there with me every step of the way to uplift and sustain me. And I know that through the power of the Lord, and through my faith in God I can do anything He requires of me.


Elder Wixom

Tri-panionships Make Things Really Fun

I survived my first week of being in a tri-panionship covering two wards! And it was actually pretty good! Honestly, most of the time it didn't even feel like there was a third companion. Elder Johnsrud's ward has been amazing at getting him priests and elders to go on exchanges with him every morning, afternoon, and evening. We pretty much just saw him for planning, studies, lunch (sometimes), and dinner. I was very impressed.

Other fun stuff that happened this week!

One of the few times we were actually in our trio, we went over to a referral Elder Johnsrud had gotten from some other Elders. The exciting thing about this referral....he speaks Arabic. He is from Baghdad, Iraq, and came here to escape all the drama against Christians (he and his wife are Christians). It is pretty cool. Also cool, the missionaries that told us about him got him an Arabic Book of Mormon, and he read it all in about three weeks! The lesson itself was really cool, though really interesting. We had to speak very slowly and simply otherwise he couldn't understand what we said, and there was multiple times that we had to repeat ourselves. But it was super awesome!
Elder Johnsrud, Elder Wixom, Elder Groesbeck

Got to go on exchanges with the Zone Leaders this my old area! The Santa Fe Hills ward! It was pretty great! Especially because I got to see a member family I got along with super great for dinner that night. It was a little weird though, being in my old area, and staying in my old apartment. I did a walk through of the apartment and saw lots of things that I remember from last year. Kind of bizarre. But still super awesome!

Lastly, I had an exciting experience not this last Saturday, but the Saturday before that I forgot to tell you about. We were driving to dinner (we're allowed to drive if it's all three of us because of covering two wards) and I was driving. Elder Groesbeck looks over, and tells me not to freak out...because there was a bee! In the car! On my door! So I subtly try to roll down the window so it will fly out...and it flies...onto my shirt! And proceeds to climb up my neck and underneath my mouth! I wasn't feeling too comfortable at this point, but thankfully we were able to get it out of the car and no one got stung. Oh, did I tell you that the car was still moving during all of this because we were on the main road of our area? That made things even more exciting.

Spiritual thought!

I have been reading in the war chapters of the Book of Mormon, and one of my favorite stories from there is the Title of Liberty that Moroni makes. And after he makes it, in verse 13 of Alma 46 it says..."he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—" And as I thought about it, I thought about how as we go through this war with sin, we need to every day do as Moroni did. We need to put on the Armor of God by praying, studying the scriptures, etc. We need to raise our standards, our personal "Title of Liberty" and not lower them for anything. And we need to pray to Heavenly Father to protect us and keep us safe from the bondage of sin. As we do this we will, like Moroni, conquer over the enemy of us all, meaning Satan.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Training Wheels....He He He....Puns

Sorry, I feel the need to make jokes and references to the fact that I'm training. But! The point of the wheels part is that....I have a bike again! It's great! We got a call saying my bike had arrived, and after a bit of coordinating it got dropped off inside of our apartment! So when we got home that evening I had a bike sitting there! Well...pieces of a bike. I had to put the seat, front tire and a few other pieces on, but that's ok because I was super excited!

Other than that we had some other fun stuff this week. We had exchanges, and that in it of itself was an experience. Elder Mardesich, our district leader, felt last minute inspiration to have exchanges on Tuesday night rather than Wednesday morning, but when he told us our phone was on vibrate. We didn't find out until a while later, and when we found out Elder Groesbeck had to hurry and pack. We drove over there (oh by the way, we have a car but only for administrative things like exchanges) dropped him off, and then Elder Johnsrud and I drove home...only to realize Elder Groesbeck had the phone! So we had to drive back and get that! Overall it was pretty exciting. As far as exchanges though, they were super good, but not that much happened on our end, but Elder Groesbeck had some really cool things happen with Elder Mardesich in the Discovery Hills ward! They were able to have a lot of less active member lessons, and taught a random lesson on the Book of Mormon to a lady on the street. He was very excited!

We were able to meet with M again! So that was great! We were walking home and stopped by their apartment complex to street contact a few people before walking the rest of the way home, and saw her sitting on a curb in the parking lot talking on the phone. At this point I just went and casually sat down on the curb as well. But we were able to have a really good conversation with her. I was super glad about that.

Lastly, this week sacrament meeting was especially good! The talks were on faith and prayer, and they were super awesome! One of the people giving a talk was a member who is moving out of the ward, so that was pretty sad because he and his wife are really great people. Though it's all good, because the next ward they will be in is going to have some great members!

So, for my spiritual thought, this last week with Elder Groesbeck we have been practicing teaching the Restoration a lot, and so along with that I have been thinking a lot about my testimony of Joseph Smith being the man called by Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ to be the prophet to restore the church. And with that in mind, I just wanted to share his thoughts at the time he was called to do this, at the time of the first vision, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. … When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—'This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!'" I can say without any doubt that I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that through him Jesus Christ brought His church back to the earth.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Training Transfer!

So this last week I got my son! Using the mission term for trainee! It's pretty exciting!

Other than that not too much exciting happened this week. It was a pretty quiet week.

We had our trainer/trainee follow up meeting this week, and that was really good. At one part they split up the trainers and trainees, and while the trainees were going over everything they heard the first day in the field at the mission office but were too tired from getting up at 2 AM to fly out here to California, the trainers had a meeting where we talked about better ways to train, different leadership roles (directive - directing, just ordering the person around; manipulative - emotionally coercing someone to do what you want; and participative - working with your trainee and leading by example, the best way to lead, the way the Savior led people). It was pretty good. I really enjoyed the meeting.

The rest of the week was pretty quiet, spent a lot of time visiting members and trying to introduce Elder Groesbeck to really, well, everyone. On the bright side he hasn't gotten too overwhelmed, just the first couple days while he was also still super tired from the plane ride and stuff. A member from the ward did play a practical joke on Elder Groesbeck and now Elder Groesbeck and that member are pretty much the best of friends, making jokes to each other, and I'm pretty sure a healthy practical joke competition is going to be happening as Elder Groesbeck is determined to get him back. I'm so proud of him!

Besides all that, all that really happened was we had some small miracles where we were able to get in touch with people we haven't been able to for a while, and set up return appointments with them. It has been really good!

Well, spiritual thought for the week! Alma 26:16. This is where Ammon is rejoicing over all the success they had doing their missionary work with all the Lamanites. It says, "Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." And I really like the part that says, "Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord?" Because it's really true, we can never really express how great God really is, and all the things that He has done for us, because the list is endless! But I can say that I am super grateful for all that God has blessed me with, and for all He does for me.


Elder Wixom

Monday, July 27, 2015

Two Weeks of Emails

I have no excuse why I spaced this last week.  I am sorry, but look at this week as a bonus, because you get two emails for the price of one.  :)  - Elder Jon Wixom's Mom

Ups And Downs July 20, 2015

This week was pretty quiet, there were only a couple of things that happened. So I'll go into those.

First off, on Wednesday I had more than a bit of a bummer come my way. After getting up and all that good morning stuff we do, I opened up the blinds to our balcony to let some light in...and my bike was gone. My bike got stolen! Off of a second story balcony! I was pretty sad about this, because I really liked that bike, and it did a good job of getting me around. Elder Spencer's bike was still sitting where we left it on the balcony, because in Elder Spencer's own words his bike is a piece of junk. The reason he says this is he is the third missionary to use his bike. And you can tell that it was well used the previous four years.

So we did what we could, called our zone leaders to get advice, and talked to our apartment management (who was really surprised someone would steal a bike off of the second story, especially because every couple hours a security car comes through to make sure there are no problems). And one of the awesome members in the ward is lending me his bike to use now.

On a brighter note, the "Ups" in the title. C, M, and his family are doing great! We tried to meet with them a couple times early in the week but they couldn't due to being sick, but over the course of the week we've stopped by and talked to a couple members of the family here and there. And then this last week they came to church, or at least C and L did. And Sunday night we went by with Bro. Cristiano (our Ward Mission Leader) and taught them the Plan of Salvation! Which went really good! One cool thing though was all during church today people would introduce themselves to C, and after C introduced himself he would tell people to expect to see him every Sunday from now on. He is super committed! It's awesome!

Well, That's about all I have for this week, for my scripture I would like to share one I read recently, Alma 7:7, "For behold, I say unto you there be many things to come; and behold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all—for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people." And really, Alma is right, that is the most important thing. The fact that Jesus Christ was born, lived, suffered and died for our sins, rose from the dead, and will one day return to usher in everlasting peace. That is the most important thing we can talk about, and the most important thing that has happened and will happen in the world.


Elder Wixom

Transfer Calls, Birthday, And Drama! July 27, 2015

So to start off, the question on everyone's mind...why can't you see the elephants hiding in the trees? Because they're really good at it.

Now, the next question that I'm sure everyone is wondering about. What are the results of transfer calls from this last week?

Answer................drum roll please...........Elder Spencer's getting transferred! And I'm staying put! So I guess that means that I'll probably face my decease in San Elijo Hills (meaning the mission term of dying, aka, going home). But that's not all! Not only will I be staying here, but I'm going to be training! That's right! I'm going to have a son! (Again, a mission term for an Elder trainee, because I'm training him, so I am his father and he is my son). It's super exciting and really kind of making me nervous! But it should be awesome!

Other than that, we have some other fun, and dramatic things from this week.

My birthday this week was really good. It's strange being 21, though because we don't drink it's not much different than being 20. We spent the day doing the normal stuff, except in the morning Elder Spencer had a dentist appointment because he found a couple cavities in his teeth where fillings had fallen out. Side note: the reason why he actually noticed the cavities and surmised the reason behind them is because he has working in the dental field for years, as that is what his dad works in. End side note. After his appointment was fun for the next hour or so because his mouth was numb, so when he talked it sounded slurred. The end of the day we had sushi. Which was an experience for me, but I went easy on it. Got a California Roll, which is pretty mild sushi. It was tasty. And then our ride that took us home got Elder Spencer a Slurpee for his throat which was sore from the dentist, and got my a little thing of ice cream for my birthday. It was awesome.

So, our investigator couple that we've been teaching. Well, they had a bit of drama this week. And now they broke up. C is down in San Diego, and we are just working with M and her kids now. But they are still super willing to have us over and have us teach them, and I know the gospel will greatly bless their lives!

One other fun thing from this week was the stake had it's July Jubilee, and that was a lot of fun. All the missionaries were there helping out, and Elder Spencer and I got assigned to pour the homemade root beer. Which was fun. But super crazy because the root beer was super popular all night! We ran out of cups multiple times!

Well, now time for a spiritual thought! Something I studied today was Alma 16:5, " Zoram and his two sons, knowing that Alma was high priest over the church, and having heard that he had the spirit of prophecy, therefore they went unto him and desired of him to know whither the Lord would that they should go into the wilderness in search of their brethren, who had been taken captive by the Lamanites." I read this and thought about how we really can turn to the Lord for the problems and questions we face in this life, and whether like in this case He just answers us, or if He requires us to study the matter for ourselves and ask for a confirmation, He will answer us and help us with our questions. Like it says in Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."


Elder Wixom

Monday, July 13, 2015

An Awesome Miracle!

To start off! I'll just tell you the really cool parts of the week. Specifically about the amazing miracle we had this week!

So on Friday we were on exchanges with Elder Lindmeir. He is one of the three Assistants to President Kendrick, and so what his job is that he roams around the mission and spends the day with random companionships, while the other two do normal assistant work and have their own proselyting area. While we were on exchanges with him we were at an apartment complex in our area stopping by a bunch of potential investigators, and tried to stop by this one family that we have tried by multiple times since I've been here. Well, we are able to get in and teach a short lesson, and it was awesome! We were able to pick up C, M along with M's two older kids A and L as investigators (she also has a younger son named B who isn't eight yet) and committed them to be baptized on August 1st! It was amazing!

And then the next night, we were down in that complex talking to people, and saw M, and so sat down with her on the curb and talked to her for about an hour! Along with lots of her family and her sisters family that came outside!

And then! On Sunday C, L, and B came to church. M didn't because she is pregnant and had morning sickness, and A stayed with her, but the ones that came really enjoyed church! C was paying super close attention the whole time, and even volunteered to say the closing prayer in Elder's quorum! It's awesome!!! The Lord really does prepare people to hear the gospel and miraculously leads us to them at the right time!

Well, that's the biggest part of the week. Now for some other funny stuff:

 On Monday we were playing volleyball with a bunch of missionaries, and were going to have dinner with our Bishop's family that night. So we called Bishop Schaumann and set up a ride, and then he showed up half an hour early to play volleyball with us! Super awesome guy!

On Saturday after our chat with M and company, we found ourselves stranded about 40 minutes from home, almost after curfew, and unable to get a ride. So after walking for a few moments, Elder Spencer turns to me with a "guess what's about to happen" kind of grin, and tells me that he felt inspired that if we ran for a bit he would know who to call, and as he said that he buckled his bag to a belt loop with his carabineer (we both have them on our bags for when we bike so our bags don't slide around) we ran. And I imagine we would have looked ridiculous. But it worked. The first member he called afterwards was able to pick us up. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Spiritual thought! Moroni, talking about all the miracles from the past, said, "And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles." (Mormon 9:19) And that's really what happened this week. It was a miracle that we ran into M and company right then, and that they were prepared. So I know that our Heavenly Father is still performing little and big miracles everyday.


Elder Wixom

Monday, July 6, 2015

Fourth Of July Fun!

Well, there are a couple other things than the 4th, but that title just seemed to be good. Anyways, on to the week!

Overall like last week it was a pretty quiet week. But some of the fun things that happened were we had a Zone Training Meeting, some service, and then obviously the 4th of July!

 First things first, the Zone Training Meeting. It was a good meeting, all about how when we work with investigators we need to invite them to do things, they commit to do them, and then we follow up on that commitment. It was good. Elder Spencer got to do an (almost [he had a half a days notice]) impromptu musical number, but it went good. On the bright side Elder Spencer is a good singer so that made it all the better. But guess what? Another person in our companionship got to participate in the meeting...that's right! Me! They asked me to give a couple minute, "Bike Safety" moment. Which I still think is pretty funny that now I'm kind of the face of bike safety in the mission. You know, my broken beat up face from the picture of me in the gurney. President Kendrick was there, and afterwards he jokingly made the comment that my crash was divinely planned just so he could make the flyer on bike safety with my picture. So I guess I'm famous or something.

On Friday we got to go over to a person named JV's house and help him out a little bit. He is a Hungarian artist that isn't a member, but really likes having us over, and we really enjoy being able to help people out. It was fun. Then later that day we were in an apartment complex street contacting people, and we decided to stop by a potential investigator family in the complex, and ended up helping them out as well! We helped them move a bunch of stuff that they are moving somewhere else into their truck, all spur of the moment. It was fun!

And then there was the 4th of July. It was a good day. Spent most of the day going around stopping by members because not really anyone else wanted to talk to us. But it was good. Had nice visits with a couple members, and even hand made a pen at another one! So that was cool! My pen is very patriotic, all red, white, and blue. And one of the best parts of the day, when we got home for the evening, we actually were able to see fireworks from our doorstep/balcony thing (we live on the second floor of an apartment building). So that was awesome!

Well, that's about all for this week. For my spiritual thought I was thinking a lot this last week about why many of the original settlers of America came to this continent, and how one of the rights for in the Revolutionary War was the right to worship God how you want. Which that made me thing of the title of Liberty, "...In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children..." that Captain Moroni wrote, and then his comments afterwards and the effect it had on the people, "Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them. And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God..." (Alma 46:12,20-21). I'm very grateful for those who fought for freedom so I can worship the Lord how I desire, and I am grateful for those who fight to maintain those freedoms. I know that God will bless those who fight for a righteous cause.


Elder Wixom

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Some Good Ol' Fashioned Work

So this week was pretty much what the title makes it sound like. We spent the majority of this week doing the basics. Trying to talk to everyone we see. Visiting less active members and part member families. Stopping by potential investigators. And trying to work with the members. The reasoning for that is that we actually don't have really any solid investigators right now. Which means we are at square one...finding. And it seems like it is going to be hard because lots of people here are pretty content with how their lives are going. Which means we're just going to have to work all that much harder to find those who want to hear the gospel. I am really (no sarcasm, I'm being totally honest) excited about that. I've actually really been enjoying getting down to the nitty-gritty hard and hot aspect of missionary work.

Here are just a couple of the funny things from this week:

On Monday played a game called Scatterball, which is pretty much a free-for-all dodgeball, where you can only take 3 steps if you are holding a ball, and if the person that got you out gets out then you are back in, so lots of the times if you are out you'll offer to hold on to a ball for someone, or they'll ask you to hold one so they can walk around, and in return they may get a specific person out for you. It was a really fun intense game.

Went on exchanges this week with Elder Mardesich. He was actually Elder Spencer's MTC companion and is now our district leader. So I was in his area and that was a lot of fun. We still were in major finding mode, but it was nice to also get the chance to do that in another area. One really funny thing that happened is I had remembered from last year when I was in Santa Fe Hills, that the one or two times I had been in the apartment Discovery Hills lived in (where Elder Mardesich is) that they had an electronic typewriter. So after nightly planning the night I was there, I looked around and sure enough I found it! And then I got it to start working! Then Elder Mardesich said I could have it. And thus I got a "Smith Corona Series H" electronic typewriter! I used it for a couple days this week to type up my journal entries, but then we found out it was pretty much out of ink. So now I'm back to pens. And since this thing looks like it's from the 90's they don't really carry the ink in normal stores. It now just kind of sits off to the side in our apartment as decoration and we'll probably use it if we can find another ink tape cartridge. It was still pretty fun for the few days though!

But yeah, other than that this week has just been lots of stopping by people and meeting some really cool people. We were able to stop by a few of our potential investigators and we might be having some return appointments soon (that is when people aren't off vacationing for the summer). We are really looking forward to that. And in the meantime we're going to keep on trucking and working hard to do the best that we can!

Spiritual thought for the week! I was studying Bishop Gérald Caussé's talk from this last General Conference entitled ,"Is It Still Wonderful to You?" and I wanted to share a couple snippets from his talk. " the gospel still wonderful to you? Can you yet see, hear, feel, and marvel? Or have your spiritual sensors gone into standby mode? Whatever your personal situation, I invite you to do three things...First, never tire of discovering or rediscovering the truths of the gospel...Second, anchor your faith in the plain and simple truths of the gospel...Finally, I invite you to seek and cherish the companionship of the Holy Ghost." It's a wonderful talk about how we can stay excited about the Gospel and never tire of the things that are taught. Many times the things that are stressed most are the basic principles of the Gospel, not because we don't understand them, but because they are the things we overlook in our quest to find things that are more exciting. But what if, instead, we made the simple, basic things exciting? How much better would we all be?

Talk to you again next week!


Elder Wixom

Monday, June 22, 2015

Back In San Marcos! Back On The Saddle!

Happy Father's Day!!!

So as you can tell from the title of the email, the results of transfer calls are that I am now serving in the San Elijo ward in San Marcos! Which I find really funny because San Marcos is where I was last year at this time as well. So this whole year has almost just been a repeat of last year. Anyways, my new companion's name is Elder Spencer, and he is really cool. He has been out about 3 months, so it finally happened that President Kendrick is trusting me with a missionary who has been out less time than me! He is from Idaho, except he flew out to his mission from North Carolina where his family moved to a few months before he left. One really fun thing is he has an identical twin! Serving in Sacramento!

Well, enough of that, now on to the rest of the week!

After transfers on Tuesday I got to meet the Bishop of the ward here, Bishop Schaumann , and it was good. He has only been a Bishop for as long as Elder Spencer has been a missionary, but he is a really cool guy, also got to meet the Ward Mission Leader, who gave us a ride home from Bishop's house.

The next day when we had our Zone/District introduction meeting, I realized something really frightening. I'm one of the old missionaries now. In our zone only two Elders are older than I am as far as how long they have been out. So it was kind of a scary thought. But I know that I just have to make the most of the time that I have left and do all that I can to serve the Lord!

We have been spending a lot of time visiting members this week so that we can introduce me to well...everyone. It is pretty intense meeting a lot of new people and knowing that you are going to be expected to remember all of them. But it'll all work out. It always does before.

Oh, and I guess I should let you know about the other half of the title at this point. What I mean by "back on the saddle." Because to visit all these members we haven't been driving, and we haven't been walking very much, no...we've been biking! And I'll be totally honest when I say that I was very nervous about getting back on a bike. You know, for some small reason involving a few injuries and a 4 1/2 month pause in my mission, but it's not that big of a deal. It's all going good though, I just go really slowly down hill and probably bug Elder Spencer with my lack of fast downhill riding. But I would rather get places not broken...again.

Church on Sunday was good. In Sacrament meeting the speakers were the Bishop's 12 year old son giving his first talk in Sacrament meeting, a sister who talked about how important her dad was in her life, and then a man named Bro. Runyon, who really the only way to describe him is a 95 year old saint. And then with the primary (which San Elijo has a very large one) it was a very good Father's Day program.

That's pretty much it for this week, for my spiritual thought, I want to give you a challenge to read Larry M. Gibson's talk "Fatherhood - Our Eternal Destiny" from this last General Conference. In the talk Bro. Gibson talks about some of the lessons that his father taught him. And some of the lessons his sons taught him as well. I actually wanted to put that story here. Him and his sons did a 50 mile hike in 20 hours, and after talking to his younger son, Bro. Gibson went and talked to his older son and this is the conversation they had, "I then went downstairs to my oldest son. I lay by him—then touched him. 'Son, are you all right?' 'Dad, that was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again.' His eyes closed—then opened—and he said, 'Unless my son wants me to.' Tears came as I expressed how grateful I was for him. I told him I knew he was going to be a much better father than I was. My heart was full because at his young and tender age he already recognized that one of his most sacred priesthood duties was to be a father. He had no fear of that role and title—the very title that God Himself wants us to use when we speak to Him. I knew I had the responsibility to nurture the embers of fatherhood that were burning within my son."

I'm very grateful for my father and for all the things that he has taught me and the example that he is to me. My life would not be the same without him. And I am also grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who always is trying to help me be the best that I can be.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Transfer Calls And Service!

This was a very exciting week! But first and foremost, the thing you've all been wondering. If I'm getting transferred. Well...yes, yes I am. Which I'm pretty sad about. I'm really going to miss the Pauba ward. But I know that this is what the Lord wants from me so I'm excited to see where my adventure leads next!

Anyways, a lot of the rest of this week was doing service for people. So here is all the service we did:

On Tuesday we went back to the Tree Plantation and helped out Bro. S again for a bit and that was a lot of fun and you would be surprised (well, probably not because of all the analogies in the scriptures and stories from modern General Authorities) at how many gospel centered lessons you can have while working on a garden, or tree farm, or really anything where you help things grow.

Speaking of gardens! On Wednesday and Friday we went over to a less active member named Sis. H and helped her start a garden! She is less active due to medical reasons, not because of any sort of testimony or doctrinal problem, and she is starting a garden in her neighbors yard (because I guess he isn't using a part of it). So on Wednesday we got to go and tear up a lot of grass and get really really dirty. It was fun. And then on Friday we went over and finished up tearing out the grass and helped plant the garden and make a less than stellar looking fence that will do it's job of letting beans grow up it.

And then on Saturday we were outside contacting people when a family named the W pulled up and asked us if we wanted to go help someone move in. And we did. So we got driven over to where a new family was moving into the ward and helped unload their truck and move furniture inside. That was also a lot of fun! I love doing service!

And the other fun stuff that happened this week:

We had a couple lessons with a very friendly less active couple named the C, who said they don't come to church sometimes just because they don't feel like it. But Bro. C has come to church the last two weeks since we called and set up our first appointment, so that has been pretty cool! And we had a good lesson about being obedient to the commandments last Wednesday, and then yesterday had a good lesson about the Spirit, how it changes us, and how we need to follow spiritual promptings.

And then the other really fun thing that happened this week was we got to teach a super solid potential investigator named C! During church! She came to church and has a young son, so while he was in primary we skipped out on Gospel Principles with Bro. A our ward mission leader and taught her the Restoration. It went really good! The reason why she is interested is her two older kids actually are both members and are on missions! So they have all been talking about how important the Gospel is in their lives. And also C has had some really good friends her whole life who are LDS, and that has been a big impact on her life. So it is pretty awesome!

That's about all that happened this week. For my spiritual thought I would like to share a thought from King Benjamin, "For behold, are we not all beggars? Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?" (Mosiah 4:19) I was studying this this last week and with the fact that this week has been full of service it really fits. Because of all we have been blessed with from God, we would be really kind of ungrateful if we didn't turn and help those who are less fortunate to the best of our ability. Our best differs from person to person depending on our circumstance, but in the end we should all try to reach out to others because of how much God reaches out to us.

Well, see you next week from somewhere new!


Elder Wixom

PS Here is a pamphlet on bike safety that President Kendrick sent out to the missionaries this week.  I have to say that this is not my favorite pic from Jon's mission.