Monday, February 23, 2015

Service With A Smile :)

Well, after all the excitement of Carlsbad things have kind of slowed a bit. But that is ok, because things are still really good!

Last Monday after emailing and stuff we got to go to Ensign Books, which is Temecula's version of Deseret Book, and that was really fun just looking around browsing at all the church things (though I did buy myself a new oil vial that looks pretty cool!). After that we went to Old Town Temecula and walked around just for fun, and ended up going to this soda shop that sells a ton of different kinds of soda! And I mean a TON! They had chocolate soda, they had bacon soda, they had black lemonade, and the one I got (though I have still yet to drink it) was Radioactive soda! It's crazy!

Had lessons with a couple of our investigators this week. One of them is named M, and she is a 16-17 year old girl that is friends (possibly girlfriend?) to one of the priests in the ward. We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true. We also met with one of our investigators named C, who actually referred himself and his son to the missionaries because he had talked to them years ago and now wanted to start learning more. So yeah, that is a pretty cool investigator. And that was a really good lesson as well; Elder Stevens decided that due to a seeming lack of retention of what missionaries had taught C and J (his son) that we were going to reteach them the lessons, so this last week we taught C the Restoration again. Sadly J wasn't there because he was visiting his mom.

We also met a really cool lady named D this week! She isn't an investigator or anything, but we street contacted her asking her if she needed help because her and a few other people were putting stuff in a moving truck, and she actually said yes! So we helped her out that night for a bit by moving stuff in and out of the truck (they were looking for the truck key), and moving stuff around in her garage. As we were leaving we gave her our number in case she needed more help, and then later in the week she called back! So we got the chance to go over and help her sort through what she wanted to keep and what she wanted to throw away from her garage for the move. It was a lot of fun!

Then later in the week we got to go over to a member's house and do some service for them. He owns a tree plantation, so we got to dig some holes for trees, then attach some drippers on drip lines, and then actually plant some trees! It was a lot of fun as well! Cause I really love doing service!

Other than that not much happened this week except the stake had a blood drive which Elder Stevens donated blood at. I ended up helping out at the refreshment booth where all the people went after giving blood to make sure they were ok. One person actually did end up passing out and the people in charge came over and helped her get back to consciousness. So that was pretty exciting.

But over all it was a very service filled week. Which are always good weeks! One of my favorite characters in the Book of Mormon is King Benjamin, and at one part of his sermon to the people he says, talking about service, "Behold, I say unto you that because I said unto you that I had spent my days in your service, I do not desire to boast, for I have only been in the service of God. And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. Behold, ye have called me your king; and if I, whom ye call your king, do labor to serve you, then ought not ye to labor to serve one another? (Mosiah 2:16-18)" And I really like that because here he is, a king over the people, and yet he says that he tried his best to always serve them. And if him, the king, is in service, then the rest of us should be as well. And that is true, we should all be looking for the chance to extend a helping hand to our fellowman.

Talk to you next week!


Elder Wixom

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Full Circle

Well. The results of transfers..................

I am back in good old Temecula! Which really seems like my mission has come full circle (and I know it's a bit melodramatic since I still have a while left...but whatever). It's crazy being back up here after a full year. And the weirder thing is that I live in my old area! Because if you remember my last area in Temecula was the one with all the apartment complexes in it. So all the missionaries seem to live in it! And so do I! I live in the complex adjacent to the ones I lived in in the Meadowview ward. My companion and I are in a four-man with a couple of the Spanish Elders that are up here. It gets a bit funny when they start speaking Spanish around us and we just tell them to speak English, but it has been a lot of fun so far. On the English note; guess what else! Elder English is up here in Temecula as well! Living in Meadowview ward boundaries as well! He is training now, and his new companion is from the Philippines, so that is pretty cool. And third, one of the missionaries that covers the Meadowview ward is Elder Tyger! Everything up here seems so familiar with all these familiar faces!

Saying Goodbye to Elder English, sort of.
I am now in the Pauba ward, which is pretty cool. It means that we get to drive around a Jeep Compass full time because a lot of the area is dirt roads, back roads, and "wine country" (meaning dirt and back roads with lots of wineries). And it has been a lot of fun so far! My companion's name is Elder Stevens, and he is a really cool guy! He has been out for about 20 months, and he is also the district leader.
And Hello to Elder Stevens
 Now for some fun stories from this last week!

One thing I've learned this week is how unreliable a GPS can be. Because Elder Stevens and I got lost on our way to dinner, not once, but twice! The first time our GPS was leading us in the completely wrong direction on the dirt roads, and the next night it lead us across the street from our dinner. The funny thing about the second one is we pull up into the house it is indicating, and Elder Stevens confirms that a member does live there, but he didn't remember who, so we go knock on the door, and no one is home! We try to call and text our dinner, but can't get an answer, so we just sit there and wait. About a half hour later our dinner calls us asking if we are coming over, and we are like, "Yeah, we think we are sitting in your driveway but it doesn't look like anyone is home." The member tells us they are home and we aren't in their driveway, and then after a few moments pause tells us that we are sitting in her brother's driveways across the street! It was very embarrassing for us. But we eventually ended up getting to dinner and it was delicious. At the dinner I got introduced to a weird vegetable called a Romanesco Cauliflower. It looked really weird. So of course I took pictures of it!

Romanesco Cauliflower
On Friday Elder Stevens had to go to MLC (mission leadership council) so I got to spend some time with Elder Tyger in my old ward. We didn't get the chance to see anyone because no one is at home during the day in Temecula, but it was really nice being able to walk around and remember all the fun times that I had in the Meadowview ward. Little bit nostalgic I'll be honest.

Valentine's day was pretty good. We had a Zone Breakfast in the morning (which also brought back a little bit of nostalgia) and that was really good. Had dinner with an awesome member and his family. He was really cool because he is the only member in his family but is still active, which I have seen a bit of on my mission so far, but at this dinner his kids and their families were visiting as well, and seeing him in that situation really strengthened my testimony of being active no matter the circumstances. In the evening we went and visited a less active member that lived really far out on the back roads, and that was good. He had a couple very obedient German Shepherds that were very fun. It was a pretty good way to spend Valentine's day as a missionary.

Almost forgot! A spiritual thought! (that rhymed)

A really awesome video that just came out on is called "Family History: What I Found" and it is a really touching story about a man who comes to get to know his grandfather even more by looking into the past and finding out more about his grandfather's life in WWII. I really like it because I love finding stories about my ancestors and getting to know them through what they did. It makes me excited when I will be able to finally meet these people in the next life!

Other than that not much has happened this last week. But it is still really exciting for me to be back in Temecula! So I guess we'll see what happens next!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Baptism Baptism Baptism!!!

M got baptized!!! And it was really good! But more on that in a bit! Actually. To be totally honest, a lot of this week was kind of just leading up to M's baptism.

Monday night at the Lamprey's was as crazy as it ever is. The excitement of this week was that Elder English and Sister Horne both left (Elder English with a priest named T, and Sister Horne with another Sister missionary's companion [then the other other Sister was with a member of their ward]) because they were going to a pass off lesson for a person that we met; The daughter of the less active member that we have been working with that I told you about last week. So that left Sister Higley and I with the Lampreys as our companions! We had a good lesson with M about being yourself no matter the circumstance you find yourself, and not trying to hide who you are to fit in with the crowd. We also talked about service and how serving others blesses people. It was a really good lesson, and when he got back, Elder English said that they had a good lesson where he was as well.

Wednesday was really exciting, because we had M's baptismal interview! It was really good, and M passed it! Then Wednesday night we went over to D our less active member, and talked to him about progressing in the Church (getting ready for the Melchizedek priesthood, going to the temple, and about patriarchal blessings). About the time we were talking about the patriarchal blessings, we get a text from M telling us not to leave because she is almost back home, and sure enough, a few minutes later she runs in very excited carrying a 6 pack of root beer and cream soda. So we all had some soda and caught M up on what we were teaching, and she was very hyper the entire lesson (I think it was the sugar in the soda).

Thursday we had a lesson with an investigator we have been teaching for a while that I actually don't think I've mentioned before. His name is A, and he is part of a part member family where his wife and daughter are members (both of them converts, the wife for a couple years and his daughter for about a year). They got in contact with the church because of his son, who was doing scouts, and was the one that originally wanted to get baptized, but at the time neither of his parents were very supportive, so he still isn't at this point (but we have the missionaries where he lives going to go teach him, or at least I hope they are). So we had a lesson with them about the Book of Mormon and where it came from, because we have been teaching the lessons again in more detail to make sure that it is being retained. It was a very good lesson! Before the lesson really started A showed me a picture he took of the temple this last week because his wife and daughter went to do baptisms for the dead, and he tagged along and spent time on the temple grounds while they were inside.

Picture of the San Diego Temple taken by A

 Friday we had a surprise. This week is transfer call week, and normally they do that on Saturday night, but Friday morning they said they were doing it on Friday instead! So the results are in......Elder English is gone! And so am I! And so is Sister Horne! The only survivor is Sister Higley! And they are making Carlsbad 3rd a Sisters only ward!

Now. For the really exciting part...M's baptism!!! The service itself went really good. And M was very excited when she came out of the water. Elder English was the one to actually do the ordinance, so when he pulled her back up, she said that her first reaction was to give him a hug, but then she remembered he was a missionary, so (she says awkwardly, but no one really noticed) she just turned and gave thumbs up and a little happy laugh to all of us on the other side of the glass. And then was in a fit of giggles even after she went back into the changing room. After the baptism we had a ward missionary social at our ward mission leaders house, but we hijacked it and turned it into M's celebration party instead. It was really fun! Except when M found out 3 out of 4 of us were transferring. That was a bummer because then M was sad for a while. Sunday was good, and M's confirmation went really good. Though I was very nervous (I was the one who was actually doing the confirmation) because I really don't like talking in front of people!

Well the scripture I have is from Mosiah 18:10-11, and this is right after Alma the Elder has explained what the promise of baptism entails. "Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you? And now when the people had heard these words, they clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts." And I thought of this because of how M has been about getting baptized, and especially her reaction after actually getting baptized. You can tell that this is truly what she wants! And to continue on in the chapter, the second half of verse 30, " beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." I know that M will forever remember that day and how she felt.

Talk to you all next week from a new place!


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February Has Arrived!

This last week was good. We have been really getting ready for M's baptism! And by that we mean that we have been teaching her a lot this week.

Monday night we had a crazy dinner! Mostly just by the amount of people that were there. So we had dinner with the family of 5 (the Ls) that we normally eat with on Monday (recently because they have been super good fellowshippers for M!) and then also there was all four missionaries, M, and another family of 5 (the Ws) that are also really awesome friends of M. It was a pretty exciting dinner! And then we had a really good lesson with her! It was super spiritual!

This was the first of many lessons we had with M this week. Some of the other lessons we had:

After district meeting this week us and the Sisters invited M to come to lunch, so us and all the other missionaries in the district went to Costco. Then afterwards the Sisters and us planned on having a lesson with M at the church, but then the Sisters realized they had an appointment. So us and M went to the L's and had another lesson there.

On Thursday we had a lesson with D and M again (recap, D is the roommate of M's father). And we took the Bishop there for that to meet D. It was a good lesson as well (I have trouble remembering what we taught at all of these by the way as we had a lot of lessons, so sorry for not saying the lessons). M admitted that she wasn't herself that night because she had been feeling pretty down and felt like something was telling her that she wasn't ready for baptism. But we testified to her that she was ready, and that those feelings came from Satan trying to stop her from this big step in her life. So also that night, after all that conversation, we started working on M's baptismal program!

And then on Saturday we didn't have anything planned at all. And then M called us at some random time during the morning and asked if we wanted to do a lesson that day. So we ended up having a lesson! That is one of my favorite things about M as an investigator, she doesn't wait for us to set up lessons, she sets them up herself!!!

So that wraps up the novel of our lessons with M! Now on to the rest of the week!

On Tuesday we got the chance to go to the temple again! And that was as exciting as ever! It is always so nice to go and relax at the temple. Take a bit of time and step out of your problems and cares in the world for a bit.

Later on Tuesday, (and stop me if this story sounds familiar) we were visiting one of our less active members, and while we were there we started talking to his roommate's daughter, who started participating in the lesson, and then by the end wanted to learn more! Sound familiar? It was pretty much an identical situation to M! Except this girls name is P, and she is 17. At first when we talked to her, she didn't really seem interested in finding out if the church was true, just in learning about other beliefs. But then by the end of a super spiritual lesson, she said that she really wanted to start living in a way that would make her life better! It was amazing! And it was pretty cool because the less active member bore his testimony on a few things that we were talking about.

The next day we had another lesson with her, which was originally going to be a pass-off lesson, because she actually lives in the next ward over (the member we were teaching got special permission to be in our ward). But that ended up not happening, so we instead went to teach her...and her mom yelled at us. Her mom is actually a less active member that wants nothing to do with the church, and so didn't seem too happy that her daughter wanted to learn more about it. But then after her initial yelling, she calmed down, and we ended up having a really good conversation, and got P to Young Womens, which she really enjoyed!

So that about sums up this week. Sorry it is so long this time! My scripture thought will be short. But based off of what I saw from P, T (P's mom), and a few other experiences, I really believe the promise in Alma 31:5, "And now, as the preaching of the word had a great tendency to lead the people to do that which was just—yea, it had had more powerful effect upon the minds of the people than the sword, or anything else, which had happened unto them—therefore Alma thought it was expedient that they should try the virtue of the word of God." The word of God, and more specifically the Spirit that it brings, really does change people's hearts and attitudes. That is a testimony I have strongly gained.

Love you all!


Elder Wixom