Monday, March 30, 2015

Start Of The Transfer. Start Of The Quarter.

So this week was a very exciting week! Not so much because of what happened but because of how everything lined up. This last transfer ended just a few days before the end of the quarter, which hardly every happens. It was pretty exciting because this week with those few days before the end of the quarter we had Zone Reviews in the mission. On a side note, the reason why I keep saying quarters is because the way President Kendrick does our goals for baptisms in the mission is not by year, but by quarter, so the first quarter (January-March) is ending and the second quarter (April-June) is starting. For Zone Reviews President Kendrick said that with how the "stars aligned" with a transfer ending nearly the same time as a quarter this is a really good time for all of us to recommit to any goals that we have, and strive to be better, and using one of President Kendrick's favorite sayings, " Forget the last shot" and move on to a new quarter. Overall it was really good.

Also this week we had Zone Breakfast again, and it was very delicious. Waffles with a homemade buttermilk syrup. And then after the food we had a little spiritual thought where the Zone Leaders told a story about a person who when he gets on a plane from Florida to Salt Lake City sees at the front of the plane a new missionary heading to the MTC, full of nervousness and excitement, and then farther back the plane he looked across the middle and saw another missionary asleep against the window, this one coming home from his mission, and the person comments that he looks like a very hard working, worn out missionary. And then when the plane lands and he wakes up the RM when he looks at the RM's eyes he sees a true disciple of Jesus Christ. It was a very powerful story that made me really desire to be that RM, to strive to be the best disciple and servant of the Savior that I can be.

Other than that the only thing that really happened is we were able to meet with S a couple times this week. The first time was she fed us dinner! It was really cool that she did that. We were able to meet her husband, who was a really cool guy, though he isn't interested in taking the lessons at this point, and we had some really good conversation with them at dinner. And then the next day we had another lesson with her where we combined teaching the Plan of Salvation with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, because with how ready Susie is and how much she wants to get baptized, we have been trying to teach the lessons a bit more condensed for her. It has been helping that in between appointments she is studying on a lot on her own.

For my spiritual thought and for my last General Conference quote I want to share one from Elder Holland's talk, "Are We Not All Beggars?" It says, "...I do not know all the reasons why the circumstances of birth, health, education, and economic opportunities vary so widely here in mortality, but when I see the want among so many, I do know that “there but for the grace of God go I.” I also know that although I may not be my brother’s keeper, I am my brother’s brother, and “because I have been given much, I too must give.” It is a really good talk about how we need to try our best to help others when we can. And I really like in that quote about how though we aren't in charge of our "brother's" lives, we are our "brother's brother" and should try to help out our "brother" when we can.

I am really excited for General Conference this weekend!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Last Week Of The Transfer

Well, I can't believe another six weeks has come and gone already! Elder Stevens and I were talking and both of us feel like we have only been together maybe three or four weeks, but nope! It's been six weeks! And the results of transfer calls are.....we get another six weeks together! We are both staying here in the Pauba ward! And it is Elder Stevens last six weeks so that is pretty crazy in it of itself.

Anyways, as for how the rest of our week went.

This week was actually a pretty quiet week. Though not by choice on our part. We weren't able to meet with many of our investigators this week because both M and S had to cancel for different reasons. S had to go and take care of her mom who has been pretty ill the last week, and M had a soccer tournament in Las Vegas all weekend. But even though we weren't able to meet with S, she kept in touch with quite a few of the members of the ward through the week, and on Sunday ended up going to a baptism in Lake Elsinore with some members, and had a meeting with our Bishop to talk about how soon she can get baptized. Because she is still very much wanting to get baptized, and tells pretty much every member she talks to. Which I think is pretty cool.

We did a lot of service this week! Not all of it planned. One night we went over with one of our members to the house of a single sister because she needed help moving some furniture around. We did that, and then after her home teacher, the member we were with, took us back to his house we left expecting to walk around and try talk to people on the streets the rest of the night. Then a bit later we see some people with a couple really big dressers on a trailer and ask if they need help....and turns out they were members also that we just didn't recognize at night while they were in normal clothes! So we helped them out, which they were very thankful for because the dressers were very big and very heavy, so the extra two people was helpful. Then another day of the week we got to go out to a tree plantation that a member owns and help with with a bit of the stuff around his tree farm. Which that was a lot of fun!  And then another day that member that took us to that sisters asked us to come help him out for a bit! We helped him for a couple minutes with a wood storage thing he was building.

Other than that really the only thing that happened was that we were able to meet with C and J again this week. And found out the reason that J didn't come to church last week was that he was sleeping. So we recommitted him to come to church so that he can get baptized like he wants, and he said he would be there this last Sunday. Sadly he didn't end up showing up, and neither did C, which we were sad about. But I guess something must have come up! And hopefully they will be there next week!

That pretty much sums up the week! My spiritual thought comes from Elder Christensen's talk, "I Know These Things of Myself" from last conference. A quote that I really liked from reading it this last week was, " a testimony begins: with sacred, enlightening, assuring feelings that demonstrate to us that the word of God is true. However, as wonderful as these feelings are, they are only the beginning. Your work to grow your testimony is not done—any more than the work of growing a redwood tree is done when the first tiny sprout pokes out of the ground...In most cases, our testimonies will grow the same way a tree grows: gradually, almost imperceptibly, as a result of our constant care and diligent efforts." I really like that because a lot of times, especially in the scriptures, it seems like a testimony comes in a moment, when usually it just comes over time and through effort like Elder Christensen said. So yeah, that was one conference quote I liked from this last week.

Have a great week!


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy Pi Day!!!

Well...happy late Pi Day I guess at least. Elder Stevens and I really enjoyed our Pi Day. We got a cookies and cream pie last Monday, and then this last Saturday we ate it! But we didn't just eat it at any random time of the day! Because this Pi Day was a special Pi Day! Since the numerical value of Pi is 3.141592654 it meant that this year rather than just eating pie on 3/14. We ate it on 3/14/15 at 9:26:54!!! Total nerdout! But it was a very delicious act of nerdiness do that made it really really good. And then we got to do service afterwards so that was really fun as well! And all throughout the day Elder Stevens was asking people how their Pi Day was.

Anyways! As for the rest of the week!

Last Monday we also had a zone activity which was fun, and if you remember from last year when  I was in Temecula you can probably guess what the activity was! We went to a member's house named the Myles, ate lunch, and then played around! It was a lot of fun! One funny thing about it is that Elder English is now back up here in Temecula as well as I am, and the ward he was in up here was the Myles' ward! So when he walked into their house they looked at him like, "How did you get back here!?" But they were very excited to see him. And I was excited to enjoy spending time with a lot of missionaries that I know and like!

Had a zone training meeting on Tuesday which was really good. We talked a lot about teaching by the Spirit and really trying to listen to the Spirit to solve investigator concerns. I got to play as the investigators during the practices, and that was really fun! I really enjoy playing investigators, and according to the other missionaries in my group I do a really good job about it, though all I try to do is act real. We also got to hear some really good counsel from President Kendrick at the meeting. He was there with Sister Kendrick visiting our meeting, which is cool because I always really enjoy hearing from him.

Had a lesson with C and J this week. Just to recap. C is an investigator who referred him and his son J to take the missionary lessons because they had met with missionaries in the past and wanted to get back into it. So we had a really good lesson with them, and talked about all the things that they need to know as far as qualifications for baptism. J is ready to get baptized as long as he comes to church one more time. Sadly though, J didn't come to church this last week so we will not be able to get him baptized as soon as we hoped. C did come though! And we were very excited about that one!

Most of the rest of the week was spent walking around talking to people because unfortunately we weren't able to meet with any of our other investigators. Our investigator M cancelled because she was going to a concert, and then our investigator S cancelled to spend time with her husband. I guess that was a good enough reason though, because the reason why she felt like she needed to spend time with him the night of our lesson was because she was gone the beginning of the week, and then the day she got back, rather than just spend the night at home, she went to our ward's Relief Society dinner. Which Elder Stevens and I were pretty excited about.

I guess that pretty much sums up my week right there. In light of the upcoming General Conference, I want my spiritual thought to be on that. In his closing remarks, President Monson said about the talks shared at conference, "May we all ponder the truths we have heard, and may they help us to become even more valiant disciples than we were when this conference began. Until we meet again...." As far as my thought, I would just like to say to everyone that I would encourage you to reread the talks from the last conference, at least one talk daily, to prepare yourself for the upcoming conference. I have been trying to do that in my personal studies and I have been really enjoying going back over the things that were shared. What I would also encourage is for you to share with people, whether in person or via the internet, things that you learn as your study the past words of the General Authorities. I am really looking forward to conference! My next couple emails will probably feature talks and quotes that I really liked that I have re-studied! To start off, one that I liked from President Monson's talk "Guided Safely Home" which goes, "A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder, never likely to reach home port....With the rudder of faith guiding our passage, brethren, we too will find our way safely home—home to God, to dwell with Him eternally."


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Pretty Quiet Week...Mostly

This week was a pretty good week. Not a whole lot happened, but there were a couple cool things! So I guess I'll talk about those things!

One thing that was fun was that I got to go on exchanges with Elder English's companion...who is not his greenie. Remember how I told you Elder English was training? His companion ended up going home. It was pretty sad, but at least Elder English's new companion is really cool! His name is Elder Willes, and we were both around him in Carlsbad because he was serving in Oceanside, which is part of the Carlsbad Zone. I got to go on exchanges with him this week, and it was a lot of fun! And one of the best parts is that the dinner we went to was actually a member of the Meadowview ward when I was there last year! (In the last year they reorganized the ward boundaries) So that was really fun to see them again!

We picked up a new investigator this week! She is the lady I told you about last week that just walked into the church building wanting to learn more. So last Thursday we had a lesson with her at a members house (the sister that our Ward Mission Leader got to take her to Relief Society, and her family). And it was a really good lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel. She was asking a lot of really good questions that showed that she had a real desire to learn about what we believe. Which I would hope she does as she said that she wants to join the church. Sadly she wasn't at church this last Sunday so we weren't able to set up our next lesson there, but hopefully we'll be able to set that up quickly so we can meet with her again!

Dinner last Saturday was really good. It was our Young Women's fundraiser for their girls camp. The dinner itself was a spaghetti dinner with some salad, but then they also had a bake sale for some other goodies, and they had a live auction as well! I am really impressed when I see young(er) people, or really anyone no matter what age, working hard to try to reach a goal that they have set for themselves, or to try to get something that they really want. Because we all know that good things in life don't come without work. Just like living the Gospel. We go out and serve people, do home/visiting teaching, go to Church each Sunday, and a lot of other things because we love the blessings we receive and the chance to help out others.

Sunday was also really good. We had a really good Sacrament meeting, a nice lesson about scriptures in Gospel Principles, but the best part was the lesson we had in priest's quorum. One of the priests was giving the lesson and of course he hardly prepared anything, but the lesson, which was about grace, turned into a super spiritual discussion about how we need to strengthen our testimonies, so that when people try to challenge our doctrine, or confuse us with something, we have our own beliefs to lean on so we don't fall away. It was super powerful, and the Young Men's President was really excited because he said that that is how he wanted all the lessons to turn out. Super powerful and fully driven by the Spirit.

But, like I said, not too much happened this week so I guess this brings us to a spiritual thought. On the note of the lesson on Sunday there are a couple scriptures I really like from Section 84 of the Doctrine and Covenants. Verses 62 and 85, "Therefore, go ye into all the world; and unto whatsoever place ye cannot go ye shall send, that the testimony may go from you into all the world unto every creature....Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that shall be meted unto every man." That is really what happened in that lesson. The leaders, the priests, the Bishop, and us missionaries had all studies the scriptures and other things beforehand, and even though the priest that gave the lesson maybe wasn't the most prepared, the Spirit took those things we had studied and experienced and made it into a very powerful lesson.

Well, that is all for this week! Have a great week!


Elder Wixom

Monday, March 2, 2015

"And The Rain Came Tumbling Down!"

With RadioActive Soda
This last weekend since about Thursday has been pretty damp here! Which is good because Temecula needs rain! The only bad part about it is that missionaries still have to work and walk around outside in the rain...thank goodness for umbrellas! But on the bright side. Because I'm in the Pauba ward, which is very large due to lots of back country dirt roads, we have a full time car! So we don't have to walk between appointments and get soaked!

Now on to the rest of the week!

Went on a couple exchanges this last week. They were both really good.

The first one was with my good friend Elder English. You know. That missionary I was just with about a month ago. So that brought back some memories. We had a good time reminiscing about the days in Carlsbad. And made a few references during the day to stuff that happened while in Carlsbad. While on exchanges we had a lesson with our investigator C, and talked to him about the importance of studying the scriptures with special emphasis to study the Book of Mormon so he could find out for himself that it is true. When we asked him to pray about the Book of Mormon he said he had done it already a while ago and believed it to be true...which I was not expecting. So we encouraged him to pray about it again to reconfirm his belief that it is true. And I hope he does get that witness, and then acts on that witness, because he needs to change a few things about his life before he can be ready to become a member of the church.

We also had dinner with a cool family, and Elder English invited them in our dinner scripture thought to try to go a week without being repetitious in prayers. Elder English thought of this because him and his companion are teaching a few investigators who he said say the same thing in every prayer. This bugged Elder English, and then when we taught C, Elder English said a prayer to start the lesson...and realized he said a lot of the same things every time he prays! So he invited this family, and himself, to try to go a week praying non-repetitiously. Which is very hard!

Had another lesson with our investigator M. And that went pretty good. When we asked her if she had prayed about the Book of Mormon she said she hadn't because she felt weird about it. She said that she was comfortable praying for physical things like safety, or to find something lost, but she said it seemed weird to her to pray for something that was completely spiritual based, as in getting an answer through the Holy Ghost about whether the Book of Mormon is true. So we encouraged her to pray this week, and talked for a while about different ways the Holy Ghost might answer her, what feelings she might have. She said that she would do it so I guess we'll see what happens!

Elder Stevens and I had a cool miracle happen last Sunday! None of our investigators showed up at church which was a bummer, but as we were heading off to High Priests group for 3rd hour (they asked us to come in and do a "missionary minute" thing) a sister from the ward that had the 1-4 block pulled us aside and introduced us to another lady that she was talking to. This lady is a nonmember that I believe had experience with the church in the past, and came today with the question that she posed to our ward mission leader, "What do I need to do to join this church?" So we got her name and number, and our WML got a sister to take her to Relief Society, and we are going to be meeting with her sometime this week! So that was super exciting! And is the kind of stuff you always hear about but I never really expected it to happen to me!

Anyways, that's about all there is for this week. Since it seems like a lot of my week was about prayer. I'm going to share for my scripture Jesus Christ's teachings on how we should pray. Matthew 6:5-7 says, "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking." He goes on in the next few verses to outline a simple prayer, but I really like the message in these verses. Don't pray to try to show off your beliefs, pray to Heavenly Father, not to be seen of men. Be sincere and speak from your heart. If we look in the next verse it says God knows what we need before we ask, but because He won't force things on us, He waits till we ask to bless us. I love that we have the ability to pray and to communicate with the all-powerful Creator of the Universe. It is such a special gift that we should use as much as we can.


Elder Wixom