Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Susie's A Member!!!

Susie got baptized!!! And it went really good! But more on that later. First, the rest of the week!

Got to go on another exchange this week, this time with an awesome Elder named Elder Heath. He has been out for just under 3 transfers, and he is great. Not too much actually happened on exchanges, but we had a really good time just talking and walking around contacting people on the street.

Had another lesson with Susie this week, just to wrap up everything before her baptism, and we finished teaching her the Commandments lesson. It was really awesome though, because when we asked her if she had heard about the law of tithing, she said something along the lines of, "Yes, I read about it, and I am actually really excited to live it." Which is pretty cool to me because a lot of people struggle with the idea of giving God 10% of their income, but Susie was actually eager to do it.

Thursday this week was actually pretty interesting. After our district meeting Elder Stevens had his exit interview with President Kendrick, which he said was really weird, and made him more anxious about going home. And then the rest of the day pretty much we were driving around Elder English and Elder Willes because Elder Willes got an ear infection. We had to do some encouraging to get him to actually go to the doctor, because apparently he doesn't like them, but it was a good thing we did since the doctor said if he hadn't he could have lost his hearing in that ear! But then we ended up driving them to the doctor, then to Walmart to order his medicine, took a short break to take them to their dinner and get our dinner, and then had to pick them back up to get his medicine! It was a busy day of just driving around running errands.

And then on Saturday morning we got to be part of the Temecula "Helping Hands" day! Elder Stevens and I got to go with other members of our ward and another ward, plus a few nonmembers who just wanted to come do service, and shovel wood chips (that's what we did), spread them somewhere else, and paint an overhang. It was a lot of fun! I always really enjoy getting the chance to serve!

That afternoon was Susie's baptism, and it was amazing! We had such a great turnout! Bro. Asay, our Ward Mission Leader, had us, another ward missionary, and himself call almost all the ward list and personally invite them, and it was great! Bro. Asay said he counted about 65 people at the baptism, which is a really big turnout! Some of those were Susie's family and friends who she invited as well, and they all seemed to enjoy the service. It was a great service, and afterwards we had a fun social/soiree thing at one of the member's houses who has become good friends with Susie. It was a lot of fun! And it was great to see so many people show Susie love and support.

Spiritual thought for the day, Mosiah 18:8-9, this is Alma the Elder as he is teaching the people at the waters of Mormon about baptism. In these verses he talks about what being a member of Christs church entails, "and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God" And that is how Susie felt, she is so willing to help others out. It is a great example to me of how we should be. So go out, and as you go about your day look for a chance to make someone's day a bit brighter, and their load a bit lighter.


Elder Wixom

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Drama In Pauba!

This was a pretty exciting week! Lots of cool stuff happened!

On Monday for Zone Activity they had all the companionships dress up as a "mascot" for their area, and for no particular reason but probably because we aren't very creative Elder Stevens and I dressed up as the Pauba Pandas! Namely, we put on white t-shirts, black shorts, and black hats. It was dramatic. But a lot of the other much more creative companionships came as some pretty cool things! We had a pair of Temecula Creek "dwellers" and also some "retired super heroes" (a companionship in those creepy celebrity masks and super hero zip-up jackets). Then they had everyone show off their companionship, and the members whose house we were at were the judges. Then we did the normal, play sports and hang out. It was a fun activity!

Had a lesson with our investigator C again! We were really excited! Apparently the main reason he hasn't been getting back to us is he just had surgery to remove his gull bladder. But now he is back, and seems even more willing to progress now!

And now time for the biggest drama of this week....

We had a lesson with S this last week, and it went really good! We actually set a baptismal date for her for this upcoming Saturday. And then on Friday, I was on exchanges with one of the zone leaders in my area, and we get a text from S asking us to call when we could, so we called back, and she said that she didn't want to meet anymore because there were some doctrinal differences that she couldn't resolve. So we were super bummed by this! But we decided to respect her decision and pray for her to find what was best for her. And then guess who showed up at church last Sunday? S! Then through the course of church talking to a couple members, and then in a meeting with bishop after church, she got her concerns resolved! And now wants to get baptized again this Saturday! What we figure happened was that someone gave her some anti-Mormon doctrine after our lesson, but then she realized that she still loved the church, and that, plus the members loving her, made her concerns able to be resolved! It was great!

So yeah, that was our drama this week. D&C 101:16, "Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God." This is a good scripture about when things seem to be falling apart, to take a step back, and know that God is in control of everything, and will always try to help His children make it back to live with Him. So my advice for everyone is to trust in God a little bit more, and let Him take the lead.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Attitudes And Conferences!

This week was another good week in Pauba!

Lessons were pretty slow this week unfortunately. We have been having trouble getting in touch with our investigator C, and in result his son J, the last couple of weeks, but then yesterday he finally texted us back saying that he had recently gotten out of surgery and was doing good! So we are planning on meeting up with him again this week! And then S we were able to talk to this week, but we weren't able to meet with her because she has been ill all week with the flu. So that is pretty sad, but she says that she is starting to feel better, and we are planning on meeting with her this week as well!

Other than the lack of lessons though, this week was pretty fun!

We had a zone training meeting this week where finding ideas, teaching shorter and more powerful lessons, and having a good attitude were talked about. I really enjoyed the part about having a good attitude because it really is true, if you have a bad or negative attitude you are much more likely to have a bad/negative day, whereas if you have a good or positive attitude then your day is likely to be pretty good. One Elder in the zone said something that I really liked so I wrote it down. He said, "We're too blessed to be stressed, and to anointed to be disappointed." And another Elder said, "I want to leave my comfort zone with a smile on my face." Which I can relate too because talking to random people on the streets pushes me out of my comfort zone a bit.

Got to go on exchanges with Elder English this week, and that was really fun. We ended up walking around most of the day talking to people because no one we tried to stop by was home, but it was still really fun just walking around talking with each other!

And the last thing that really happened this week was we had Stake Conference. It was really good! Our Stake President, President Hamm, gave a really good talk about sustaining the prophet, and talked about his thoughts of presidents of the church since he has been alive. And then his first counselor gave a great talk about how we can be thinking we are doing the right thing but really not using the officer from Les Miserables whose name I forget as an analogy. Three YSA members, and a member of the temple presidency and his wife gave really good talks about missions, temple work, eternal marriage, and lots of other good things. Then the final speaker was Elder Acosta, an area seventy over this area, who talked about how nothing is as good as God, and how we should try to emulate His son Jesus Christ, and work on building our relationships with them. It was a really good conference!

Finally, in way of spiritual thought. A couple good verses from the Book of Proverbs about attitudes, "A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. (15:13)" and, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (17:22)" And really, that is one thing that I truly believe in. If you have a good attitude and try to be optimistic then you are bound to be happier!


Elder Wixom

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Conference, Easter, And A Bumblebee!

This week was really awesome! Lots of really fun stuff happened. And now I'm going to tell you about it!

Got to go do service again at that tree farm I told you about a couple weeks ago. We really enjoy getting to go out there and help out. This time after we helped out that family was the ones that had signed up to feed us dinner, which was tasty. One cool part though is after dinner the family took us in a golf cart they have and took us on a tour of their whole property. And it is huge! Don't worry, I did take a couple pictures just so you can see how big it is. And there are a lot of trees!

The next day I got to go on exchanges with an Elder named Elder Willes. It was a lot of fun. We got to go visit one of the ward's recent converts named D, an 18 year old whose family comes from Vietnam. We have been reading the Book of Mormon with him to help him strengthen his testimony of it, and it went really good. Then later in the day we got to go out to one of the farther parts of our area and visit a member named Bro. Swords. We had a really good chat with him as well. It was a lot of fun!

A bit later in the week our investigator S asked us to come over and help her to put together a chicken coop that she had bought, so we went over to do that, got everything all set up, and were just about to start....when I got stung by a bee!!! Right behind my left ear! It was really bizarre. I just hear what I think is a fly so I brush it away, and then all I see is a flash of yellow across my eyes, and then I feel something hit behind my ear and leave behind something sharp! I naturally reacted and pulled out the stinger...though I think I pulled it out wrong, but it turned out fine just because of how quickly I got it out. Then this bee chased Elder Stevens and I up the hill back to S and her husband's house (we were down the hill a bit next to their water tower). They got me some ice, and then Susie said to go get the tools and we would build it "when it cooled down" but I really think she just didn't want another kamikaze bee stinging us again. Thankfully it didn't hurt too bad, mostly just surprised me. But now after 20 years of surviving I can't say that I have never been stung by a bee...though I can say that I am officially not allergic to them!

Other than that the only exciting thing about this week was this little thing called General Conference!!! It was amazing! I really loved the two days of getting super spiritually nourished! A couple of my favorite talks were Elder Wilford Andersen's in the Saturday afternoon session where he talked about how we should all strive to be like Shiblon, to do right for rights sake and not try to get titles or positions, and if we get the chance to lead others, don't use it to boast, and then also Elder Holland's Sunday morning, about the Savior's Atonement, and President Uchtdorf's right afterwards about grace. And then Sunday we also got to go to a family's house for Easter brunch which was delicious! And for Easter dinner we got to have Greek food, which was pretty good but I don't think I fully enjoyed it because I was still super full from brunch!  The lamb we had actually reminded me of Sunday pot roast at home. So rest assured, I still like almost all things with food in the title.

Rather than give a spiritual thought today, I'm going to just encourage you all to re-watch/listen/read the messages from conference. And I am really excited for next month when the new Conference Ensign comes out! (could you please get me one) I know that as we continue to study the words of the general authorities that we will continue to be uplifted!


Elder Wixom