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