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