Wednesday, September 30, 2015

What A Week...What A Week

What an exciting week. Not so much as far as missionary work, but just because of what happened.

Went on exchanges this last week with Elder Johnsrud in the Discovery Hills ward, and it was a really good exchange. He was getting over being ill so we took it a bit slower than usual, but he still was working really hard. His nose started bleeding a couple times throughout the day though, once we were just out of the apartment and we just turned around so he could get cleaned up, but the second (and worse) time we were no where near the apartment! We had just gotten out of dinner. Thankfully we were near their ward mission leader's house (who also happens to be an ER doctor), so we gave him a call, he said he was home. Went by, Elder Johnsrud got himself all cleaned up, and it was all grand. Thankfully his nose stopped bleeding though, because Bro. Bennent had gone upstairs to get some tools to cauterize his nose...which would have been unpleasant. Instead he just ended up giving Elder Johnsrud some tissues and a new tie because Elder Johnsrud bled on his. It was pretty exciting.

Then Thursday and Friday were great (exchanges were on Wednesday). Had a couple awesome dinners (one was from a couple where the wife is from Tokyo, and she made curry. It was great, reminded me of Wil's curry, but I can attest that he learned well, because his was as good as hers, and he's not Japanese. Visited some great members. Contacted into one of our potential investigators while he was walking his dog and ended up talking to him for about half an hour or so about the church, invited him to church, and he said he would consider it. It was awesome!

And then Saturday hit.

Started off good. Elder Groesbeck was super nice and made me pancakes for breakfast, but then right as we were about to start companionship study I started feeling really...not good. So I went to go lie down for 15 or so minutes...and died (figuratively). Within a couple hours I could barely move. Called up the zone leaders to have them come and help Elder Groesbeck give me a blessing, and that was great, but then Elder Groesbeck made lunch for them to be nice (pancakes again), and I could hardly eat anything (which if you know me that's saying something). But for the rest of the day I was just dead with many flu-like symptoms. The really sad part...I got a flu shot a week ago! I'm not going to point fingers or anything...but I'm pretty sure I got whatever Elder Johnsrud was getting over, but hey, life happens. So the rest of the day I was pretty incapacitated, but on the bright side I caught up on sleep! And it gave Elder Groesbeck plenty of time to study.

Sunday I was doing a lot better, and I was up and healthy enough to go to church (though I did refrain from shaking hands just in case, and I used lots of hand sanitizer). But then after church I got worse again so I became pretty incapacitated again. I can testify of the power of prayer though! I prayed for the energy and ability to go to church. I was fine through church. Got back home, and instantly didn't feel good again. Prayers are answered.

And then today (the reason why my email is so much later than usual), I am not only feeling much much better and will be staying that way (fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc), but we went to the Safari Park in Escondido! It's a branch off of the San Diego Zoo, and it was pretty awesome. I got a lot of really great pictures.

Well, now that the summary of my week is done, time for a spiritual thought. "And now I, Moroni, have written the words which were commanded me, according to my memory; and I have told you the things which I have sealed up; therefore touch them not in order that ye may translate; for that thing is forbidden you, except by and by it shall be wisdom in God. And behold, ye may be privileged that ye may show the plates unto those who shall assist to bring forth this work; And unto three shall they be shown by the power of God; wherefore they shall know of a surety that these things are true." (Ether 5:1-3) I read this part during this last week, and this stuck out to me because it seems to be a personal message from Moroni to whoever translates the Book of Mormon (aka Joseph Smith). I really liked this because it was just a reminder to me that the Book of Mormon really is written for our day, and we can find personal messages to us within it's pages.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 21, 2015

Water Works

So you don't look at the title and imply that I cried or something like that, I'm going to start off with that story.

We stopped by a potential investigator this last week, and we were actually able to catch him at home. Though, when he answered, he told us that we had caught him at a bad time because he was waiting for someone so he could do paperwork, so we set up an appointment for the following Sunday. After setting up the appointment however, he asked us if we needed some water, we said we did (because it was warm and we were biking...and who would say no if a potential investigator offers you water?) and he let us in to give us water! So then for the next ten-fifteen minutes or so as we drank our water and waited for the person he needed to do paperwork with, we talked and testified briefly about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Book of Mormon with him. It was great. Sadly the lesson on Sunday didn't happen as he said the day ended up not being good for him, but we're going to set up another appointment and it's going to be awesome!

Other than that, something else that was fun this week was we had a district activity on Monday. So, bit of backstory, in Elder Groesbeck and my apartment for some reason we have a big blue yoga ball in the closet. Elder Spencer (who is serving in another ward in Escondido) gave us a call asking if they could borrow it for a district activity they were having, and we said yes, so the Young Single Adult Elders came and got it for their activity. Well, we went to the Borden building for our activity...and they were there! Playing giant four square! (You know, that game you play in Elementary School) And of course, we joined in with them until the rest of the district showed up. It was great. Then for our activity we played volleyball, but because we didn't have an actual volleyball, we played it know it...the giant yoga ball! It was great! Lots of fun.

Went on exchanges with Elder Smith this week, he is our new zone leader, and that was a lot of fun. Met some really awesome people and just overall had a grand old time doing missionary work. The weird thing is that we have a very similar personality, so there was lots of times through the day where it threw me off for a bit. Still great though.

Also had some rain this last week! It was a pretty good storm for Southern California. And we got to enjoy it immensely as we walked around trying to talk to people. And though I had my umbrella, it didn't help much because by the end of the day it was almost just a super thick mist, so the water was hitting us from every single direction! But it was still really great, and the area down here really needs it as we are in a bit of a drought.

Well, that's about all the random fun things I can think of for this week, so now on to a spiritual thought! I read through 4 Nephi this last week, and in verse 17 (it's only one chapter as we know) it says, "There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God." And that made me think of something that I love about the gospel. That it really doesn't matter who you are, where we came from, or what the circumstances of your life have been, as you embrace the gospel and are around others who love the gospel, we are all equals. We are all brothers and sisters. It is a great thing to know that this is the biggest family on Earth, the family of God, and everyone is included.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 14, 2015

Driving And A Little Miracle

Well, back down to just a companionship. It was very quiet for the first few days, and our apartment feels a lot bigger without having three people there. It's a bit refreshing though because now we don't have to worry about the logistics of managing two areas, and both areas will be able to get the focus that they deserve.

Wednesday (day after transfers) we were in the car a lot. First we had our zone introduction meeting in the morning, which was really good, the mission is emphasizing refocusing on our purpose this transfer, so that's what the meeting was really focused on. After the meeting we (Elder Groesbeck, Elder Johnsrud, Elder Waite [Elder Johnsrud's new companion] and myself) went to lunch and went shopping since Elder Waite barely got here. At this point we were going to drop them off before going to Vista to see Elder Smith (our senior missionary vehicle guy) but then we ran out of time, so we all went to Vista and let Elder Smith look at our car so he could see the damage, and he told us to take it to the auto body shop the mission uses to get an estimate, so we did that. And then! We needed to go to the library to go take online surveys the Church Missionary Department sent us. And then!!! We ended up needed to drop the other Elders off at dinner after getting our groceries from their apartment. Then we drove to our apartment and went to dinner. It was great.

That night though we had something really cool happen. We were walking back towards home to go in for the evening when this guy came up to us in the parking lot we were walking through. If you have ever heard of the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) it is a trail that goes from the Mexico border, up the west coast, all the way to the Canada border. Well, on this trail, there are people called "trail angels" that will help out the hikers. This guy calls himself a "missionary trail angel" and to make a long story short, ended up getting us some California burritos and horchata from a restaurant in the parking lot called Senor Panchos, more commonly referred to as "The Taco Train." It was pretty awesome and super amazing of that person to do that. And he does something similar whenever he sees missionaries! The coolest thing. He isn't a member! He just does it because he has friends who are LDS and really respects them and us missionaries, and because he is just a great person!

Other than that this week was pretty quiet. We are just trying to do a lot of member work and helping our ward to get more excited about doing missionary work. So it's something that will take a bit of time, but like a train it will start off slowly but when it picks up it will be unstoppable!

Spiritual thought for the week!

I studied the first part of 3 Nephi this week, and in chapter 9 when the Savior talks while the land is covered in darkness, there is a verse that I really liked, verse 14 says, "Yea, verily I say unto you, if ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me." This really is how the Savior is. He is not sitting, waiting to kick us all out of heaven because we didn't measure up. He is waiting for us to turn to Him so He can heal us, can change our hearts, can make us better. He loves all of us. I have learned this so much on my mission as I have felt the love that Jesus Christ has for those I serve. It is marvelous.


Elder Wixom

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Cars and Ties, Calls and Pies

Well, it has been an exciting week. I'll start off with the things from the title and then move on from there.

Ties and Pies: So this last Monday we had our zone activity, and one part of that activity included pushing shaving cream pies in people's faces to celebrate the end of a competition this transfer called, "Fellowship of the Zone" (yes, it is a reference to Lord of the Rings). It was really fun, and for me it started off walking dramatically up to the group, and Elder Mardesich walking up to me with a pie that I though he was going to give me...and he did...he just gave it to my face. Thankfully he had someone record it and it was great.

Also that day, after the activity, Elder Groesbeck and I bought tie bags from a thrift store called "Valley Thrift" and it was just like Christmas. In each bag is about 60ish ties (each tie came out for me to be about 14 cents), and there are a lot of different kinds of ties in bags. For example, my favorite tie I got has Snoopy the dog playing the saxophone on the tie (and it was great because I love both Snoopy and saxophones). So it was really exciting.

Calls: Transfer calls! We're both

Cars: Last Friday we were starting to go across an intersection, when a person changed lanes mid-intersection and braked! Thankfully our brakes worked great and we stopped before we hit them! Not as thankfully, the person behind us's brakes did not work as good, so they hit us, though not very fast thankfully. So no one got injured, and it just made for an exciting story for the day. The funny part, apparently he had gone to our church a few times when he was younger. So we got his information and passed him off to some other missionaries.

On to the rest of the week!

Tuesday was insane. We were supposed to go help our investigator M move stuff out of her apartment that she was leaving to a storage unit in the morning, but it got pushed back a bit. So we went and did service for another person who had asked us to. Then (after getting pushed back again) we eventually did go over and help out M, and it was crazy. We didn't know what to do half the time! But everything worked out ok, it was just an exciting move. One of the best parts! At one point someone was moving a box, and the bottom opened up! So we were all surprised for a bit and then helped refill the box. It was great.

Also got to go to a baptism in our ward this last Saturday for an 8 year old (the father asked Elder Groesbeck to give one of the talks). The crazy part, the wife isn't a member! But comes to church every week! She is also active in her church, which is really why she isn't a member of our church, but we are hoping that seeing this baptism (because it was good despite how giggly the girl getting baptized was) will help soften her heart and help her to progress in the gospel.

Well, spiritual thought for this week:

I read the story of Samuel the Lamanite this last week, and one thing stuck out to me that I hadn't noticed before. Verse 10 of Helaman 14, "And now, because I am a Lamanite, and have spoken unto you the words which the Lord hath commanded me, and because it was hard against you, ye are angry with me and do seek to destroy me, and have cast me out from among you." We know that through the majority of the Book of Mormon the Nephites are typically the more righteous (or at least less wicked) people, but at this point it is the Lamanites who are not only more righteous, but are following the Lord in all they do, rather than the very wicked Nephites who have willingly let themselves be led by very wicked men. So now, when a Lamanite comes and preaches to the Nephites, they are so prideful that they still think they are the better nation! And in doing so many ignore Samuel! But that's not the case! God doesn't care about what nation we come from, He cares about if we listen to His work, and He will use and call servants from all nations that will listen to him. Se we need to not judge others or think we are better than them. Because God loves all His children.


Elder Wixom

Monday, September 7, 2015


This week has still been super fun-filled with tripanionship type of stuff. Which still makes it a logistical-nightmare at times, but it's all good because it's awesome!

Tuesday night was one of those logistical nights that was super fun and crazy. Started off great, we had a super awesome dinner in the Discovery Hills ward with one of their recent converts. It was pretty sweet. And then after dinner with that family, over in our area (San Elijo Hills) we had a ward BBQ that we had to get to. And then! After being there for only a short time Elder Groesbeck and I had to go BACK to the Discovery Hills area to pass off one of Elder Johnsrud's investigators to the Spanish missionary, because Elder Johnsrud had to go with one of his ward members to teach missionary preparation class. So before we could even do that we had to get Elder Johnsrud with his member, and the member went to the wrong park in San Elijo (there are a couple, the BBQ was at one, and the member was going to another park) so we went over there and met up with him, and then Elder Groesbeck and I got to the pass off lesson a bit late...except the investigator didn't make it. So it was a pretty crazy night, but it was a whole lot of fun!

Another fun thing that happened in Discovery Hills this week was we got to teach an awesome guy named V! It was pretty great. He was super receptive and had lots of great questions. The only thing is...he is also going to need to be passed off to the Young Single Adults. But it's all good because that's the best place for him.

One thing that happened in San Elijo this week is that we were able to meet with one of our less active members named W. He is a pretty cool guy that is super nice and really loves the people in the church. He just told us he never really believed it was true, and got baptized out of social reasons. But we still had a really good conversation with him, and he agreed to read a couple verses from the Book of Mormon each day. So we get to follow up with him on that this next week!

Lastly, had an awesome stake conference this last week! The theme of the whole conference was "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Matthew 6:21) and I'm actually going to use that for my spiritual thought for this week. Because it really is true. The things that we put our focus on, our "treasure" is where we will spend our feelings and our passion seeking after, our "heart." So we need to make our "treasure" the furthering of God's work using our talents and abilities. And as that becomes our focus, our "hearts" will yearn to do all we can to help our Heavenly Father fulfill His work.


Elder Wixom