Week #17 – Time Flies – April 27th, 2015

Carter MTC Comps Carter Cake

HEY!!!

SO MUCH TO TELL YOU GUYS and so little time!!! We don’t have a ton of time today so I can’t answer you and Dad, but I read both of your letters and Dad I printed out the papers, thank you tons!

Such an amazing week again. Hahah we hit the pavement and taught like crazy. Definitely the most successful week in my mission so far. The Lord blessed us this week once again. So grateful to be here working.

We had a ton of success last week making compromises with the Lord. We decided to pray again for a family of three, completely chosen and ready to hear the gospel. Monday night we started looking, Tuesday we knocked a door and found Andres and Leslie….completely ready!! We have been teaching them and they came to church yesterday!! We will see what happens but they are awesome!!

So awesome getting answers to prayers. But as you guys know the hardest part about this working is getting people to come to church. So we prayed all week for this and that we could “see the hand of the Lord in our work” and we had the best week we have had, and my companion too in his mission. We had ELEVEN of our investigators come to church with us Sunday! I hate talking about numbers but like Alma in the scriptures, he is blessing us like crazy, and we are rejoicing!!!!! One of our investigators shared her testimony in the Gospel Principles class too, soooo powerful. We are seeing miracles here. Just have to help these people come to church five times and we will see some baptisms. Elder Hernadez and I bought a cake to celebrate.

This week the weather was super wet. Lots of rain and it was pretty cold, like 75, all week so we were in sweaters and boots trudging through the mud. It helped us a bit because a lot of people felt bad we were working in the rain so they would open their doors!

—THINGS YOU DONT TELL YOUR MOM!! Mom stop reading here….

This week was definitely the craziest week. Coincidence? Our most succesful week but also the most dangerous. Satan is trying to stop us but it’s not working. There have been tons and tons of robberies around us, and its been super, super dangerous. Our Bishop called the Mission President because he said our house isn’t safe. And he was right, two different times this week people have tried to break into our house. We have an alarm so when they tried the alarm went off, but they tried again. We think we are going to move this week but we don’t know. We live on the border of a nice area and a ssskkkkeeettttccchhhhyyyy area where we don’t preach because it’s where all the robberies happen. This line was in my mind all week “Courage, for the Lord is on our side” when we were preaching late at night. HAHAH I love it though, best times of my life. But I definitely am safe, so no worries.

Overall an awesome week. We had a meeting for the “greenies” this week because we only have two weeks left in this transfer and in my training! It was awesome seeing some American friends from the MTC, and getting some help from the President. GREAT WEEK! Can’t wait for another!

LOVE ELDER WOODS

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Week #16 – Quien sabe – April 20th, 2015

Carter Te AmoCarter Te Amo2

Familia!!!!!

Such and amazing week! As always we worked our tails off this week. After a week of being sick, the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to work like dogs. Ha, we seriously killed it this week. Tons of lessons and tons of service in the hot TJ sun.

Surprising though this week I feel like I put on a few pounds. The sisters of the ward have been feeding us like crazy. Every day we eat the holy trinity; beans, rice and meat. It is always those three things! ALWAYS, and a mountain of it and we always have to eat it all. Man it is killer. So many tortillas too. I love it though!! It’s one of the things I’m going to miss one day.

This week was great, super tough, and I’m always tired, but sooooo  happy to do the Lords work. I’m feeling a lot better than last week. We killed the rat finally too!

A few things about this week! So I set a goal to speak only Spanish for this whole week, and wow, my Spanish made some big strides. I have been learning alot faster and my teaching jumped up a few levels. For the first time my email to the President was easier to write than the one to my family. But that helped me a ton. I also did interchanges and found a family with another great Elder.

We also had success finding families. Me and Elder Hernadez have been fasting and praying for families to teach. We were specifically fasting for a family of seven! Seems like a lot and it seemed crazy to us too but that’s the number we felt like we should set. And what do you know, this past Thursday we were searching for a guy and decided to knock a door and met the Lopez family and her five kids 🙂 Also through our faith with asking for that family, the Lord blessed us with another family of nine!!! so awesome. They are going to be super hard though. But we will see what happens!!

Yesterday we had 5 people come to church, which is some good progress. And also a bunch of less actives we have been working with. But getting people to church is probably the toughest part of the week. We are always so stressed Sunday morning. So many of our investigators bail Sunday morning. It’s difficult because they need to come to church five times in order to be baptized, but we are working on it!! Two of those were the parents of Damion, the kid we baptised a few weeks ago.

One of the people who came yesterday is a lady named Judid. She was a previous investigator we found like my second week in the field. She has been avoiding us and we kind of stopped visiting her, but Saturday I had the super strong impression we should just go pass by and see if she was there….and she was! She came to church yesterday with her son. Awesome experience and testimony builder. This week this scripture has helped me and Elder Hernandez.

D&C 123:17

17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I love how it says cheerfully do all things that lie in our power. That’s like making all the calls Sunday morning and going to peoples houses CHEERFULLY and then wait to see the Lords hand help us to get people to church. That has helped us a ton just knowing that we have to do all we can, and the Lord will bless us. I am so happy to be working the field of the Lord and can’t wait for this week. Hope everything is well at home and wish you guys the best!!!!

TE AMO!!!! see photo 🙂

Elder Woods

Week #15 – Challenges! – April 13th, 2015

Carter potatoes Carter Happy Birthday

Hey!!! 

I don’t have a lot of time to write today because I had to write a big email to my Mission President in Spanish and that has taken up a lot of my time today. 

This week was suuupppper, super rough. My hardest one yet. I will just paraphrase but I got really sick again. I saw the doctor and he said I had to rest for two days so we were in our house all day Thursday and Friday. I’m better now but I have been taking a ton of pills these past few days. I’m fine from the dog bite. No problems!

We have a rat in our house that is so smart, but it is sooo annoying and gross. It eats our food and is super bad. The Mission President CAME TO OUR HOUSE to see how we were doing, and we ran out of toilet paper!! It was a rough week but it will just make the other weeks ahead more meaningful!

Our investigators are doing well. A few came to church yesterday and we are still working on getting some of them married. The best news this week is that Damion’s Mom is super interested in the church now because of his example after being baptized. She is probably going to be baptised here in the next few weeks. We will see what happens!! 

We also had a super cool experience with a contact. We were really struggling so we decided to do a fast to find more people to teach. We started the fast in our house, and when we left, a guy came and talked to US! Pretty out of the ordinary. We started talking and the Spirit was super strong and he started crying when we were testifying to him and he said that he just felt that peace that comes from the Church. We have been teaching him these past few days so we will see what happens!!!

Overall it wasn’t a super successful week, with a ton of problems; me getting sick, and all sorts of stuff….it was just a weird week. I know the Lord is blessing us and trying our faith and we just have to keep working hard and pushing and I know that he will bless us. I have seen the changes this gospel can have on families and in their lives and I’m so happy to be here helping people receive those blessings and come closer to Jesus Christ. 

I am growing a ton. This week we saw some very poor people, working so hard every day, just to eat. It makes me realize how blessed we are. Having a clean floor, not cramped stuff, no flies everywhere, CARPET! I haven’t seen carpet literally since I left home. It’s either dirt or cement here. 

I hope everything is going well at home! It has been really cold here but today it is pretty hot. Los Xolos (local soccer team) are winning here in Mexico so everyone is happy about them. Can’t wait for this next week to come!!!

 Love,

Elder Woods

Ps. Even people here in Mexico have potatoes from Idaho!! 🙂 And happy birthday to Dad!!!

Week #14 – Semana Santa – April 6th, 2015

Top of hill Carter Thumbs Up

Wow, what an awesome week topped off by a weekend of Conference!!

We had so many opportunities to serve this week! The highlight of our message was Jesus Christ and modern-day Prophets. It was an awesome week of testifying! We ended up with FOUR people who came to the church with us to watch Conference!! We should have had more but the Lord blessed us with four people that came and watched. It was awesome! The family that came with us is complicated, but they all came with us and we are teaching them right now. It was awesome going with them, but it was soooo difficult for me to understand the talks. HA!! It was a long ten hours of listening to talks in Spanish and only picking out bits and pieces but it was great and I really did get a lot from it. 

Here everyone goes and watches Conference in the chapel which is different from back home. It’s like an all day event. Morning session, fiesta in the middle with food and chatting, then the next session, then more food!!! It was like this both days and was super cool. Tons of amazing food. 

One thing that really stuck out and applied to me and my companion were all of the talks on eternal families and marriage. It was meant for us because this week we found out that half of our investigators aren’t married. Ahhhhh, man it is tough. This is challenging for us as we can’t baptize them if they aren’t married. The talks from the Saturday session will help us a ton with these families. 

Cool experience yesterday, after conference we didn’t have any Easter dinner plans so we went and worked! We were knocking doors and not having a lot of success because it was Easter sunday and everyone was with there families. But we knocked on this one door and contacted a lady whose son had died a year ago from this very week. She let us in right there, we taught her the Plan of Salvation and testified hardcore, and set a baptismal date with her!…Awesome experience and we will see what happens. 

Another crazy experience. There are a ton of dogs here. I mean like hundreds all running around all of the streets. Well, I got bit by one! It was pretty rough but I am fine. It wasnt too bad, but definitely crazy!!

I also had the opportunity this week to leave my sector and go work with my District Leader. It was an awesome opportunity and we had a lot of success that day. Another sweet experience. THE GIFT OF TONGUE’S IS REAL! I get a testimony of that like everyday. We were with a guy on the street teaching him a lesson and the Spirit just took over and I could say anything I wanted to say and understood him perfectly. Even though I didn’t know what he was saying, I still “understood” and took over the lesson. I didn’t realize it but afterwards, my companion, Elder Hernandez told me how he felt the Spirit and how I was speaking with tongues. AWESOME!

Tons of our investigators have been bailing, and it is tough because we are working so hard. I know they will all come around. We are working like dogs over here and praying the Lord will bless us with some people to bring unto him. 

Grateful for the opportunity to serve!!! I get reminded of how awesome it is being on a mission everyday! I miss all of you guys back home. Tell everyone I love them! 

Love,

Elder Woods

Week #13 – Another Week In Paraiso! – March 30th 2015

Baptism 1 Baptism2

Shoes Mustache

Damian & Fernando Sweaty

This week was crazy!! So much happened, but it was probably one of my best weeks in the mission!

This week I had the amazing opportunity to baptize Damion! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my mission. My first one here, and in my life. It was a big moment for him and for me. We have gotten super tight with Damion and Fernando these past few weeks, and they are like brothers. The baptismal service was so awesome. The spirit was so strong. Me and Elder Herenadez did a special musical number. Elder Hernadez played the piano and me and two other missionaries sang. So awesome!! It made me hungry to go out and get more baptisms! It gave us a taste of how awesome it is to help people and so we took that hunger and hit the hills of TJ hard this week!

Last Monday I went with some Elders to a shoe shop here in TJ. It’s where ALL the missionaries go because this old guy is awesome. He knows all the missionaries and sells killer shoes. It took like an hour to get there but when we got there it was like missionary paradise. He runs this place out of his house and he has all these shoes in his kitchen. HA, so awesome!

We killed it this week and had 41 lessons! So much teaching, but so good for my Spanish. We were literally running to and from appointments. Every day we have to contact ten people and knock six doors so it was hard to do all of that between our appointments. It was probably one of our hardest weeks but definitely the most spiritual. The more we work, the faster and better everything is, but man, when we finish at night I crash hard!! The nights are so short too!!

So our investigators are all doing well. This Sunday we were expecting to have eleven people to church, but Sunday morning two families cancelled (for good reasons.) We ending up only having three people at church. We worked super hard this week to get people to church. All are progressing well and we should have some more baptisms soon.

It has been really, really hot here! It’s great though. We are grinding everyday!! Spanish is going well. It is getting hard to write my emails in English because me and my companion only speak Spanish to really get me fluent. We finished my first transfer yesterday and I  will only have one more with Elder Hernadez left in my training so we are practicing really hard!!

With Conference and Easter this weekend we have really been stressing the importance of Prophets and of course Jesus Christ. The church released a SWEET video of Jesus Christ for this week. It is called “Gracias el vive.” I don’t know what it is in English but probably something like,  “Thanks he lives.” It is awesome! I’m so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ for these two years. The opportunity to hear from the Prophet is something I’m really looking forward to as well. It will be weird not hearing the General Authorities voices, but hearing a Spanish voice over, ha! I’m excited for this weekend!

HOPE EVERYTHING IS GOING WELL AT HOME!!

I Miss you guys a ton!

Love Elder Woods