Week #21 – Labor In Love – May 25th, 2015

Carter Elder Ruiz

FAMILY!!!

Miss you guys so much… But I had another great week. There are always difficulties but man we are kicking butt right now!

ELDER RUIZ!! He is doing awesome. I have a pretty good handle on Spanish now and am not having too many problems. I can pretty much understand everything and say what I need to say, or find a way to say it.

WE’RE GOING TO BAPTIZE THIS WEEK!!! So excited! We have plans to baptize Manuel and Annaluisa on Thursday. We made some crazy moves yesterday and helped them go to church at a different time, then ran full sprint, for like 3 miles in suits to pick up some more people for our regular church. Elder Ruiz and I felt like “Men in Black” running through the streets of TJ in our church clothes. In the end we had 8 people come to church yesterday and having a ton of success.

We’re going to baptize another guy named Alejando this week too. I haven’t said too much about him but he is a stud. We have been teaching him and his girlfriend is in our ward. He hasn’t had any problems and is totally ready to be baptized.

Andres and Leslie….. AHH, they are driving me crazy! During the week they are so awesome. They are getting the Liahona and they read all of the conference talks and take notes, but Sunday we knocked on their door in the morning but they weren’t there. They bailed on church. We visited them Sunday night and had a lesson we call in the mission “IRONING.” We ironed them pretty hard with a Sabbath day lesson. They are working on getting married. We will see what happens.

We are also finding new people to teach and they are coming to church, We set a baptism date with this guy, and we told him we have a baptism service prepared for him the 25 of June. He said he had plans that week, so we asked what he had planned. He said that week he has plans to try to run across the border. HAHAHA we all had a good laugh. It’s his third time trying and every time he gets caught. He is going to try to climb this massive hill that doesn’t have too much protection. Hahah but so funny. We will see what happens with him.

New house is good. The toilet doesn’t work and we don’t have hot water. It’s safe though and we only have to live there for a month so we are making do.

Some cool information I learned this week. I was reading a book about missionaries in mexico and I came across Anson Call. I’m pretty sure he is one of my great, great Grandfathers. It said that he served a mission here in Mexico and was a bishop! Pretty awesome to here i could have potential family here in Mexico who came before me. 

This week was great, I love the work, I love being a missionary, and love this gospel!

I was reading this morning in 2 Nephi 26:30 y 31.

30 Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish.

 31 But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion…

Love this so much. Charity is so important. We can’t find and bring people to the gospel that we don’t love with all of our hearts. Our President told us when we’re committing people to come to church and live the gospel, we need to imagine our families. So I imagine my family and all of my friends and think about all that love, and then I look them in the eyes and ask them to be baptized, come to church, live the word of wisdom, etc. 

I love also how it says if we don’t have this love, this charity, we would let the work perish in Zion! Then verse 31 says the “laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion” LABOR IN LOVE!!!

With that in mind, I found this video in Mormon Messages that shows this perfect love. It’s called “Lift” and shows this love and this work. 

I love this work and love this gospel!!

HAVE AN AWESOME WEEK AND SHOW MUCH LOVE!

Con mucho mucho amor,

Elder Woods

Week #20 – Elder Ruiz – May 18th, 2015

CARTER PURPLE AFTER CALL

I LOVE THE MISSION!! So happy to be here serving the Lord.

So lot’s of changes in my little part of the world this week…

I have my new companion, Elder Ruiz!! He’s been in the mission field two months more than me, speaks no english, he is a chilango( from Mexico City) and he played pretty hardcore soccer down in Mexico. Soooo of course we hit the courts hardcore this week! We woke up early a couple of days and went and played. I worked him over, but man am I out of shape! I’m getting old, like my knees hurt and I have to take breaks!! HA! No but he is awesome, he’s a hard worker and we work well together.

Elder Hernandez is in TJ and he’s a District Leader now and training again. He is a stud! We got to talk this morning which isn’t normally allowed but he needed to tell me where to find some stuff he left at our house so we had a good chat! He is doing well and has his first Mexican companion in his mission. Speaking of our house, we moved this week, in the same area but a different house that is more protected. Things are still the same here, there was a shooting this week close to our house that was pretty intense. No worries though, I’m staying safe and being obedient 🙂

Tough part of our week was yesterday. We only had one person in church. It was pretty rough. We had EIGHTEEN committed to come on Saturday, and all bailed. So that means baptism dates are pushed back. But Andres and Leslies and all of their family didn’t fall, we are still planning to baptize them the 28th along with four other people. BUUUTTTTTTT…… we found out this past Wednesday they aren’t married. So this week we have been working with them and the ward to get them married. Elder Ruiz has never married anyone, and I haven’t either. The laws here in Mexico are crazy to get married. You have to take classes, get blood tests and all sorts of crazy stuff. We’re working on it though. So fingers crossed we can get them married here soon so that they can be baptized. Leslie told me she had a dream of her in the baptism font and I was baptizing her! She said is was another answer to a prayer. Pretty crazy, especially as I was the one doing the ordinance!

Others that are progressing are Manuel and Annaluisa, an older couple that we have been teaching. I don’t think I have said much about them, but they are awesome!! The lessons go slowly, and we are learning patience in teaching! We will probably baptize them here pretty soon as well.

I ate some crazy stuff this week. The main one you guys will laugh about was yesterday. So TJ is on the coast, so there are a ton of fish places here. The fish tacos are amazing! Yesterday we were with a member and we had crab, and shrimp tacos, but not just regular shrimp. They are called “shrimp of the devil!” I bet you can guess how my stomach was after that…… I’ve been dying all day today. I can’t even describe how hot they were. My companion, who is full blow Mexican, wouldn’t eat them. But I wasnt backing down, I haven’t listened to people talk about the crazy things they ate on their missions to get here and not try it!!!! hahahah so awesome! I cried I think more yesterday then I did when I called you guys this past week. HAHA!

We also caught the other rat finally, took us forever! It rained pretty crazy this week too, like flash flood kind of rain. It was pretty fun for us but we couldn’t work and were absolutely soaked.

All in all a great week. Spanish isn’t hard at all anymore. We’re doing awesome. I love being out here and am so grateful for this work. I have seen so many families change from this gospel, and we are so blessed in Idaho. Coming out here one of the main things I  have learned is just to be grateful. I know this church is true!

TE AMO!!!!!!!!

Elder Woods

Week #19 – Familia! – May 11th, 2015

Carter TJ Family

Another great week!!!!

So awesome getting to talk to you guys on Mother’s Day! It was definitely super hard to say goodbye but I loved talking to you guys! hahah and you guys got a real mariachi song and talked some spanish too!

Anyway this week was awesome!!! Another great week of working and growing. This week a lot of crazy things happened with some of our families that just made me so grateful and so happy that my family is safe and well. I’m so glad we have this gospel, and we are so blessed!!! So, so grateful!

This week was sooo awesome. I don’t have a ton of time but we have this family that we are teaching right now (pic attached) that has been coming to church. The two parents are Andres and Leslie, they are the couple in the middle. The other three girls are sisters and their kids. We are teaching all of them! This past week Leslie said that she is ready to be baptized and Andres too. I am so excited for them and it is definitely a family that is going to do a lot of good things in the church. 

ELDER HERNANDEZ IS GONE!!!!!! After we cried it out with our families, we packed him up, and traded some ties and he was off. Bummer to see him go but now I’m ready to work with my new companero Elder Ruiz!! He is awesome, I can already tell we are going to do some great things. HE DOESNT SPEAK ENLGISH! hahaha I knew that was coming,. But honestly it’s not a big deal, I feel confident in my spanish right now so we are doing well. He actually trained Elder Cronin, who is the red haired Elder in my generation. I think I sent a picture of me with him a few weeks ago. Elder Ruiz is awesome!! Excited to work with him!!

This week was great and we’re looking forward to baptizing that family. We also are moving to a house in the same complex, but it has a better alarm and some other things because of the problems we have been having……I will keep you updated but we are safe and happy!!! 

Miss you guys tons!!!! LES AMO!!!!

Elder woods

Week #18 – Templo! – May 4th, 2015

Carter temple P-Day Carter Temple Selfie Carter Poncho Carter TJ Temple

FAMILY!!!!!!

What an awesome week! I feel like I say that every week but literally every week is amazing. I love being a missionary.

I don’t have a ton of time to write because I have to make my Skype account for this weekend’s call! This week was awesome!! We worked our tails off this week. We had 40+ lessons this week, easily the most tired I have ever been in my entire life. But it all payed off! We had another great showing in church yesterday. All of our investigators are progressing and we are having tons and tons of success. Most only need a few more times at church, and they we can start baptizing! 

I want to talk about our awesome Ward Mission Leader! Holy cow, he is amazing. He worked with us almost everyday this week. He is 70 years old and has epilepsy. We were working like crazy with him and we were in a lesson and he started to have an attack of his epilepsy. It was pretty scary, and he didn’t complain once, and then he came to work with us the very next morning. I am so thankful for him. Those mornings when  I thought I was tired this week I just thought of him. HE IS A STUD!!

Another amazing testimony builder this week was this really older lady we are teaching named Fransica. She reminds me a ton of Nana. We are teaching her, and she has a ton of grandkids and kids, and she had a dream she was in this big white building, and all her family was in white clothes, and she explained how her family was going to be together forever! TEMPLE!! Holy cow it was pretty crazy!! We might be able to baptize her this week but we don’t know yet.

I’m writing a little late today because I had the awesome opportunity to go to the Temple!!!! So awesome!!! It isn’t open yet, but we took a taxi and took some pictures with some Elders in my district. It is soo beautiful and I’m stoked for it to open up!

So as you guys know our house is in a pretty sketchy area. We had interviews this week with the President and we mentioned that our house is in a pretty bad spot and what we should do. He just asked us if we were being obedient, and we of course said yes, and then he said that is all that matters and that we will be fine! Hahaha so awesome. I love it.

I can’t wait to talk to you guys this weekend!! Miss you guys so much!!

Love, Elder Woods

P.S. I found a PONCHO in the street market for 40 pesos, (like 2 bucks!!)