Week #56 – Amazing! – January 25th, 2016

MAN what a week, hahha!

Wow, Ensenada is amazing!! It’s beautiful! I live a rocks throw away from the beach! It’s been crazy living so close for the past six months. The temperature is cool, and every night there are some amazing sunsets. It’s a ton greener here than in Tijuana. It’s been great being here so far.

The week went by pretty quick. I had to go back to TJ Friday for a conference for District Leaders which was great! It’s awesome to be able to learn how to be a better leader. In my District there are two other companionship’s and it’s been cool being able to serve them. Tuesday morning I had my first District meeting and I didn’t know any of the missionaries so afterward I asked them how the meeting was and if there was anything I could make better. They said they thought I had been a District Leader for awhile and said it was really good! That felt pretty cool.

In Ensenada the work is definitely a little harder. It’s still pretty poor here like TJ but there isn’t as strong a belief in God. The Catholic background for everyone is still there but there is a lot of influence from the US and I would say it’s about 50/50 that the people we teach believe in God. Most don’t believe at all. We have some pretty solid investigators and we’re going to work hard for success this transfer.

Elder Winson is from Harriman Utah!! HAHA its been pretty fun with him. He just got done with his training, but speaks Spanish really well. He is 18, and was actually trained by my ‘brother” a latino who was trained by my trainer Elder Hernandez!! So that makes Elder Winson my nephew. haha!

BIG NEWS THOUGH!!!! ELDER BRACHO IS TRAINING!!!! AHHAHAHA I’m so stoked!! I didn’t know but I just found out when I went back to TJ. I was so happy. I’m proud of the guy, and a happy father!

Other than that we have just been working hard. We have a few baptism dates which is great. There’s a lot of crazies here. We have had some funny experiences. There was a National Missionary Conference Wednesday which was pretty cool. I enjoyed it, lots of good stuff.

I have found it is tough to lead. I don’t want to be mean to the missionaries but I also don’t want to be a softy, hahaha, I’m still getting into a groove. Three of the missionaries are older than me in the mission so I’m working hard to gain their respect/confidence.

I miss you guys tons!! SO GRATEFUL to be a missionary!! Thank you for all the love and support!!

MISS YOU GUYS!

Les amo!

Elder Woods

 

 

Week #55 – Ensenada – January 18th, 2016

Hey guys!!!!

Wow I have to fly!! I honestly have increased my typing speed so much here in the mission field. I can type like a mad man now! A weird acquired skill that comes when you can only write to the family once a week.

BUT HEY!!! I JUST GOT TRANSFERRED TO ENSENADA!!!! I also got called to be a District Leader here! I’m stoked for the opportunity to serve. I’m here with Elder Winson, a gringo from Utah. Ha rockin the two white guys again. It’s going to be a fun transfer.

Well this past week with Elder Bracho was really sad. We were honestly the best of buds. Dad I already promised him you would buy him a plane ticket, and possibly his visa too, so that he can come visit us! I hope you are aright with it. The whole week was great, we had a lot of success, received a few baptism dates, but sadly the baptism of I** is suppose to be this week, so we will see what happens. I’m not sure I will be able to go. Lots of love over the weekend as I went around and said goodbye to all of the members and investigators that I have loved and served for the past 4 and a half months. Great times….

This morning I was up at 4 am to take the bus down here to Ensenada. I’m here in the ward Universidad. I’m pretty excited to be here!! Right off the bat, two members took us for some shrimp tacos…… you guys don’t want to know how good they were!!!! I give you permission to sneak down here into my sector and try them. HA, HA, and like 50 cents a taco!!

Well I don’t have a ton of time just because of the transfers, but I really learned so much in Constitucion. I honestly grew so much! With opening the sector with Elder Morgan, then training Elder Bracho, and the countless experiences I had,  I feel really prepared to take on this new assignment as District Leader! Hopefully we can make some great things happen here in Ensenada 😀

I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!!!!

Les amo!

ELDER WOODS

Week #54 – Rainy Week- January 11th, 2016

Woah~!!

What a week!!!! So crazy but so fun!

This week was pretty great. It was definitely an adventure. We had so much fun though with so many opportunities to serve.

Well it all started Monday which was a pretty normal day of just hittin it hard. Then Tuesday…. the rain hit……

WE GOT NAILED!!! That’s the only phrase I can think of to describe what happened.

IT RAINED SO MUCH!! él nino hit us. Hard! The thing is all of Rosarito got flooded. Cars were flying everywhere, houses were getting taken away. It was like a natural disaster but only lasted for like an hour. The thing is the houses here are not built really well. All of the streets are dirt. There’s a lot of hills here too so in the valleys the houses just got wrecked. We did a lot of service in the days after the flooding. We shoveled lot’s of mud and water. It was pretty insane as you can see by some of the pictures. We were on house lock-down Tuesday and Wednesday so we just partied as hard as missionaries can for two days. Ate some pizza, studied the scriptures like 10 hours, and got some good naps in.

For the past few days everything has been super, super muddy. I’ve been wearing my boots and have been having so much fun just walking and sliding around and helping as mnay people as we can. Elder Bracho and I have had to slide  down some huge mountains to make it to our appointments and got super, super dirty. But with all the rain we could just blame it on that and everyone was fine with it 😀

We have been working so hard but with the flooding, no has gotten to the point of being ready to get baptized. This is the last week of the transfer so we have to keep working hard!! Who knows though, I could be in a different sector next week!! I really hope I don’t leave. I love the members here so much. We have so many good friends and investigators and this is just a great area. It will be tough if I head out but we will see what happens.

Elder Bracho and I have felt great and we have really been feeling the spirit consistently in our days. We have been teaching powerfully and feel like were really helping people here. It’s been cool to see the change in Elder Bracho as well. He’s going to finish his training this week and he went from little kid from South America, to a SUPER HUMAN missionary that can tear apart satin with the scriptures and his testimony. He’s now ready to battle the adversary and take this glorious message to all who desire it. It’s been a great two  transfers with him.

I love you guys so much! I hope you have an awesome week and know that I really care about you guys a ton and pray everyday for your well being!!! LES AMO!!!!

Love Elder Woods

 

Week #53 – Hump Week – January 4th, 2016

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HOLA!!

Wow, the weeks fly by! I can’t believe that I’ve been out one year in the mission! SO MANY emotions for the year that has past and the year that is to come. What baffles me the most though is I’ve been in a shirt and tie everyday for a year. hahaha!!!!

This week was pretty normal. We taught 35 lessons this week so we’ve been pretty tired. We found some great people and 9 went to church with us yesterday so we feel pretty good about our progress.

New Year’s Eve was nuts!!! It honestly sounded like a war zone here. We had to be in the house at 6 o’clock and all day Friday too per the mission rules so we couldn’t do much of anything. We left with some other Elders and got lunch, worked out, and went to the church and played some sports. It was a good day. It was pretty cool because one Elder brought an american football so we started passing it around, and our companions are both from South America and had no clue how to play football. We taught them how to play and played 2 on 2. It was hilarious. They didn’t know how to throw, catch, and the concept of waiting on the line of scrimmage until someone said hike was impossible to teach. Hahah, but it was a great time.

All in all it was a fantastic week! I hope you guys enjoyed you New Years!! We will be celelbrating the next year to come together. Thanks for all your love and support!

LES AMO!!!

Elder Woods

Week #52 – Spreading Cheer- December 28th, 2015

HELLO!!!! Feliz Navidad!!!

Wow what an amazing week!! It was so great to talk to you guys!! I loved it so much. Thank you for all your love an support. It was great to hear your voices and join together in celebration the birth of Jesus Christ.

Christmas eve was a slow day in the work of the lord. Hahahh no one, literally no one wanted to talk with us. We spent the day walking around saying Merry Christmas basically the whole day. It was slow but we were filled with a good spirit spreading the Christmas cheer. We had a great dinner with some members, some great Mexican Christmas food; Tamales, pasole and some punch that they make here that’s so good. After that Me and my companion huddled together in our apartment and read the Night Before Christmas! It was great.

Christmas here was kind a change of pace for me… I don’t think I’ve ever in my life had a Christmas without snow! Christmas morning we woke up and went to the beach, HA. Well not on it literally because we can’t do that but near it! It was a Christmas to remember. We bought some tacos for Christmas morning breakfast, played some ultimate frisbee and then hung out with some members. It was Elder Bracho’s first time opening presents for Christmas which was so cool. Not to much progression in the work with it being Christmas week, but were hoping to have some more success this week. We aren’t going to work New Years day this week so it will be a day off. Hahah no partying for us…

It was a super humble Christmas but it really was a great one! it helped me see the true meaning of the season and increase my testimony of Christ! I’m so grateful to be here!

I hope you guys have an awesome week! And Happy New Year!!!

I LOVE YOU GUYS TONS!!

Elder Woods

Week #51 – Feliz Navidad – December 21st, 2015

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Hey guys!!! Merry Christmas almost!!!

It doesn’t feel anything like Christmas here in Mexico! There isn’t any snow, it doesn’t smell like cinnamon, our apartment doesn’t smell like Christmas smells like in my house and lots of other stuff. Hahaha but I’m loving it! It’s a Christmas I will never forget.

This week was fantastic. It flew by again, and we had a lot of success. We found lots of people to teach, we’re rocking it with baptism dates and just the usual grind! This week we had an experience that was pretty cool.

It has been over two months (back when I was with Elder Morgan actually) since we were about to baptize a man named I**! He was super close and made it to the interview but had some complications. We hadn’t visited him all this time…. until this week. So we decided to go with him to see how he had been and wish him a feliz navidad. So when we went he came running out!! I got kind of nervous as I thought he was going to be mad or something. But he came out with a huge smile! He invited us in and everything. He was so happy to see us. So it turns out, in these past two months, he had been praying, reading the scriptures, and he never worked Sunday because he knew it was a commandment. He said he had been waiting for the day that we would come back. He was so happy and is going to get baptised now in two weeks. It was really special for me to see how much he had changed and how happy he is again. When we left his house, in the middle of this tiny dirt road here in Rosarito Mexico, I danced like a wild man!! I was so happy. Hopefully all goes well these next couple weeks!

Elder Bracho is doing a great job, he is progressing like crazy! He is loving the mision and were having a great time. He actually has never celebrated Christmas so he is super stoked to celebrate his first one! It’s going to be a good week!

Another funny story that happened this week. So for like my entire mission I have seen these scripture cases of the TJ Temple that are soooooooooo cool. But I never could get my hands on one! Finally like two weeks ago I found one and bought it and I was so, so, so indescribably happy that I finally found one. Hahahah like I can’t even tell you guys. They are so cool. But anyway, it cost a bunch and it was really hard to get. Anyway, like a week later and I was teaching happily with my new scripture case… And then we got robbed.

No I’m just kidding, we didn’t get robbed. But we went to these one investigators house, and they are super hard hearted, just not interested in the church, but they live in the house of their brother and he is a super strong member so he is asking them to listen. So it’s been hard for us to get to them. We come sometimes and they yell at us, tell us nothing will change them….but we always just try to be super cool and we always testify to them that “we will do whatever it takes to help them out.” So we went Saturday night and we were talking and they weren’t accepting anything we were saying. So I whipped out my scriptures to share a final scripture before we left and the lady saw my sweet scripture case. She flipped, she had to have it, started telling me she had no clue what to get her brother for Christmas but she said the case was perfect. I was like “I’ve been waiting for one of these my whole mission” Then she started offering me money and everything and I kept telling her no! She got pretty fired up and started telling us she never wanted to see us again and she never wants us back there and it got pretty intense. We were about to leave and she was still firing bullets at me, when she said “And you guys always say you will do whatever it is to help me… I guess not”

That line hit me. I realized that the scripture case wasn’t that important, especially at Christmas time, so I gave it to her, hopefully to open up her heart a little bit. When I took it off my scriptures and gave it to her and told her Merry Christmas her whole face changed. I could see it had a huge impact on her. It was just a crazy situation and hopefully it touched her heart a little bit.. But now I’m scripturecaseless!!!

I’m so happy to be serving the lord! I know the real meaning of Christmas is the Savior and I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate his birth than serving him! I hope you guys have an awesome week!! And I will see you guys Friday!!!!!

LES AMO!!!

ELDER WOODS