Week #96 – I love TJ! – November 28th, 2016

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HELLO! FAMILY!!!

I miss you guys a ton! Sorry I’m emailing late today. My companion and I asked the President if we could play soccer for P-day… AND HE LET US!! WOOHOO!!! I was so excited! The Bishop had invited us and it was so much fun. We always love to be with the Ward members….we love them and they love us. It made me so, so, happy, I loved it. But because we did that, we have a ton of stuff to get done today. Right now I’m actually taking advantage of the computer to be on the church website and see what videos I can use this week. They are so touching and help me to increase my faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ. I’m so happy to be a missionary!! Even though time is coming down, I’m happy for what I’ve done. I’m so excited for what is to come, but my love for Tijuana is so big!! Sometimes I get really sad thinking I will have to leave. I’m ready, but it’s also going to be hard.

I love you guys! See you soon!

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Week #95 – That’s my purpose – November 14th, 2016

HELLO Everyone!!

Great times here in the mission. We’re doing fantastic! I have just dived into the work and have never felt so, so, so tired. I don’t know why, I feel like my body is just begging to rest for a day. Every morning though I wake up with new strength!

My area is super, super dangerous. The last missionaries got taken out because they got robbed pretty bad. I love it though.

There’s a lot of poverty here and the members are humble, good people. Lots of temporal problems to get people to come to church. Yesterday there was like a two hour conference for just Mexico. Elder Nelson talked, Elder Hales and others. They all spoke in Spanish which was weird! I don’t think they speak Spanish, they just read it in Spanish, their accents are not the best but it’s really touching to see them try to make the connection with other people of the world.¬†There are so many things that I’ve learned this week, Hahaah I couldn’t describe it all.

This week we were in the middle of teaching a lesson, it was going well, there were some less actives, and we were talking about the plan of salvation. During the lesson, there was a lady asleep on the couch in the corner. We asked who she was and they said it was the grandmother of the family and that she had fainted a few minutes ago because she had diabetes and had low blood sugar. They we just waiting for her to get better. They told us two weeks ago they had to amputate one of her legs and the sickness was just getting worse. She was like out cold there on the couch so we asked if we could give her a blessing. We went over, anointed her, and I gave her the blessing. We all felt the spirit and when I finished the blessing she rose up with a smile on her face, like nothing happened. She was there for the rest of the lesson and went and cooked some beans for us after we prayed. I was of course happy, but I didn’t doubt that was going to happen. My companion though, was pretty astonished. I could tell it had a strong impact on him and will be something we both will remember for the rest of our lives. The bishop heard about it, because they were members, and invited us to visit a few other sick members in the ward. One lady who was passing a kidney stone. She had been in immense pain all week, and didn’t have health insurance and the public health where everyone goes is really bad and it’s always super backed up. They told her she had to wait until January until they could take action. My companion, with new confidence and more faith, gave her the blessing. Ending the prayer, she put her hands on her mouth and staring crying, and told us all of the pain immediately left when he said amen. She staring crying a lot……we almost had to give her a blessing to calm her down! ūüôā Amazing experiences… That’s my purpose. Bless the lives of the sons and daughters of God.

Love,

ELDER WOODS

Week #93 – Temple Blessings – October 31st, 2016

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Hello everyone!! This week was FANTASTIC!!! My companion and I have been working hard!! We have been focusing a ton on the zone and everyone is doing great! Everything is going really well here. It’s still really hot, but in the mornings and at¬†night, it’s getting a little colder. It’s weird to be in¬†hot weather in November. In TJ the weather has dropped a lot but supposedly here in Mexicali it gets pretty cold as well so we will have to see!

We have some great investigators here and they are all progressing. Our recent baptism Ya** and family are doing well. We visit them once a week to see how they are doing.

BIG NEWS!!!!!

Ale****** (Picture above is from June 2015) got endowed¬†two weeks ago, and this past week he was sealed to his wife, who is the first counselor’s daughter en las huertas, my first ward!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I’M SO HAPPY FOR THEM! IT’S SO CRAZY to know that someone I baptized has now made covenants and married in the temple!! I called him a few times last week to see how he was doing, how he felt, and to give him encouragement because he said there has been a lot of challenges lately. Such a blessing to know that he went through the temple. Sadly ¬†I wasn’t able to go, but this week we are going to TJ for a meeting, so we will see if I can stop by and congratulate him.

I miss you guys so much!! I’m focusing on staying consecrated, working hard and studying the scriptures so I can be completely ready to start the next chapter of life.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

ELDER WOODS

Week #92 – A fun day! – October 17th, 2016

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Hey guys!!! Sorry¬†I have been horrible with my emails lately. I had to write the President double this week as last week we didn’t have any money to buy time to use the internet!

You guys are the greatest parents. I’m so grateful for the life you guys have given me. WE ARE SO BLESSED!!! You guys don’t even know, so so so¬†so blessed. Thank you for all your help!

Me and Elder Villarreal are working hard, loving the people, and having an awesome time with the ward. Today some members invited us to go play games and it was just so fun. I love the Mexican people. We went to have family home evening with them and we had a lesson outside this humble house, under this huge tree, we were sitting on plastic buckets, and we taught about eternal families, sang hymns, and then the Bishops wife made us these awesome flaming hot chips with chunks of corn, a cheese that they have here, and mayonnaise, and a ton of hot peppers!! It was just a fun day.

Our baptisms didnt go through on Saturday. They said they need more time. Its been a crazy few week but I’m enjoying ever second of it. Thank you guys so much for your love an support and I wish you all the best!!

LOVE ELDER WOODS

Week #90 – Answered Prayers- October 3rd, 2016

Thank you so much for you fantastic emails.I’m so happy here in Mexicali!

I loved conference !!! Such a blessing. Me and my companion were thinking, who are the Amuleks in our zone? I heard a lot about love, about obedience, and sticking to the basics. I also liked the talks about not doubting, not staying away from the church, and interesting topics like that. I went to a conference with a few personal questions. One was¬†“how can I prepare myself to become a full-time member missionary.” I received some great answers, and lots of talks stood out to me.

Every week I have amazing experiences. Sometimes I take it for granted or don’t think they are important to share in my letters but one this week was when I was on interchanges and all of our morning appointments canceled. So I said, “Elder were going to say a prayer right now and ask the Lord that he helps us find two families to teach today” Then we started knocking doors. We found two families! We stopped after teaching and gave thanks for the answered prayer, and then asked for another family, haha and before lunch, we had found seven new people to teach. Pretty amazing.

As a zone we have the goal of baptizing fifty in October. We are doing a 40-day zone fast. So everyday during October someone will be fasting in the zone. It has really helped us feel closer as a team, as well as help the zone to keep our goal front and center.

Hahaha my birthday, I didn’t even realize it was this week until I got on email. Ya it’s in a few days! So crazy. Who¬†knows what we will do. I don’t know if my companion knows, we will see what happens!

We have about thirty investigators right now with eleven who have baptism dates. We are so blessed. The work is going so awesome.

 

Thank you guys so much! Everything’s great here.

I LOVE YOU GUYS!

ELDER WOODS

 

Week #88 – Independence Day!- September 19th, 2016

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HELLO!!

What an awesome week!! SO CRAZY! So many things happened!! I took a lot of pictures so I will try to fit everything in that I can.

This week we baptised YA**! Such an awesome family! They came from Chiuaua Mexico 20 years ago. They were sealed, relief society presidents and returned missionaries, and when they came to Mexicali they got inactive because they couldn’t find a ward. Then when they were going to look, the Dad of the family died, and all of them just got super sad. They didn’t go for a few more months, and after so much time they just stopped going completely. ¬†We found them about a month ago and started bringing the whole family to church. This week we had the opportunity to baptize their son, little Ya** who is 9 years old. And now, about half of the family is back!!We still have some more work with the other half, but most of them have come back or will very soon!! They are a great family, I love them.

It was funny, Thursday we went over and Ya**’s grandma told us after his baptism that he was crying! And she asked him, “why are you crying?” and he said, because now that I’m baptized the Elders aren’t going to come over!! I guess he couldn’t get over it, and when he saw us Thursday he came out of the house running and gave us a big hug. Hahah it was great. We gave him a tie Sunday and are going to visit them every Wednesday to keep the teaching going.

Wednesday Elder Pino, the second counselor in the Area Presidency came to our mission! Mexicali was his first stop!!! Me and Elder Arnell had to set everything up for when he came. Everything went all smooth and he taught us some great stuff! Wednesday night there was also a meeting for the ward counsels and just the zone leaders went so that was fun.

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Thursday was the Independence day of Mexico, so that night there was a HUGE stake party, we went and we brought one of our great investigator’s Franc****. he is really great, he has come to church 4 times and we’re going to baptize him soon.

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Friday we had to go to TJ for a meeting Saturday. Friday night we went out for tacos and man, the tacos here are soooooooo good. I pounded like 5, might not sound like a lot, but they are huge! A bishop from one of the wards that took us also new the owner so they packed on the carne!!

Saturday we had a meeting with Elder Pino again but it was just the zone leaders and sister training leaders. It was great! Elder Pino gave the example of 1 Nephi 17 when the lord tells Nephi to build a boat. He said that Nephi didn’t doubt what the lord had commanded him to do, he just did it! He said, President Garcia has commanded you to build a boat! And now its our time to act in faith and build it!!

Sunday we had sacrament but no one showed up. It was only the third Sunday in my whole mission that no one has come to church. It was devastating. We were traveling all over the place last week but, we still had a lot of lessons but none of our investigators came to church. It was a great week but we also have to keep working hard.

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The work is so sweet and gratifying to bring someone unto Christ. Filling up the baptism font felt fantastic. We have been working hard, and are hoping for more miracles to come. If there is one thing I learned this week it is that miracles follow faith. They happen, God hasn’t changed, just the faith of the people here on earth has changed. With prayer and fasting, anything is possible! Anything! I know it!

Thanks for all the love and support!

Love Elder Woods

Week #87 – Mexicali is fantastico!!- September 5th, 2016

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It was so great to see my mission son and grandson!

Hey Dad and Mom!!

This week we had to go into the other zone to plan a zone conference so we’re writing late today. I love you both so much! I’m so happy, I feel so glad to be here. I’m working so hard. I really have been giving it my all here. I feel like I’m just hanging ¬†on by a thread with my energy level but I’m pushing. I’m doing my best, seeing miracles, my testimony is so strong, its going to be hard to come home.

Honestly Mexicali is fantastico!! We have the goal to baptize 10 in October. We are going to TJ on Wednesday and coming back on Friday with the Presidente and then having a zone conference. I’m totally used to the weather now! This week I had to buy a bike though, the one they left in the apartment was a piece of junk and broke. My legs are getting so beefy, hahah being on the bike all day, its pretty fun.

SO MANY SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES!!! Every day. I have been slacking on writing about them every week. I have been so tired these last three weeks. I have been sleeping so well though. We die everyday. More tired than I have ever been on my whole mission! When we take buses if we aren’t talking to someone I find myself falling asleep. Its really tough here but its been paying off our hard work.

We have A TON of investigators. More than I can count. I couldn’t even tell ya how many we have. We have been working really hard with the members and having tons of success.

The members love us! we have been working with them a lot. Saturday me and Elder Arnell¬†went out in normal clothes and just went with every member we could and offered service. We cut the bishop’s trees, cemented a house, sweeped some houses, blessed a lot of sick people, and tried to fix some air conditioners ( we weren’t so good at that.) Hahaha. But it was an awesome week.

Next week we are going to have a baptism! We reactivated a family of like 10 people and one of them is 9 so we are going to baptize him! It was a family that had 20 years without going to church, all ex-missionaries, sealed in the temple, everything, but they fell away from the gospel. With the lords help, we have reactivated them!!! They’re going to prepare to go to the temple in a few months and are now committed to go every Sunday! They have come to church three Sunday’s now and are doing fantastic.

I miss you guys so much! I hope you have an awesome week! YOU ARE THE BEST FAMILY EVER!!!

LOVE ELDER WOODS