Elder R Wood will be returning home on Thursday evening!!
He will be speaking at 1am, Taylor Street Chapel, Fallon.
Thank you all for your love, support and prayers these last two years.
I, personally, can not wait to see him and for him to met his niece.
Thank you again!!
Sunday, October 5, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
Well this is going to be my last email from the mission field. There isn't much to talk about this time since I am going to see you all soon. This week was a good week. We did all that we could to spend my last week being as productive as possible. And we had success, including a new investigator family and a bunch of investigators at church.
The highlights of the week though were first, Sher got the priesthood on Sunday! He asked us some questions about it on Thursday and was super excited to be ordained. He is now a priest and will start blessing the sacrament soon. The other highlight was an FHE we had with the Aqu family where another one of our recent converts brought 3 friends with her! They all loved it and even told the Aqu's that they plan to have their own weekly FHEs at each others houses. And only the one is a member!
Well this has been an amazing two years. I cannot describe in writing all that I have been through and learned and felt over the past 2 years. But all of it has brought me closer to the Savior and helped me become like Him. I know that Jesus Christ lives. I know that through his Atonement we can all return to live with our Heavenly Father again. The Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ were restored in these latter days through the Prophet Jospeh Smith and the Book of Mormon is the testimony of that. All of these things are true and I know it better than I know anything else. I love this work and it does not end here. It will never end until the Captain of our Salvation says it is done. See you all soon!
Elder R Wood
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
Well we went without a bagyo this week. So Sher's baptism was able to go forward! I attached a picture of it below. It was such a wonderful experience to get to be a part of the conversion of this wonderful family. Sher's testimony was very powerful, even though he was very nervous about sharing it. Being a part of this families journey to covenants has been a great blessing to me. I have seen the power of the Atonement in their lives and it is a strong witness to me of the hope that we can all obtain through our Savior. Sherwin also had an interview on Sunday to receive the Aaronic priesthood and will be ordained next week. The whole family already have their sights set on their next goal- temple sealing in 2015.
This past week we also had some success in "completing" some of our investigator families. The Flos, one of the part member families who we are trying to get to baptism, is now all learning together. Bro. Flos used to hate the missionaries and from the sounds of it wanted to burn the Book of Mormon that they had, but when he got sick he started to have a greater interest and is now reading from the Book of Mormon. His wife really wants them to come to church, but they did not come this week. we are going to find out why tomorrow. We also have started teaching the father of another investigator family, the Mo family and we are aslo working to get them to come to church as a family.
We also finally had the chance to teach to one of our recent converts. I have been trying to teach this little girl for almost 4 months now and we just had success this past week. We went to their house and Lue (RC) and her parents, who are less active, were all there. They committed to have family scripture study everyday and to come to church, but they didn't come to church. We will be following up with them also. We have many recent converts that we are trying to help come back to full activity in the church. Most of them are part member families or less active families. The work of the rescue is as important as the work of baptizing and it is all done by the same power- the power of the Atonement.
Well I am heading in to my last week in the field. Everyone in Pinili keeps reminding me of that, but they are all very sad. There is nothing that I can do to slow time down or stop it, so the only thing to do is to use the time that I have been given to the best of my ability. There is much that I need to do to prepare the people that I am working with to continue to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that the best thing for me to do at this time is to follow the example of the Savior and to push on, no matter how hard, until I can say " It is finished". I got an email form Sister C in Latvia today with a great talk by President Monson titled "Finishers Wanted". It is an awesome talk. And it came at a great time. I know that as we all follow the example of the Savior and finish the work that we have been given. As we follow the example of the Savior and endure in faith, keeping an eye single to the glory of God. we will see miracles occur. The Atonement is the way that we will be able to do that. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and His Gospel is the Way. Let us all press on in the work if the Lord!
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
Right off the bat, I have news about Sher. Unfortunately, he did not get baptized this last Saturday. His baptism is now this coming Friday. It wasn't because of anything that he did though. It was because for the second week in a row, we...
Got hit by a bagyo! Yeah it rolled in Friday night rather unexpectedly and just tore everything apart. It was the strongest bagyo that I have experienced on my mission and some of the members say that it is one of the strongest that has ever hit Ilocos Norte. It was a signal # 2 or 3, we aren't sure which. But it tore down trees and power lines and some roofs in Pinili. We got a text from the APs at 5:30 am Saturday morning telling us to cancel all of our appointments and stay in side. That is why we call it Super Mario. We had no power from early Saturday morning until earlier this morning. I have never seen wind so strong. It uprooted trees on one of the main roads in Pinili. Luckily our apartment didn't flood, but just about everyone else in our zone did flood. Hopefully this is the last one before I go home.
So like I said Sher's baptism will be this coming Friday. He has also asked me to be the baptizer. My last one as a full time missionary. I really love this family so much and I have seen that they have come so far in the time that I have been teaching them. They are so happy now and all have such strong testimonies that they love to share with others. I know that the power of the Atonement has been at work in their lives and that they will continue to be blessed by it. I have lost count of how many times I have taught them endure to the end, but they really have a sound understanding of the importance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a way of life.
We had zone conference this past week. This was my last got to bear my departing testimony. I will probably do it again in MLC next week. It is so strange thinking about all the departing testimonies that I have heard in the past 24 months. I loved hearing the testimonies of the Elders that were in the MTC with me and seeing how this has changed all of us. This Elders are all like brothers to me. Zone Conference was awesome. The focus was on teaching and President and Sister Barrientos both said many times that teaching is a skill that we need not just as missionaries, but throughout our lives. All of the things that we learn, whether in life or on a mission or as a family, are part of what Heavenly Father teaches us so that we can become like Him. And that is the most important thing to remember, that we can become like Him, and everything He does is to that end. That is why he sent his son Jesus Christ. All things hinge on the Atonement of Christ. That is why He is our light and life. I know that without a doubt. And that is where I sill stand my life forever, on His rock.
The work is rolling forward in Pinili. Elder Jun and I are working hard to get set up the coming months. I love this work and I love the Savior. I am excited (not trunky) to finish. but I will also miss it with all my heart. But there is still time to go! Thanks for all of your prayers and support!
Sunday, September 14, 2014
Dear Family and Friends,
We just had a bagyo hit the mission. It was a signal # 3 for all of northern Luzon. They rate typhoons by wind speed on a scale of 1 to 4. Signal # 3 is winds of 101 -185 kph. Yeah it is big. But we were all rather surprised that not much happened. We were on lock down for two days, but here in our zone, there wasn't any flooding, down power lines, fallen trees or such. It seemed to have lost some of its momentum crossing the island. But we did have some strong winds last night and we lost power for a while. The real question is how did the rest of the mission handle and we have no answer for that. Hopefully they held up better than last time we got hit.
So this week was a crazy busy week. But the best part of it happened on Saturday. Sher passed his baptismal interview! His baptism is this Saturday at 4. This is going to be my last baptism as a full time missionary, but I couldn't have asked for a better one. IT is going to b e awesome to see him go into the waters of baptism and join his family on their journey to the temple. We have spent the past 2 weeks reviewing in depth all of the baptismal interview questions. Elder Bont, our district leader, said that Sher is super prepared and had no trouble with any of the questions and shared very powerful testimony. I have seen great changes in this man's life and I know that it is all because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. How else could men be turned from the natural man to saints of God? There is no other way. I know the power of the Atonement because I have seen it, but most especially because I have seen it.
I went on exchanges this week with one of the Elders in our zone. President Barrientos wants all of the zone leaders to go on as many exchanges as possible each transfer, so we have exchanges with every companionship. I was with Elder G in Batac on Thursday after district meeting. We taught to one of their investigators that they have been trying to get to come to church and prepare for baptism for a while. At first our lesson on baptism didn't go so well. We weren't being simple enough and he took one of our examples literally (so be careful how you use comparisons to fields with farmers). But at the end of the lesson we decided that we could still extend the commitment to be baptized. And he thought we were wanting to baptize him right then and there! We explained that we just wanted to set a goal with him for the 18th of October, and he said that he liked that idea! And the Elders reported that he just came to church for the first time.
Elder Jun and I are still working hard to keep Pinili rolling. We have had some trouble with investigators at church these past few weeks,but we have some goals and plans that will help us get more of them to come and feel the power of the Restored Gospel. We had 2 come yesterday, one of whom we hadn't even taught. There is always more to do and more ways to improve in this work. WE will be extending more baptismal dates this week and being persistent in following up to bring people to church.
Well that is about it for the week. There was a lot of unexpected things that happened that made it a crazy week, but I enjoyed it and I know that the Lord is pleased with all that we accomplished. And this week is going to be better! Thanks you for all of your love and prayers on behalf of all the missionaries around the world. Keep doing whatever part of this work the Lord has assigned to you and know that He is on our side!
Elder R Wood