Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tongans and War Chants

In Brad's last letter addressed to Dearest Mother (???) he said that his District is famous for several reasons. To quote Brad: " The first is that we sing hymns everywhere we go. Our other claim to fame is our war chant. Elder Kahieleii (a Hawaiian Tongan and District Leader) yells out "Spartans" and we all respond with "AAHOO" really loud. We get elders asking us every day to do it. It's pretty awesome". (So there you have it, Brad has finally made it to the big time :-) and is famous. It's amazing how rewarding a mission is!!!).

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Cub Scouts and Elders

So as Jennifer wrote, our friends the Traasdahl's saw Brad last Wednesday. The were walking across the street and it was raining and Jeremy was following behind his family. They glanced at a group of Elders that were coming from the temple and were doing some sort of chant (I will post about this later) After they passed- by they heard someone call "Jeremy Traasdahl" and when they turned back they saw Jeremy hugging one of the Elders. When Jeremy caught up Sandy asked who it was and he told them it was Brad. Sandy called out "Bradley Woods, come here" and Sandy said that Brad's companion was a bit nervous to mingle with the "general public" but I'm pretty sure Brad has heard Sandy call him before (more than a few times), and he came over and they took some pictures. Thanks Sandy!!!!

Pictures! Or just one for now:)

So our super cute neighbor from my parent's last ward, Sandee Traasdahl, just took her son Jeremy to the MTC this past Wednesday and low and behold they saw Brad! I gave Brad a head's up that he was coming so I am sure he was excited to know another Elder at the MTC from his growing up years. Brad and Jeremy, now Elder Woods and Elder Traasdahl respectively, were really good friends in elementary school. My mom is going to be posting the "story" and the cute picture of both the Elders so stayed tuned. Sandy said Brad seemed super excited to be there and that is what we are getting from his letters too. He is totally loving it. It is so cool to have a brother on a mission and to see the wonderful effect of spiritual growth on a 19 year old boy!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

It Is Alive!!!!! Brad that is.

Hello all blog readers!
First off I would like to thank you all for the support. I have officially completed my first week at the MTC. Its been really great. I'm in district D8 and loving it. My companion is Elder Goodrich from Texas. He, along with two other elders are going to Melbourne Australia while myself, and the four others in my district are going to Boise. The two Melbourne Elders are Elder Summer and Elder Kahaiali'i (from Hawaii. He's so awesome). The other Elders going to Boise with me are Elder Mackey, Kalor, Konold, and West. West is actually from the greatest state in the world...that's right, AZ! Not only AZ, but Mesa. He went to Mesa High and knew my cousin Will. He's also the one I get along with most. My AMAZING teachers are Brother Ross and Brother Iverson. They are the top two best missionary teachers in human history. Food is great. A lot of studying, and a lot of fun. As hard as it gets, its totally worth the reward. For example, we got to go to the Provo Temple today. Way cool! It was such an awesome spiritual experience. So as much as I miss watching Lost and the Office and re-runs of Arrested Development and all the new crazy awesome movies coming out, I would rather be here than anywhere else in the world. I'm so excited to get out in the field and teach. My companion and I have the first lesson down PRO! We have taught it in so many different scenarios to prepare us for the field. Well, time is very short. I wanna let you all know the church is true and I love it and my Father in Heaven.
Thanks again everyone.
Elder Woods

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Brad's first letter home

We received Brad's first letter on Saturday May 17, 2008. I'll try to translate it for you.

Dear Family,
Hows it going? Day 1 of the MTC is a lot like taking a drink from a fire hose. Its a crazy lot of information. But I like it alot. My companion is pretty cool. He's from Texas & his name is Elder Goodrich. There is 3 other Elders in my room and oddly enough, they're all going to Australia. So my companion & I are going to different countries. Weird Huh? But one of them is a big Tongan from Hawaii. He's way funny. Always singing. I don't really have much to write about. But I'm liking it. I can never thank you enough for preparing me to come on this amazing adventure. I love you so much. I promise I'll write often ( and more). I love you again.
-Elder Woods

ps. Oh. Let me explain how they explained the map to us. ya... It's that crazy haha
p.p.s. My companion I guess loves working out so I do it with him so I'll come back super buff!! haha

The map he is talking about is on the photo of his letter. Some of the lines drawn from building to building have words, like "meet here for lunch", "lessons", "stairs", "go here for seminar", "meet here at.." Hope you all enjoyed it as much as we did!
Steve the Dad.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

MTC Pics

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

5 CCD Day 5

Wednesday AM we let Brad sleep past 8:00 knowing that it would be the last time for 2 years. After breakfast and a quick change we headed down to Provo. Brad had failed to complete one important "To Do" on his Tuesday list and that was to go to Krispy Kreme, so we got one on the way to the MTC. Brad was sooooo excited to get this adventure going. What a spiritual experience it was to see all these handsome Elders all coming to the MTC. I knew Brad was serious when we handed me his cell phone. After a few pictures we headed inside for the orientation. The process is so well organized it is like a Disneyland production. After a quick hug Brad almost skipped to the "Missionaries Only" exit. He was so happy and excited that it made saying goodby easy. On our arrival home our Jennifer had left a card and a beautiful flower arrangement on our counter to help cheer us up. We have the best kids in the world!!! As soon as we hear from Brad, we will let you know.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

5 CCD Day 4

Leaving for the airport
Brad really liked the SLC Temple (my hair and outfit was a bit better)

Visiting with Sage!!!
Tuesday am we flew to Salt Lake. After lunch and checking into the hotel we took Brad to the
Salt Lake Temple to do a session. Emily spent time with Sage and later we all met back up at Sage's condo. Only a little Crazy Crazy Day.

Elder Woods

Today is a big day for Brad. We (my dad, my mom, and I) are taking Brad to Utah today. Tomorrow he reports to the MTC.
Last night, Brad was set apart as a missionary in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How proud we all are!
I'll be posting pictures soon of his farewell and of Utah, so check back often for updates.
Please keep Brad in your prayers during this exciting time! We love you!

Monday, May 12, 2008

5 CCD Day 3

Bishop Russon, Steve, Brad and President Reeder
Ugly hair - check, look pregnant - check, cute family - check
All packed

Brad had a few items to check off his list on Monday which included sleeping in, seeing Speed Racer at the IMAX and hanging out with friends. Monday night we all got together and went to dinner and then headed back to the house so Brad could be set apart at 7:00. Pat and Chris brought Mom and Dad out so both sets of grandparents were here. Everyone gave Brad some good advise. Jen cried for only the 3 or 4th time in 10 years and that set all of off for a few minutes. President Reeder gave Brad a fantastic blessing. After a few friends dropped by and Brad visited with them for a while it was time to pack. Steve and I checked and re-checked the list and packed up everything while Brad ran around and got all the misc. items. We finished about 12:00 am. Brad and Em went though all of Brad's shirts and got to bed way after we did. It was a Crazy, Crazy Day!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

5 CCD (Day 2)

Grandpa and Grandma Chapman
All of us

Brad talked in church on Mother's Day and I think he did a great job. My favorite part was when he actually admitted in public that he thinks I'm an ok mom, and that I did actually help him out just a little. Another big thank-you to everyone who came to our Sacrament meeting. I hope that you were rewarded for your very early appointment by the yummy Trader Joe's chocolate and of course Brad's fine talk. We have chocolate every week in our ward (don't you all?) and you are welcome to come visit anytime!!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

5 Crazy, Crazy Days (Day 1)

So the last 5 days have been crazy!!! The fun started on Saturday night with Brad's open house. Steve counted 140 people at one point. Thank you for supporting Brad and giving him a great send-off!!! The chocolate fountains were a big hit and when we were cleaning up we all looked like we had bathed in chocolate (doesn't sound to bad). Here are a few pictures, we have tons more and Brad took them with him on his mission. (Please don't feel offended if we didn't post your picture, I'm not too good at this and maybe Em can link all the pictures.)

The Holt's

The Baldwin's

The Morgan's
DRHS Drumline

The Fort McDowell's

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The girl he will leave behind :-(

Alexis has a really big crush on Bradley. She starts out shy then goes wild. (I'm sure Brad would say "like all the girls do") It is hard to believe that she will be 6 when he returns. Enjoy the girls while you can Brad, because Monday is just around the corner.

Wanna Trade?

Ok, if you remember it was Brad's wish to serve either a Spanish speaking mission or serve in the London - England Mission. He received neither and will be speaking "Mormonese" (according to Mr. Luke McCleve). Last week Elder Jacob Coleman received his call to the London - England South Mission and after he read it, Brad asked "Wanna Trade"?
So it is different Continents for Brad and Jake, but at least they have the same watch!!!!