Wednesday, June 25, 2008

City With a Future

What is up?! Middleton is great. "City With A Future". haha. I love it. So its getting "hot" here. Its funny to see people complaining and whining about 89* weather. haha. I'm like yes! Bring it on! Well the work is going good. We got to go to a tri-stake musical presentation of Joseph Smith: The Prophet written by Rob Garner. It was amazing!! We took some investigators and they loved it. If you have the chance to see it or hear it or anything, jump on it! Its way awesome! Well, I'm short on time, but I'll share this story real quick. So we had exchanges last Wednesday. I went out to the other side of Middleton with Elder Lehman. It was an amazing day. I could write a whole book from that day. But we made a list of people we were gonna go visit. We were driving to a house, when all of a sudden Elder Lehman says, "we're gonna go visit this guy. He's not on the list but I think we should go visit him". So before I get there, I read the notes some other Elder left about him: "mom died, asking questions". He was very inactive and none of his family are or were members. We pull up and he's out watering his lawn. Instantly a smile comes to his face when he see's us. (the normal reaction to whenever anyone see's me. haha. Just kidding). He invites us to sit on his porch and he gets us lemonade. We start talking to him and Elder Lehman brings up his mom's death. He than tells us that not only his mom died, his uncle, aunt, sister, nephew, dad, and about 4 other people died within the last 3 months! Very sad. But he said he was thinking about that and knew he had to get back to the church. He said he had just prayed for help and we came the next day. Amazing! We ended up giving him a really powerful blessing and rekindled his relationship with the Lord. It was so awesome! But the day only gets better! Later we have an appointment with an investigator named Sysco. To make a long story short, we have a really powerful second lesson and ask him to be baptized July 5th. He said yes! It was so cool. It was a little sad because he wasn't in my area since we were on exchanges, but I didn't care. It was amazing to see his testimony develop. BUT!!! The story gets cooler! Yesterday, Elder Lehman and Elder Dewey inform us that Sysco lives in our area. So the very 1st person I ever commited and asked to be baptized, IS being baptized and it's in our area! I'm so excited. I've never been so excited and loved being a missionary so much. Its fun going door to door and teaching people and stuff, but oh man...nothing compared to that! So that's my pretty cool story. Thanks again for all the support. I love you all.
Love -Elder Woods

P.S. I don't know if this is something that usually happens, but if you could maybe mention Jim and Arlene Cantrell in your prayers it would really be appreciated. They are investigators who are SOOOO close. They know that it's true. We are having a ward fast for them, but I think they could use some prayers. Thanks so much.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Week two - Mountain goats, musicals and trek

ok mom. I'm gonna attach a photo. you can put this on the blog if you want. But look at this! haha. We taught this guy yesterday. (ed. note...I don't think he means the goat??!!) Its almost as good as the three story trailer. Erich will be envious.

Ok. So week two is amazing. I'm just gettin used to missionary life but its so fun. We have alot of investigators. They are all SOOOO close to getting baptized. We just have to keep working with them. My favorite part of this are the members. They are amazing!!!! Every ward and meeting has a huge focus on missionary work and helping the missionaries. Its awesome. One ward in particular is on fire; Middleton 5th Ward. They have had 6 baptisms the last 2 months. We also have about 6 golden investigators there. It really helps to have amazing members who do everything they can to help the investigators and missionaries. We just got a really cool statistic given to us. The national average for US baptisms is 4-5. The average for this mission is 12-13. Way awesome! The stake is doing an awesome trek next week. (one of our investigators is going. so excited!) It sounds way cool. One of the coolest things we have going is "Joseph Smith The Prophet Musical". It is being performed this Saturday and we have all our investigators going. It looks amazing. It was written by Rob Garner too, who always writes awsome stuff. It should be a really great spiritual experience. My personal favorite thing I'm looking forward to though, is July 8. All the missionaries in the mission get to go to the VIP week tour of the Twin Falls Temple. I'm way excited. I get to see all the missionaries I came out of the MTC with. Anyways, Its goin great and I'm loving my mission. Thanks so much for all the support and love. I love you all and hope the best for ya. -Elder Woods

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

White Recycle

We all e-mailed Brad this week and out of the "1,000's" of questions we asked he actually answered very, very few: This is the e-mail I received:

1st off. I sent pics to dad's gmail account.
My companion is from Freemont California. Ok, so there is a family in my ward named the Waltmans. There son is in Samara Russia and was trained by none other than Jake Ellis. How Crazy right?! What are the odds? So how's home? Yes, we shop in Caldwell. We went down to Nampa too to get our car fixed. Oh! and dig this! Next month, the entire mission gets to go down and go through the Twin Falls Temple on VIP week. I feel so special! haha. I can't remember all the 1000's of questions you asked, but I hope I answered a few. By the way, I got like NO time for those thank you's. I try, but its so impossible. Ok, i'll talk to ya later. Love -Elder Woods p.s. I got <3 snail mails.

(Ed. Note: Steve received these pictures in his E-mail and since he and Emily were in the bottom of Havasupai I didn't get his password until today (I promise Steve, I already forgot!!)

Ok, the first pic is a three story trailer. See the door up there you can't get to. Its a little too classy to be called white maybe white recycle. There is also some pics from the MTC. I plan on making a cd of pics and just sending that home so you can get the rest. Some pics. This is pretty much what's right outside my house...and the rest of idaho. (Ed. Note: Doesn't it look just like the road that Napolean D. ran down to get to his dance?)

The pics with four people are myself, my trainer, his trainer, and his trainer. VERY rare! 4 generation!

I love this Picture

I am going to send a questionaire checklist this week so I can get a little more information. Thanks for supporting Brad!!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Love notes

Alexis drew Brad a letter yesterday. She was so excited that we got to take it to the post office and mail it to him. Of course she drew Brad and her holding hands. Too cute:)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


This morning while I was checking on my e-mail I received this e-mail from Brad:
1st off, I was going to send pictures, but I forgot my camera cable. :( Sorry. I will send some next tues. Well, let me you tell the one thing that ran through my head all day yesterday, "WHAT THE CRAP IS GOING ON? WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?!" haha. I was so lost. Well we got off the plane and met President Yardley and his wife a.k.a. The nicest people on the face of the earth. Than we had lunch (way good) and went to a meeting, met our trainer, and were out in the work that night. My trainer is Elder Grant. He's awesome. Ok, so the 1st house we knock on, my first chance and example of missionary work, "Hi we're elders from the ch..." "GET THE CRAP OFF MY PROPERTY!" [door slams]. WOW! I wanted to sit down and cry. Sucked so bad. Next house however, ends up being a member who used to run a business selling ties, but gave up so he has 1,000's of ties he gives out to the missionaries! I got some pretty sweet ties. Then we went and taught some member and part member families with one of the ward mission leaders (I think). Oh! I'm in the town of Middleton by the way. Its got about 5 people and 40,000,000 animals. haha. Its got more people than that. [in magic johnson voice] But naw, It is way farmy. <--word? The mission area is called Caldwell. EVERYTHING here is green!!! Literally as far as you can see till the mountains its green. Its crazy. It rained alot yesterday, and its way windy today. The weather is crazy. Well I'm glad I'm here and I'm safe. I love you all and thanks for the encouragement. So after I received this message I called Steve to see if he got the e-mail and he said he responded back to Brad and Brad responded back so I asked Brad about his address, his bike (he will pick it up on Friday) and he sent this answer back:
Well they said they only want things going through the mission office. I guess they had some problems with other elders sending stuff straight to their home. I dunno. I live in the basement of Sister Callahan. (A very sweet elderly sister). It's actually pretty nice. The ward members built like a little house under hers. I'll show you when I send pics.
I asked how far he was to the mission home and can he get his packages in a timely manner and this was his final response:
We are way far from the mission home. But if you send it priority or 1st class, it'll go straight to my house I'm pretty sure. I gotta go. love ya bye.
Chattin with Brad two days in a row. I am a happy mom!!!

Another call

June 3rd 9:38am.
My phone starts ringing and I am standing next to it in the kitchen. I glance at the caller id and it says pay phone and an 801 area code. Since we get telemarketers calling everyday (yes I am on the useless do not call list!@!) I decide to ignore it. However I am arguing with the little voice in my head which says- You should probably answer that. Me: No it is just a telemarketer, I don't know anyone in Utah. Voice: Hmmm... true but you should pick up the phone. (I am talking to myself and admitting it!! The 1st step is admitting you have a problem:) So the answering machine picks up and this is what I hear:
"Hi! This is Elder Woods and I'd like to share a message with you about Jesus Christ..."
Of course I snatched up the phone and said "Brad!!!! I thought you were a telemarketer!" To which he responded "Well, I kind of am. I am selling Jesus." We talked and laughed for a few seconds and then I gave the phone to Alexis and she got to ask him how he was and where he was going and then we told him goodbye and good luck. He promised to write us a lot which I should have clarified since I was told that when he left and how many letters have we got? Um, yeah just one. But we are sooo happy he is busy and really enjoying the mission so far! After I hung up the phone I looked over and Alexis was bawling and said she missed Brad and wanted him to come home. I told her Brad can't come home yet and he gets to go be a missionary ( in a annoying happy voice)! This cheered her up and she said "Oh, yeah like Britt!" It was so fun to hear from him and I agree with Emily, he sounded just as funny but more mature.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

High time I posted...

I just wanted to add to my mom's post. (Keep reading, it's right below this post. :) )

I too got to speak to Brad and it was awesome. We only talked for about a minute, but it was way fun. He was definitely his normal self, just way more mature. He talked to me about Heroes also, reprimanding me for not watching it. What a goof. He asked me what I was up to and when I said "getting ready to go to work," he said, "That's funny. Me too!" I love this kid. He asked me for Jen's phone number and I said "480-" and then paused. While I know Jen's number by heart (I swear, Jen, I really do.) I had one of those "Oh crap, what if I accidentally give him the wrong number and I'm the one responsible for him and Jen not getting to talk" moments. I opened my cell phone just to double check so I didn't feel like an idiot. Anywho, so when I paused he said, "Oh it's 480. That's helpful. I'll just try every 7 digit combination possible." So he's just as sarcastic as ever. :) I asked him if he got my letter and he said, "Yeah, hopefully when I get to Boise, I'll have more time to write because I've been studying nonstop for the last three weeks. They are so marked up and full" It was so great to hear that. He sounds so happy!

Anyways, it was really fun to talk to Brad. I had a super long day today and it was an awesome way to start the day. I'm not sure I wouldn't have been a very happy camper today without talking to Brad. Our Heavenly Father knows right when to send us blessings!

Boise Bound!!

Brad called from the airport this morning on his way to Boise. I was preparing my YW's lesson and watching "Labor of Love" and doing some crying when the call came. Poor Brad, he must think that I cry all day. It took me a minute to recover, but then it was our entertaining as usual Bradley. We chatted about music, movies, the MTC "the best 3 weeks of his life", and his lack of conveying mission information. He said, "Mom, lets talk about something else and you can just read about my mission when I get home". He has been writing in his Journal every night, so maybe he can just copy it and send it home. I told him I was doing another Missionary Lesson this Sunday and what advise could he give my Beehives. I was amazed that he answered in complete sentences about delivering a message as a friend and no matter what, leaving the person with a desire to become closer to Christ. WOW, he will be an apostle in no time. He was so "Brad". During our little chat he stopped talking and said, "They are playing Miles Davis over the speakers", and then a little later he dropped the phone and then came back on and asked if I watched "Hero's" because a guy on Hero's just walked by. He said the flight was oversold and they kept asking if the missionaries plans were "flexable"???? Are the gate agents new? It was the first time in Brad's flying life that he actually got on an overbooked flight. After he got a few phone numbers he then said "I'll talk to you at Christmas". So only 6 months and 22 days until we get to know what is happening in Boise.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

They do have pens in the MTC!

I finally got a letter from my cute and super busy little brother AKA Elder Woods! He is doing great and is loving the MTC. Too bad they are "kicking" him out and making him go to Idaho on Tuesday! No, really he sounds super excited to get settled into the mission and meet the people of Idaho. Here are some random tidbits/info al la Brad:
  • "MTC life is awesome! Food is good. District is awesome and nothing is better than feeling the spirit 24/7." Note: I thought it was funny that the food is just rated good. Apparently he was spoiled by my mom's yummy home cooked meals and I am sure when he gets to Idaho he will reconsider the MTC food's ranking and upgrade it to awesome. Green jello with carrots anyone? Mmmm! Or just Barf!, poor missionaries get fed the weirdest things!

  • He got another hair cut and apparently can go join the military now. To quote "My hair is WAY SHORT. Oh well. No one will see me for like a week right?"

  • He is just loving his companion and will be sad to leave him on Tuesday. Ok not a true statement. His companion is a bugger and Brad will be glad to go to different continents this week. This being said they get along fine, the said companion will only have a few more days to drive his district and Brad batty. As Brad says he is being a "weener." Are missionaries aloud to say this? Yep my funny little brother can:)

  • "I am learning so much about the Lord and growing so close. More close than I have ever been. It's way fun."