Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Three Weeks, Three Transfers

Week One- Elder Grant left and Elder Woodside came to Middleton

Week Two- Elder Dewey left to replace an elder in Nampa. Woodside and I moved in with Elder Lehman and covered the whole stake.

Week Three- Woodside became assistant zone leader with Lehman and I was called to go replace a Pocatello missionary down in Burley.

Its crazy! I am now in Oakley Idaho. It's crazy small! But the area we cover, is basically from these mountains really far in the east, to these mountains really far in the west, and from Burley city limits, down to Grouse Creek Utah. Yes, Utah. haha. I am the absolute farthest south in the mission. Way cool. My comp is Elder Tanner. He's awesome. He's from (take a guess) Mesa AZ! He went to Highland and knew all my friends at HHS. We had actually been to the same parties and been longboarding together and had not known it. Pretty awesome. Not a ton to write about. Work here is REALLY slow because pretty much every person has already been taught 2-3 times, but we're about to change that. Its gonna rock. I'll have more for ya next week. Love ya all. -Elder Woods

The Draper Family minus Brother Draper who was at work (sad day)

The Tanner family minus Sister Tanner who was at work (sad day)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Oakley the town, not the glasses

Today I opened an email from cute Sister Melanie Waltman. Her husband is the Bishop of the Middleton 5th (I think) ward. She sent me this picture and this message:

Hi Janet,
The Elders were at the Pioneer Day Celebration on Saturday. I made them stand for another picture. Elder Woods told me to tell you that he is getting transferred to Oakley, Idaho (that is in Eastern Idaho) and it will be on Tuesday. He said he would email you when he got a chance. We are sad to see him go!

Love, Melanie
(I am the goofy lady in the pioneer clothes! Ü)

I looked up Oakley on google maps. It has 3 streets and a population of about 600 people.

13 YEARS OF EDUCATION AND BRADLEY KNOWS HOW TO WRITE A LETTER!!!!!! (reading it is the hard part :-)

Brad wrote us a letter hinting that he might get transfered to the Burley, Idaho area on the 13th of August. A couple of posts ago he said that because of the Temple in Twin Falls, the Boise mission was taking over part of the Pocatello Mission. In his letter he said that there were 9 companionship in the new area - 1/2 Boise Elders, 1/2 Pocatello Elders. I guess the take over is sooner than he thought. He said that if he is in the Burley area he will probably be able to go to the Temple Dedication. His companionship in the Middleton Area was himself, a zone leader and a district leader together as a threesome. They covered 5 wards and a large singles ward. While in Middleton his Zone Leaders were Elders Dewey & Lehman, Trainer and now District Leader Elder Grant, District Leader Elder Woodside along with the AP Elder Peters. Many of these great Elders were in the MTC together or trained each other. They are the leaders of the mission and Brad has been trained and associated with the best. They have all been wonderful examples to Bradley. Brad is now leaving an area that he has loved and has made many friends he will miss. The Middleton Saints have been so good to him. Brad said: "I had dinner a few weeks ago with the Fisher Family. Their son Erik Fisher is on the US ski team and skied in the Olympics. Way Cool. His sister just received her call to Armenia, scary, aren't you glad I'm in Idaho?" (yes we are) "Well missionary life is great. I love teaching people. (I already memorized the lessons in the MTC so now it's just fun!) However, tracting.... not so much. But we do have to do it sometimes, and sometimes it works. Jim and Arlene Cantrell were tracted into (back in January). I decided to read through the Book of Mormon at the very end of last transfere. I started then and I am now in Alma 13. It's awesome. Mosiah is my favorite book. I love it! It has all the different points of view like Vantage Point (which was an amazing movie) that all come together. Plus it has a ton of cool battles and the Alma the Younger story. I love how because the sons of Mosiah 1)changed their ways, 2)preached the gospel, and 3)endured to the end, their calling and election was made sure. (That's my new goal in life by the way)" Brad also wants us to find him an original, yellow, hard copy of the Book of Mormon that has paragraphs and not chapter and verses (anybody out there have one?) It was great to get Brad's letter and the note from Sister Waltman so I won't worry if we don't hear from him tomorrow. Thanks for supporting Brad.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Big Brother is Watching!

Ok, so TONS has happened and it's been completely insane. Elder Woodside arrived on Wed. He's cool. He's been out 18 months so he misses home a little. But he's a hard worker. He's from Taylor AZ. Two AZ's! Crazy! Anyways, we've been visiting and teaching people like crazy. I've been trying really hard to help Elder Woodside learn the area and the wards. Jim and Arleen Cantrell recently went to the Twin Falls open house and loved it. I'm sure it helped Jim a ton. I think I am going to try to set a date with him for August 9th. That will give us a lot of time to help him grow his already strong testimony. So this is crazy, a few days ago, we got a call on our cell phone telling us to be at the Kimball building at 9:30 so they could put a black-box in our car. WHAT?! So yesterday we went and learned what it's for. It measures your speed, location, starts and stops, and tons of other stuff. Pretty crazy. I guess only two other missions have them. It has this really annoying key-pad that sits right on our cup-holders. Where am I gonna put my Sonic? haha. Anyways, (this is where it gets really crazy), today we recieved a call from the zone leaders telling us that Elder Dewey (one of my zone leaders) would be going to Nampa to be a zone leader there because an elder got injured and had to go home. This means that Elder Woodside and I will now be in a three-some with our zone leader Elder Lehman (my trainers trainer a.k.a. my grandpa). So now were going crazy figuring everything out. We now cover an entire stake. Which is awesome because I just learned my area, so now its almost tripled. UGH...Oh well. Anyways, other than the crazyness, its awesome. I gotta run, we're transfering today. We'll be living at the zone leaders house so we got a TON to do today. Thanks for the support. I love you all. -Elder Woods

(We got this picture of Brad from his friend Whitney. Brad said to Whitney "The next picture is a pair of $100 jeans (she found on wicked sale. but I still like to say they were $100. They're some big fancy brand. I dunno. Way cumfy!) a member gave to me. ya...I DO look good." It is funny because he hated jeans and would never wear them. They were probably $5 jeans from DI :-) and they just wanted this AZ boy to look more Idahoish, j/k thanks to the thoughtful member who thought of and bought jeans for Bradley)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Twin Falls VIP Tour, Cantrell Baptism and Thanks to Elder Grant

On the way to Twin Falls

Baptized and confirmed by Steve McKelson

Wow! A TON has happened this week. Ok, the temple trip was amazing. Our mission president personally paid for buses to bring the entire mission down to Twin Falls. We 1st got there and had lunch and met in a chapel for transfer calls. He literally just read them aloud and went down the list. I loved it. It took like 15 min and they were done. Turns out, Elder Grant is leaving me to be a district leader over in Weiser (pronounced Weezer like the band). Elder Woodside will be coming here to Middleton. Woods and Woodside...that will be a blast tracting. haha. I'm excited though. Since the entire mission was there, I got to meet him immediately after calls. He seems like a hard worker. He's been out 18 months so he knows what he's doin...unlike me. haha. (Brad and I got to IM for over an hour and he said that Elder Woodside is from Taylor, AZ. He said that almost 30% of his mission is made up of Arizona missionaries. BRAD: "they moved all the sisters to Twin Falls to work the open house. Plus our mission just took the Burley/Rupert area. With our size and everything, we are supposed to have 200 missionaries. We have about 170. So we are spread WAY thin. Its all good though", so he won't be going back) So after calls, we had a meeting where Temple President Rex Jarred, General Authorities Elder Marvin Arnold and Elder Walker talked to us. They were amazing and had a lot of really cool stuff to say. Then we went on the tour. WOW! This temple is completely amazing. We
split up into about 5 groups. My tour was unique because my tour guide was President Jarred. So he told us some really cool behind the scenes stuff. Like where the wood came from and what the architects were thinking and inspired by and where stuff came from. Amazing stuff. That trip was unforgettable. Then on Saturday we had our second baptism, Arleen Cantrell. Her husband decided to wait a little for his, but were still working with him. They are amazing people. I love them so much. They were both Jehovah's Witnesses for about 50 years and were offended by that church. They're so unbelievably nice. The baptism was great. Elder Grant and Elder Lehman wrote a song just for the occasion. It was beautiful. (From Brad IM: ME: Dad said to make sure and encourage your ward members to fellowship the Cantrell's. He said to make sure you do the new member lessons. He had a few JW's join in Mexico, but once they joined, their old JW friends blasted them with anti stuff and they eventually went back to their old church. We will keep praying for them. BRAD: Ya, we are. Arleen is way talkative and has already been going to gospel doctrine and stuff and has tons of friends. Old JW friends are the reason Jim postponed his baptism. One of his friends did just that. It shook his testimony, but I think watching Arleen get baptized really helped strengthen it. At the baptism he came up to me and said, "don't give up on me Elder Woods. I'm real close. Maybe a few weeks" It was amazing. I almost cried. haha) Afterward we had a nice reception at the Tanners. I made some awesome rice krispy treats while Elder Grant made some sweet lemon cookies. Just yesterday the Tanners and the Drapers threw us a "Elder Grant going away" party. It was alot of fun. The work is great. We've been packing and getting ready for Elder Grants exodus and Elder Woodside's arrival. Thanks so much for all the support. I love ya all. -Elder Woods

These are the connections that Sister Waltman and Brad talked about. In Brad's words "Crazy".

Temples and Tears

(From the Mom)
Since I knew that the VIP open house was last week, I decided to google it and see if there were any pictures. I found this cute blog by the Nielson Family. ( Sister Nielson had been asked to take a picture of all the missionaries in front of the Twin Falls Temple. Her description of that experience is amazing and that along with this picture made me cry. If I get her permission I will post her testimony and remarks. Thank you Sister Nielson!!

Brad is on the top row, 10th from the right

To continue the cry fest, this morning I checked my e-mail and found this from the Bishop's wife of one of the Middleton Wards that Brad serves in (I think the 5th ward):

"Hi Sister Woods,

We were just having a fun moment with the Elders tonight. Elder Grant is getting transferred and so we were taking pictures. Your son is so fun to have around. He is so funny telling us about his "connections". Ask him about that! He is a great missionary and we are so glad you have shared him with us! We love him.

Melanie Waltman"

Thank you Sister Waltman. I am so grateful for wonderful, thoughtful members who love our missionaries and send pictures to us "sonsick" moms.

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Week-End Fireworks

Ok, so because of the temple trip tomorrow, we don't get a p-day,so we were given an hour to write today. Eh, I'll take what I can get right? Ok. So awesome stuff has been happening. 4th of July was one of the most fun 4th of July's I've ever had. Maybe even the most. We went to a parade and had an awesome BBQ at the Drapers (who brought some non-members. SWEET!) and watched some sweet fireworks. Way cool. On Saturday we had Francisco's baptism. It was amazing! I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. I was a little nervous, but that's what he wanted. His friend Coy Webber baptized him. We expected maybe 9 or 10 people to be there (it being 4th of July weekend and all) but 50-60 people showed up! and alot of people brought food and stuff. It really was amazing. Later we went to Jim and Arleen Cantrells to set up their baptism. This was bitter sweet. Arleen was so excited for her baptism and so ready, but Jim decided he wasn't ready. He said he needed some more time. So we had a big fast for him Sunday. Arleens baptism on Saturday might change his mind. Who knows. The next day I actually gave Francisco the Holy Ghost. It was intense. Something I'll never forget. It was a total honor.
Well tomorrow is the temple trip. I'm very excited. Sorry this is short.
I'll throw in alot of pics.
Love you
all! -Elder Woods

The tie dye shirts were designed for my district by Sister Tanner. haha. (mine's the coolest. If you can't tell what it is. It's the
Beatles album Rubber Soul.) And then 4th of July at the Drapers.

That's Sysco (in the white. haha) He's a great kid. Well that's
it. I hope your all doing well, I don't have any time to email, but I
will next week. I love you all. -Elder Woods

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Got Gophers?

This is outside the Tanner's home. We found a gopher in there yard and on the way home found this sign. so we picked it up and put it in there yard. haha. They're awesome. I love the Tanners.

(Last week I recieved this message about the Tanner family. If you are the Tanner's neighbor's, I'm sure he is talking about the Tanner's "other" neighbor)

Ok, this was the funniest thing on the face of the earth. seriously, I cried laughing. So we were at the Tanners (my favorite family in Idaho) and their really annoying neighbor came over. Sister Tanner told her husband to make him leave. He opens the door and the 1st thing I notice is this guy has a gut the size of a hot air balloon. a.k.a He fat! So as Bro Tanner is asking him to come back later, their little girl Sam (3-4) runs up to the door and points at his belly and asks, "are you gonna have a baby? He's having a baby mommy! or puppies." I was crying laughing. haha I thought you'd enjoy that story.

Ok, pretty awesome week. Remember how we got that baptism for Sysco? Now we got two more! Yes! We have been teaching this couple named Jim and Arleen Cantrell. They are former Jehovah's Witness's. Apparently they had a pretty bad falling out with that church and were looking for something new, when two elders tracked into them back in March! ya, We've been working with them a while. Well to make a long story short, last week we asked (again) them to be baptized. After they said yes, we asked them to fast on Sunday and see if it was the right thing. When we saw them come into church the next day, their countenance was completely different than I had ever seen it. They were still fasting, but we knew their answer. They stayed all three hours. At the very end of the third meeting, Arleen turned to us and said, "we need to be baptized. Saturday at 4" It was so awesome!!! This week we are meeting with Cysco to plan his baptism on Sat. I'm actually going on exchanges with Elder Dewey. We've been on two exchanges so far and both times I've gone with Elder Lehman to their area. But now I'm being left alone in my area to prepare for Elder Grant probably being transfered soon. So a little scary, but on the plus side, I get to drive! Woo hoo! haha. Well thanks for the love and support.
I love you all.
-Elder Woods