Monday, February 27, 2012

Oregon Is Awesome

Oregon is so awesome, the green trees and grass make it so much nicer than Provo (which had no trees). The people here are way nice too. No one wants to listen to us yet, but they are always polite about it, which is way cool. Albany is like a small town type place. Don't know how else to describe it. The ward has two social classes that are pretty far apart - one is super well off and then the other is pretty poor. But they do well together and everyone seems to get along with everyone which is way good. Me and my companion were both transferred into our area at the same time, so it has been hard to know where to start because the last missionaries did not keep good records of anything and kind of got the ward mission leader upset at them all the time. So we have to build up some trust with the members. We had a correlation meeting with the ward mission leader and the other leaders of the ward and every time me or Elder E had some ideas, you could tell that they did not think they were good because we are just "teenagers". haha. So that needs to be fixed.

This is going to be a learning experience for me because I cannot handle when adults don't take me seriously:) but my companion is sweet. He knows what he is doing - will probably be the next Assistant to the President - so I am pumped to serve with him.

I did get my bike and all the accessories. Haven't used the bike yet. We are in a "car-share" so we split the car during the week with another set of missionaries. We have it now, but I will probably use my bike tomorrow. I actually am going on exchanges with our zone leaders tonight so I am pumped about that.

I was reading in Preach My Gospel the other day where it said not to take the Book of Mormon for granted and to use it. It also said that if you pray about how to use the Book of Mormon while teaching people, you can receive revelation about how to do that. I am excited to try that. We are teaching a guy from Africa named Grady who speaks French. The missionaries here before us were teaching him. The man is ready to get baptised. He loves the gospel and that we do baptisms for the dead. We taught him the third lesson on the Gospel of Jesus Christ last night. It was way easy because the Spirit was there and he was so into it he understood everything. He is getting baptised on the 10th, so that's awesome! Right now though, we are trying to find new investigators since Grady is our only one pretty much. So, pray for me and Elder E to be able to find a family to be guided to.
Love you all,
Elder Woestman

PS - I almost forgot. We can have ukuleles, so Mom, can you find out how much it costs to ship mine out along with my tuner and extra strings. If it costs too much - I will just buy a new one out here.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Call from Mission President

Hi - it is Laura again.
We just got a wonderful phone call from Ben's new mission president, President Young. He wanted us to know that Ben had gotten there safe and sound and then filled us in on how things were going. What a wonderfully thoughtful thing to do!!!!
Ben will be serving with a hard working, devoted trainer (Elder E) in Albany Oregon - a small town just outside of Corvalis - home of Oregon State University. Albany is about 45 minutes north of Eugene. Elder E is also the District Leader and has only been out on his mission for 6 months. Pres Young told us that the goal for his missionaries is that they be ready to become trainers at 3 months into their missions. Ben is Elder E's second missionary to train. Jim and I both think that is a great goal - Pres Young has high expectations for his missionaries and that is exciting to us. People tend to rise (or fall) in accordance with our expectations of them.
Pres Young shared a fun moment with us that both Jim and I could just picture - after Ben had gotten to the mission home (along with 9 other new missionaries) Ben attended a meeting where each new missionary was introduced to their trainer/companion. The trainer's name is announced and then the new missionary's name is announced. They are usually setting on opposite sides of the room, so when they are announced, they get up and head to meet each other in the middle of the room. Pres Young said we should have been there to see the "bear hug" they gave each other. (That is an easy thing for us to visualize of Ben.) Pres Young said that Ben and his trainer actually look a bit alike - I could tell Pres Young felt good about who he had assigned to work with Ben.
So - there were some pictures taken today that the mission president is sending us through our email tomorrow which I will post as soon as I get them.

Heading to Eugene!

Hi Everyone:
This is Ben's mom. Elder Woestman called this morning from the Salt Lake City airport on his way to Eugene, Oregon. He sounded wonderful! He is "pumped and ready to go." One of his "crew" (room-mates) at the MTC is from Salt Lake City and had Ben's mission president- Pres. Mark Young, as his bishop. He told Ben that Pres. Young is a "way awesome guy who is really into technology." So Ben is excited. There has been a lot of talk at the MTC that the church is experimenting with using social media (ie ipads, facebook, etc) as an additional way to communicate with people. Ben is hoping that he will have an opportunity to be involved with some of those forms in spreading the gospel.
We are eager to hear from Ben next week after he is settled and in full gear - will post his next email next week. Thanks for following our blog.
-Mom (Laura)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday - Feb 14th 2012


Hey Everyone;
So this has been a crazy but interesting week. We had a missionary move into our district and our room - so now there are six of us in this room. They moved him out of his old district because he was not doing very well with them. He has anger, language, and running off issues so they put him with us. It has been way tough because we all felt like we were one big companionship, so when he goes and starts walking off if affects us - its like switching the Spirit off and on. He has tried to leave for the past three nights. We have been trying our best to help me see he needs to "man-up" and stay, but last night he actually ran off the campus and had the cops called on him. We were up 'till like one until he got back from our branch president's (since he had to talk to him) . . . . so fun. We all have just been working hard to not get mad at him and to just love him.
We have been role playing - teaching investigators - and as I was acting like "Chris" and my companion was teaching, I flipped to 1st Nephi, chapter one, last verse and read the last sentence (It is pretty much the thesis statement of the Book of Mormon). . . "But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." As I read this as Chris, I was hit with what we like to call the "spirit truck". I knew that Chris needed to hear this next time we were with him- so intense I had no idea how to take it. So I used it and now Chris is doing a lot better with his commitments.
Elder Jeffrey Holland is way awesome. I have listened to a couple of his talks in class and every time he is done I am pumped and ready to go preach the gospel of Jesus Chris to everyone. It is intense to think that I only have one more week before I head to the mission field. I leave in a week at like eight in the morning. Tell everyone I say "hi" and "love them".
-Elder Woestman

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday - Feb 7th 2012

Hi: Everything here is going great. We went to the temple today. They have a cafeteria here so we got breakfast for way cheap. lol. It is my zones tradition to do that so its cool. What else . . . we found another district who are all going to Oregon with us so we have all been hanging and working out together, so its way cool. Having fun. Tell everyone I said "SUP".

Monday, February 6, 2012

1st Letter From The Missionary Training Center

Thursday, Feb 2nd 2012

So, this is so SWEET! My roomies are way cool. I have two companions and they are great - Elder R and Elder C. [Note from mom who is posting this. I will not write any specific names of people Ben writes about, but will just use a letter for their name.] And guess what - I am senior companion! So that's fun. "My crew," which are my roomies, are sweet.

Our Zone Leaders are mass sweet. We are the only English speaking room in our Zone. The rest speak Samoan, Tongan, and stuff like that. They are way outgoing.

It is only day two, but I am already super close with the crew. We do everything together. Elder R and I know how to "read" each other like we were born twins. So crazy how the Lord puts people together. I just hope we can serve together. We "teach" our first investigator tomorrow. It is just a role play, but the crew is going to OWN IT. I cannot explain how excited I am.

Family - thanks for the book [Dan put together a book of testimonies and pictures of the family for Ben to have on his mission]. It is so awesome! I love you guys so much. Can't wait to be out in the field.

Elder Ben

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Last Hugs....


We picked up Elder Woestman from the Airport this morning. We drove him down and met up with some friends who were at BYU... This is Johanna and Job 
He was so excited he couldn't stop shaking and announcing how much he just wanted to get started.

 And of course he had to pose like this for his last picture. I said "Picture for Mom" and this is what i got!

Flying out of Cincinnati for Salt Lake City

This morning Elder Woestman, with mom and dad, headed to the airport. (Dad's taking the pictures.)

Getting Set Apart

Last night Ben was set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by President Guffey - Stake President. This is a picture of Ben with Dad (on left), Mom, and Pres Guffey (on right). "Elder Woestman" was sooooo excited - we are looking forward to getting his letters and reading about his adventures.