Monday, April 30, 2012

Teaching the Gospel through Primary

So - like always, this was a crazy awesome week.  We did a lot of teaching, which is sweet.  The amazing miracle that happened this week was that we were able to set a baptismal date for May 19th with a lady named Candy.  Candy is a referral from the Spanish missionaries - and we went over there on Thursday to teach the Plan of Salvation since she has four kids.  It is amazing how the Spirit directs lessons if you have prepared yourself.  We planned on teaching the Plan of Salvation but instead we pretty much focused on how we can repent and be forgiven of our sins through the Atonement.  It was a way good lesson, and she said she would prepare herself for May 19th to be baptized.  The cool thing was that she brought all of her kids to church Sunday.  She was only able to make it for the last hour so she went to Primary with her kids - which was a blessing.  She was able to see the gospel in an easy format and understand the importance of teaching children.  Also - the whole focus of the Primary lessons in church this week was helping the kids get ready to sing for Mother's Day so she was able to see her kids sing about how much they love her with big smiles on their faces.  Way Awesome!  Children are pretty much the best teachers ever.

One of our other investigators, Dan H, is doing awesome.  We finished up the lessons this past week with him and tried to move his baptismal date up from May 26th to the 12th or 19th but he is pretty firm on the 26th of May.  His best friend died two years ago on that day, so when we had set that date with him it was like a confirmation that this was the right thing to do - so that was way sweet.

Also Gary is doing very well - we just have one more lesson to teach him about the ten commandments and following the prophet which are things we have already taught but we just need to go over again.  His date is still for the 26th because we are working with him to stop smoking - which is actually going very well.

We have been teaching Dan S for awhile and he has not been progressing so we were going to give him until May 5th to start back up with us - otherwise we would need to drop him.  But Dan is a great guy.  We have talked about dropping him before but when I would pray about it the Spirit would say, "Some missionaries said your dad was a hopeless case, but because others wanted him to be blessed they did not give up on him, don't give up on Dan."  So we haven't.  We took him to the church building a couple weeks ago and as he walked through the building his whole demeanor changed.  He loved it, he said it was the first time he has felt peace in a long time!  After our last lesson with him we told him to pray to Heavenly Father and ask for help and guidance about the church.  The APs are going to come down Friday to meet with Dan, maybe they can help him.

Last night we visited a less active family we have been working with.  The mother is a single mom with two young girls, ages 14 and 12.  We had one of the most special experiences happen:  The family has been pulling apart from each other and their family life at home has not been good.  As we shared with them the message of the Atonement, the family could just feel the love of the Savior.  The night ended with them saying they wanted to be sealed in the temple, that they want to aim for that, and that they would do what they need to accomplish that.  It was amazing.  The Spirit is so sweet it is crazy.  I can not wait to see this family go to the temple for the first time.

Also - cool thing - we get to skype home on Mother's Day.
Love you all,  Elder Woestman

Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Week in Paradise

This week was crazy awesome!  It started out on Monday with us setting at the ER for like 4 plus hours trying to get Elder C's leg figured out.  So that was way boring, but the nurses and doctors were way awesome.  Pretty much his leg is just messed up and he needs to just walk on it or something - I don't know.  So we took him off the cane and make him walk everywhere.  We stopped riding our bikes because it hurts his leg too much.  Which is good because we can talk to more people while we walk everywhere.  We are trying to talk to everyone we see.

This week we set three baptismal dates!!!!!which is crazy awesome.  So we might have 5 baptisms in May.  The sweet thing is that as we work hard the Lord blesses us and when companions can get along together, the work just goes by so fast - and there is so much more that we do.  My companion is awesome.

One awesome miracle this week was that we wanted to get as many members to our lessons as possible - which is when good planning comes in.  On Thursday we had 5 lessons with a member with us.  And - that is how we were able to get those baptismal dates.  When a member comes they bring a whole new spirit to the lesson which shows the investigators that things are not weird when you are a Mormon (lol).  I love it.  So we are trying to get every lesson with a member present.  We are also using our priests a lot.  When I was a priest, the missionaries never really asked me to go out with them.  And the same thing is here.  These guys want to come out with us, so we are going to be using them a lot.

The area out here is doing amazing. The important thing for me and my companion to remember is that it is the Spirit that is doing the work, NOT US.  If we get prideful then the work  goes away.

We also had a way cool zone conference training that happened this past week.  Elder Brinkerhoff of the Seventy came.  How AWESOME is that!  He is a way good guy and talked to us about how our countenance needs to be that of the Savior.  It was way good.  Being a missionary is a big deal if you think about it.  At all times you are a representative of the Savior, and the Lord is allowing you to be part of him and letting you work in his field.  He is trusting you with the souls of his children.  HOLY COW.  Kind of intense, but awesome.  I love it here and this is awesome.

Love you all and hope all is well,
Elder Woestman

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sun Shine in Albany

I officially started my second planner out here in the mission. Pretty cool I might have to say. This week was awesome. During P-day we had 3 lessons planned but only one actually occurred, but it was still way good. Then we went bowling. I was playing to have fun so on one of my turns I bowled between my legs and got a X which was way awesome. lolo. Tuesday was way good because I had a training thing down in Eugene with all the guys I went to the MTC with. It was way good to see them and how much they have all grown as missionaries in 7 weeks was crazy. I hope one day I can be companions with one of them some time out here. But - the stinky thing about Tuesday was I got a hemorrhoid, so I had to go to the store and get some "prep H". hahahaha

This week overall has been good. We set a date for May 26th with this guy named Gary to be baptized. He told us in the first lesson he knew he needed to get baptized. We would have set his date sooner but he has A LOT of stuff he has to stop doing. We did have a lesson with him on Saturday at church and after that he was able to stay for some youth baptisms which was so spiritual. It was a double whammy because not only was he able to feel the Spirit when he was in the chapel and we talked about the atonement, but he also got to see some one use the atonement. I have never really been in the chapel with just three other people before and take the time to talk about the gospel. It is pretty sweet and the Spirit is so strong that it is almost impossible to not feel it.

We also had a girl move in from another ward who was taking the discussions from another set of missionaries, so we inherited her. She moved in with her boyfriend so we might have a wedding in the near future, which would be way awesome. We went over to meet them and she still wants to get baptized and he wants to start taking the lessons - so that is amazing.

Oh - I almost forgot - Elder C and I were tracting on Wednesday and his leg just gave out. We did not think anything of it because we both thought he just tripped or something but then he could not put any weight on his left leg and like every 3 steps his leg would buckle. So we got him to a less active member's house who we have been working with who lived nearby and called another set of missionaries to come pick us up. The next day we went to where our bishop works - he is a sports medicine doctor, and he said that Elder C might have a disc or something out of place in his back, or maybe a pinched nerve, so he told us he had to get an MRI. But Elder C's insurance company was being dumb - so we are finally going to the hospital today to get it done. It sounds weird to me but I don't know, hospitals are weird, but it is kind of intense because he has to use a cane - so we will see what happens. If this guy goes home I will be really upset, we work really well together and get along so well. But . . . . everything else is going very well. I love it and time is flying. I cannot believe I have been gone for more than 2 months already - it's intense.
Love, Elder Woestman

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mission Life

So this week has been way awesome. Elder "C" and I get along so well - it is just like working with Spencer - haha. This week we talked to our mission president and he is going to come down to interview Randy to be baptized, so hopefully everything will work out. We have been teaching Cassandra and we have to move her baptism date because she is not ready yet, but we are going to keep working with her because she is doing so well. She will be baptized in a month.

This week we have been really focusing on less active members. There are a lot of part member families here that are less active and those are the best ones because they are going to pretty much let us in and at least one person there already has some what of a testimony of the Church.

Elder C and I have been meeting with a lady named Karen and her family. They are all baptized but they are all in-active. Karen is a single mother and is trying to keep her family together. We want to help them get to the temple, so we taught them a lesson and had a kneeling prayer with her and her daughters. And even though we were outside in the ghetto of Albany, the Spirit just filled us all. They were crying and you could just feel the love of our Heavenly Father. We will keep this up with them because they know the church true. They now just need to act on it. That is one things that I have found while I have been out here - a lot of people we teach know that what we are saying is true. You can see it in their eyes, but they just don't want to act on it. It blows my mind - how can you know something is true and then totally back away from it and act like you don't know. And I am not talking about just in-active members. I am also talking about the people we teach. It is something I do not understand - how can people act like that? But . . . it just makes this mission even more of a challenge because we have to listen to the Spirit even more than ever so we can know what to say and what to do with them, so they will want to change their lives.

I love it here. I love helping people. And I love being able to help people find their way to eternal happiness with their families. There is nothing better.

Elder Woestman

Elder "E" - my first trainer

Elder "C" - my present companion

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

New Trainer

WOW - where do I begin? This week was crazy awesome. It started out like any other week. We had a great weekly planning session so this week was supposed to be filled with appointments, but on Tuesday and on Wednesday all of our plans fell through. Which was way stressful. But, then on Thursday we went to the Portland temple - so amazing. It was just so nice to go to the temple. Totally pumped me up. Then we had a great lesson with an investigator at which we had him say a closing kneeling prayer and man - was the Spirit strong. He started to cry at the end of it. This was a big turning point for this guy. The power of prayer is doubled if you can get them to kneel. Before I came out here, the mission had an apostle come talk to them and promised that our baptisms would double if we had our investigators kneel and pray at the end of the lessons. So we have been putting that to the test - and it has been working.

Friday morning was transfer calls and Elder "E" was transferred to Roseburg. So I am finishing up my training with an Elder "C". He came today and he is awesome. He reminds me so much of Spencer Stucki, so I am so excited. lol. He is awesome. But - anyways, on Friday we had a crazy awesome lesson with Cassandra. She is still on track to be baptized on the 14th so we are working hard to keep that up. She was able to watch General Conference at the Bishop's house with two of her kids - which she just loved. We actually had three investigators go to Conference this week, which was way awesome. We want to set a date with another investigator this week so we might have two with a date in a couple of days. Randy had his interview with the Zone leaders this weekend, and they do not know if he is "accountable", so we have to have him interviewed by one of the mission presidency. Randy has the mindset of a 10 year old, so I don't know if he does need to be baptized. We will see what happens there.

Then Conference - soooooo gooooood!!!!! I have never had a conference hit me so much as this one. Being a missionary definitely changes the way you look at things and what is important. I love it. Pretty much I loved Elder Eyring's talk in the first session which he talked about asking for challenges to test his faith. An amazing talk and a good idea. Pretty much this week was awesome like always. I miss my old companion, but I love my new one (he is so much like Spencer, I love it). The work is going on.

Love, Elder Woestman