Come Follow Me

Come Follow Me
"And he saith unto them, "Come and follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Matt. 4:19) As the New Year begins, we, the members of the Willow Wood Ward, invite you to Come and Follow Him!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Elder Zach Beckman

                                  Willow Wood Wardies serving in Ohio together, Elder Beckman and Elder Price

Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:49


Hey everyone!!! this has been a really good week for me and Elder Price!  We are killing it!!  We have seen a lot of miracles and seen some not so fun times this week, but it's okay because we just keep on going and life gets better and better every day!!
So..... it is pretty awesome!!  We received 4 Brand new missionaries into our zone fresh out of the MTC and they are all awesome!!!  So we are excited to have them all put into our zone!!  It's fun because there is a lot of "greenie fire" that we needed so we are about to have a lot of fun today with them, because today we are having a zone fun day!!  Where we can all come together and play some fun games on our off day!
So this last week we were able to get a lot of stuff done!!  We had Transfers and we had Zone Meeting and then this week we have had Zone Conference, and then just some more little stuff but we are pretty busy here in the mission right now!!  But it's okay, I love being busy!! (ha ha ha I cannot believe I just said that!) but ya, it is a lot of fun being busy!
So this last week we met with Tony, our investigator from Jordan, and he is doing awesome!  He came to church with us and is getting along very well with all of them members, but ya, meeting with him is really fun because he speaks really broken English, so I just guess what he is saying and then I repeat it back to him so he can answer. But it was cool!!  He was showing us this old Arabic bible of his and I opened it up, and there was this way old Mormon pass along card inside of it, and he said that missionaries gave that to him like 25 years ago!!  And he used it as a book mark in his bible!!  It was so sweet to see that!! ha ha  It really shows how the Lord is preparing people for us to meet and then to really help them in their life!!  But all we can do now is hope for the best with him, because he has a rough family situation!  So I will keep you posted.
But last story really quick is that Deanna and Anthony are doing awesome!!  They got up in church this last week to bear their testimonies and it was awesome, and when we tried to set up a lesson with them we totally got shafted!!  Ha ha ha!!  We asked them if we could come by Tuesday, and they were like, "Oh, we are busy that day we have something called "Visiting Teachers" coming over."  Ha ha, dang it!  But that is so awesome that the ward is really welcoming them in!!  But ya, I am so glad to be here in the Cherry Grove Ward!!  I am stoked for what is to come!!!
But I hope you all are doing awesome!!  I love hearing about all the stories from home, so keep emailing me pictures and keep sending me stories and letters in the mail!!  Hope all is well!!  LOVE YA!!
Keep Smiling

Elder Dallin Stout

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Good Week
   So in our car we have this thing called TIWI, this mission was the first to get it because it was tested here and now its approved to be used in other missions. Its a little box in the bottom corner of the drivers side wind shield. Its a computer that tells us when we are driving bad and sometimes reports us. He tells us to slow down, put on our seat belt and tells us if we are driving aggressively. 
     Our lesson with Dan fell through so we had a lesson with Zeny instead. Then we saw Brother Nolan and went over tithing with him. After dinner we had a lesson with the Goyeneche's and commited them to do daily family prayer/ scripture study.
Wednesday     We tried to see Brother Brodbeck but he wasn't home, We ran into his son and found out that he has been in a care center for the last 3 weeks. Later we had a lesson planned for Erica, who is a refferal from the zone leaders. We have not met her yet but confirmed the lesson by phone, we took 2 laurels with us but Erica fell through.
     We had a zone meeting and got our new zone goals. They are to be exactly obedient to the daily schedule, pray for people silently who reject us and read some of our patriarchal blessing each night. We went to see the Logans, durring the visit their daughter came over and needed help moving things to her house.. So we schedules a time to help her. We had a lesson with Richard Perry and Bro Santini.
     We were walking to the Logans in our service clothes and while waiting at a light to cross the street some girl drove by and her passenger cat called at me. (Elder Martin to this day has teased me since) It was weird, when we're in a shirt and tie it usually seems to repel that kind'a stuff. When we got to the Logans we helped move stuff from the side of their house into their truck and killed many black widows in the process. Later we saw the Goyeneche's. Elder Martin is a little frustrated with them because of their procrastination to get baptized.
     We went on a blitz, I with Elder Comin who has been out a week. We knocked doors and talked with a few people. We went to a garage sale and talked to a guy named Richard, who told us about his visit to Salt Lake. He had a big knife collection and I got one for $2, then he gave us both a utility knife free because he said "your doing the Lords work". Later we met a few less actives we didn't know and also saw Zeny. We had a lesson with her about overcoming anger by being prayerful/trusting. She says its still hard for her to pray on her own but she's improving.
     At church the Bells spoke about member missionary work for the 40 day fast and shared some personal experiences that they have had with sharing the gospel. The Morris family had us for dinner and also invited the Perry's. Then we saw the Goyeneche's and tallked to Juan about his questions that he had in class about the gathering of Israel. Zeny sent us a text and said that she was really upset. When she came home she didn't tell us in front of her family, but we were able to cheer her up and she told us that she will tell us later.

Elder Stout
Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 12:34 PM

This week

This morning we got 3 calls from Juan. We answered every time but our phone wasn't connecting, so we figured that he wanted help fixing his truck. We got into service clothes and drove over but only Zeny and the kids were there. We stayed and talked with her for a while, she wants to be baptized but can't because she is not married to Juan. They have been planning to get married for a long time but we found out that she is uncomfortable with marriage. We were there at the right time to comfort and encourage her. We had a lesson with Dan right afterwards. He has been doing good on his resolve to quit smoking, he has gone from 2 packs a day to gradually using only 3 cigarettes and now to a vaporizer! This is a huge improvement for him, we talked about a patriarchal blessing and how they help guide us in through our lives. We also saw the Gonzalez's after dinner and encouraged them in their efforts to quit smoking in a few weeks. They gave us a bunch of food and milk before we left.  Neither of us had money to shop on Monday so this was like manna from heaven!
We had a really good district meeting.  We discussed our studies about prayer in chapter 4 of Preach My Gospel. It really helped me to analyze my prayers and how I can improve them. Later we tried to visit some people, but no one was home. So we went to see Zeny and talked with her for a while before the rest of the Goyeneche family showed up and we had dinner with them later.
We were able to visit Sister Madsen who is less active. She is super nice and had us work on a project with her, as we talked and caught up on how her trip had been. She has been out of town and really busy for the past month so it was good to be able to visit her again. We had dinner with Brandon who took us out to an awesome Chinese restaraunt.  Apparently he knows several people from my last area in Thousand Oaks. His wife works with a member of the ward and he also knows Dago. He is a recent convert, Brandon helped teach him with the missionaries. He has horns tatooed on his head, so now I know a Mormon that really has horns.
Fast and testimony meeting was really good.  It was the kick-off for our ward 40 day fast and several of the members bore their testimony about missionary work and the opportunities/experiences that they are having to share the gospel with people! The Gonzalez's haven't been to church in a while, so afterwards we tried to see them. They told us that they were sick, so we couldn't meet with them.  We ended up walking to dinner and stopping on the way to see the Goyeneche's.  Only William and his siblings were home so we talked with him for a bit.

Elder Stout

Elder Justin Thiel

August 3rd

We were very busy this week with all that happened to us. On Monday, we had a lesson with our recent converts, the Cottmans.  Their dad is living with them for the time being and we have been teaching him ever since he got there.  They had us over for dinner and after we ate we decided to watch the "Joseph Smith, Prophet of the Restoration" video.  The movie was awesome, as it always is, and the spirit was really present.  After the movie we bore testimony of the restoration and the prophet Joseph Smith.  I felt the need to invite him to baptism after that and to ask him if he felt that Joseph was indeed a prophet.  He answered yes and agreed to be baptized. We haven't set a date with him yet and he has a word of wisdom problem, but he loves the church and what it has done for his daughter and wants to be baptized now.  It was an awesome miracle.  We had some more lessons with the young man named Sona.  There was an awesome miracle with him as well.  We met with him and taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When we talked about how he feels about all this, he said that his prayers have been answered.  He related an awesome experience that he had with the Book of Mormon and he said, " I already knew it was true, but I needed the Lord to tell me it was true and He did."

We had an awesome zone conference with the mission president this week.  We had many speakers including the Assistants to the President, members of the mission presidency, and the mission president's wife.  There were a couple of things that really struck me.  The first speaker was a member of the mission presidency named President McCoy.  He talked about miracles.  He talked about living worthy of the Lord's miracles and to expect them.  He talked of the faith and love that we must have to see such miracles and shared some of the miracles of the Savior and some of the miracles that were happening in our mission.  It was very inspiring to hear.  The other talk that inspired me was by the mission president.  He showed us the video of what was happening in Brazil.  He then gave us 2 questions to think about. Why not here? and Why not now?  He talked about how the promises of the Lord are extended to everyone and that these things can happen to us if we are faithful and live worthy of the Lord's help.  That was one thing that was stressed a lot!  Living the Lord's standards with exactness!

I got the package on Sunday ( because the missionary couple over the mail in my mission is in my ward so they brought it to me)!   Thank you so much for the cake and things that are in it.  My companion is going to bake the cake for me on Thursday.  One of the members in my ward is getting me a replica of the first edition of the Book of Mormon.  I think that will be really neat!   It isn't in verse form and I hear that it reads very differently.  Also a member is having us over for dinner on my birthday and they are having a barbeque.  It should be a fun dayI

I'm sorry to hear about all the things that went wrong this week for you, but you are right about the attitude thing. We always have to keep an upbeat attitude with everything that we do.  It always reminds me of the talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave in conference about gratitude.  It's an awesome talk.

Thank you again for the birthday stuff!  I hope that you all have a great week!!!


Elder Thiel

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Elder James Hadley

June 30, 2014
Ok, so, stuff that happened this week.... Well yeah, so we ate at a Chinese food restaurant last Monday, and we think that is what did it to us, but Tuesday we were both sick, my companion more than me, and we had to stay in the house. I just read Jesus the Christ for like 4 hours straight. Then studied a bit of Spanish. And well Wednesday, I had a really bad fever and was sick but I wanted to keep working. So we did. It was kind of terrible, but when I was talking to people on the street, or teaching people, I felt better, or I guess forgot about my discomfort. But so when we got home I went to sleep and felt a bit better the next day. Then well, Friday, I woke up feeling terrible, and we went out and worked a bit, and went to lunch, and I had a way bad fever, and we went home and read the rules and it said when you have a fever over 100 degrees you have to say home. So we stayed home that day. So what I ate this week were saltines and bananas, and I drank a ton of gatorade.

I think I forgot to tell you this but we have started giving English classes for free Saturdays in the mornings... They haven't been super successful. We have had 3 weeks with only 2 people showing up, and 1 week when 6 showed up. But, well, one of the weeks a girl named Guadalupe came. And we invited her to church and gave her a Book of Mormon, and well, she actually came to church by herself. And like 30 minutes early, earlier than we showed up. It was the best, and she had read in her Book of Mormon. So yeah, We only taught her once last week cause we were both way sick, but she cried during the first prayer, it's so crazy how ready she is to hear the Gospel. So yesterday I called her and asked if she was going to come, and she said -well, my Mom has me doing some work for her, and I could hurry and try to show up to one of the later hours...- And I was like, bleh whatever ok, -just please come- Anyways, we went out from sacrament meeting halfway through to meet another investigator, and she comes walking down the street. She said -I just realized and told my mom that the job could wait, following God is more important- and at church she asked me what she has to do to get baptized. And what she has to do to be a missionary. So yeah, I'm super excited for her and we really want to work with all of her family and friends.

July 7, 2014
Ok so I got a call last night from the assistant and now I'm in the state of Michoacan. Crazy right, we had to take a 3 and a half hour bus ride. I went from the very south of the mission to the farthest West I could go. Interesting right? It was a huge surprise. And my companion, named Elder Lanza, is from Honduras. I really really really like him so far, I think we will get along super well. He is the, well, best at being a missionary. I'm super excited to learn from him.

Well, I'm approaching 8 months and learning a ton. I have another Latin companion so I will be talking only Spanish again. Oh yeah, so Elder Lanza was in D.F. So we are both new to this area, we have no idea about anything. So yeah, It will be fun to explore and try to find where people live without having a clue where to go. I'm excited to try and learn stuff super fast. I seriously think that all of the video games that I played helps me a lot in navigation. 
So yeah, stuff is super interesting, and I'm super excited about everything.
Oh yeah, I'm the worst, I forgot to tell you that we had a baptism yesterday. Here name is Claudia, and her husband (who we helped them to get married) lived in Utah a long time ago and got baptized, and we have reactivated him and then baptized her. They were so happy and are planning on going to the temple in a year.
July 14, 2014
Ok, so, Cuidad Hidalgo, cuidad means city by the way, is different than Tenancingo. It has a little downtown area, it's nothing more than a few blocks, but I think bigger than Tenancingo's. But it has just a bunch of suburb areas around it, well, just a bunch of houses. So yeah, we usually just work out there. The biggest change is that I went from a ward in Tenancingo to a Branch out here. And there is barely anyone. Well we had about 50 people there. But most were women and children. We have barely any Priesthood holders, so yeah that's interesting. We had to wake up early and go and clean the church, then we were going to give talks but we got to church late bringing people, and then we taught the Gospel Principles class and also the Priesthood class. So we have to do a ton more out here. It is way different, but it is fun. When I was in the city they had great teachers and a huge quorum and everything, so things are just really different out here. So yeah, I'm excited to work out here and try and help a ton. Baptize a lot of people and also reactivate less actives and help the active members be more animated.

So my companion is really really great, we get along super well. he is a really good missionary, he teaches really well and he is just good with people. He is just really cool. So yeah, I'm excited to be working with him and well, to keep working with him, and learn from him and everything.

So, in the next 8 weeks the mission is going to receive 54 new missionaries and only 20 are leaving. I'm excited to see what time brings.

Oh yeah, out here Carnitas are the popular food, what it is I think is they just get the animal, and cut off a few parts and throw all of it in a giant cooker thing, I think a steam cooker more or less, and then well, they give you all of it. The stomach, the skin (slimy), and the meat. So yeah its crazy, and weird textures, but it didn't taste bad. My companion said the nana is the best, that's the womb. So yeah, I will see if I will eat it or not, I'm kind of scared but we will see.

So, we have been teaching the woman named Gisela (he-sell-a) and she has 2 twins that are both 8. She has a disorder with her kidneys and has to get her blood cleaned out a few times a week, and she is 26 years old. She's SUPER great and accepts everything we teach her, and wants to keep learning more. The sad thing is that she used to live with the father of the twins, but as soon as they found out she was sick, he just left one night. and hasn't even talked to her or them since. We are super excited to baptize all 3, she already said she would get baptized, so yeah, hopefully be expecting pictures in a few weeks.
July 21, 2014
Hi. Um, so I don't really know what to say, another week working working working. Oh yeah yesterday I reached the 8 month mark which is also the 1/3rd mark, so that's pretty crazy. I can't believe it's gone so fast, but also it feels like I can't remember what texting is so yeah. The mission is a weird time warp.

So, um, we ate tacos of carnitas today, it was just the rib meat of the pig and they were so amazing. I want to come back here after the mission and eat them with you guys. I think dad would absolutely love them.

This week we entered into a lot more houses than last week, and have some really good investigators. We brought 9 people to the church. So that's cool. The total attendance of the branch here before we got here was around 35, and yesterday we had 58, so that's a ton better. We are working really really hard and it's been fun.
We have 7 people that are going to get baptized soon, within the next 4 weeks. So we just need to keep working with them, 6 are females, and 1 is male.
So back in the day, the Elders would just baptize everything that moved, the people only had to go to church 1 time and the next time they could be baptized, but out of all of those people barely any stayed in the church. So we are focusing a TON more on helping people to be converted, to read the Book of Mormon every day, and really have a strong testimony. It's super exciting, this is the kind of work I want to be doing, not just empty baptisms.

We found a family a while ago, they went to church for the second time yesterday. The dad is named Fernando, the mom Cecilia (se-seal-ee-ah) and they have 4 daughters and 1 son, ages 5 and under. It is exciting to be here doing this kind of work, changing peoples lives, helping out these children, and just everything. It's so great. I have learned a TON of spanish this change. It is super exciting.
July 28, 2014

We ride the bus a lot, to go to other cities, today we had to go to the offices of the mission to do visa stuff for my companion, we had to ride 4 hours there and 4 hours back. So yeah, we left the house at 3:30 in the morning, so yeah that's cool. The bus to the mission offices is $232 pesos, which is like $30. We mostly walk here, always always always, which is good cause it's free.
So all of my áreas have different things about them that make them good, in my first área it was the members of the Ward, in the second, the members and the city, I really love big cities, and then the third área was so awesome, I can't explain it, it just feels like a special place, and well this one, I haven't really found it yet. Just the people we are teaching I think. Its fun to have a huger role in how things work here, a lot depends on us, like the last minute lessons. We just don't prepare anything and just teach them on the fly, its fine though, just to have a conversation and what not with everyone.

Yeah, so well, same stuff, working working working. We had 7 baptisms lined up for the 3rd of August, but a few of them are going to take more time. I think we will only have 3... hopefully. We will see.

I've been thinking about how lucky I am to be in this mission. Hearing a lot of stories about other missions and stuff like that, and well there is a great mindset of obedience and work here. I am SO thankful to be in this mission that is more concentrated on the work than a lot of others. 
Next week I will have more stuff to write about. We are going to have changes, and I'm pretty sure we are going to get changed around, that my companion is going to train or well, who knows what. We will see what happens.

Elder Hadley

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elder Zach Beckman

Elder Beckman at the Baptismal Font

Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:23

Hello Everyone!! How the heck are ya?? Well I am doing great this week!  It was an awesome week for me and Elder Price; we were able to kill it as an area and our zone KILLED IT THIS WEEK!!  But I will just fill ya in on some of the miracles and some fun stuff we did this week!! So be ready to be amazed!!
So this week we had a lot of cool things happen with us but I will only tell ya about a couple of them because if you really want to know you can write me a letter and ask ;)  (see what I did there) but anyways back to the story... So on Thursday we were able to go and visit some families and stuff but on our way out of this apartment complex we saw this old guy walking up stairs and he said hello to us and so we talked to him and he was a way nice guy.  His name is Tony and he is from the country, Jordan!  His name isn't really Tony, it is some long crazy name that I can't spell, little alone pronounce, so ya, I will just leave it at Tony!!  But ya, he is a sweet guy who barley speaks English, but enough to be taught!!   But ya, he came to church with us this week and loved it so he will be back next week for sure and I will give you more of an update on him later!!
But also this week our zone had 4 Baptism and it was sweet because the Baptisms are really picking up for each area, so I am stoked for that!!  But it was cool, I got to help out with a lot of them and meet everyone!   It was a lot of fun and Deanna & Anthony came to them and they are just progressing so well it is awesome!!  I love them!!
So for a fun story of the week! So to start off the story with some back ground INFO... so our apartment was trashed by someone as a joke and we were not sure what missionaries it was and so we found out that is was the Spanish elders so we were about to UNLEASH on them, ha ha ha!!  So... we had District meeting this week and it was so fun.  We found out that the Spanish missionaries were going to Cincinnati for their "Spanish" meeting and it was going to go long which gave us a lot of time to have some fun with payback!  So we got a Key from the Front office saying we locked our keys in the apartment and they gave them to us because we all look the same with our white shirts and ties!! ha ha!!  So we went to lowes and mad a copy of the key (shhh!! don't tell them) and then we went and made a huge mess!!   It was AWESOME!!   We put all of their furniture it to this one room and it was just awesome!!  We videoed the whole thing so if anyone wants to see it will be great!!
But that is just some of the fun stuff that has happened this week in my life!!  I am having a great time and loving the mission and the Cherry grove area!!  But I miss you all and hope everyone is doing good!! LOVE YA KEEP SMILING!!
Elder Beckman
                             Elder Beckman, Elder Price and other Elders enjoying an Icee!!