Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Week 38

December 19, 2017

This Sunday will be Christmas as we are all aware.  I hope that we remember why we are able to celebrate this holiday.  We are celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He is the reason why we are able to return to our Heavenly Father.  Lets always remember Him especially this coming week.  I wish you a Merry Christmas, I will email everyone before the New Year.  :P

---Elder Wood---

With such wonderful green hills and wonderful temperature, it is easy to forget Christmas is almost here.

Well, Christmas is on its way.  We had our Branch Christmas party on Saturday.  Also, Port Antonio has a Christmas Tree in the square.

Week 37

December 12, 2016

I don't even know what to write in this email.  It has been a week of trials and miracles.  We now have a First Counselor in the Branch Presidency of Port Antonio.  We are going to move apartments later this week.  WE found two people who will enter the waters of Baptism very soon.  I wish you the best.  (Internet kept going out, I will send more in the coming week).

---Elder Wood---

I have come to a better understanding on God preparing a way for us.  Just last night we went to go see a convert family.  We locked our bikes and began the journey down the path to their house.  After we came back, they were not there.  After doing a quick search, we knew they were gone.  We told others about it.  This morning we got a phone call from the same family that we visited the night before.  They had the bikes, they were able to get them from another member that saw somebody take them up.  Luckily, the U-Lock that was purchased, saved our bacon.  With the thief unable to break the lock, he hid them to come back for them later.  That's when the member took them up.
Now, I don't know about you, but I consider that a miracle.

---Elder Wood---

So my companion found a "special" campsite, it was hard to keep him from trying to find it :)

Our washing machine is broken right now, so, my companion hand-washed.

Week 36

December 5, 2016

This week has been interesting.  While we contact there area a lot of people who are not sincere in their desire to meet with us.  This saddens me because they are choosing not to grow closer to God, but as they admit this, we are able to focus on those who want to change.

Also, some of you wondered why I sent out last week's email on a Tuesday.  We were on lock-down on Monday because it was election day for local leaders.  So Preparation day was on Tuesday.

One of the most important things I learned this week was to follow the Holy Ghost, no matter how small the prompting is, because there is somebody that needs you there at that moment.  We met up with a less-active member because my companion felt like we should head to her house, as we did so we met up with her as she was walking home.

I wish you all the best,
---Elder Wood---

An absolutely beautiful view from on of our member's house.  We were doing service and when we finished, they showed us their view.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 35

November 29, 2016

Oh man, its been colder over the past week.  It has dropped a whole 3 degrees over the past week.  When the alarm clock wakes up up, it also tells us the temperature.  We have been waking up to 77 degrees in the morning, man that's cold!  Anyways, I was hoping to ask for addresses so I can send you guys a little gift for Christmas.  It won't be much because I am a good distance away, but I will see what I can do for y'all.

This week went by quick.  After we emailed last week we "chilled" out at the seaside.  We were able to find and teach a few more people this last week that as the scriptures say "thirst for the knowledge of the Gospel."  I know that there are prepared people everywhere waiting to hear the Gospel, sometimes you will say something and the person will respond "well, of course" or even feel foolish sometimes when we share this message with them.  We want to continue to bring the spirit into their loves so they can remember: where they came from, why they are they here, and where they are going.  I was able to have a decent Thanksgiving "feast" as you saw in the pictures.  I hope that you all will continue to learn and grow in our savior so you can better feel his love for you every second of everyday.

I hope that you all have a wonderful week.

--Elder Wood--

So we were in Kingston on Thursday and it just happened to be on Thanksgiving so ... this was a splurge.  Also treated ourselves on our preparation day, just for all of you, we went to the seaside.

Week 34

November 21, 2016

Oh its a beautiful HOT day in Jamaica today, Saturday the temperature got down to 75 degrees and it was freezing!  Anyway this week has been fun for everyone.  We were invited and meet with a group that relied on the studying of man to prove that their "gospel: was right.  Man it was such a sad sight, even as we brought the spirit they choose to reject it.  I am so glad for the true gospel, because it allows us to be joyful as often as we want to be because our Father in Heaven who created our spirits and everything around us will respond to a sincere prayer.  That is just amazing that he loves us so much.

As we continue to be disobedient to His will, we will receive more blessings from him.  I just find that awesome.

I hope to talk to y'all next week.  If you want me to talk about something, just ask.  I hope that you will enjoy this coming week as much as I will be.

--Elder Wood--

Pictures of a beautiful view we had while we contacted and visited a less-active member.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Week 33

November 14, 2016

This week has been fun.  We were able to baptize Shane Lee and confirm him a member this week.  We also went to Kingston for a Zone Conference and learned how to invite people to learn about Christ more spiritually.  We also had 55 people at church this week.  Last week was 38 people.  I have never seen 55 people at the Port Antonio Branch before, it was AWESOME!

It helps me to understand that as we all do all we can to help the Lord, he will bless us.  I hope to continue sending baptism pictures your way as more and more people come to the knowledge of the restored Gospel.

Well, I am a bit sparse for time right now so I will write next week, you all have a great time until then.

-Elder Wood--

Week 32

November 7, 2016

Hey everyone, it's Monday once again.  We had a unique week this week.  As you might have seen from the pictures we did about a half day's worth of service along the shoreline.  It now looks significantly better, which makes these pictures even better.

I also learned that it is through failure that you are able to grow the most.  It's when you realize where your priorities are and what you are doing in that moment to become better.  The prophets and apostles are still learning and growing so I think I have quite a bit to do myself.  I am grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ and it is through Him that we are able to change, repent, and grow.  I wish you guys the best this week.
Best wishes.
--Elder Wood--

International Day of Service

My companion as we were getting ready one morning

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week 31

October 31, 2016

So its Halloween day and some spooky things have been aguan (going on).  😵 None of our current investigators made it to church this Sunday, maybe they are under some evil spell.  👾 My companion's bike frame broke, maybe a rasta man's voodoo.  👻 The weather is also still above 80 degrees, maybe the summer season has been cursed to stay in Jamaica.  😎  We also swear we were outside for a re-enactment of Noah's flood ... but a few days later, its still perfectly hot and humid.  😰  There were white people everywhere yesterday, maybe the return of some lost Nephites?  But they disappeared today as well.

Its all about whether you choose to be happy or not.  As we approach conflicts with a smile it not only helps us get through it, but we also get through it quicker.  This week was a wonderful week and also some great progress with some investigators but as you can see we also had some trials.  I hope my companion and I will progress past the trials at hand and be able to increase in obedience and blessings.  Well the time is up, so I wish you all the best.  😃


--Elder Wood--

We didn't know a small cruise ship could fit into our port.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Week 30

October 24, 2016

I survived the interview with President Pearson quite well.  He shared an increase d vision with me of how we can continue sharing this special message with people who have no idea it is out there.  It has been brought to my attention that I have not formally introduced my companion.  Elder Rowley is my current companion.  He is from Santaquin, Utah.  Also, ironically he was transferred here from Santa Cruz.  He grew up as a farmer, tending to orchards of apples, cherries, peaches, and apricots. Fun fact, he never owned a phone before going into the mission field.  His truck, which survived almost his entire mission, has now been totaled in the front because of his sister, it only needed to last 7 more months before he could have used it again, oh well.

I keep forgetting that Halloween is right around the corner.  Jamaica doesn't even acknowledge it as far as I can tell.  They don't have a holiday decently close to it either, but lets get into the fun bits.  Yesterday, my companion / Branch President, invited a young individual into his office for a get to know you interview.  He learned that this person was not a member, everyone thought she was.  He asked why she kept coming back, she responded that when she was at church she felt the burdens of her life lift off her shoulders, only to come back on Monday.  She then learned that baptism will allow her to keep the burden lifted.  We will be teaching her for this week.

I need to go, out of time.

--Elder Wood--

This is the Ridlers, they are heading off for the final time after inspecting the Port Antonio house.  They will be heading back to Whales in about 2-3 weeks, I believe.  Here are some goodbye photos.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Week 29

October 18, 2016

Wow, I am not sure what even happened last week ... let me look at my notes ... nope ... still not sure ... well ... I need to write something ... Ah, here we go.  The Lord will place those that are prepared in your way when you build and exercise your faith.  We were able to meet at least three people this past week who were prepared to let the Spirit into their lives and act on the promptings that were given to them.  People will also listen to what the spirit is telling them far more than us just telling them.  We were able to help an investigator understand a commandment better and then challenge him to keep it more faithfully; and I am sure that when he does, his problems will fall to the wayside.

Well, I gotta go.  President Pearson is coming to interview us.  I wish y'all the best.  Ask more questions next time, see y'all.


--Elder Wood--

Good News, I helped another person enter into the waters of baptism.  His name is Jahmarie and it will be a blessing to have him in our Branch.  I love being here in Port Antonio.  My companion has helped me understand that there are people prepared everywhere, just maybe not in the way you are expecting.
Baptism of Jahmarie

Thumbs up!

Week 28

October 10, 2016
The hurricane almost completely missed us.  We only got a bit of rain and hardly any harsh winds, which is an extreme blessing from the Lord.  We have met many people prepared by the Lord this week.  I hope to send you an email next week that we were able to help even more people to enter the waters of baptism.  I know that the Lord will allow us to do what we are willing to do.  I also know that it is only through the Gospel that people will have lasting peace.

--Elder Wood--

We had a baptism on Sunday!!!  I was able to help Tommy enter the waters of Baptism yesterday.  As I performed his ordinance I grew to appreciate the temple more this weekend

My first opportunity to Baptism

Tommy and I

Myself, Tommy, and Elder Rowley

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Week 26.5

September 30, 2016

Hello everyone, I will only be emailing for a short while today in preparation for the incoming storm.  So, if any of you are around, feel free to email me.  Also, don't worry about me, we have an awesome Mission President watching over us.

--Elder Wood--

(Editorial Comment from his father ... the storm he is referring to is Hurricane Matthew ... a category 5 Hurricane with winds over 155 MPH) 
A picture of the storm clouds as they approach
My current companion and a former companion, both going home soon.
A package from home arrived and I made an Idaho shrine with Rasta Potato Man!

Week 26

September 26, 2016

We are a beacon to those that seek the truth.
We had a slow morning during this week.  The people we intended to see fell through.  We then went on to have lunch.  We left our bikes at the church and then walked to the place where we were going to have lunch and do some contacting.  When we got near to the cook shop, we stopped and talked to someone.  It soon grew to a crowd of about 10 people, all talking about different things.  To me, this was a testament that people can recognize something different about us and that we are not just a church, because there are many churches here, but instead, we are proclaiming the fullness of His Gospel.  We are sharing God's plan for all of us with his children.  They will recognize it, even if it doesn't quite make sense to them yet.  I need to finish up for today, wish you all a fine week.

--Elder Wood--

Our apartment where we store our bikes.
Our kitchen
Where we sleep ... and tie our ties :-)

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 25

September 19, 2016

This week was adventurous as always. We were getting ready for district meeting on Wednesday (normally, we skype here in Port Antonio because the other half of our district is like 2-3 hours away) and found out that President Pearson was bringing Sister Pearson and the other half of the district here, and I was in charge of it. Anyways, I enjoyed it and I hope that my district was able to learn from it as well. Right after that we prepared bags for the kids that can't afford school supplies.  Many hands make light work.  We were able to prepare 100 bags in less than 2 hours. We were than able to talk to a lot of youth and a lot of adults as they came for the bags on Saturday. I love kids (even though they can be a bit hyper at times) because they know things so simply. That brings me to my spiritual thought. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is incredibly simple, it's us that make it complicated. If we focus on becoming Christlike and helping others we will be blessed and everything will either fall into place or fall out of our lives. That's not to say that life is easy, i am nowhere near perfect but I have a long while to work on that. I hope that you are all able to have a wonderful week, and I can't wait to see next week's emails.

---Elder Wood---

Here we are helping distribute school supplies to the children.