Saturday, September 25, 2010

Hello! :) (Sept 25 email)

Hello Hello!

I'm writing today (Saturday) because Elder Jackson is having a nose surgery on Monday, so we got permission to email today.

This past week was a great one! I went on a 4 day exchange with Elder Smith as his companion and my companion were in Oklahoma City being trained on the new 8 Simplified MTC lessons. We spent Tuesday/Wednesday in Lawton, Thursday in Blanchard, and Friday in Chickasha. As we drove to/from/around Blanchard, we listened to some old BYU devotional talks. One of them was an answer to my prayers.

The talk was "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" by Gene R. Cook ("Elder" Gene R. Cook? I don't remember). For a while I've wondered about how a person's faith in Christ can be used to accomplish tasks. For example, the scriptures often say something like, "_________ was done according to their faith in Christ." Ether 12:13-16 lays is out for us, "Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after." Moroni caps the message in verse 18, "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God."

As I thought about it, the Spirit started to make things a little clearer in my mind. For instance, faith in Christ can be used to move mountains and someone can do it in the name of Christ (God willing) because Christ was the one who created it in the first place. That makes sense. Christ made the mountain, so a man acting in the name of Christ in accordance with God's will can move the mountain because he believes that it can be done; he has faith in Christ that it can be done. I kept thinking it over and thought to myself, "Alright. That makes sense. I still don't really know what steps to take or what to do in any given circumstance, but it makes sense."

I kept going about my life until I listened to the talk by Elder Cook (I'm just going to assume he was an Apostle/Seventy--I don't remember if he was or not). In it, he gives six steps a man (or woman) can take to accomplish tasks according to their faith in Christ.

The first step is to, "Be believing with an eye single to the glory of God." To me, this means that everything we do we should do with an eye single to the glory of God. For example, one might think, "Do I want to baptize people so I can have good weekly numbers or do I want to bring people closer to Christ and feel the love of God? Will I serve others so my parents/girfriend/boyfriend/leaders will know how righteous I am, or will I serve others and obey God quietly, humbly, and meekly? Will I obey the commandments so I can know how much more or less righteous I am than the next person, or will I obey the commandments of God with a willing heart, knowing that my Heavenly Father will be pleased with me as I do so?" When we believe something can be done and we do it solely for God's glory, we're on the right track.

The second step is to, "Commit and discipline yourself totally in word and deed." If we believe something can be done, we commit ourselves to doing it and make every thought, word, and action be in accordance with our desired course of action.

I don't have time, so here are the six steps:

1. Be believing with an eye single to the glory of God
2. Commit and discipline yourself totally in word and deed
3. Do all in your power to fulfill your part
4. Pray as if all depended on the Lord
5. Prepare for constant and intense trials of your faith
6. Expect the Lord to perform according to His holy will and your faith

I hope all of you have a great week! I love you and thank you for your prayers! I love you! :)

Elder Woolley

Ever had a CT scan of your head? It's AWESOME!
(Bottom right: what I'd look like with no face).

As a representative of Jesus Christ, I teach a message of peace and good will and don't talk about politics. So... I'll let the picture speak for itself.

What can I say?

Weekly Email of Love :) (Sept 20 email)

Dear Family, Friends, and Everyone (and your dogs too!),

Hello from cyberspace! This week was great! After our experiences last week, we just told ourselves, “Let’s just keep working! Whatever happens, happens.” So that’s exactly what we did this week. We just got out and worked a lot. We tracted a lot to find new people and the Lord blessed us with people to talk with! We had a neat experience on Saturday with that.

We were biking from one part of town to another. We had just finished tracting a street and were headed to the apartment for a quick resupply stop. As we biked home, a man on a bike going the other way stopped us and started talking with us. We listened and it didn’t take long to realize that this man was crazy. Literally. (I really think he’s certifiably insane, but that’s not my judgement to make). Anyway, we did the polite thing and talked with him.

As we talked with him, one of our investigators was driving by. He stopped and talked with Elder Jackson for a second (I had the privilege of being the main person the crazy guy talked at since earlier I told him I’m a Marine). Elder Jackson told our investigator, Raymond, about the crazy guy talking to us. Raymond said, “Well, that’s good. It’s common courtesy to listen to someone.” So we scored points in Raymond’s book! Raymond has a sister who’s Mormon, but he’s Catholic. He likes talking with us though, so hopefully his heart is being softened more and more to our message.

So the crazy guy kept talking at us and telling us all sorts of conspiracy theories and then another great thing happened! A truck of young men stopped and the driver leaned out and said, “Hey! My parents just got into town and they’re looking for a church to go to. Can you help us out?” Um… let me think… YES! So he gave us their address,we finished the crazy guy conversation, and went back to the apartment to get some water and stuff.

Later that night, we stopped by the referral the young man had given to us. They’re the Hix family, and they’re from Kansas. They are VERY nice and I love the people from the Midwest a lot. We taught the parents and one of their sons, Van (who is about 14 years old), and they all committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and committed to be baptized on November 9. We went back yesterday to follow-up. They had read, but were confused about it all. The husband is legally blind and the wife is diabetic, so she doesn’t have a good memory. The son, Van, read aloud to them, but they were just all lost in the sauce. We spent time yesterday reading along with them and stopping every two or three verses and explaining what was going on. At the end of the lesson, they said they understood what was happening as we explained it, so we’ll just have to keep doing that a lot. It’ll help me explain scriptures more and expound on them more than I usually do, so it works out great!

So this week, overall, was really good and our area is alive a lot more than before, so we're excited to keep on going! Elder Jackson is going to a Leadership Training Meeting from Tuesday-Friday. All of the leaders in the mission (Assistants to the President, Zone Leaders, and District Leaders) are getting together and are going to be trained on the new core lessons for Preach My Gospel. Then they're going to train all of us. Long story short, I'm going to be on exchanges with an Elder Smith during that time and I hear he's pretty crazy, so it should be a good time :) I'm be going to Chickasha (sp?) on Thursday and Friday (that's his area), so it'll be fun to go someplace new.

Elder Jackson is having nose surgery (so he can breathe better) next Monday, so I'm not sure when the next email will be. I hope all of you are reading your scriptures and praying and going to church! By small and simple things are great things brought to pass! I know this is THE true Church of Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. I know President Thomas S. Monson is a REAL prophet and that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the Restoration. Remember that and everything else will work out :)

I love you! Thanks for all of your prayers, love, and letters! I love hearing from you! Have a great week! I love you! :)

Elder Woolley :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Peace, Love, and Member Involvement

Family, Friends, Romans, Countrymen—Lend me your ears!

How’s it goin’, y’all? Dug-gum darn tootin’ soundin’ like a good time! This good ol’ week was a tipsy turvy one! Lots o’ them crazy happenin’s and all. Ya know what I’m sayin’?
This last week was a grand doozie of a week. It was crazy! Basically, all of our investigators dropped us and Satan was working hardcore, trying to get us frustrated with everything. It also rained all day Wednesday, so that kind of hindered our plans for the day. BUT it’s okay, because we have Jesus! And He makes everything okay (or at least helps us through it all!) :)

This week’s District Meeting was GREAT! We had the Zone Leaders there and they gave us a training on member involvement. They came up with the REAP Method.

R-Real Play
P-Pick a Date

The first step is Real Play with the members. It’s like role playing, but they member pretends to be a friend they know. As we teach them and they act as their friend, the Spirit guides us as we teach and also reveals things to the member who is acting. Basically, everyone receives revelation and then the member knows what’s REALLY going on in the friends mind and how to best approach their friend about the gospel.

After that we Evaluate. We ask the member how they felt as their friend, what thoughts were going through their heads. We basically talk about the experience and figure out what’s going on in their friend’s spiritual life and how we can help them.

Then we Ask, which basically entails, “Will you invite (friend) to your house to hear the lessons?”
Finally, we Pick a Date. We’ll find out the member’s usual schedule and ask the member, “Will you invite them to come over two weeks from today?” Then we follow-up and see how everything’s going. Then we have a member referral being taught in a member’s home!
We just started, but so far the member’s we’ve done it with have become excited about missionary work. And we don’t even really talk about missionary work that much! They’ll say stuff like, “That’s it! THAT is what I need to talk to him about!” Member involvement and member referrals are basically the “make or break” thing for us here, so it’s going to be nice to have things get kickin’ again!

So that’s the big news for this week, I guess! I know the trials we went through have made us stronger through Christ, so it’s onward ever onward! Jesus is the Christ! The Book of Mormon is the most important book on the earth! The Atonement is the most important thing that ever happened for mankind! Study the Atonement through the Book of Mormon and just see how much better you feel! :)

I love all of you and I hope all of your lives are going well. Don’t let the media/world blind you to what life is REALLY all about! Have a great week! Love ya!

Elder Woolley

P.S. I can totally do a lay-up more than once-in-a-blue moon now. The Donakeys would be proud of me ;)

Elder Jackson and I found an old Huffy in a ditch, so I brought it home to fix it up! I spent most of last P-day on it. Chaos insued :)

Me on the Huffy before I repaired it or anything. I'm putting on my best Ron Weasley face I can.

Enter the Woolley Big Wheel! I took parts off of Elder Jackson's old bike and created a monster. It's pretty fun to ride around, even if my knees are up to my chest when I pedal! Aaaaawwwww yyeeeeaaahhh!

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Hello Family, Friends, Loved Ones, Aquaintances, and EVERYONE ELSE!

How's it going? This past week was a fun one!

First off, COOL STORY TIME!!!

Elder Jackson and I were riding around last Monday evening (maybe it was Tuesday?) and the tornado sirens started going off. It was a nice, sunny day, but we could see massive dark clouds from the south headed towards Lawton. We talked to a guy on the street who was saying it'll be 70 MPH winds possibly with hail. We were like, "SWEET!" and started taking pictures of the clouds.
We rode over near the Evans' house (Brandon and Katrina, our recent converts) and took a few more pictures of the clouds (which were full of lightning and were quickly headed our way). As we were taking pictures, the temperature dropped about 15 - 20 degrees in just a few seconds. We looked at each other and said, "It's time to go!" So we went to the Evans' and watched the storm come from their porch.
Well, it came with reckless abandon! There was a ton of lightning! It was AWESOME! I was standing at their front door (behind the storm door, or whatever those are called) and I watched the storm outside. There was so much lightning (more than I've ever seen in my life) and the thunder was LOUD! :) Then, as I was looking out at the road, lightning struck the road right in front of the Evans' house!!! I saw lightning strike! It was incredible!!! The thunder/crack from the strike was immediate! Elder Jackson was sitting on the couch and he said that (since all of the lights inside were out at the time) when it happened, he just saw my sillouette (sp?) at the door. Needless to say, I jumped back and was like, "WOAH!! THAT WAS AWESOME!!"

After hearing the sirens. In reality the clouds were darker.

The temperature dropped 15-20 degrees as I was taking this picture.
Anyway, I'm fine and healthy and all that good stuff, so no need to worry :)

I've come to see how real Satan's influence is on people's minds. Check out 2 Nephi 28. All that stuff is happening all over the place. People's minds have been clouded over and their hearts hardened. I think one of the worst things Satan does is lull people into complacency. He makes them think that he doesn't exist and their is no devil. They just say, "Jesus is my Savior and that's all I need to know." The scriptures talk about always being watchful. It's true! We have to keep our spiritual guard up to make sure Satan doesn't slip in somehow!

So everything's still going good. We're just going forward and doing our thing and letting the Lord do His thing. The field is white! We know it. God knows it. That's all that really matters :)

Anyway, I hope you feel spiritually enlightened/edified/good/happy/etc! I'll try to remember specific spiritual experiences to share with all of you next time.

I love you! Thanks for all of your prayers, supports, and letters (those of you who have written!) :)

Elder Woolley