Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year's Eve!

Hello everyone!

Taylor I finally got your email! haha. Such a funny story. I'm glad people you know are asking about my mission. Hopefully that’s a good missionary opportunity for you! 

So this week was pretty sweet. We had Christmas Eve and Christmas which were really fun days. Christmas with the XXXXXs was really fun and so nice to be around families. It made me feel right at home. I'm so grateful for the XXXXXs, this would be a lot harder if it weren't for them. They really make the missionaries feel like family. I love them. They're so great. 

We got another baptismal date this week! From XXXXX! He is getting baptized on January 5th! So this weekend! He told us that date and inside we both kinda freaked out because we still have a lot to teach him and there is a lot that needs to get done before the baptism. He had his interview from our district leader on Saturday which went very well. I'm so excited for him and this new step he's taking. I'm speaking about baptism at his baptismal service so I will send you that talk next week hopefully. 

XXXXX had to change the date of her baptism because her dad isn't always in town. He works in XXXXX. So her new date could possibly be sometime in February, which means I could possibly be transferred to a new area before her baptism! That would be such a bummer. 

On Friday we had a Christmas Conference with a few Zones in this area of the mission. It went all day and for the first part we played some games and watched a "talent" show. Then in the afternoon we heard talks from our President and his wife as well as from other missionaries from the area. It was an awesome conference. 

I wanted to share these scriptures with you because they are so powerful. It's 2 Nephi 4:33-35. This chapter is sometimes called the Psalms of Nephi because he is basically pouring his heart out to the Lord. It's such a beautiful chapter and these verses are really awesome. 

So I keep meeting Sherwoods out here! Everyone I meet asks me if I'm related to the Sherwoods from Arizona. And I want to know once and for all if we are related! I doubt it because they came from Salt Lake and they have a background in the church but ya never know. So if you could maybe see if we have some very distant relatives from Arizona, that would be much appreciated!

We are going to Springfield today with the XXXXXs because it's our Preparation day and we never do anything on preparation day. You can do fun stuff like go to museums, malls, that kinda stuff. So we wanted to do something fun because usually we are just stuck here.

I can’t wait to see the pictures you sent.

Ok I gotta go! Can't wait for your letters! Love you all so much! Have a good day! Miss you! Keep praying for missionary experiences! 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Hello Everyone! How are you all!!

So the library is closed today so I'm using the XXXXX's computer. Feels so weird using a laptop! So I want to save a lot of the stuff that I want to talk about for tomorrow. But I will tell you this! On Wednesday we invited XXXXX to be baptized on January 19th! She accepted! All we have to do is continue teaching her and making sure she's keeping her commitments and she will make her date! I'm super confident that she will make it because she is super solid. She goes to church, reads her scriptures, prays and loves learning about all the stuff that we teach her. 

This week was EPIC. Such an amazing week. And it is mostly due to tracting! I can't wait to tell you about our tracting experience this week. It is awesome. I will tell you tomorrow when we Skype!

So I know you are making a list of stuff to talk to me about, you should also make a list of questions you want to ask me! I've been doing ALOT of stuff. And there’s just too much for me to remember!

Today and tomorrow we are allowed to watch G rated Disney movies!! I'm watching Aladdin right now at the XXXXX's! Today is a great day, Christmas Eve and Preparation Day. 

Well, I'll be here on the computer for a while so you can email me back!

We are having Christmas dinner with this family from the ward, the XXXXXs.  They are a really nice couple.

Today is pretty cold, about 24 degrees. We had a pretty bad storm earlier this week but other than that it's just been pretty cold. 

Ok gotta go. Can't wait to talk to you all tomorrow! Love you! Have a good Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bonjour ma famille!

How are you all?! I'm doing fantastic. It's the first day of the new transfer. Can you believe that I've already been here for a whole transfer! And on a mission for almost 2 and a half months! I can't believe it. I'm grateful every day for every second I spend out here serving the Lord. 

We have spent a lot of time tracting recently and I came across this scripture that seemed fairly relevant to the activity.

Hebrews 13:2 - "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: thereby some may have entertained angels unawares."

Please don't assume that I am calling myself an angel, because I'm not. I think that it's just a good reminder for us all to realize the impact we have on the lives of everyone we come in contact with. Everyday we interact with people. As members of the church we have a very important responsibility. Our lives may be the only scripture some people will every read. It's crucial that we show forth a righteous example in all we do and to every person we come in contact with. Because you never know who could be watching. 

With this new transfer, I finally feel like I kinda know what’s going on. I'm getting better at teaching, studying, planning, etc. I'm getting more and more confident with everything we do as missionaries. We have been working hard. But I want to work harder! That's all I want to do. To serve the Lord with all my "heart, might, mind and strength". I love being a missionary and I love having such a defined purpose in my life. 

This week we taught XXXXX, a girl who is changing her life, on her own accord. It’s amazing. It's amazing that she found the strength the do the things she is doing. She began coming to church with her cousins who are members. She began reading the Book of Mormon on her own. She prays every day. All without us!! Now we are here to teach her the doctrine and to help her on her way to gaining her own conversion. It’s such a strong testimony to the power of the Holy Ghost and it's influence of the lives of "honest seekers of truth". 

I'm so grateful for these "honest seekers of truth".  I love to see the change that happens in their lives. Always for the better. It’s amazing what the Spirit can do. Like Ammon says: "I do not boast in my own strength... I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in His strength I can do all things." I know this is true. I know that I am weak. But I know when we are obedient and faithful and willing to do all that we can, we can do all things.

Well I gotta go! I love you all so much!  I look forward to your letters!!!! 
I hope you all have a great week full of missionary experiences!! Keep looking for them! They happen all the time!! 

Elder Sherwood

Monday, December 10, 2012

Bonjour! (says he can never think what to put in the subject line of his e-mails :)

Alright, how is everyone doing!!? This week was interesting. There is this flu that has been going around for a while and somehow I caught it. On Wednesday I was sick all day, throwing up, fever, aches, all that good stuff. So I was bed ridden all day. I felt so bad because Elder XXXXX had to find stuff to do around the trailer all day. But it's ok because it only lasted one day and I'm good to go now. I can't believe my companion never got sick. He grew up with all those homeopathic remedies though. Figures. 

Yesterday (Sunday) I gave another talk! I got a call on Friday from the Second Counselor asking if I would be willing to give a talk on missionary work. It was a sweet talk. I used a lot of my farewell talk and adapted those three points to missionary work. I'm so glad that I wrote that talk and that I have it here to use. It's golden.

Oh speaking of golden. On Sunday this 14 year old girl named XXXXX who has been attending church for a while told us that she wants to be baptized. That’s what you call a golden Investigator. We will be teaching her on Wednesday. I'm so grateful for all the people we are teaching and their willingness to seek answers. 

On Saturday we had transfer calls. That's where your Zone leaders call and tell you if and where you are being transferred. Elder XXXXX and I are both staying here! 

On Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting. It's a meeting where our whole Zone (about 16 missionaries) meet and our Zone Leaders teach some stuff along with other companionships teaching something. Elder XXXXX and I taught about the importance of inviting our investigators to be baptized by the second lesson. We used this analogy about a man in a boat in the middle of the ocean. He has no where to row to. Until this person appears and asks him if he wants food, water, and life. He says yes of course, and the man gives him two oars. Faith and Works. He has to use BOTH oars to row to an island that the man points out. This is our job as missionaries and as members of the church. Our investigators and friends are out in the middle of the ocean! Whether they know it or not! Issuing the invitation to be baptized on the first or second lesson, gives the investigator a goal to strive for. It helps them realize there is an answer to their desires (forgiveness, happiness etc.) and that answer is baptism. When we as members share the gospel with friends we try to help them realize how the gospel can help them fulfill their righteous desires. 

I actually didn't get any package or mail this past week so no I haven't gotten my boots or shirt yet but if you sent them I'm sure they'll be here soon. Maybe today or tomorrow or something. 

Oh! I can't wait to hear about my challenge to you to invite some friends over for Family Home Evening! 

Here is a good thought that I came across while studying the Book of Mormon this morning. 1 Nephi 16: 23-31
What did the Lord require of Lehi and his family in order for the Liahona to work? What does the Lord ask of us? And what "small means" do we see in our lives that bring about "great things"? 

Well I look forward to your letter!! Gotta go! Love you!! Miss you! Have a good week and make sure Alex doesn't crash my car!!!! haha so exciting!!!! :) 
Bye!! Love you so much!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Pictures from the MTC and in the mission field

Missionaries in Elder Sherwood's District at the MTC

Class at the MTC

Your guess is as good as mine.  The MTC is a fun place!

Halloween treats we sent to the MTC


In Class at the MTC

This must be what he carries in his pocket.


In the van on the way to the airport, 3:00am!

On his way to Oklahoma!

This must be Oklahoma.

Dirt road on the way to his house.

This is where he is living.  The trailer home is on the property
 of  some members in his ward.  The live on the property too,
different house.

Showing us he is eating healthy :)  Love the fruit & vegetables!

Says he sees horse and buggys and signs along the road
saying to watch out for them.

Elder Sherwoods companion, a great missionary and trainer!


Alright so this week was a pretty good week. It started out on Tuesday with Zone Conference. It was a really good conference. We heard from President Shumway and Sister Shumway a few times (The conference was all day long pretty much). We also heard from the Assistants. It was also REALLY sweet because I got to see Elder XXXXX, Elder XXXXX, and Sister XXXXX! Three missionaries from my MTC district! It was so fun to see them and talk to them about their experiences so far.

Here's a couple scriptures I wanted to share:
Matthew 10: 39 - Get lost in the work. 
Matthew 13:1 - I just loved this image. I also love everything that comes after it.

Recently, Elder XXXXX and I have been stressing out about getting the ward involved and excited about missionary work. So I have been thinking a lot about ways we can do this. So I would like to invite YOU to do something. I know the Lafayette ward is amazing when it comes to missionary work, but I'm sure the missionaries can always use more help. I would like to invite you, to invite someone over for a family home evening, where the missionaries can teach a short lesson or thought. Anyone who has expressed some sort of interest in learning about our religion. Which is almost everybody. I know you all have friends that want to know more, but might not know how to ask or what to ask. Just find a way to get them in to our home and have them feel the Spirit. I promise if you do this the Lord will bless you and those you share the Gospel with. 

This is my goal for my mission - When people look at missionaries, they see two Elders or Two sisters that can do anything. They see two Elders or two sisters that know everything. 5 minutes before sacrament meeting and a speaker didn't show up. Who can fill in? The missionaries. We need a musical number right now. Missionaries. We need someone to clean and fill up the font. Missionaries. Let me tell you something, missionaries are human too. We can't do everything, we get stressed, we don't know everything. But I am going to be that missionary. I will be the missionary that can do everything, that knows everything, even when I can't or when I don't. Because that's what it takes to be an exceptional missionary. I remember when I was a little kid, the missionaries were super heroes to me. And that's what I want to be. 

And about my AWE boots, I need some good work boots for the service we do out here. It's like I'm a general contractor. I've done framing, sanding walls, painting, mudding and texture. Then we've also made feed for cows, split tree trunks with a hydraulic wood splitter, put in barb wire fencing. This is the real deal out here. We aren't raking leaves and pulling weeds that’s for sure. It's awesome.

I would also like to share this poem with you. I really liked it so I memorized it. :)

Stick to a task till it sticks to you
Beginners are many but enders are few
Honor, Power, Place and Praise
will come in time to the one who stays

Stick to a task till it sticks to you
bend at it sweat at it smile at it too
for out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
will come life’s victories after a while

Have you checked out! Share it with your friends! It’s awesome!

I love you all so much!! :) thanks for all you do! :)