Sunday, June 30, 2013

Letter we received from Elder Sherwood...

First...the outside of the envelope says, "P.S. We hit 39.74 MPH on our bikes"

Then the letter...

Hey Family!  I forgot to tell you a couple things that happened this week.  First, I'm trying to write in all caps now cause it's neater, I think.

Second, on my way home from e-mailing you today I was riding next to a row of cars parked on the side of the road, and you know me, I wasn't going slow.  And all of the sudden a car door opens in front of me.  I clipped the door just as it had opened about a foot and it sent me flying, haha!  I James Bond barrel rolled and luckily my companion stopped the other cars coming from behind us.  I stood up, walked it off, (didn't rub it), and assured everyone I was ok.  The lady who was in the car felt so bad.  She walked with us to the bike shop to check my bike out, but luckily nothing was wrong.  I got a nice knot on my arm and a little tiny bit of road rash but other than that, all is well haha!

Third, I ran over an armadillo last week, I think it survived haha!

Always! Look forward to letters!
Love you all!
Elder Sherwood

Monday, June 24, 2013

1 Thessalonians 5:16

1 Thessalonians 5:16
 aRejoice evermore.

Morning! How are y'all doing?! This week was awesome. We taught 18 lessons and taught 61% of them with a member present. The Standard of Excellence for our Mission is 20 lessons and 60% member present. We had 7 exchanges with members this week. We worked hard and smart. It was awesome.

The meeting last night was so awesome wasn't it!!! We were all super excited to hear about how we will be able to use EVERY tool available now. Missionaries have talked about how the use of social networking could benefit missionary work and now it's finally happening! Also, the guided tours of our chapels was pretty sweet!! I'm excited for that haha. I was also so happy to hear the Bretheren's counsel on full time missionaries and members working in harmony together. I'm so excited to see how this all plays out. I know the ward here in Bentonville is very proactive and will implement any new counsel or policy very effectively. I really hope I don't get transferred.

We have transfer calls this Saturday. Another transfer gone. Time is going way to fast. And with all the new missionaries and new areas it's very unlikely that Elder XXXX and I will stay together in Bentonville. But who knows! Pray that the Lord will put me (or keep me) where I'm needed :).

XXXX is really having a hard time with moving. She's super stressed about it and she won't let us help her! We pretty much beg her to let us help but she won't let us! She's so funny. Another one of our investigators, XXXXX, is a 7th day Adventist. Pretty sure I've told y’all about her. This week we had a great lesson with her. We brought our ward mission leader, Brother XXXX. It was a very spiritually powerful lesson. She committed to read a chapter of the Book of Mormon, we hope she has a change of heart. Keep her in your prayers as well :) I know they've helped XXXX.

Serving in the Bible belt is not easy. We get so much opposition every day. Seeing the confusion and contention that has arisen from thousands of years of apostasy is strengthening my testimony of the restored gospel. I know the Book of Mormon is exactly what it claims to be. And I am so grateful for it. There is no greater work in the world. Share it with everyone!!

Love, Elder Sherwood

Alma 56: 47 - 48

(e-mail & pictures from June 17th)

Alma 56: 47-48

 47 Now they never had fought, yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the aliberty of their bfathers than they did upon their lives; yea, they had been taught by their cmothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them.
 48 And they rehearsed unto me the words of their amothers, saying: We bdo not doubt our mothers knew it.

Good Morning!

This week was pretty sweet. We struggled with out key indicators (number totals) this week but that’s ok. We are working so hard. And we are super pumped for this next week. Elder XXXX and I have decided to make it our best week thus far. We'll see how it goes.

This week it was HOT! so hot. I'm not even sure what the temperature was but the humidity kills. The air is just wet, like a bathroom after a hot shower. And we bike around all day in that hot, damp, muggy air. It’s awesome. We have ridden over 800 miles in the past 9 weeks. Elder XXXX is such a champ, I love working with him. I'm scared for this upcoming transfer call because chances are that we will be split up. I don't want to leave Bentonville but we train our replacements. I'll go wherever the Lord calls me.

XXXX is doing awesome, she's still stressed over moving and family struggles but she is really progressing. She loves everything that we teach her. She has even told us that she feels a difference in her life. She's happier. It really is that simple. The gospel makes people happier. We are teaching another lady named XXXX, she is a super nice older lady from the Philippines. She's also a 7th day Adventist. She's very set in her ways and somewhat knowledgeable about the bible. It's fun teaching her. We are teaching another family, the XXXXs. They are a family who has been investigating the church for several years now. They are so awesome and they love missionaries. They know the church is true. They just won't admit it. I just thought I would tell you a little bit about just a few of the people we are teaching. Keep them in your prayers :)

I'm so grateful to be serving a mission. It amazes me that 8 months have already gone by. 1/3 of my mission is over. I really feel a sense of urgency now. It makes me want to work harder all the time. I can barely put in to words how much I'm grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in my life. To quote Dieter F. Uchtdorf quoting St. Francis Assisi: "Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words." The gospel is something we live, something we exemplify. I know that Jesus Christ lives, and that he loves us. And if we do our best to follow him, we will be happy. Love you all so much.

Elder Sherwood

Elder Sherwood's District in Bentonville

 "A crawfish boil that we went to. All that stuff on the table is like these little miniature lobsters basically. They are called crawfish. Super wierd. Super delicious."

A little basketball in the apartment

"Is this how you eat a mango correctly? We can't figure it out."

"We took that picture on a day where we biked all the way across our area to this little neighborhood on top of a mountain to tract it."

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

2 Corinthians 12:9

Good Morning!

This was a great week! Sorry I didn't get to email yesterday! We had a Zone Training meeting and interviews with the President! We were among the last missionaries to get interviewed out of 34 missionaries in our whole zone. I think we are the biggest in the mission. So with the meeting starting at 9 am and with 34 missionaries all getting 10 minute interviews, we would be interviewed by about 3 pm. However, how realistic is a ten minute interview with president? I'll tell you, very unlikely. So we ended up not getting out of there until around 5pm. So we were at the church literally all day. It was really fun though because we got to hang out with our Zone Leaders and the missionaries in our district for a long time. My interview with president went great. He's so inspiring and motivating. I wish ya’ll could meet him!

Today for preparation day we are going to the Walmart Fitness Center. It's this associates only fitness center but they are allowed to bring guests so we get to go today! I'll let ya’ll know how it is.

This week Elder XXXX and I did so awesome. I've told ya’ll how we tract all the time right? We are trying to work smarter. We have no problems working hard, that’s for sure. We decided to stop keeping track of the lessons we teach while tracting, in order to boost our motivation to get more member present lessons and actual scheduled appointments. We got 13 lessons this week without counting our lessons from tracting (which I estimate is somewhere around 10). It was such a fun week.

XXXX is progressing well :) keep her in your prayers!

Thank you so much for all your support :) I love you all so much!

We also received this e-mail & photos yesterday :)  ...

Hi Moms of Elders Sherwood and XXXXX,
My name is XXXXX and we had the pleasure of having your missionaries join us for dinner tonight. I have 5 children ages 8 and under and they gave your boys a run for their money tonight. My daughters are 8 and 5 and the 8 year old acted goofy around them and my 5 year old made eyes and flirted with them while sitting quietly next to them all night. My older boys who are 6 and almost 3 got in a fight over their chair which came to blows and then my 6 year old had to have the usual fight over food and how much he was going to eat. After my almost 3 year old settled down and ate nothing he found the camera and took some pictures of your sons. I am just glad that my little 7 month old can be confined to the high chair.
Thanks for helping to send your sons on missions. They are a great example to my children and after tonight I think they could use all the good examples they can get. They gave us a great little lesson to end the night and helped us get things calmed down.

Photos by 3 year old :)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Ether 12:6

Good Morning Family!

This was a good week. XXXX is doing good. She was anticipating a really tough challenge for a few days last week but it turned out to not be as bad as she had hoped. I know that is a result of your prayers :). We are continuing to work so hard every day all day. This week was awesome we found a couple more potential investigators while tracting. We've actually been having a lot of success with tracting recently which is pretty amazing. It's so fun, I love tracting so much. I'll definitely be looking into some summer sales jobs at some point in my life haha.

We ran into that jogger again the other day. No comment.

Bentonville is still such and awesome area. I love being on a bike. We have biked over 600 miles since we've been here. We are always out doing something. Always out working. I love it. Being a servant of the Lord is the most fulfilling thing I've ever done in my life. And I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to train Elder XXXXX. I am just trying so hard to be a good example for him in setting the tone for the rest of his mission. I am confident that he will never be lazy. That's for sure.

I'm so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I love having the knowledge that because of His sacrifice, we can have peace. I know that true peace and happiness only comes through the Gospel. We can be happy without it, but the fullness of joy only comes with the fullness of the gospel. I know that families are the center of the gospel. Everything Christ taught us and everything He now teaches us, is for our families. And I am so grateful for it. I know this is true. And it's the most important thing in the world to me. I love you all :)

Elder Sherwood

Ether 12:6
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that afaith is things which arebhoped for and cnot seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no dwitness until after the etrial of your faith.