Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Christmas week!!!

 (Sent 12-26-16)

Hey everybody!
I just finished talking to my family on Skype. They are doing well if you were wondering. hahaha!

This week was a crazy week! We, as the office team, had to go to all the Christmas parties to help out and make sure that everything ran smoothly. We had lots of fun and did a lot of work. It was cool to be on the other side of the Christmas parties-- helping and serving all the missionaries and making sure that they were all having a good time.

This week was one of the long awaited weeks of my time here in the offices. After countless miracles, countless disappearances, and countless testimonies given, this person was ready to hear the Gospel. My good friend, Mauricio, got baptized! I ended up missing out on seeing the actual baptism, but I made it just in time to hear him bear his testimony. After seeing him from the very beginning of his journey on the path of righteousness, and then seeing him bear his testimony there, it strengthened my testimony of the power that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to change lives.

Mauricio is a changed man. It was incredible to see the light that was shining in his eyes. Through the gospel of Jesus Christ, it doesn't matter what person you were before or are now, you can change. I've seen it many times here. It was even more powerful this time to see a young man around my age completely change his life around. It was one of the greatest Christmas gifts that I have ever been able to receive to just hear the testimony of a changed man.

Speaking of Christmas, I hope that you all had a great one. Now is the perfect time to change. We celebrate Christmas as a time of renewal, a time to reflect alone and as a family of how we can do better or how we can come closer to Christ. It's a time to celebrate the fact that a baby was born into the world with the purpose of sacrificing himself to save us all -- to give us the chance to overcome our weaknesses and become stronger.

I love you all! Have a happy new year!


Love, Elder Greenwood

Monday, December 19, 2016

Lighting the World

One of the highlights of this week was an activity that we did in a hospital with the Americas Ward. Elders Bustos, Sanchez (The Future new Financial Secretary), Navarrete, Gardner, and I had a bunch of #LIGHTtheWORLD cards, and the members brought Burritos and a drink for the poor people there. And we gave everything out. It was a good time -- lighting the world a little bit more.

AND, you all remember Mauricio right? The miracle, the chosen child of God who has a habit of disappearing? If you don't, the story is in the post from October 18th (Surprise!) of my blog. Guess what? HIS BAPTISM IS THIS WEEK!!! So happy! God will not leave his sheep in the dark if they want to find Him. And Mauricio has wanted to find Him for a good little while now. But, he's going to take a big step forward this Thursday. Miracles do happen. They are in front of us every day. And God is in heaven, waiting with a bucket full of them to dump on those who are obedient to his commandments.

Love you all! Have an INcredible week!


Elder Greenwood :)

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Devotional

(Sent 12-10-16)

Zone Leader Mtg in Offices

I had a good week this week. I learned a lot of stuff. The Christmas Devotional was definitely a highlight as well. I loved all of the talks. I had actually been thinking about the topic of Christ's birth and its significance while preparing for the activity that we had in my ward.

 I was thinking about how the most important thing that Christ did for us was pay for our sins and give us a way to repent and return to Heavenly Father. I was curious, then, as to why we celebrated his birth. But, one of the speakers explained it perfectly when he said that, "...We would not have Christmas if we did not have Easter." At this time of Christmas, we celebrate not just a baby who was born in an old stable with a bunch of animals. We celebrate that BECAUSE that baby was born, and because he lived the life that he lived, we can be forgiven of our sins. We can start anew and work towards Eternal Families. It was a great devotional.

Elder and Sister Mission Leaders Conference

We also got to receive a new Elder from the airport. He's a true stud and looking like he's ready to get to work! We just sent him off with his new comp. He was in this mission for about 6 months and then had to go home for who knows what. But now he's BACK! He is a true example of what the Atonement can do for us. He has come back as a stronger and more faithful person. Now, because of the work that he put in to Becoming a better person, he will see more miracles than he can possibly imagine. It's going to be good. All of us can do the same every single day -- repent of our wrong-doings and feel the joy of a clean and faithful life.

Elders Greenwood, Gardner, Harrison, and Sister Montoya

Have a great week, Everybody!

Elder Greenwood :)

Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas has BEGUN!

(Sent 12-4-16)

Hola Everybody!

Elders Greenwood, Gardner, Bustos, and Navarette celebrating Landon's birthday
This week was pretty fantastic. We are getting lot's a stuff ready to go for the new Christmas Initiative that came out. If you all don't know yet what the Christmas Initiative is,it's called #LIGHTtheWORLD in 25 ways for 25 days. Go and watch the video. It's incredible. There is also a calendar that explains a bit more of what the church wants all of us to do during this time of the year, and always.

The calendar has the 25 days of December and little acts of service that you can do each and every day. For example, yesterday's theme was, "Jesus Honored his father and his mother, and you can too." And it had ideas like write your parents a little note or call your parents and tell them that you love them -- little things that can make a big difference. I couldn't call my parents yesterday, but you all can! Hahaha!

So, to start off everything, the zones of Chihuahua are each doing their own service activity that they will be reporting on at our big missionary Christmas dinner. This week, the office team went and met up with the Zone Chuviscar and we went and visited an old folks home and spent some time with them and helped them eat food and sang to them and stuff. It was really a wonderful experience. I loved it a lot. The faces of the old folks just lit up as we talked to them and as they had the chance to tell their old folks stories.

Then! On December 1st. My comp, our sister missionaries, our Sister ward missionaries, and I all threw together a #LIGHTtheWORLD activity! We put up a bunch of lights outside on the fence of the church, had a big sign, and a couple of rooms decorated to show the meaning of Christmas for all of us.

We talked about the Birth of Christ, how through that and His life that we have the chance to have Forever Families, and we talked about how we can achieve eternal families and true happiness through this year's initiative. It was a lot of fun and, I think that it was a hit. Everyone was happy. :)

This time of year is the perfect moment to start again, or continue to, on a higher level, come unto Christ and be more like Him. Take a look at the calendar and the video and follow the guidance that our church leaders have given us through Revelation from God to help us become more happy while helping others be happier at the same time.

I love you all! Have a great Week!

Elder Greenwood :)


(Sent 12 -1-16)

This week has been NUTS!!!!! NUTS!!!!!!
"Before" photo - Heading out on a wild adventure

This last Saturday, for p-day, the office team went out on a road trip in a little truck thing with a giant back compartment to store stuff. We were ready to go at 5 AM (with plans to make it back to Chihuahua around 3-4 PM). We were going through the whole trip we had planned -  to pick up stuff and take it to houses that need it. We headed out, bought brake fluid, and got the truck with a member who we paid to help us.

At around 6AM, we drove 40 minutes outside of Chihuahua to Meoqui and loaded up a bunch of mattresses, parts for beds, heaters, and other things that missionaries have extra in their houses. From there, we went to missionary houses in Delicias (A good 20 minutes further out of Chihuahua). Including, we went to my old house in Delicias (tears of joy). From there, we drove to Saucillo (about another 30 minutes out of Chihuahua). There, we had an entire house to load up, we ran out of space and plan to go back one day. But, we wanted to load up one last thing from Jimenez, a city about another 1 hour and 30 minutes from where we were. (There was an extra washing machine there that some missionary in Chihuahua needed). 

First breakdown
BUT, just before getting to the toll booth entering Jimenez, our trusty truck ran out of Gas. (Not gasoline, Natural Gas, that's what it runs on). So, we were stranded, not knowing what to do. We talked to the police and asked for help. We were thinking, and we remembered that we had a gas propane tank from one of the houses, we pulled it out, but didn't have the pieces to connect it up. The police officer told us that every once in a while a truck that does free service that the government sends out, passes around from time to time. AND RIGHT WHEN HE SAID THAT, that very truck passed by and gave us the needed piece.

We headed on our way with our little gas tank, that lasted us until the next gas station. We filled up.
And the battery wouldn't start. We all got out, and gave the baby a nice little push and got the energy going and she started right back up. THEN! We went to Jimenez and got our washing machine. Then, we got some food, pushed the truck to start 'er up, and started off on our 3 hour trip back.

Infamous Toll Booth

BUT.... Passing by the SAME toll booth, but on the other side, the car stopped. We pushed it to the side of the road, and started doing our classic push techniques to get it started. But nothing worked.
We tried and tried and tried. But nothing. A police officer came over with his truck and gave us a nice jump. But it just wouldn't start. We took a look at the engine, and found that a certain band that connected the engine with a rotating thing, had broken off and now wasn't there.

Elder Gardner, who worked in Jimenez before, called up a member and asked for help in buying a new band, we had to wait 15 minutes for him to come. He came, and the band that he bought was too big. He left, 15 minutes, and came back, The next band was smaller, but still too big. (We even got the type that it should have been, but, nothing.) 30 minutes, he came back with 2 bands. A small one and a medium one. Measured out and everything, it should have been the one. But, it just wouldn't fit. It had to fit over a little ring to go onto the piece where it needed to be. And it wouldn't flex over the ring. (at this point, it was about 9:30pm, and the shop had closed.)

SO! Our handy-dandy member friends and we started to take off a certain piece of the truck to get the band on and put it back. We finally got it off, put the band on, and the piece wouldn't go back into place. We ran out of options (I must say that we had been praying this whole time.) We called up President and told him our situation. (He had given us permission to head out on our adventure, and to do it in street clothes, so no one had church clothes on.)

Our plan then became that we would call up a tow truck, put our truck in front of the church house in Jimenez, and take an Omnibus (like a fancy bus that travels to far places like Chihuahua) at 12:30 to our house, so that we could put on church clothes and go to church the next day. And then, the member from Jimenez would call a mechanic for Monday, and we could go get it on Tuesday.

But, one of the policemen came over and said that he has a brother, or a cousin, I don't remember, who was a mechanic. So, the cop called him up and convinced him to drive from the other side of the city of Jimenez to help us out. The tow truck was going to be really expensive, and the mechanic said that if he couldn't get it fixed up, that he would drag the truck behind his car for 600 pesos, (instead of 1300 for the tow truck) (On this trip, we all basically ran out of the cash that we had. Like literally, we ran out of cash with no way of taking out money or using cards). We were like, "ok, if it works then, boom, we are on our way. If not, it comes out cheaper anyways. So, we waited, the mechanic came, fixed up the truck PERFECTLY like a master. And we headed out at around 12AM towards Chihuahua.

Sleeping spot for the night
I went in the back with Elder Navarrete and all the stuff that we had, I made myself a bed with the blankets that we took on top of the 2 washing machines that we had. And Elder Navarrete laid down on the only open space left on the floor (which was a little L shape square). And we headed out. We stopped in Camargo (about 2 hours aways from Chihuahua) because we were worried about how much gas we had, and we didn't want to run out in the middle of nowhere. (You can't see how much gas is left on the meter in that truck.) All the gas stations were closed at 1:30 am, who knows why. So we slept it out in a truck in Camargo, Elder Navarrete and me in the back, Brother Rodriguez and Elder Bustos in the front part of the truck, and Elder Gardner wanted to sleep outside in the grass that was there.

And yeah, at around 6:20, the gas place opened up, we filled up. and headed out. We actually went a bit slower on the way back due to the weight and the fact that we were worried, and it was early. We made it to the zone leader's house at around 9:30 am. (the night before, we had asked them to buy us food to eat for when we had planned to get back at 3AM in Omnibus). But that plan didn't work out, so we went to their house and ate old rice balls at 9:30AM. From there, we made plans to go to another church to take the sacrament, because our services had started at 9. Then we made it to the house and changed. WHAT A STORY TO BE TOLD!!!

That is why I was really unable to write Saturday, and then, because of that day, and the fact that we never took all the stuff that we had to the houses that needed them. The work load has been incredible. SO much stuff to do all day every day. I'm sorry I didn't write. And I will write again on Sunday! (Most likely)
Elder Greenwood :)

P.S. The office crew had Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday. We prepared it for the missionaries who were leaving for home the next day.