Mission Home Address:

Elder Ammon Woolbert
Alaska Anchorage Mission
3250 Strawberry Rd.
Anchorage, AK 99502





Monday, April 15, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,

 

We had a great trip up to Glennalen. It's a weird little town and there is not much to do there and not much work. The mountains all around it are beautiful but the town is lame. We stayed in the little church building they had. That was fun but interesting. I don't like living in the church, but we were able to make some really good visits with members there who need the help. One of the families we met and had dinner with the wife is active and the husband has been less active for years and they have three sons. The oldest son is less active and the middle one is on a mission and the other one is only sixteen. So the sixteen year old boy and his mom and one other lady are the only ones that meet and go to church on Sunday. I feel so sorry for them. They call in to Valdez and listen to church and then have their own Sunday school and go home. That poor boy has to be so much more grown up for his age. He is a stud; he really is and will be one of the best missionaries. He is the only youth that's a member in the whole town and the only active priesthood holder. There is a lot on that young man’s shoulders. We also visited with the other lady that comes to church. Her husband is a nonmember. We had a good time over there. We have plans to come back and see them next month. We also met some crazy weird people too. Wow, what an interesting place. People that normally live out in the middle of nowhere in Alaska are weird and have problems. Me and Elder Parkin were a little afraid for our butts. Like you know in the Deep South when you see that crazy creepy person playing the banjo on the front porch. It kind of makes your butt pucker. Ha-ha. Well that's what this house was screaming and the two weirdo men inside screamed the same thing. I don't plan on going back there anytime soon. Sorry for the blunt talking but it's the only way I can get my point across.

            Ann is the lady on date to be baptized and her date is the 4th of May. We hope is all works out. We did not see her last week because the guy that comes with us got sick so we are seeing her on Thursday. She is doing good though. The witch lady we have not talked to since. We don't plan on teaching her. We have not met her kids either. We need the members to invite them to church. So we will wait and see what happens.

Well this was a really hard email to read. I was just thinking about Grandpa Simkins this morning before I came to do my email and I was thinking how cool it would be to have him hold my first kid when I have him in two years or so. I miss them so much and I never thought I would lose them on my mission. They are supposed to live forever. Grandpa was a stubborn man that would never give up the fight. I do not know this is just freaking hard to talk about. Thanks for keeping me in the loop about all this. I will pray for him and grandma. But your right mom it’s not the end. Not by any means is it the end but it’s still hard to deal with the loss of a loved one. I am forever grateful for you and dad taking us kids to Utah every year to visit them and spend time with them. Thank you.

            I am sorry I don't have much else to say right now. My eyes are to watery and I can't think very clear right now. I love you all and thank you for keeping me in he loop. You all have a great week and keep safe. And by the way I got your letter, thanks. Could you look up what is takes to be an instrument tech? They use them a lot in the oil refineries and can you look up and see what it takes to be an operator at the oil refineries as well? The oil field is good work and pays very well and I could get a job in a lot of different places. Thanks.

 

Love,

Elder Woolbert

Dear Family,

 

We had a great week. We taught more lessons this week than missionaries have in the last six months. We also put a lady on date to be baptized last night. That's pretty cool. And what I mean about the number is we total all the numbers of lesson up at the end of each week and we taught more than the other elders did in a week. The lady we put on date is a Vietnamese lady and does not speak much English but there is a guy in the branch who speaks Vietnamese so we are lucky. She is a nice lady and wants to do what’s right but she has some really bad health problems and is sick a lot. I know she will be blessed for doing as the Lord asks. All the other people we are teaching are kind of different. They are not all that solid but still good. The weather was so nice from Monday to Thursday. Then winter came back for another round. It has been snowing the last two days now and we have about 18 more inches of snow. Ha-ha. I love it but I was also excited for spring. The winter is really long up here in good old Alaska. 

Well conference was good. We watched it at the church and we were the only ones there. Kind of sad that none of the ward showed up but I don't blame them for watching it at home. So we got really comfy and watched and sometimes passed out but hey that happens. I really like Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk Sunday afternoon. That one just stood out the most to me. I liked it because it is so good for the people we are teaching. I am getting copies made of all of Conference on DVDs to give to Ann the Vietnamese lady in her own language.

Thanks for looking up the stuff I asked you. Can you look up another one for me as well? Vet school and electrician? If dad says to look into it I will. I could always try getting a job at an oil refinery as well. It pays good and is a constant job and it’s got benefits. I guess I just have a lot to consider. I just want to make a good living for my family and not hate my job. So send me whatever you think might be good for me.

So last Monday snow shoeing was freaking awesome. I had a lot of fun and it was a good work out. I thought it would be way harder than what it was but it was easy for me at least. I want to get a pair of snow shoes when I come home. But we don't get much snow in places to use them. We hiked out on a frozen lake to a glacier and then to an ice cave. Wow was that pretty. The blue was so vibrant.  I will send my SD car home sometime soon or you will just have to wait until I get home. So I did meet with Frankie. Ha-ha. He is a good guy. I really like him. He gave me two big bags of that stuff. It was way nice. We eat Quinoa most every day for lunch. I cook it with a can of chicken and season it. It's good and healthy. We also got gym memberships this last week so we can work out every morning. I lost a lot of my strength and it sucks plus I got some weight to lose. I got the branch to not feed us desserts anymore. That's nice.

Well we should have a good week. This coming weekend we are driving up to Gleenalen. It like two hours north of us. There are some members up there that need help and support so that will be a fun trip. Well thanks for all you do. I love you all so much and I can’t wait to see you all soon.

 

Love,

Elder woolbert

Friday, April 5, 2013


Hey Mom, Dad and Family,

            We had a good week. So to answer some of your questions. We live in our own rundown apartment like always. It's cool. I had to spend the first day and a half cleaning it. It was freaking dirty. I can't stand a dirty house. It's a work in progress. It's hard to clean something when it's already a hunk of junk and needs to be fully replaced. But it's all good. I don't know about what really happens on p-days here seeing as though I have only been here one p-day and working on number two, but today we are going snow shoeing to a glacier. It should be fun. We are going with a bunch of members. I hope I don't die on the way from being out of shape.

So we got to meet a lot more people this week. Spring break is finally over and people came back. We have been hitting it off good with the members. For Easter we all had a ward feast after church. It was nice but there were so many people that I did not know.  We had a lesson with a Wicken lady this week. I am sure dad knows what they are and he probably saw them in England a lot. Well she is a witch. What an interesting lesson that was. She told us all about her stuff she believes in and we talked about our belief. She was very nice and liked to hear both sides of the story but she was not interested for herself. She was meeting with us so she can teach her kids about us. To make a long story short her kids are the ones we are trying to teach. 

            I do not really have much to report on, but I can tell you that Marie in my last area is doing good and has been to church every Sunday. She is solid in the gospel. It is way cool. The elders there love teaching her. I just thought you might want to know about that.

            So Nathan is getting married? Wow I have no idea what to say to that. Ha-ha. Wow that's dang cool though. And David as well. Freak, I need to get home. All the people here ask me how long I have been out and I tell them 22 months and they are like dang what are your plans when you get home?  And I have no plans that are set. It sucks. I wish that I could start making plans but I need a computer for that. I want to try and be a cop. That's my first choice and then a diesel mechanic or a heavy machine operator. Those are my three big ones and I also want to learn how to be a gun smith on the side. I don't know what but learning to be a gun smith has been on my mind the last several months. So I hope it works out. I just need to get in shape and make some money and get things going. Maybe you can start looking at schools and prices for me on a diesel mechanic and gun smithing. I just need an idea of what I am getting myself into. Woo, so enough said about that. I am just trunky when I am not doing missionary work. It's hard to stay busy here. We have five feet of snow that's melting and it’s a small town. We will be watching General Conference in Valdez probably at the church. So that should be good.

            Well I am glad that Cory is OK. Well sorry if this email is not all you wanted it to be. I just have a lot on my mind. Life is starting again and I need to figure stuff out.

            Be sure to really pay attention at conference. It might be interesting. These next couple of years are going to be very different than what we are used to. Things are getting worse and worse. A lot of people up here can see it. They are preparing. But not only are they preparing physical but mentally and spiritual. That's all the conference talks have been on lately anyways. We are getting ready for the second coming. Hence why we have the big mission boom.  The gospel has to be proclaimed to every nation.  All I am saying is be prepared and help others to be prepared. You don't have to be all crazy on them but help them and guide them. We are already seeing the wheat being separated from the tare. It's happening up here and I am sure it's going on down there. There has been a couple families that I have know just recently that were active and are now anti. It's sad but that's what is talked about in the scriptures.

            I just needed to tell you what I have been seeing and what I know is coming. Sorry to drop that on you but know that no matter what happens if we stay on the Lords side all will be well in the end. This life is short but it will affect us for eternity. Please have a great week and stay strong and stand in holy places.

Love,

Elder Woolbert

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Valdez, AK


Hey ya’ all back in the land southward,

            Things are great up here in Zion. So we drove up to Valdez on Wednesday. We kind of got a late start so we didn't leave until like three in the afternoon. Not good but we made the drive in good time like always. I was driving. Ha-ha. It was a nice sunny day and such a pretty drive. Just Monster Mountains all over covered in snow and glaciers all over too. So we made it to Valdez around 8:30 ish and it was starting to get dark. That night it started snowing and it didn't stop until this morning. Ha-ha. We already had about 5 feet of snow on the ground when I got here and then it snowed another 3 feet. Hahahah. Woo, I am in heaven. There is so much snow. You drive down tunnels of snow to get to people’s houses. The snow walls are taller than the truck. It's so crazy. I have never seen anything like this before. It's truly kind of trippy to wake up to all the snow every day.

            So it is just a branch up here. There is no ward. It had also been spring break the last two weeks and no one, I mean no one was home. Ha-ha. Go figure they are all in tropical places. Lame.  But I got to meet half the people on Sunday in our little branch building. Ha-ha. It's so cool. I love this little town. The police chief is a member and he was one of the first people that I met and we hit it off right away. Cops have a sick job here in Valdez.  So Sara's husband is coming up here? That's cool. I am trying to think of what we need but not much comes to mind. I want to give them something so they can help me. I want them to get those blessings of helping the missionaries. Well I could use some more quinoa. I have used half the bag already and by then I am sure I will need more. So probably that. That should be kind of easy for them to bring I think. That's cool that they want to help me. I really wish I could meet her. Maybe when I come back to Anchorage before I leave I will get to see them. Please tell them thank you so much for their love and support. It really means a lot to know that I have extended family in Alaska.

            Well my companion is Elder Parkin. Ha-ha. I love this guy. He is so funny. We will be keeping in touch after the mission for sure. He has only been out seven and a half months. I feel like an old man. I can't believe that I have been out this long. It seems like a flash that my mission went by when you’re at the end of it looking back. There are so many good memories that I think about and they seem so long ago but they really are not. I do not know. It's weird or maybe I am losing my mind which is quite possible.

            Hey so I got a question? Are you killing any cows before I come home? If so please please save me the cow tongue. Have dad do it and I know you are freaking out mom but I want it. I won't make you eat it. It truly makes the best tacos I have ever ever had, bar none. So just clean it and wrap it up and put it in the freezer. Cool. Well I was a little sad to hear about the Montana trip getting shot down. I wanted to go so bad. But that's life. It never goes the way you want it to. I will just try and go by myself with Uncle Dave to Montana. Who knows? I will get over it.

So this week has been super cool but I have also got some really sad news. It kind of broke my heart. The family that I was teaching in Fairbanks, Logan and Amber, have started going to other churches and have gone back to their old ways. It sucks because they were so cool and we were all like family up there. We were over there like three times a week and they had come so far and were doing so good and they were truly happy. Then stuff happened with the elders and then they had no contact with the elders for like 5 weeks. They just fell. Ugh it makes me mad but dang sad. There is also a missionary who has become one of my friends that I have had to help out a lot and kind of be a mentor to and he is trying to go home. He is going to fly out today. It's just hard to see people fall. I can't imagine what it is like be a parent and see a child go wayward. Oh well what can you do other than love them and pray for them.

            Well, I will get going but thanks for the letters and emails. I love you all. Have a good week and see you all real soon.

 Love,

Elder Woolbert

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Transferred to Valdez!


Hey Family and Friends of the outside world,

            So it was a good week but not much teaching happened. We had missionary meetings a good chunk of the week and Saturday me and my companion spent most of the day packing our stuff up. I am going to Valdez. Hahaha woo woo. I am so jacked up. I have wanted to go there my whole mission. My companion, Elder Sant is going to Fairbanks. Ha-ha. My new companion is Elder Parkin. He is a stud and a half. He is a total goober and not an athletic person by any means and is skinny as a rail but the kid is funny. We will have fun and work hard. Valdez is one of the best fishing spots in the world. I am so happy that I get to die there. I will end my mission there just, FYI. You’re going to die over the pictures of this place, it's so beautiful. Man, I am so happy to get out of here but I am sad as well because there are people here that I feel that need me. It’s just been easier for me to connect with people. Marie came to church this Sunday again and she loved it. She was really sad to hear about us leaving. Most of the ward was upset and didn't want us to go. So it's hard.

So I didn't get to see the Thiel family. We got caught up with other things and it just didn't work out but I had dinner with Rosalia and her family. Yes they got baptized last July but they won't be going to the temple for probably another 6 months or so. They fell off for a while but they are good again and getting things in order. It's cool to see all this happen. I will forever remember my mission and the friends that I have made up here but I am ready to come home as well.

So I do not have much else to say. Ha-ha.  So dad made it home safe. I am glad. You never told me how he liked my birthday video to him. So has he put in for our tags in Montana yet? He really needs to do that like this month because he only has a little window of time to do it. I don't have much to say this week. My brain is all over like always. See you all real soon.

Love,

Elder Woolbert

Monday, March 11, 2013


Ha-ha. Thanks mom for the email. How did dad like the video message? Ha-ha. I felt a little bad after I made it but I have been gone for 2 years and have not given him crap. He is way overdue. Did he have a good birthday? So in that bag that I sent home with Dan, there is a brown Carhartt jacket, a big nice one. I got that for dad if he wants it. It's too big for me but I am sure it will fit him and he can put it with his good winter gear. You can look through that bag I sent home. I think it's just clothes and winter stuff. Nothing to special oh and a cool Fairbanks sweatshirt.  

Well it was really good to see Dan and Noreen. Dan is a funny guy. I am glad Dan thought that I was slimming down. I have a long ways to go still. I really want to work out every day but only running on seven hours of sleep a night is hard and you have no motivation to get up and work out that early in the morning. So it's hard. So about the trip to Utah, that will be cool. There are a lot of people in Utah that I need to see. I almost want to take my own car down to go see them. They are in Salt Lake or Saint George.  Elder Na'a, my big Tongan brother is in Utah so I need to see him as well. That all can get planned out when I get home. 

            Hey do you remember the Theile family from Juneau that I used to talk about? Remember that I helped him become active in the church again and he told me how thankful he was for me. Well they moved up to Palmer. I think I told you about that. Well I got a call from the missionaries in his ward that he got ordained as an Elder in the church. I was way happy to hear about that. I got his number last night and I gave him a call. I started out acting like I was the guy that lived across the street and his dog got out and bit my cat. Ha-ha. Mike was freaking out then I started busting up laughing and told him it was me. It was funny. He was telling me that he got his interview two Sundays ago now and that he was going to call me and have me ordain him an Elder but he got to church this Sunday and they did it all right then. He said that he didn't have time to call me but I was still shocked that he wanted me. It was cool. We are going to see him tonight and talk a bit. He just kept thanking me and what not. I am glad I got over my pride and went on a mission.

Well Terry is a good guy mom so don't worry. He lives with a member in our ward and we just had dinner with them last night. He is doing good and moving forward in the lessons. Marie is doing great. She came to church this Sunday and she had her two sons. They were way funny. We sat behind them. She loved church and so did her kids. At the end of church, the oldest son who is like 6 said to his mom, I think I want to come back next week. I like it here. Ha-ha. I was like got ya. She is totally in. So it has been a good week. The ward is starting to trust us and see we are getting stuff done. It's about time. Well I got to get going. You all have a great week and I hope to hear back from you all soon. Oh, I wrote Avary a letter. She should get it soon. 

 Love,

Elder Woolbert

Sunday, March 10, 2013

New pictures!


Elder Woolbert was able to take many pictures of the Northern lights (Aurora borealis).





 



This is the little plane Elder Woolbert took to the little village outside of Fairbanks!


 
Elder Woolbert was actually able to fall asleep on that tiny plane! It looks like it was cold.
 
 

 
This picture was taken when Elder Woolbert was serving in Fairbanks. His face has been burnt from the cold wind and his eyelashes froze.
 
 
 
This picture was taken in Fairbanks. Part of the Alaska pipeline can be seen. This is one of the pigs that used to go in the pipeline. Now you wonder, where does the pig come into this story? Somehow, the pipelines have to be kept clean because of the oil residue that accumulates during the time oil travels from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez, and it would be too dangerous for people to climb into the 4-foot wide pipes that course through the heart of Alaska. Enter "the Pigs". These are huge drill-like devices that are sent through to perform maintenance along The Pipeline on a regular basis and perform many other functions as well.