Saturday, September 26, 2015

Greetings family and friends!!
Another week has gone by, and life is still going well. I can't say life is ever boring here at the MTC. Something is always happening. We had some great experiences this week, and some not so great experiences. Sister Hardin and I are still having a great time. She has been sick these last few days, and that has been really hard for us to deal with. She feels bad because she is sick, and I feel bad because I don't want to miss class and things. We worked it out though. Life at the MTC isn't always hunky dory, but it is so worth it. Most of the time it is as amazing as everyone says it is though. 

This week we got two investigators, one is Carolina, and the other is Candice. (Candice is just one of our teachers' alter egos, we call her a progressing investigator) Carolina is a real investigator that the MTC provides. We got to meet her on Tuesday, and have taught her two lessons so far. She is the sweetest person ever. She is very receptive to the gospel, and just wants to know that truth. She feels like there is something missing in her life. It has been a wonderful blessing and learning experience being able to teach her. I really enjoy being a missionary. It's amazing to learn more about the gospel and feel the spirit.

So the other day we were teaching Candice, and we were trying to explain what the Holy Ghost feels like. Sister Hardin took the lesson on an interesting path... You know when Christ is baptized and the spirit comes down like unto a dove? She was trying to explain that the Holy Ghost was like a companion to Christ after he was baptized, and he was there as a testament of what had happened. After she talked about this she asked Candice, "What does the image of the dove tell you? Candice looked so confused, her facial expression was pretty much exactly what I was feeling at that moment. She responded with, "Well, it's a bird..." Sister Hardin looked at me, and I could almost hear her say, "Back me up with something..." But I was completely speechless. I had no clue how to salvage the situation. We then finished the now very awkward lesson and went back to the classroom, I told our district about what happened and we all just died laughing. It was hilarious.

Our district gets along really well, all of the Elders are very nice and bring a wonderful spirit with them. But, all of us being between the ages of 18 and 20, sometimes it's hard to focus. We have had some pretty epic games of Church Pictionary and Book of Mormon hangman. We have some really fun times. 

Another story! Sister Hardin has gotten a lot of packages, and her dad over the past four days has sent two sets of two dozen donuts. My sister also sent me a box of a dozen donuts. So collectively, we have received five dozen donuts in five days. We obviously couldn't eat all the donuts, nor did we want to. So we gave the first two dozen to the Elders in our District and the Elders and sisters in the other district in our zone. They enjoyed them a lot. They were shocked when we brought more with us two days later. They were grateful for the donuts though. 

It's hard to believe I have been here for  a week and then some. We got to meet the new sisters in our branch. They are super sweet and lovely to talk to. I am glad I was called as an STL, and am able to serve them. Four of the sisters are speaking ASL, so they will be here for six weeks. They are all very nice. 

We are leaving the MTC on Tuesday morning at 3:35 in the morning, which is obscenely early. We will then drive up to the SLC airport and wait for our flight which is at 8:30. I am so excited to fly on a plane!!! 

I wish I had more time, but I don't, and I still need to email my branch president. Thank you so much for your love and support.

Love, Sister Wood

Friday, September 18, 2015

Hello everyone!! I have now been here for less than two days. The MTC is so wonderful. It seems like someone took the entire place, soaked it in the spirit for a few hours, then put it back. The spirit is so crazy strong here. I have met dozens of new people as well as old friends. It has been so much fun so far.
On your first day at the MTC, they take you to get your nametag and other things, then you are led to where you will be living during your sojourn at the MTC. I went to my apartment, then went straight to class. Predictably, I was the last one there, and found I was like fifteen minutes late for class. I got to meet my companion, Sister Hardin. She is wonderful, and exactly what I needed in a companion. She has already taught me a lot. They also make you wear these neon orange dots, signifying that you are a newbie. The other missionaries have affectionately termed it the "dork dot." While it seems a little degrading, you are bombarded with people saying "Welcome to the MTC!!!" It was very fun. As my companion and I were walking out of our building, we stopped to let some elders who were jogging pass us. As they passed, they shouted, "Welcome to the MTC!!" We smiled and said thank you, but we didn't expect the next thirty elders who did the same thing. It was so funny. It also made us late to class. Needless to say, the MTC has felt very welcoming. 
It has been so busy. They take you straight from one thing to the next here. It has been great. It was weird this morning because Sister Hardin and I got to choose what we did for P-day. It was kind of odd not having a minute by minute schedule. 
My district is wonderful. Sister Hardin and I are the only sisters in our district along with six elders. They are all very nice. Sister Hardin and I are both going to the Irvine Mission, along with another sister in our zone. The other missionaries in our district are going to Albuquerque, New Mexico, and the Washington Federal Way mission respectively. We all get along really well. :) Yesterday we met our Branch Presidency, and they are kind and loving men. Their wives are probably some of the nicest women I have ever met. It was very cool. Each missionary went and was interviewed by a member of the branch presidency. After the interviews they came back, and called the zone leaders, district leaders, sister training leaders, and two other callings that I can't remember. Sister Hardin and I were called to be the sister training leaders! I am excited but very, very nervous. Our STL's are great, and I hope we can do as well as they did. Things move very fast here. because missionaries are  only here for 12 days, they go through STL's and zone leaders really fast. I am grateful for the opportunity to help and serve. 
Having had seven siblings serve missions, I thought I knew what I was in for. This was not the case. I have heard coming to the MTC is much like trying to drink out of a fire hose. This is not accurate. It's more like trying to stand on the beach and fill a cup with water during a tsunami. You get a little in your cup, but most of it goes over your head. I'm trying really hard, and feel like I'm doing pretty well, but I've only been here for two days, so we'll see how it goes next week. I really don't have much more to say, but I am grateful for the support I have received and I love you all very much. The church is true and God is our loving Heavenly Father. These things have never felt more true to me than they have here. I love this gospel, and I know I'm where I need to be. I have been blessed so much already. 

Love, Sister Wood 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

See you in 18!!!

Hey everyone!!! Tonight I will be set apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Nerves and excitement are very prominent today. I am so excited to go and serve, but I still feel very nervous. Before I leave, I just want to bear my testimony. I know that this is the true church. I know that Heavenly Father lives and loves all of his children. He knows each of us individually and wants only what is best for us. Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God. I know that he saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in that grove, when he was but a young boy of 14. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and if we take Moroni's challenge and pray about it, Heavenly Father will testify to us through the spirit that it is true. I love this gospel, and I know that it is true. I am grateful for President Thomas S. Monson, who is a true prophet. I know that he is the only man on the earth that holds all the keys of the priesthood. This church is true. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to go and serve a mission.

I pray that Heavenly Father will bless all of you, and I hope you know how much I love you. Thank you for your support and love!

Much love,
Sister Wood :)