Sunday, November 29, 2015

So, I know I talk about this a lot, but the weather is seriously so weird. I can't get used to it. I keep expecting to wake up to snow on the ground, but that doesn't happen in California. Also, everyone is talking about something called El Nino, which is this humongous storm that is supposed to come and hit California. I love the rain and I am crossing my fingers that it happens, cause that would be awesome. Also, California needs the rain, so added bonus. 

There are so many awesome things that happened this week! Seriously, so many miracles. I have learned a lot this week about God's timing. Seriously though, it's nuts. He just puts people in our path when we need them to be there. We have met some amazing people this week. We have had so many experiences where we would go somewhere, and it wouldn't work out, we'd try all of our back up plans, and nothing would be working out, so we would go somewhere that we felt prompted to go, and bam! Someone who needed us right at that moment. It's amazing what the Lord will do with us when we surrender ourselves over to him. 

I love this gospel so much. I love teaching people about it. We were able to have an awesome lesson with one of our investigators about the Book of Mormon. We took one of the new members of our ward with us, and it was amazing. The member bore such a strong testimony and was able to relate so much to our investigator. We knew that it had been inspired that we had taken that specific person with us to teach that lesson. When we asked her how she felt when we read from the Book of Mormon, she talked about how peaceful and happy she felt. I cannot tell you how amazing it feels when you realize that someone is feeling the Spirit because of something that Heavenly Father let you bring into their lives. I know that we as missionaries couldn't do what we do with out the companionship of the Holy Ghost. Without him there to testify and be a witness to the people you are teaching, there would be no point in trying to teach. But with the Holy Ghost, we can do anything, and he can touch the hearts of so many people. 

Last Sunday, the teacher of the Gospel Principles class said he was sick and wouldn't be able to teach the lesson. He asked if we could teach it. We didn't have the book, but we thought we should be able to wing it. We get to the class, and we find out that we will be teaching... The Law of Chastity. I was kind of dreading it. Our newest member, (who had just been baptized the day before) walked in and someone said, "Guess what the lesson is?" He responded, totally kidding, "The Law of Chastity!" We all died laughing, and then he said, "Wait is it really the Law of Chastity?" When we nodded, "I've heard this lesson four times in the past month!"Oh man, it was so funny. 

We also had the opportunity to see the Churches Christmas initiative video. (Like the Because he lives video in Easter) It is so good. My whole mission was sitting in the chapel and we watched the video probably four times. The spirit in that room was so, so  strong. I can't wait for you all to see it. (It comes out on November 29th) It is so good. I'm excited to start using it to find people and help people "Discover why" I am so stoked!!!! It's going to be amazing! 

Dang! I don't have anymore time, but I am so happy to be out here serving a mission. I have a testimony that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He loves us so much. I love this gospel and I am grateful to be able to devote this year and a half of my life to him and his work. It is amazing to see Heavenly Father's hand in my life. I love you all so much. I have a challenge! This challenge will take a while, but for a whole year, I want you to write down one thing you are grateful for every single day. I will be doing this as well. Starting today. Put that thing in a jar, box, whatever will hold 365 (366, because of leap year :) ) pieces of paper, and next year go through and read all of the things you were grateful for. I am so excited! I promise that if you take this challenge, you will have an increased capacity to see Heavenly Father's influence in your life. 

I love you all!!! 
Love, Sister Wood :) 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Yokwe and Aloha Everyone!!

It is so beautiful in California, but I have to say that I am missing the snow. It's a super big trial to have to go out in 72 degree weather all the time... Just kidding. :) It's beautiful here. It's super weird that it's the middle of November and it's still so warm. I get cold a lot, but my companion and the other missionaries say that it's nice. I'll be cold in the middle of the day and people say to me, "Why are you cold? You're from Utah!" Yes, I am from Utah, but what people don't understand is that I was cold in Utah too...  :) I was on exchanges with a Sister from Samoa, and she was wearing this huge winter coat, and I had a blanket wrapped around me, (we were sitting at the temple tour tent) and we got the weirdest looks. It was so funny! 

The craziest thing happened last Monday. We had a dinner appointment at a members house, which happens quite often. (We have dinner with members almost every day) So we went over and were having a lovely meal. She was telling us about her life, she grew up in Uruguay, came to the US for school, married the mission president's nephew from Uruguay, then they moved to California. (She's like 84) I had a feeling that I should talk about my grandma from France. So I started talking about how my grandma had been born in France, moved to Argentina, then eventually went to Canada. When I paused for a minute, Sister Williams stopped me, and said, "That sounds just like this missionary who knocked on my door, her name was Sister Argault, she lived in France and Argentina as well." My grandmothers maiden name was Argault, and I was sitting there like, there is no way that this is really happening. So I was like, was the missionaries name Eddie? And Sister Williams gets this big smile on her face and said, "Yes! Eddie Argault! She was the first missionary that ever knocked on my door. She was the first person who taught me about the gospel. There were not many Mormons in Uruguay at that time, so I had never heard of the church before she came to my door." I was a little bit stunned, and I said that Eddie Argault was my great aunt. She is my grandmothers sister, and I had known her my whole life. It was AMAZING! We had this awesome conversation about Aunt Eddie and my Uncle Arturo. What are the odds that we happened to meet this lady? It was so wonderful. It also helped me with my testimony of planting seeds. Because this sister didn't get baptized until almost two years later, but my Aunt planted the first seed. 

We were looking at the area book last night, looking at former investigators and potential investigators. We were reading why some of the former investigators were dropped, and the missionaries before us had an amazing sense of humor. One of them was about an investigator named Joshua, and the reason he was dropped was "Did not fit the battle of Jericho." My personal favorite was "Was less interested in the gospel than Joseph was in Potipher's wife." We had some pretty good laughs. 

Being a missionary is amazing. Thank you for all your love and support! 
Love, Sister Wood :) 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Man, the life of a missionary is awesome. Don't get me wrong, it's hard and a lot of hard things happen, but it is so amazing to be out here. Heavenly Father is so aware of us and what we are struggling with. He knows us all perfectly, and will help us. This week was full of miracles, and I don't have time to share all of them, but I will share a few of my favorites. 
So, every week, because Sister Blair is an STL, we go to a thing called DLC, where the district leaders, zone leaders, and STL’s get together and talk about the zone and things going on. At last weeks meeting they decided that we were going to have a zone 24, where everyone in the zone exchanges companions for 24 hours. I was excited to be with another companion and get to know her a little bit better. They paired me with Sister Shober. She is awesome. So we were having companionship study, and we started talking. We talked about things we were struggling with, and she shared with me some scriptures and quotes. I so needed her at that time. It was amazing to me that at the time when I was struggling with those specific things, she was there to help me. I knew that Heavenly Father had put us together for a reason. The zone leaders received revelation that we needed each other on that day. It was a wonderful manifestation of the love Heavenly Father has for us.
The next miracle happened during temple tours. We were sitting at our tent that sits in across from the Newport Beach temple. This woman came up and started talking to us. She was a member and she and her family were moving to California from Utah. She and her husband were there looking at prospective houses. She asked us about the wards here, and which wards needed more help, etc. I felt prompted to tell her that all of the wards would welcome them with open arms, and that Heavenly Father will always help us know where to go. It wasn’t really anything big, but she began to cry, and told us that they had really been struggling to decide, when we talked to her, she felt peaceful and knew that as they relied on the Lord, he would help them know where to go. I know that the Spirit helped me help this woman. It was so amazing.
The third miracle came yesterday. As most of you know, It was fast Sunday. As we fasted, Sister Blair and I both prayed that we would find some investigators. We always go to church fifteen minutes early to talk to people and welcome them as they enter the chapel. Two sister missionaries that we didn’t recognize came up to us and started talking with us. They told us that they had a man with them who they had been teaching. They were Samoan speaking sisters, and this man spoke English and was in our area. They wanted to pass him off to us, because they were from the Anaheim mission, and felt that he would benefit from having us teach him. It was so awesome!! Not only is he excited to learn, but he also has a baptismal date for November 14. We are so stoked to teach him. Heavenly Father listens to our prayers, and answers them.
We also watched the new Mormon Message called Reflections. If you have a chance, I highly encourage you to watch it, because it is really good. We had an awesome Halloween. All of the missionaries had to be inside by 7pm, so we had a zone activity at the stake center. We played Volleyball, Basketball, and chair soccer. It was so much fun. My zone is so cool. J I am so blessed to be out here with the people I’m here with. I have met so many awesome people and missionaries. I love being a missionary!!
Sister Blair and I are still figuring out our area, but look forward to working hard. I am almost halfway through my training, which is awesome. I look forward to being done with 12 weeks.
            Thank you all for your love and support. I love you all so much!

Love, Sister Wood :)