Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So, It's that time again. Transfers. They just sent out a decree? proclamation? something that says that transfer meetings are no longer allowed. So rather than the suspense of waiting until Tuesday after noon to find out where we are going, we will just be told on the phone when we are told whether or not we're being transferred. Not as fun, but apparently much more effective. So, we'll see how that goes. I'm excited to see what's going to happen. The past three transfers, I've been pretty sure of what was going to happen. Now, I have no clue. It's so exciting!!! 

This week was actually pretty normal, plus, I'm running super low on time, so this will not be very long. 

We had a worldwide missionary broadcast!!! It was so great! We were able to watch some trainings by apostles and seventies/general auxileries, as well as hear from some of the apostles. It was so cool. It was also amazing because all the missionaries in the world were watching it at the same time! (Except those who were sleeping. They watched it the morning after.) It was so good. 

We picked up another investigator! Her name is Jne. She's really cool, and we had the perfect opportunity to invite her to be baptized, and we both totally dropped the ball. It was so sad. Seriously, the moment was there, the Spirit was so strong, and we both felt like we should invite her, but it didn't end up happening. Luckily, the Atonement is there, and we can try again. I am excited to be able to teach her. 

We have been getting referrals from Salt Lake like crazy! Seriously, right now we have 9, and we have gotten a total of 18 in the past month. It's been crazy. Good, but crazy. 

We are working a lot with Less-Actives lately. We are actually having dinner with one tonight, which will be awesome! We are helping one of our other LA quit smoking with the LDS stop smoking thing.  That is a really cool story that I will have to tell later. 

It was a great week, and I love being here in South Coast! It's amazing!!! 

I love you all!
Love, Sister Wood :) 

Picture 1) I can totally still do a handstand! That was an awesome realization! So I was doing gymnastic things with the Bishops daughters, and their brother took a picture. 


Monday, January 18, 2016

Hi everybody! 

It's a great day to be alive, and an even better day to be a missionary! I love being a missionary, and I am so grateful to be here in Irvine, California. (Costa Mesa if we're being technical.) :) 

It has been such a great week! So many miracles and tender mercies. I know I haven't done anything to deserve all of these blessings, but I am grateful for them nonetheless. 

Monday: P-days are always great! They are always kind of (very) stressful because of everything you have to cram into them, but this one went pretty well. We got everything done that we needed to, so that was a huge blessing. We went and played at the park as a zone, lost the football in the duck pond, and just had a blast together. I love this zone a lot. So many great missionaries. 

Tuesday: We went on a District Blitz, and while we were tracting, Sister Downs (one of the other Sisters in my zone) and I went up to this youngish looking boy in his car, following Sister Down's prompting to go talk to him. As we walked up, he began to laugh, and asked if we really believed that John Smith was a prophet. I told him no, but I did believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet. We also realized that he may or may not have been rolling weed... So after some very rude remarks and inviting him to read the Book of Mormon, we left. That was an interesting experience for me, and one I hope not to relive in the future. 

Wednesday: I got to have a mini-exchange with Sister Downs! We had a sleepover, which is always fun. I love exchanges, cause you get to know other missionaries. She is so amazing and we had some great conversations about the war chapters in Alma. 

Thursday: We had our Zone Training Meeting. Which is like four hours of spiritual enlightenment with all of the missionaries in our stake. It was so awesome, and I learned so many things. One of my favorite parts was where we learned and talked about the "Cultural beliefs of the Irvine Mission"
We had so many great trainings.

Friday: Was pretty boring. Nothing of consequence really happened, we tracted a bit, went through our area book, and had dinner with our Ward Mission Leader. He also gave one of the Elders a haircut, which turned out better than anyone expected it would. 

Saturday!!!! Oh my goodness. So many amazing things happened on Saturday. It was like Heavenly Father was paving the way for us, because it all turned out so well. So, I was on exchanges with Hermana Warner in South Coast. There had been some comments, and I knew that she was not very excited about coming up to me to go on an exchange. I was so worried, because I had no idea what to do to help her. I decided to just be myself and pray that Heavenly Father would help me. We had breakfast with our Stake President and all of the Ward Mission Leaders in our Stake. It was so amazing, and super spiritually uplifting. It was so cool to hear about his mission 40 years ago in Nicaragua. He shared so much wonderful insight. My personal favorites were, 
"You'll never know the influence you are having. You will never know the seeds you are planting."
"Of all the people you can convert on your mission, make sure number one is you!" 
" Pray for your testimony, constantly be asking Heavenly Father to help build your testimony. Because if your testimony isn't growning, it's wilting." 
So that was cool. 
After that, we had a lesson with our investigator Gamal. We have been considering stopping seeing Gamal due to unfortunate circumstances. We decided to give it one last shot. We went and had the best lesson that I have ever had with him. I know that Hermana Warner definitely had something to do with it. I was so grateful to have her and her insight there at that time. 

We also got to go and do service. It was at this little theater, and it was so awesome to be back around a theater, cause I miss it a lot. 

Our ward had a sealing assignment, that not enough people had signed up for, so the ward asked us to fill in. Our mission President gave us permission to go as long as we were "children". So we were able to go and do that. The spirit was so strong and it was so wonderful to be able to participate in the ordinances of the temple. 

We went and saw a few other people, then around 8:00, we were going to go see a less-active family at their house, house, when I had the distinct impression that we needed to go visit a different member of our ward. At first I brushed it off, thinking that I was just having weird thoughts, but then an email that my brother sent me at the beginning of my mission came to mind. He said, "Whether you think it's the Spirit, or think that it's just you, do it. It's the fastest way you will recognize when the Spirit is talking to you, and you will never be punished for acting on faith." So after that thought, I decided we should go. So we went. The girl I had thought we needed to see wasn't home, but her brother happened to be there. We talked to him for a minute, and just as we were about to leave, I had the impression to share a thought with him. So I asked if we could share a quick thought with him. He told us that his girlfriend was there with him, and she wasn't a member, but wanted to know more about the church. So we were able to go inside and share a message about God's love for us. Afterwards, we were able to set up a follow-up appointment with them, and she is very interested in learning more and potentially being baptized. We also found up from the brother that he hadn't planned on inviting us in, until I had asked to share a thought. It was such an amazing manifestation of God's trust in us and his willingness to guide us when we are willing to listen. I was blown away by the strength of the Spirit when we left because I knew that I had followed a prompting and amazing things happened because of it. It was such a miracle. 

So we got a new investigator!!!! And she is so golden. She is so amazing, and I feel so blessed that we were able to find her. 

Also, I found out later that the Sister I had been on exchanges with had been struggling a lot. I got a text from her companion thanking me for helping her and loving her. She told me that this Sister had done a complete 180 from before our exchange. The crazy part? I didn't do anything different. I simply loved her and helped her like I would have my own companion. I know that Heavenly Father puts people into our lives when we need them, or when they need us. It was a super cool experience. :) 

Sorry for the really long email, this week was just super awesome, and it was so cool to see Heavenly Fathers hand so prevalent in my life. I love the testimony that has been built over the last few days. 

This week I am ponderizing John 14:27

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for your love and support!
Love, Sister Wood :) 
Picture 1) Beautiful sunset :) 
Pictures 2) Sister Garcia and I :D 


Tuesday, January 12, 2016


I'm doing super well. :) We have finally made it out of the apartment, and are on our way to being at 100% again. So that's great news. :) I'm so happy to be able to go and work again.

This week has actually been super uneventful, so I'm probably going to keep this short. :) 

Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday,
We were stuck inside all the days. But Sister Garcia is feeling better, and that is amazing. 

Thursday, We went on exchanges for most of the day because Sister Garcia had a ton of meetings to go to. I went with an awesome Sister in our Zone named Sister Downs. She is so fun. We had a great time together and were able to give out some Books of Mormon!! (Book of Mormons?) (I'm not sure what the plural for that is.) So that was awesome. 

We went to the temple on Friday! We woke up early so we could go and do some initiatories, and that was amazing. I haven't been able to do them since I went through the temple for the first time, so that was a wonderful experience. My district is awesome, and it was cool to go to the temple with all of them. 

On Saturday I was on exchanges with Sister Fetui and Sister Hobbs, and we had a blast. They are so fun, and are such great missionaries. I learned a lot from them.  

We have a music night every first Sunday of the month, followed by temple tours, so we were able to participate in that yesterday, which was very fun. 

I just love being a missionary. Thank you for all of your love and support! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 


Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Hi Everybody!! 

This weeks letter is going to be super short. Coming out to email has been the second time I have been outside of our apartment in the past four days... We've had an interesting week. 

Last Monday was pretty normal, except for the fact that we got four new referrals... What? That never happens ever! It was insane. We got the first two really close together, then we got the other two later that day. We have never had this many referrals at one time. It's amazing! I don't know what we did to deserve so many blessings, but we are so grateful. We've tried to contact most of them, with no success, but we will keep trying. :) 

Tuesday we were able to go have dinner with a nonmember who we met through one of the members in our ward. She is the sweetest lady I have ever met. She is from Vietnam, and her husband recently passed away. She took us into her heart, and she just loves us. We love her a lot. On Christmas, we gave her the Book of Mormon, when she took it from us, she was so touched by it. We bore our testimonies about it and talked about what a gift it was. She told us she would read it and was so grateful that we would share that with her. The spirit in the room while we talked was so sweet. I will always remember that experience. 

Wednesday was amazing! It's so cool to see the Spirit touch people, and testify to them the truthfulness of the Gospel. We were contacting in a park, trying to talk to everyone we saw. I tried to talk to this one couple who said they were busy, so I looked down for a minute to grab a card, and when I looked up, they were halfway across the park! So I put my bag down, and ran after them. They looked kind of startled when I ran up behind them, but they took the card and said they would look at the video on it, so it was worth it. When I got back to my companion, she was dying of laughter. I must admit after the fact it was pretty funny. I have never chased people down before. :) We also gave out three Books of Mormon. People were just very willing to talk to us, and I was so grateful for that. 

Thursday was definitely interesting. We took our car in to get fixed in the morning, and then after that, we dove straight into visiting people. Hermana Garcia slowly seemed to be losing energy, then suddenly when we were at dinner, she seemed to lose all of what energy she had left. We went home, (we had to be in by 7 anyways) and let her sleep. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday,
We have been stuck at home. Sister Garcia has been slowly feeling a little bit better, but is no where near feeling well. I feel so useless because I can't do much to help her. I've watched the Best Two Years and 17 Miracles like 5 times each, while making covers for planners, cleaning the apartment, etc. I've also read almost the entire book of Alma in the past two days. I'm hoping to maybe finish the Book of Mormon in the next two days because the Nurse says she needs to rest more, and stay at home. So that should be interesting. 

In my personal study, I was reading about the Lamanites trying to invade the cities of the Nephites under the direction of Amalickiah. It says, 

22 Now when they found that they could not obtain power over the Nephites by the pass, they began to dig down their banks of earth that they might obtain a pass to their armies, that they might have an equal chance to fight; but behold, in these attempts they were swept off by the stones and arrows which were thrown at them; and instead of filling up their ditches by pulling down the banks of earth, they were filled up in a measure with their dead and wounded bodies.
 23 Thus the Nephites had all power over their enemies; and thus the Lamanites did attempt to destroy the Nephites until their chief captains were all slain; yea, and more than a thousand of the Lamanites were slain; while, on the other hand, there was not a single soul of the Nephites which was slain.
 24 There were about fifty who were wounded, who had been exposed to the arrows of the Lamanites through the pass, but they were shielded by their shields, and their breastplates, and their head-plates, insomuch that their wounds were upon their legs, many of which were very severe.
I was wondering how these scriptures applied to us, and then the thought came to me that if we, like the Nephites have not fortified ourselves, and shield ourselves, we will not be able to protect ourselves from the adversary. He will do everything he can to get at us, he will try the entrance, when he can't in, he'll try to climb, or dig, or do anything he can to get to us. I have gained a testimony of how important each piece of the armor of God is in protecting us. We also must fight back. The Nephites didn't just sit there. They threw stones and arrows, they didn't just let the enemy come in and invite them to have some tea. (Throwback to one of Elder Hollands talks) Anyways, I thought that it was really cool that all the scriptures are applicable. :) 
I've learned a lot this week, and looking back over my email, it's not short at all, so sorry about that. I hope you are all doing well, and that you have all had a Happy New Year! I love you all lots. This week I am ponderizing Alma 29:9. 
Thank you for all your prayers and support. 
Love, Sister Annie Wood :) 
Picture 1) The fruits of my labors the past few days :) 
Picture 2) Driving in the car with our super cool sunglasses. :)