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 


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