Tuesday, February 23, 2016


This week has been simultaneously wonderful as well as full as learning experiences that were hard to go through. For various reasons, we lost almost all of our investigators. Some of them dropped us, some of them merely stopped responding, but it left us with an astounding lack of people to teach. It was really hard. I didn't understand why everything was going so well, then it suddenly wasn't. But, Sister Wolterman taught me an important lesson this week. She showed me that while it's okay to be sad for a minute, we need to move forward with faith, trusting that Heavenly Father wouldn't let us go through these trials for no reason. So we have been pushing onward, and while we weren't able to teach a lot of lessons, we worked harder at contacting and finding people. We have seen blessing after blessing come from having the Christ-like attribute of diligence. It's not always easy, and it's not always fun, but it's always worth it.

So on Tuesday we were on exchanges and I was with Sister Hollenbeck, At the beginning of this transfer, we promised to go tracting for an hour every single day, so the first thing we were doing was tracting. We were finishing tracting a street, and we went up to one of the last houses on the street, as Sister Hollenbeck went up to the door and knocked on it, I saw something, and I realized that we had already knocked on this door. Most people aren't happy to see us the first time we come to the door, so I was worried that we were about to get yelled at. So when the man opened the door, I was relieved to see one of the nicer people that I've talked to. His name is Bob. I started out with the genius line of, "Hi! I've met you before!" He laughed a little bit, and responded with, "I know!" It was pretty funny. We had a really good conversation with him, (because he hadn't been able to talk to us last time due to a conference call) and gave him a Book of Mormon. He was really touched that we would give that to him, and he promised that he would read it. We invited him to learn more about the Gospel, but he said, "Let me read the book first, then we can talk about it." !!!!! It was so exciting. We will stop by sometime in the next few weeks and see how he is doing. :) We also went contacting down on some hiking trails where we contacted 80 people and handed out 9 Book of Mormons!!  (Books of Mormon? Still don't know the plural of that) It was awesome!

On Wednesday we had Zone Conference! Half the mission got together for 5 hours to learn and get trainings from President Orgill, the AP's, and the Lead STL's. It was amazing. President talked about the forces of darkness and how they are like chains. He spoke to us about how when we give evidence of our internal struggles, the adversary knows that it's time to apply more pressure on us. We also talked about having faith, and the cultural beliefs of the Irvine mission. It was just what I needed. We also got these things called tiwi boxes in our cars. It's a box that tracks everything you do while you drive, where you are, your speed, how fast you accelerate, etc. This Brother from the missionary department came and taught us all about it. I was being a little bit sassy, and he was sassy right back. It was really funny, and we had a few good laughs together. We also found out that we were both from Orem. :) He decided that we are kindred spirits. Right when we were about to get our safety training, and learn how to back people, (Because backing into companions with the car has been a problem recently) the power went out. So we will get that training later I guess. It was a wonderful. We also went tracting in the rain, and it was a blast.

On Thursday, it was pretty uneventful. I was on exchanges, and my temporary companion was sick, so we stayed inside for the day.

Friday was amazing!!!! And also kind of sad. We had some meetings in the morning, then went to lunch with some of the members in our ward. Afterwards, we went to teach one of our investigators. After the lesson, he told us that he no longer would like to meet with us. So that was really sad. We went tracting, then we went to dinner at a members house. Also having dinner with us was Randall K. Bennett from the quorum of the Seventy! We were able to talk to him for a good forty minutes before dinner. He gave us a ton of advice and so much good insight on member missionary work. He told us about some of his experiences and helped us see new ways of doing missionary work. It was most definitely one of the absolute highlights of my week. He also helped me realize and understand the importance of being exactly obedient. One of the things we have been struggling with is inviting people to be baptized on the first lesson. I have always been scared to do that. But I realized as we were talking that the First Presidency and the Quorum of the twelve wouldn't ask us to do it unless it was important. That was only one of the few things I learned that night. We also talked with him about the cultural beliefs training that we received in Zone Conference. He was really intrigued by that. We had these little laminated versions of them, so I gave him mine. He was really grateful, and it was awesome that he wanted it. Man, it was such a cool night.

Yesterday when we called in numbers, it was kind of funny, cause our lesson numbers were kind of low, but we got 148 contacts, as well as giving our 23 BoM's. Which was awesome!!! Our goal was 25 books, but there is always next week! :) We were reading out our numbers, then we got to those two, and our District Leader went, "wait, what? Can you repeat those?" It was pretty hilarious. When you try to talk to everyone, and are willing to step our of your comfort zone, Heavenly Father puts people in your path. It's so amazing. 

This week went by so fast! I have come to find that my mission won't be nearly as long as I thought it was going to be. I am coming to realize that it is such a blessing to be here and to be able to see so many miracles all the time. I don't know what the future will bring, but I'm excited to find out and I know that Heavenly Father is watching out for me, and that's all that matters. 

Thank you all for your love and support! You are all amazing, and I love you lots!! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 

1) Elders Mueller, Te'o as well as Elder Bennett and us. 
2) The view from the Stake Center. It's gorgeous!! 


Saturday, February 20, 2016

Talofa everybody!

It has been an awesome week. We are going strong down here in Marblehead. :) I really love this area and all the people here. One thing I really appreciate is that people reject us really politely and kindly. I mostly walk away from interactions with people feeling happy and satisfied rather than sad and discouraged, and thinking that I will never talk to another person ever again. So that is a major blessing. 

I have discovered the miracle of tracting. I am learning to love it. We get a lot of no's but we also get people who say yes! So that's been awesome. We decided that we will go tracting for at least an hour every single day. I will update you on the miracles that come from keeping that promise, because I know that the Lord is preparing people for us to meet, we just need to find them! It reminds me a little bit of those "Where's Waldo?" books. You meet someone who you think might be the person you're looking for, but they end up just being someone who is kind of like that, but not quite ready. Then, you miraculously find them! And I always have been able to find Waldo, so I have no doubt that I will be able to find the elect out here in California. 

I have so much hope for this area. Yesterday we had two miracles happen right in a row. One of the reasons that they were such monumental miracles was because we have been really struggling this week. We had an investigator drop us, Sister Wolterman got bronchitis, among other things, and we didn't know why everything was exploding, all we knew was that we couldn't hold everything together. So we watched in despair for a minute, but kept moving forward with the faith that Heavenly Father knows what he is doing, and he knows how to help us. It was a major building experience in turning to Him when things get hard. 

Anyways, we haven't been able to see an investigator for about a week, when we helped her move, she's been kind of lukewarm to us for a little while. Her daughters birthday was yesterday, so we took over a present. When we got there, she was so open to meeting with us again, and she seemed to be in such a better place than she had been. It was astonishing how much she had changed. It was seriously such a miracle. She had a baptismal date for the 27th of February, so we will have to recommit her to a different date. But, she is willing to come closer to Christ, and that is a huge blessing. 

We had just finished meeting with the investigator and were driving to our Ward Mission Leaders house when we realized that we forgot to stop by one of our members houses who had just been released from the hospital. We were just about to decide to see her tomorrow when we both felt like we needed to go back and see her. So we turned around, and we went to her house. While there, we were able to meet her neighbor, who had met Sister Missionaries before, and was so willing to meet with us. We will hopefully be seeing him tomorrow. It was seriously a miracle, because so many things tied into that one culminating event. If even one of those things hadn't have happened, we never would have met him. Heavenly Father is looking out for us, I know he is. 

So many miracles. I look forward to seeing more, and am very grateful for Heavenly Father's guiding hand in my life. Tender mercies are everywhere, even when life is hard. :) 

I have also realized the joy of singing "We Are All Enlisted" as we walk from house to house while tracting. Singing makes everything better. 

I love being a missionary! I love being able to serve these people here in Marblehead area. Thank you for your love, Support and prayers. I love you all!

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016


Life has been so so so so so so so crazy this past week. So, I am down in Marblehead, with Sister Wolterman. She is so cool, and is such a solid, and amazing missionary. I am grateful for her. We've had some pretty cool experiences together already, and I feel so blessed that we get to be together for another six weeks. :)

We have so many people that we are teaching, it's crazy. I haven't met most of them yet, but I so look forward to meeting them and loving them.  There are over 300 people in our ward, and I haven't even made  a dent in meeting all of them. I hope to be able to meet more as we go through our week. I am also trying to learn the area, so it should be an exciting few days.

Sister Wolterman also was called as a lead STL this transfer, which basically means that she will be super busy, all the time. Hopefully I will not blow the area up while she is gone.

It is so beautiful down here in San Clemente. I see the ocean EVERY SINGLE DAY and it is so beautiful. We were contacting in the stake center parking lot, because it has an amazing view of the ocean, so people go all the time to watch the sunset. I kept getting distracted though, cause it was so PRETTY! But we were able to teach a lesson, and pick up some potential investigators, so I am grateful that Heavenly Father blessed us even though I was distracted.

Miracles are happening all over the place. One of the biggest miracles I saw this week and am continuing to see is that Sister Wolterman and I are supposed to be companions. I know it, and it has been so clear these past few days that we need each other.

Another miracle this week was the fact that I got to go and clean the Newport Beach Temple. I was on an exchange, and I found out that we had the opportunity to do that, and I was so overwhelmed with this feeling of peace. I had been feeling so under-prepared to be transferred and work in this area where I don't know anyone or anything, but then I was able to spend a few hours in the temple, cleaning it, yes, but also feeling of the peace and reassurance that comes from our loving Heavenly Father. I knew he was giving me that opportunity. I am so grateful for the tender mercies that come every day.

Sister Wolterman and I work really well together, which is another huge blessing. It's been amazing to see the Spirit work through us both and touch the hearts of those who we come in contact with and get to teach. We have seen it over and over again in the few short days we have been together. I am so excited to see the miracles that will happen over this transfer. It's going to be so amazing.

I am so grateful for all of you and for your love, support, and prayers. I know this is the true gospel, and that this is the best possible thing I could be doing right now. I love this gospel, and I love sharing it with others. I mostly love seeing the atonement change peoples lives.

I love you all!

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hey Everybody! 

I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED!!! What? Just kidding, I actually was not surprised when I got the call. I've known for the past little while that I was leaving. So when I actually got the call on Saturday, it wasn't that surprising. I was still really sad. I've been trying to mentally prepare myself for the past few weeks, but it wasn't working very well. Then I get the call, and I was first really excited, then really devastated. I am so sad that I will be leaving South Coast, seriously, I love it so much. Yesterday, they had me bear my testimony in Sacrament meeting, and tears were just streaming down my face the entire time. People kept coming up to me and telling me how much they loved me and how great I would do in my next ward. It was good, but really sad. Closure is a bittersweet thing. 

But now, I have said most of my goodbyes, and I am so excited to go to my next area! I will be serving all the way at the bottom of our mission in San Clemente, in the Marblehead ward. I will be companions with Sister Wolterman, who is so awesome. Seriously, she is such an amazing missionary, and I am so stoked to work with her. Also, Sister Hardin is down in San Clemente!!! I"ll get to work with her again! 

Sister Garcia will be up here in South Coast training a new greenie. She is actually not going to our mission, but she has to wait for her Visa so she can go to her mission in Italy. 

That's the really exciting news. :) In other news, we were able to see most of our investigators this week, which was a huge blessing and a miracle to us. We have been struggling to juggle everything lately, and it makes it really hard because things have been slipping through the cracks. We're trying out best though, and we know that Heavenly Father is helping us out. 

I've spent some time packing and getting ready to leave, but it will be a miracle to get me totally packed and out of the house by tomorrow. 

Some exciting things that happened this week. 

We talked to a nice man from Jamaica! I think he felt bad for us, because no one was listening to us, but he took a Book of Mormon and said he would read it! 

We had a lesson with these twins who didn't give us any of their information, but also took Books of Mormon, and said that they would read it as well. 

We had lessons with Gamal, Julie, and Jne!!! That never happens. Usually someone cancels because of reasons, but we were able to see everyone. 

When we were at dinner with one of our members, Sister Garcia was asking for some water, but because of her accent, the waitress couldn't understand her. She repeated herself a few times, but finally she looked at me, and I told the waitress what happened. This is actually a common occurrence and is absolutely hilarious. Sister Garcia usually gets kind of frustrated, but it's probably one of the funniest things, and I'm so glad that I get to see it on a regular basis. :)  

I'm so excited for this next week! So much is changing, but it's a good change. Thank you for all your love and support! 
Love, Sister Wood :) 

Pictures! We went to breakfast this morning, because I'm getting transferred, as well as one of the other Sisters. After that we went and studied together. :)