Monday, April 25, 2016

Well, this week was great! Kind of crazy, but great nonetheless. :D

Hermana Garcia is going home! D: No!!! Well, she doesn't go home til June, but still... I was able to go to her departing dinner on Tuesday. So good! So many tears... But so good. I love her lots, and will miss her so much. But she's here still! So that's always good news. We had a good time. She also hurt her foot, so she's wearing a boot, which is kind of funny. We had her departing dinner now because President is being released in June, (and going home to Orem!! So I can see them after the mish!) and they have to do some stuff to their house before President Clark gets here. So we had it a transfer early. 

I went on an exchange with Sister Weston! We had a thing called zone 24's, where everyone in the zone gets exchanged with someone else in the zone for 24 hours. It was amazing!!! First, we slept on the floor at some others Sisters apartment, because hers was getting fumigated. That was fun though. Then we went and saw so many miracles. It was so evident that Heavenly Father was guiding us to where we needed to be. We had a few set appointments, but they all fell through, so we stopped by a potential investigator's and she was super receptive! But we wouldn't have been there if we had gone to the set appointments. Then we tried to visit less-actives, but not a single person was home. We stopped by their house to see if it was done, and while there, Sister Weston grabbed a prepared Book of Mormon. (One that has the questions of the soul marked, and has a testimony in it.) She didn't know why at the time, but felt prompted to grab it. After trying a few more less-actives, I looked at Sister Weston and said, "I think Heavenly Father is trying to tell us that we need to go tracting." So we went tracting for two hours! While doing that, we got four new potential investigators! But the coolest part happened at the very end of the two hours, before we had to go to dinner. 

We were walking down this hill, when this bus pulls up beside us, and this old man gets out. My first thought was that we needed to talk to the old man. But, as we walked towards him, we passed the bus driver who had helped him off the bus. When we passed him, he asked us if we wanted a ride down the big hill we were walking on. We politely declined, then continued walking, because the old man was going into his house. As we took a few steps away, I felt a distinct prompting to go and to share a Book of Mormon with the bus driver. So I turned around and asked him if we could share something with him. He said yes, and turned off his bus. We talked with him for a while, and after a minute he said, "I think I was supposed to meet you. You see, I never take this route. Usually, I drop this man off in the middle of my route, but today, for the first time, I changed my route, so he would be last." The Spirit in that moment was so strong. Suddenly, we knew why all our lessons had fallen through, and why no one had been home. It was because we had needed to meet this man, at that exact time, that exact place. (His name is Rafael by the way.) Sister Weston asked if we could share a scripture with him, and takes the one he has in his hands to look it up. She then reaches down and grabs the prepared one, (that she had grabbed from her apartment like 2 hours before) and switches them. She gave him that one instead. We shared with him some of the Restoration, and talked about Helaman 5:12. It was so cool! Such an amazing experience. They are going to meet up with Rafael this week during his lunch break and teach him more. 

That was the super highlight of my week, in case you can't tell by how long it was. :) We had Sister District meeting, which was super fun. I learned a lot. :) 

Thursday, we were out til 12:20, because Gladys Knight came and performed in Irvine with her choir! It was so awesome, and we were able to take some people from our ward who were less-active. The ratio of Members to Non-members at the performance was 1 to 1. It was an awesome experience. :D 

Saturday we went and did service, and had a District Blitz! I have a problem of tracting into Members homes... We tracted into a part-member family, and were able to teach the non-member husband about the Book of Mormon though, so that was awesome! After the Blitz, we went and helped set up for the Stake Relief Society Dinner, that Sister Clayton, who's husband is in the First Quorum of the 70 was speaking at. It was all wonderful. Sister Clayton is amazing, and shared an amazing talk about becoming women of faith. Super fun! During the meeting, we get a text from the Elders, saying that one of the LA's in our ward, who we haven't been able to see for a month wanted to meet with us that night! So we were able to go and have a lesson with her, the Elders and the WML. Such a cool lesson. She wants to work towards the temple, so she can do the work for her daughter who passed away. 

Yesterday was crazy! I was with Sister Corpuz all day in all three wards again. I had forgotten how nuts it was to cover the three of them. It was fun to be back though. Lots of people came up to say hi. We were able to attend a man's baptism, who had requested to have his records removed years ago. He had been working with the Elders, and finally decided to be re-baptized. It was an amazing experience, and a huge blessing to be there. We had a few dinners, then went home to our companions! 

It was an awesome week! Transfer calls are this week, so I will let you know what's happening! I wouldn't be surprised if I stayed here with Sister Phinney for another transfer, but you never know. 

Also, Lele is getting baptized on FRIDAY! I'm so excited! It's going to be amazing! 

I love you all! 
Love, Sister Wood :) 
This week was good. Kind of rough, but still good. We went on lots of exchanges with Sister Corpuz. Like everyday for three days. :)  It was so fun! Trios are the best! But some missionary told me that temporary trios are kind of like being a grandparent. You get them for a while and have fun, but then you get to give them back to their parents, or companion as it were, when they are tired. It's kind of true I think. :) Anyways, it was lots of fun. We went and did some Filipino work, and went tracting a lot. 

We gave a training in ZTM! It was a crazy ZTM. (Zone Training Meeting for those of you who don't speak missionary... :) It's where we go and receive guidance and counsel and trainings from leaders and other missionaries in our zone.) It was awesome! I learned so much. They didn't plan in advance who would be giving trainings, but had different people prepare about 15 trainings. We didn't know if we would give ours or not, but we ended up being asked to do it. It was a cool training on letting your light shine, and not hiding it under a bushel. My favorite was a training about leaving your mark. They taught us a lot about how even if we don't set up a return appointment, or teach a lesson, or really get to say much at all, and all we get to do is leave a card, that it makes a difference. It makes some sort of impact. Everything we are doing out here makes a difference. We might not be able to reap, or even see the fruition of our efforts while we are missionaries, or in that area, but we are making a difference, and we need to leave our mark. It was super cool, and it is definitely what I needed this week. 

In other news, Adele dropped us this week. :( It's super sad. She was so golden. This week has been kind of rough because it seems like all of our investigators have hit this point where we either can't contact them, or they don't want to see us. So that's been kind of frustrating. But, we have decided to do more less-active work, more tracting, and trying to work more with the members. We have decided to do what we can, and trust that Heavenly Father will make up the difference. I am grateful that rather than giving up, I feel strong enough that even though it's sad and discouraging, I feel like I can keep going. It's a super huge blessing. I am so grateful for Sister Phinney too. Because she is so positive, and doesn't let anything bother her. It's a good lesson for me to learn. I am grateful for all the things I am learning from her. 

Funny story! We climbed out the church window! (I will include pictures. :) ) Sister Phinney, rather than going to the doors, turned into this classroom, and went over to the window. I was confused and said something like, "What are you going to do, climb out?" I don't remember her response, but one thing led to another, and she climbed out the window! I realized after a second that either she would have to come back in, or we would have to go out, (Sister Corpuz was with us.)  or else we wouldn't be being obedient to the white handbook... She couldn't come back in due to her being too short, so we all went out through the window. It was an interesting experience, and super funny. :) 

I saw Lele at church yesterday, and she made me feel so good! I miss her a lot, and I asked her if I could go to her baptism. She responded with, "Of course you have to come! You are one of my teachers!" It was really cool. I am very excited to go next week. :D 

I know that things happen for a reason, and even when it's hard, Heavenly Father has a plan for us. He will never let us suffer or go through a trial for no reason. Sister Wolterman has a quote over her desk that says, "When Heavenly Father lets us fall, he will either catch us, or teach us how to fly." I know that's true. I'm grateful to be where I am.

So, we are just keeping on keeping on. :) Sorry for the super long email... :) I love you all, and hope you have a great week!  

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Picture 1) Sister Corpuz and I during Comp Study :)
Picture 2) I told you I climbed out the window :D 



Monday, April 11, 2016

So, this week was great! I don't have a ton of time left, but I will do my best to sum it up. 

WE SAW ARIANNA!!!!  I don't know if I've told you about Arianna, but she is one of our investigators who is struggling a lot. We have been trying to see her for weeks, but something has always come up. We were actually going to drop a loaf of bread off at Adele's house, cause we haven't seen her for a while either, but she wasn't home. As we walked away, I looked at Sister Phinney, and asked if we should stop by Arianna's, even thought we've never caught her at home. We both felt like we should. So we went, and were able to have a short, but needed thought with her, reminding her that no matter what, Heavenly Father loved her. It was an amazing tender mercy.

This week I have seen a lot that Heavenly Father will guide you if you will be led. He won't force you to listen to him, but he will lead you if you let him. So we did some Family History this week, and we had to run back to our apartment to grab something. We ran inside and got it, then went to the business center at our complex. Unfortunately, it was full. So we decided to go do it at the Church, but I forgot something else, so we ran back to get it. We finally made it to the church, just as this old woman was walking through the parking lot. When I saw her, I felt inspired to talk to her, and Sister Phinney said, we need to talk to her. So we went and we talked to her! Her name is Mary, and she's super sweet! She accepted a Book of Mormon, and expressed interest in learning more about the church. It was amazing to see that we had been guided to being where we needed to be when we needed to be there. So that was cool. 

I got to go on an exchange with Hermana Garcia!!! It was so great. It was a little bit weird having my old companions with me, but knowing that I wasn't companions with either of them anymore... It was weird, but a good weird. We had a wonderful time. We did service, saw some less-actives, and saw a lot of miracles. I needed to be with her. It is amazing that Heavenly Father puts things and people in our lives that will help us grow, or simply give us comfort. It was so amazing. 

So funny moment this week. I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth, and when I left, Sister Phinney wasn't in our room, and our door was shut. I thought she was waiting to jump out at me from the closet, but I she wasn't there. I opened the door, and all three of my roomates start shooting me with water guns! Me, the door, the carpet, and a bunch of other things were completely soaked by the end of it. It was pretty funny though. I couldn't just let that go though, so I went into the kitchen and grabbed a cup full of water and threw it at them, cause they were trapped. It was pretty funny. :) But then we had to clean it all up because we had cleaning checks. :D 

That's all I have time for, but I just want you all to know that miracles are always happening if you will open your eyes up to see them. Heavenly Father is always blessing our lives, and helping us along the way. I love you all! Til next week!

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Picture 1) What I walked out to... 
Picture 2) Me, after it all went down


GUESS WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!? LELE IS GETTING BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am a little bit excited.  Actually, I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know she's not my investigator anymore, but it's still super exciting news. Sister Wolterman and Sister Corpuz came home and Sister Wolterman comes up to me and is like, "Guess what?" and I was like, "What?" And she goes, "Lele is getting baptized on April 30th." And I just sat there for a minute and was kinda lost, then it registered, and I was like, "WHAT????? YES!!!! THAT'S AMAZING!!!" Then I gave Sister Wolterman a big hug, then gave Sister Corpuz a big hug, then gave Sister Phinney a big hug, and everyone was looking at me like I was crazy, but it didn't matter, because Lele was getting baptized!! I'm so excited for her! This is going to bless her so much, and will give her so much comfort about her husband, and I just can't wait for the 30th. Man, it was the best news. :D
This week was good, with some hiccups, as usual. I got really sick! Yay! The nurse made me stay at home for 3 days, because she didn't want me to infect all of San Clemente. While we were stuck inside, I practiced my violin, and Sister Phinney made like 8 loaves of bread. But now I am on the mend and not contagious! So I can go work again! Also, I was able to go to conference, which was awesome!
We had the awesome opportunity to go and help the Elders teach one of their investigators Angelica. She wants to get baptized, but has a few concerns about doctrine. The Elders invited us to come with them and teach her with them. It was a super cool experience. I suggested while we were there that we all write down three questions for General Conference, then fast and pray beforehand that we would get the answers to those questions. Yesterday we were able to all come together again, and share the revelation we had received. It was so cool to hear that most of her concerns had been resolved by what had been shared. She still has some questions, but has slowly started gaining a testimony of the apostles and prophets. It was an amazing experience.
General Conference was so so so good. It was such a needed boost for me. I felt like a terrible person, because I hadn't been able to missionary for a few days, and when I heard Elder Hollands talk, when he said, "Please remember tomorrow, and all the days after that, that the Lord blesses those who want to improve, who accept the need for commandments and try to keep them, who cherish Christlike virtues and strive to the best of their ability to acquire them. If you stumble in that pursuit, so does everyone; the Savior is there to help you keep going. …
Brothers and sisters, the first great commandment of all eternity is to love God with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. That’s the first great commandment. But the first great truth of all eternity is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind, and strength. …
… Keep trying. Keep trusting. Keep believing. Keep growing. Heaven is cheering you on today, tomorrow, and forever."
  It touched me so much. I knew that I was going through this for a reason, there was something I needed to learn from it, and that regardless of how I felt in the past, I needed to keep trying, keep going, and keep believing. It was really cool for me. The Spirit testified to me, that it's okay to have weaknesses, and that because you have them, it doesn't mean you're suddenly this terrible person. (See the talk "It isn't a sin to be weak") I was very grateful for that.

 I also loved President Ucthdorf's talk, especially when he talked about how it is our choice, whether or not we let Heavenly Father help us.

"While our loving Father desires that all of His children return to Him, He will force no one to heaven. God will not rescue us against our will.If you cannot say you know God is there, you can hope that He is. You can desire to believe. That is enough to start.
Then, acting on that hope, reach out to Heavenly Father. God will extend His love toward you, and His work of rescue and transformation will begin."
I also loved Elder Cristofferson's talk about Fathers. I am grateful for my Father, and the example he has been to me throughout my life. I liked when he said, "As a Church, we believe in fathers. … We believe that far from being superfluous, fathers are unique and irreplaceable."
I was all so good. I truly loved all of it, but those were some of my favorite talks. I am grateful for a living prophet, and living apostles. I know that they are inspired of God to share what they do.
So that was about it this week, it was hard, but it was good. :) I love you all! Hope you have a good week!
Love, Sister Wood :)