Friday, July 29, 2016

Whelp, it's week six again... So yeah. :) 

This week was great! 

Life is wonderful here in Newport Hills. I love this area and the people here. It's amazing to have the temple in our area, where we can pass by it on our way to appointments. It always reminds me of the end goal. Of why we're out here teaching people. It's so they can go inside the beautiful temple, and participate in the ordinances there. It's a good reminder. :) 

We were able to to meet with some of our recent converts this week, they seem to be doing well. We are currently trying to get them to the temple to do baptisms for the dead! Hopefully they will all be going soon. :) We invited Paul to pray and set a date for when he needs to go. So hopefully, they will be on their way. 

Pilar is amazing. She has such a strong testimony, and knows that this gospel is true. I am grateful for her and her strength. I love the fact that when she doesn't understand something, she goes to the scriptures and the prophets words! It's such a good quality of hers. I'm grateful we have the opportunity to teach her, even though a lot of times I feel that we learn more from her than we are able to teach. I love her. :) 

On Wednesday we were able to give a training on being a successful missionary. I loved studying for this topic and being able to share it with our District. In PMG it says that "your success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment..." I thought that was so cool! Our District is so awesome! So many wonderful missionaries that we get to interact with. :) District 55 for life! :D  

Windows are the best! We had an interesting window this week, where when we got to the street we had felt prompted to be at, there were no houses there. Not a single house. We stopped for a moment, looked at each other, laughed for a minute, then decided to pray to see if there was somewhere else we needed to be. We both felt strongly that we needed to be there, so we decided to write some uplifting messages in chalk, and talk to anyone that passed by. When we finished, we felt like we had done the right thing. I am grateful for Heavenly Father. Even when we can't see the big picture, or the rest of the puzzle, he knows. He knows exactly what is going on and where he needs us to be. When we get out of the way and follow the Spirit, Heavenly Father will guide our feet the the proper place at the proper time. 

We were able to see a LA in our ward this week. Our encounter was... interesting.  She may be bi-polar, and potentially drunk at the time of our meeting, but we don't actually know... We prayed with her a lot, and did the best we could, but when I looked at Sister Coombs to see if she had any idea of what to do, she just looked as lost as I did... Anyways, we'll probably be going back to see her this next week, but we are going to call first. :) 

We tried to stop by a family where one of the children over the age of 8 has not been baptized. When we got there, the family wasn't home, but we were able to talk to the Nanny and give her a Book of Mormon. That was a cool experience. :) 

On Saturday, I was able to go on an exchange with Sister Wolterman!! It was so good to be back with her again. I am so grateful for her. For her example and influence. I always know how much she loves me. She is such an amazing missionary, and I learned so much from her. We had an opportunity to go to my Sister District Meeting, and learn about Virtue. I love the idea and principle of Virtue. It is powerful, and a wonderful thing to strive for. I am striving to learn more about Virtue and have it be a more prominent focus in my missionary work. Sister Wolterman and I had a good time together, and were able to talk to a lot of people about Heavenly Father's divine love for them.

We were in her area, and we had a window, where we went up and asked people if we could sing to them. It was really hard! I don't think I have ever put myself out there like that, but it was awesome! It felt just like old times. She played the guitar, then we sang I am a Child of God. We were able to give out quite a few copies of the Book of Mormon, and got over 80 contacts. It was so so so so so so cool! 

 If I had to say one thing that I learned from our exchange, it would be that we all do good things each day, and we need to stop and take a moment to "appreciate the sunset" in ourselves. I'll expound more on that later, but I'm out of time. I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend with her. :) 

We also met one of the investigators in this ward! His name is Don, and he wants to be baptized! He has some things that he wants to do/ work through before he gets baptized, and wants to be baptized in December. But he is willing to meet with the missionaries, which seems like a step in the right direction. We also set up an appointment with another one of the investigators in our ward!!! We are finally making some progress with them! I'm so excited!!! :D  It's going to be a great week. I just know it. 

Thank you for all that you do!!! You're wonderful! If there is anything I can do for you, or anyone you know, please let me know! I love you all!!! 

Love, Sister Wood 

This was Sister Coombs and I's window. :) 

Wow, time goes by so fast. It's weird. I feel like I was just emailing yesterday. Well it was later in the week, so that might explain it a little bit. I don't know. Anyways...

This week was really good! We got to have a lesson with Paul this week, he's so... interesting. But he's nice, and loves to learn about the gospel, so we have a good time together. :) We had interviews with President and Sister Clark... THEY ARE SO SO SO SO SO SO AMAZING!!!!! I know I said that last week, but it's even more true this week. They are so cool. So nice. So wonderful. All things virtuous, lovely, and of good report... Seriously, I can't tell you how much I love them. Main things I learned from them, 

A successful missionary is not someone who baptizes the world. A successful missionary is someone who does the very best they can to follow the Spirit and do the will of the Lord. Someone who loves the people they serve, and does all they can to help them. Numbers don't define a  successful missionary. A missionaries commitment to Heavenly Father defines a successful missionary. 

When we make mistakes, we need to let them go. We don't need to be hard on ourselves. Letting things go is a crucial part of the repentance process. 

They are so cool. I could go on forever about them, but nobody has time for that, so I will let you all imagine for yourselves how amazing they are. 

I love doing Temple tours!! They are never boring. This week in the Temple Tour saga, we met the person who baptized the missionary mom from Meet the Mormons! His name is Ron, and he's super nice! (Pictures to be included. :) ) It was a super funny experience. We also got to go to ARP, but we didn't really know why we needed to be there, but we had prayed, and felt like we needed to go, and and at the end of the class, one of the people said, I am so grateful that the missionaries are here, because they give me so much hope. It was a super cool answer to our prayer. 

On Thursday, Sister Coombs had MLC, so I was able to go on a mini-exchange with Sister Cannon. She's super sweet. :) We had a great time together. Pilar had surgery, so we went and helped her for a little while on Thursday. She was super out of it, but she's so funny. It was good to be able to help her. I love her so much! 

There is this super awesome lady in our ward named Sister Howard. She is so nice. She fed us on Friday, and is just the kindest person I have ever met. She has a son on a mission in the Philippines, and is so nice to us. It was so cool to talk to her and get to know her. She has so much love to give. Sister Coombs and I walked away from her house glowing, because we felt so loved. It was such a cool experience. 

We have some super solid potential investigators who we are trying to meet up with. I'm so excited to see them progress. Also, Bob and Sandy from Marblehead went to Church!!! That was super exciting news. :) We are just trying to talk to everyone, and are focusing on finding. Yesterday we chased down some teenagers who wanted Books of Mormon, but we hadn't been carrying enough for all of them, so we had to run to the car, then chase them down to give them to them. It was funny, but totally worth it. Transfers are just a few weeks away, which is super hard to believe... 

That's about it! Thank you for everything you do! I love you all so much! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 

1) Us with Ron :) 
2& 3) I love the temple! And my nametag. :) 


Sunday, July 10, 2016

So this week was so so so so so much fun! So many cool things happened.

Last Monday, after P-day was over and we had finished dinner, we just decided to contact for the rest of the night. :) We wandered around a little bit, talked to the people that were there, but nothing was really happening. We had kind of a rough moment, then started walking down one road in the flower streets, and were walking by this house as a guy walked out. We started talking, and felt prompted to talk about the plan of salvation, and he stops us, and said, "You know, you guys have really good timing. My dad passed away two days ago, sure I want to hear what you can teach me." What a miracle! I felt so bad that his father was gone, but grateful for how open his heart was to the message of the gospel. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and will hopefully be meeting with him soon. 

We had a window on Tuesday on this tiny little street. I'm talking like 300 feet long. A window is pretty much an appointment with God, saying that we will be in a specific place at a specific time, which we pray about during our weekly planning session, and we ask him to help us find those whom he would have us share our message with. We got to this place, and we were like, are we really going to spend an hour here? But we both felt like it was right, so we started walking up and down this tiny little street, talking to people as they came out of their houses. We met Kevin! He was super interested, but was only home on lunch break and had to go back to work. He was also YSA age, so when we meet with him, we will have to pass him to the Elders. But it was a super huge miracle that we were where we needed to be, when we needed to be there. 

I've seen that so many times this week. 

Like later that day, we stopped at a less-actives house, and there was this huge impenetrable gate. There was no way we could get in, and there was no doorbell! So I just kind of stood there staring at it, trying to figure out any possible way to get past this barricade. While I was thus pondering, the garage door opened, and the woman we were looking for came out! We were able to talk to her, and get to know her a bit, and she told us to come back whenever. So cool! 

We met some super nice people in our ward. There are so many good people. They are absolutely amazing. I am so grateful for them. Also, I love sitting at the temple tour tent. Especially now that it is summer. So, every Wednesday from 3-7, and every Sunday from 12:30 to 2:30, I get to meet people who are visiting, or who simply want to learn more, and tell them about the significance of the temple. I get to share my testimony of it with them, and feel the Spirit that comes from just being by it. So so so cool. I love it.

We had zone conference this week!!!! AND WE MET PRESIDENT CLARK!!!!! He is so amazing. He and his wife are WONDERFUL. Seriously, they are so amazing. I am so grateful for them. They are gah, just so amazing. I can't say it enough. They are going to do so many amazing things in this mission. 

I WENT ON AN EXCHANGE IN SOUTH COAST!!!!! It was so so so so so so much fun!!! I was able to see so many people that I love. It was so good. I miss them so much. But they are in the very best of hands, so it's okay. Sister Brown, Sister Cannon, and I had such a great time together. We were contacting at the duck pond, and we went up to this family, who Sister Brown thought was Hispanic, so she started speaking with them in Spanish, some of them looked like they were getting it, but one of them definitely was not. After a minute, he looks at her and says, "I'm so sorry, I do not speak that language..." We found out that he was from Egypt, and spoke Arabic, not Spanish... Sister Brown was blushing so bad... :) It was so funny! He was super nice, and interested, but we didn't have any Arabic Book of Mormons with us, so we gave him our number, and as we walked away, Sister Brown was like, "We didn't get his number!!" So I was like, "Well, we better go back and get it!" It was awkward, cause we're awkward, but it was worth it, because we got his number!! :) We had dinner with Dave, and had a grand time. It was such a good day. Plus, my two temporary companions were amazing, and so fun to be with. :) 

Sunday was good! We went to church, did temple tours, then went to stop by some new move-ins... We thought we were stopping by Sister Marchand, but she turned out to be BROTHER Marchand whose name was STEPHANE, not Stephanie. So that was awkward... But his fiance might be interested in learning about the gospel, so that's cool. We had the temple music night, and had a fabulous time. 

Yesterday we partied like it was 1776, because 240 years ago, Great Britain gave birth to AMERICA!!!!! HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!  I know it's late, but better late than never. :) We had a great day! Pancake breakfast with the ward, meeting an area 70, shopping, singing patriotic music.... It was great. :) We had to be in by 7, so we had a zone activity, which was super fun. It was such an awesome day. At the end though, the Elders were like, "There's a surprise for everyone outside!" So we went outside, and they bombarded us with water balloons! It was still fun though. :) Anyways, that's about it! Sorry for the long email! 

This week I have learned that when we align our will with God's, that is when we will be happy! When our plans and his plans don't match up, life can be kind of hard, but when we submit everything, and know that he is omnipotent, he will make of us more than we ever could. 

I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! 

Love and prayers always, 
Sister Wood :) 
Whelp, I always say that I will give myself more time to type out my group email, and then I never do... So this will probably be pretty quick... Sorry about that. :) Next time, I will do better. 

Most of the recent converts are going through some super hard stuff, losing jobs, getting kicked out of their house... etc. I was super worried about them, but rather than turning away from Heavenly Father and being angry, they have turned to him, and relied on him for his help. It has been amazing to watch. They are amazing. 

Miracle! We didn't have dinner one night, and Sister Coombs texted a family and asked if they would be willing to have us over. While my inclination is to eat dinner at home, she correctly told me that it is an important way to get to know members. So, we actually were on exchanges that day, and Sister Coombs didn't get to go, but at dinner was a girl I didn't know. When I asked her name, I realized that she was one of the former investigators in this ward! She was going to EFY with her friend in this family, and totally knew the primary songs we sang with the family. We invited the family, and her to come to the temple music devotional next Sunday. It would be so cool if she could make it! It was a super tender mercy. 

Lele went to the temple and did baptisms for the dead on Saturday!!! I was able to go and do them with her. Such an amazing experience. It was so so so so wonderful to see her again. :) I love her so much, and it's so good to see her progressing!! 

I was able to go on an exchange with Sister Downs! She is such an amazing missionary, and I learned a lot from her. It's always fun to be able to get to know the other Sisters in the Mission. We had a great time together, and were able to talk to a lot of interesting people. :) While we were walking down the street, I saw a license plate from Utah. I know that not all Utahns are Mormon, but if we're honest, a lot of us are. So I saw the license plate, then heard kids screaming, so I walked to the gate at the house, and said, "Hi! Are you guys from Utah?" They were like, "Sisters!" So they were LDS. :) We talked to them for a while, then they bought us lunch! It was so nice of them! :) 

We had a super good week, we were able to see almost all of the people we needed to see. :) Sister Coombs did get sick, but is on the mend, and ready to get back to work. 

On the news side of things, Sister Hardin went home this week. :( For those of you who don't know who that is, she was my MTC comp. She had good reasons, but it was really hard to see her go. :/ I love her lots. Also, President Clark comes in this week! We are so sad to see President Orgill go though. :'( But it will be a good change. Heavenly Father wouldn't give us someone who wouldn't bless our mission. I know that. 

We're just trying to get our feet under us and start running. :) We are so excited to work in this ward! 

Our zone theme this transfer comes from Alma 14:13:
"Be it according to the will of the Lord; But behold, our work is not finished." I really liked that. :) 

I love you all!! Have the most amazing week ever! Happy 4th of July! 
Love, Sister Wood :)