Monday, March 6, 2017

Week 72: Press forward with a steadfastness of hope

Greetings everybody! How are you all doing? 

I'm doing so good. This week has been super challenging, but amazing at the same time. Funny how Heavenly Father works that way. When we feel so alone, and like nothing is going right, He always somehow, someway if we're looking for it let us know that he is right there with us. None of us will ever truly be alone. Isn't that an amazing promise? 

Christ even said, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." He has promised to be here for us. We have the Savior of the World at our fingertips, I hope that as we remember that, we will be more inclined to remember him, and his atonement. But not only remember it, but act on it, and use it so that one day we can dwell with him, Heavenly Father and our families forever. I am very grateful this week for eternal families. 

This week was wonderful. We saw many miracles, and I felt the hand of God guiding us and directing us on our way. We had a baptism in our ward this week! It was that of a 16 year old girl who was part of a part-member family. It was beautiful and touching in every way. I am so grateful for the path that Heavenly Father has for us, so that we can be united as families forever. Isn't it amazing? 

We went on exchanges this week, and it was my first day since transfers where I didn't talk to anyone in Spanish. It was interesting to go back to English. It was an awesome day, and I loved being with Sister Hunter. We were crazy busy all day, and had a lot of appointments. It's so fun to teach all day! I loved every minute. We had a lesson with this amazing Lebanese family. They speak 4 different languages. Each of them. It's amazing. It was a powerful lesson about Prophets,  the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and how they all go together. It was awesome. 

Today we went on a crazy hike with one of the zones. It was super fun, but super hard. My fitbit equated it to walking up 75 flights of stairs... :) It thought it was funny. :) 

That's about it for today, seeing as I'm almost out of time. I love you all so much! 

Inline image 1

Inline image 2

I know that God is leading this church. We might not be able to understand His plan, but I know that it will always be for our benefit. 

I love you all, and hope you have the most amazing week, and that you will look for God's hand every day. 

Love, Hermana Wood :) 

Week 71: Milagros! aka miracles. :)

Hello everybody! 

This week has been really good. And when I say really good, I mean amazing! :) 

Haha, It's just been good. This week was really full of humbling experiences. It's kind of amazing to me how when we are humble, that is when the Lord can work miracles through us, and truly show His hand in our lives. When we are prideful, it's a lot harder for him to do that, because we aren't relying on him to help us. 

We had zone conference this week. The theme for zone conference was definitely consecration. They talked a lot about giving everything, and putting everything that you need to on the altar of sacrifice. I'm working on consecrating time every day to memorize a scripture, because nothing has more power than the word of God, and we are here to share God's word and love. 

One of our mission presidency talked about how you love what you serve. If you serve the Lord, you will come to love the Lord, if you serve the world, you will love the world. Where you put your time and energy is where your heart is. I think that's why the Lord said to treasure up things in heaven and not on earth. Because where our treasure is, our heart will be. He also talked about how if you are lacking love for your companion, or your ward, or whoever, serve them, and the love will come. It was cool. :) 

We watched Only a Stonecutter, which is only like 20 minutes long, and a phenomenal little film if you need inspiration. 

It was a wonderful meeting. I also had the opportunity to bear my testimony in Spanish. It was super nerve-wracking, but I know that Heavenly Father was there with me. It was very simple and basic, but it reminded me that the Gospel isn't always super complex, but is often simple enough for a child to understand. It was humbling, but a wonderful spirit came over me as I bore my testimony. I couldn't say much, but what I could say, I felt with my whole soul that it was true. It was a very sweet experience. 

I had another taste of what missionary work is truly about this week. There is a family in our ward who is struggling. A lot. They had a really rough experience as a family, and while there wasn't a whole lot we could do for them, we went over to their house, and we were able to offer them comfort and support. We called the Elders, and they came and gave a Priesthood blessing to the mother. Also we were able to give them some supplies that the mission was trying to get rid of, that they needed. It just reminded me of the pure love that God has for all of his children. I feel very blessed to have been an emissary of that love for that family. I may not be able to speak Spanish very well, or teach very well, but I can love people. It was a wonderful reminder.

We had an appointment with a less-active member of our ward on Saturday, but when we got there, no one was home. We were kind of surprised, and waited for a while to see if she was coming, but she never came. We walked around for a bit, trying to contact former investigators in the area. As we were doing that, we walked past a woman, and I listened for a moment and heard that she was speaking Spanish to someone on the phone. I motioned for Hermana Laboriel to wait, so we could talk to her. We talked for about 20 minutes, and we taught her about how God is our loving Heavenly Father. We soon had to leave though, and I had a feeling to ask her if she would let us come back and teach the lessons, so that I could practice my Spanish. She said that we were more than welcome, and we will be going to teach her on Tuesday! I'm grateful for the opportunities we have to follow the promptings of the Spirit. :) 

Yesterday church was good. Obispo (Bishop) invited Hermana Laboriel and I to bear our testimonies at the end of sacrament meeting. I was again reminded that I don't have to do everything perfectly. All I really need to do is try my best, follow the Spirit, and use the Atonement. When we do those things, we really can't truly fail. We were able to go to a devotional last night, where one of the less-active (now active) members I worked with in South Coast was speaking. It was wonderful to be able to go and support her. 

I love being here. I love serving a mission, and being able to serve the lord. I know this is the true church. Yo se que hay milagros todos las dias cuando buscamos por ellos. 

Thought for today!

Inline image 1

It's so true. I have been the happiest when I'm serving others. Like King Benjamin said, "When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."

Les quiero! I'll talk to you next week! Let me know if I can do anything for you! 

Con mucho amor, 
Hermana Wood 

Week 70: Bienvenida a la zona Espanol!

Hola amigos y familia!!! 

This week has been good... Lots of Spanish, and lots of lessons, where I basically had no clue what was happening, but good nonetheless.  

Someone asked me yesterday how church was, and I compared it to trying to drink out of a fire hose... cause that's kind of what it was like. :) But everyone in this ward is super friendly, and smiled at me a lot, even if I didn't quite understand what they were saying. So that was definitely a plus. 

We picked up an investigator this morning! His name is Jose, and his mom is a less-active in our ward. Last Friday during weekly planning, Hermana Laboriel wanted to call all of the people on our ward list that are in our area, and see if we could set up appointments with them, if we didn't know them. It was cool! So we set up a bunch of appointments with people where we could and we are going to go see all of them! It's going to be great. :) 

I've been practicing my Spanish a lot, and there are times when I can really feel Heavenly Father help me to understand and to speak. I've never been more convinced of the fact that the gift of tongues is real. 

We also picked up another investigator last week. His name is Henry, and he has been taught off and on for the past 30 years. We didn't know that when we went, because we were going to see his mother, who has been fairly inactive for the past few years. Then we got there, and we found out that he wasn't a member, and talked about the gospel, and found out that he wants to be baptized, but there are some big things that he needs to work through before he can. But he wants to change, and we are hoping that Heavenly Father will help us to help him. We have another appointment with him tonight. :) 

We have other investigators too, and they are super nice. Everyone has just been so friendly to me, and to us. It has been a huge blessing, because even though I struggle to communicate, I don't feel judgement, just love. That has been really nice. 

I'm doing good. I am not by any means fluent, but it has been a blessing that I can at least to some degree understand people. I also found out this week that President had no idea that I had taken any Spanish in High School, or had any grasp of any sort on the language, so that was kind of cool. :) 

I'm doing well. I have more confidence now, than I did last week. :) Hermana Laboriel is awesome, plus we have an awesome new WML, who just got called on Sunday. Funny thing is, he was in the South Coast ward when I was serving there a little over a year ago. :) So it's been cool to see them again. :D 

I'm happy, still adjusting, grateful for the opportunity. I know that this is a challenge that I can handle, as long as I rely on my Heavenly Father. Hence the quote for this week. :) 

Inline image 2

I know that I would not be asked to do this is God didn't need me here. I'm excited to work and to grow in the ways Heavenly Father needs us too. 

Thank you for all your love and support! I hope you all have an amazing week!! 

Te quiero mucho! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Week 69: Hermana Wood?

Hey Everybody! This week has been nuts.... Craziness. 

So it started off pretty normal... We had P-day on Monday, Tuesday we had District Meeting. We had an awesome District Meeting. I love my District so much! It's been so fun to work with them this transfer. We decided to have one last District Blitz in our area before transfers. We also had a really cool training on being a light. 

All of our dinners cancelled this week, so we had a lot of meals at home. I like being with Sister Cannon, so we made the most of it. 

We went to the temple! It was so amazing. I am so grateful that I got to go and be there. It seriously is one of my all time favorite places to be. Afterwards we went as a district to get lunch, which is always fun. It was so peaceful at the temple, and I just felt so good. 

On Saurday morning, we had a blitz in the San Clemente area. It was so amazing! We found a new investigator named Ana! She is from Brazil, and when she was flying from Brazil to California, she sat next to a missionary who gave her a Book of Mormon and taught her about it. We were walking around her neighborhood, right as she got home. We asked if we could share a message about Christ, and she said yes! I'm excited to see where it goes, because she seemed really genuine. 

So, this email is probably pretty scatter-brained, because I really only have one thing on my mind. I've been thinking about it constantly since Saturday night. On Saturday night, we had our weekly appointment with Sister Perry and the Elders. We knew it was transfer call night, so we were making sure to be home by 9. I wasn't particularly worried about transfers, because we just white-washed these areas, so I was pretty confident that we would both stay in the area. If not, I really thought I would stay, because I only have two transfers left. So it wasn't a huge deal to me. We got home at about 8:55, and then texted that we were inside. Sister Cannon went to shower, and I was going to get the transfer call, because we were that confident that we would both stay. So 9:30 rolls around, and I'm sitting out on the patio talking to the Hermanas who used to be our roomates, but are now our next door neighbors, waiting for the call, when suddenly the phone rings. I answer it, and this is how the conversation went. 

"Hello, this is Sister Wood." 

"Hi Sister Wood, it's Elder Rosenow, are you ready for your transfer call?"

"Yup, are we both staying?"

"Um... No. Sister Wood, you are being transferred to the Mission Viejo 5th Spanish ward, and you will be companions with Hermana Laboriel. You will be the designated driver, and you will be covering the MV 5th south area, speaking Spanish."

"......." "Elder Rosenow, that's not funny, what is actually happpening?" 

"Sister Wood, I'm not kidding, you're going Spanish."

"I don't speak Spanish! Really, are you kidding?"

"I'm not. Sister Cannon will be joined in Forester Ranch and San Clemente by Sister Wright." 

"Okay...... thanks....... (at this point I was sobbing) I'm going to go pray now."

And that was pretty much what happened. So I will be going to Spanish work today and doing my best to learn the language. I have been reciting 1 Nephi 3:7 over and over in my head, because I'm not sure what else to do. I'm so nervous, but I know that for some reason, God needs me where he is putting me, and I like Nephi will go and do. It's going to be a huge growing experience, because I am so far out of my comfort zone. We'll see how it goes. :) 

Inline image 1
Inline image 2

God has a plan for me, and a plan for you. When he asks something of us, he will always provide a way. I feel like I'm at the bottom of a huge mountain, and I have to climb it. I can't see the top, or how I'm going to get there, but I have a loving Heavenly Father who can see. He won't leave me alone on my journey. So I will climb. I love you all! 

Love, Hermana Wood.... 

Week 68: 2017

Happy 2017 everybody! 

This week was really good! We saw some definite miracles this week. We were able to meet two part-member families in our ward, and we will hopefully be able to start teaching them soon. They seem pretty open to the gospel, and coming back to church, so I'm excited to see where it goes.

Felicia is still on date for this Saturday, and the Elders who are teaching her promised to send pictures! I'm so happy for her. :)

We had breakfast with Bishop and his family on Wednesday. They are the nicest people ever! I don't know how I got so blessed to serve here with all these amazing people. 

I went on exchanges with Sister Downs in Cristianitos and Liberty Park wards. It was so fun. I love her lots. It was great to see some of the people that I knew when I was serving in those wards. I can't think of anything else that gets you to meet so many people. Missions are awesome. :) 

We have been helping the Elders teach one of their investigators, and she is just like the sweetest person on the planet. She has so many insights, and has such a testimony of the gospel. She just doesn't realize it in herself. Hopefully we can keep helping her move in a forward direction.

We were inside early on New Years Eve and had another great zone activity. :) We played water volleyball inside the gym, which may or may not have been the best idea, but it was really fun. I slept through the celebrating of the new year, but I hope you all had fun. :) Our church times got switched, so now our whole schedule is changing, and we have to figure out how to work our lives out again. It'll be fun. 

We got a miracle text this week! On Wednesday? Thursday? It doesn't matter. Earlier this week, I had a feeling to text one of our investigators who we haven't been able to meet with all transfer. I didn't say anything special, just wished him a Merry Christmas, and asked how he was doing. He then told us that he really wanted to retake the lessons again, but hadn't been sure how to ask us. He comes back in town today, and we are going to meet with him sometime this week! He is aiming to be baptized in February! It was so exciting! :D 

This week we have been focusing on being early to things, and I think it is going to be a trend for me for the rest of my mission. When we're early to things, it gives  us time to prepare mentally and spiritually. We don't feel rushed, and we are showing others that we are reliable. We have seen blessings come from striving to be early.

I'm very grateful for Sister Cannon. She is a wonderful missionary, and a wonderful companion. This week has been very good and full of miracles.  We don't know what will happen at transfers, but we are striving to do everything we can, so if anything happens, we can leave the are with no regrets. This is something I think would be beneficially for life in general. Doing your best so you don't regret things.
I've been thinking recently about the difference between regret and remorse. Regret holds us back, and keeps us from progressing. When we regret, we are leaving one foot in the past, and letting it weigh us down, preventing us from moving forward. When we have remorse, or Godly sorrow, it helps us to move on, and while we feel sorrow for the choices we made, or whatever our circumstances were, it propels us forward, and helps us to be better. I am hoping and striving that for this next year, I will feel remorse for my mistakes, but move forward, trusting Heavenly Father. I know that as we do, we will be blessed. We are intended to be eternal beings, but we can't do that if we don't keep moving forward. If you have a chance, read the talk "Remember Lot's Wife" by Elder Holland. It's a BYU speech. It's super good, and give some great insight about goals and moving forward.

That's about it! 

I love you all lots! Let me know if there's anything I can do for you! 

I hope you all have an amazing week

Much love, Sister Wood :) 

Week 67: Happy New Year!

Wow, it's crazy to me that 2016 is already gone. I feel like it was just a few weeks ago that I was at this point last year, serving in my very first area, with my second companion. There are some days where I wish that I could serve another mission right after this one is over so I don't have to stop doing this work. It absolutely is the best thing I have ever done. 

It was an amazing week filled with miracles and holiday cheer. We found out that our investigator who moved to Northern California has a baptismal date for the 7th of January! I'm so happy for her. That was kind of a miracle. The Elders up there are doing  a phenomenal job. I actually taught her a lot when I was in San Clemente before, so it's amazing to hear that she is taking that step. I also found out that one of the investigators I taught in Newport Hills is being baptized on the 7th as well! So hopefully I will be able to go and attend his baptism. It's crazy how awesome it is to see these wonderful, sweet people enter the waters of baptism. 

I loved Christmas. It was so full of wonderful people. We went to both churches, and were able to talk to family, which is always fun. I met my new nephew who slept the whole time I tried to look at him. It was wonderful to see everyone. 

We had a fun P-day activity yesterday, where we played volleyball. One of the Elders spiked the ball into my throat! It was pretty hilarious. He felt really bad, but it was more funny than painful. :D 

I'm so happy. I feel so lucky and blessed to be out here serving the Lord. I'm excited for 2017, and all of the new and exciting adventures and miracles that will come with it. 

Thank you for all of your love and support. You may never know how much it means to me. Thank you. 

Inline image 1

I love this quote, as we prayer fully set goals, Heavenly Father will help us see our potential, and where we can grow. He will help us. He wants us to improve and to be the very best we can be. I know he will do everything He can to help us grow. 

I love you all! Talk to you next year! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 


So I'm pretty much out of time... So sorry! 

But I want you all to know that I love you, and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!!!! 

I hope that you have an amazing week full of joy and miracles. As we put Christ more in our lives, the happier we will be. I know that having a Christ-centered Christmas will help us to truly feel of the holiday spirit. You all are amazing. Thank you for your examples and love. 


Inline image 1

Inline image 2

Inline image 3

I love you all!!!! 

Love, Sister Wood :) 

Week 65: Adjusting... :)

Greetings everybody! I hope that all is going well. :) 

I know theoretically that Christmas is getting closer, but the weather here makes me think otherwise. It's so warm, but chilly at night. It's all good. :) 

This week was really good. :) We had a lot of ward activities, and some really good lessons with the investigators in our wards. It has been really crazy. 

I love these wards. There are so so so many amazing and wonderful people here. They are so good to us, and super nice. They are also pretty missionary minded, which is totally awesome. In ward council yesterday, someone said, "The Merrick's next door neighbor seemed pretty open to the gospel, but we think it would be best if the missionaries just "happened" to stop by. Do you Sisters think you could go tract over there and "run into them"?" Haha, I loved it so much. :) 

The Primary President is friends with one of our investigators who kind of fell of the grid, and she was talking to us about a solution, and she said, "I'll just keep texting her and calling her. Eventually she'll either come, or tell us that she's not interested. So we've just gotta keep trying!" It was the best thing ever. 

I love these wards. I also got to decorate two Christmas trees this week! it was so fun. 

We had an awesome zone conference this week. There were some really good trainings, and they opened it up for everyone to tell miracle stories! It was so amazing to hear all of the miracles that are happening around the mission. I met with President to get my Ecclesiastical Endorsement for school. That was weird. It's odd to think about the future. It was also Sister Cannon's Birthday! So everyone sang to her at zone conference. We had dinner with Bud and helped him do some things around his house. He's the 95 year old. He is the sweetest man. 

We got to help with this huge interfaith choir concert at the Stake Center yesterday. It was wonderful. So many amazing performances. It was a phenomenal opportunity to serve, and to get to know members of other faiths from around the community. It was really good. I also got to see Lele!!!! It was so good to see her. We got to sit and talk for about ten minutes between my assignments. She is doing really well. She is going to get her endowments out in May, and invited me to come to the temple with her. I'm really hoping that I'll be able to come back for it. She's so amazing. She introduced me to some people as her first missionary. It filled my heart, and made me feel so grateful that Heavenly Father loved me enough to let me be a part of her life. It was wonderful. 

That's about it for this week, partially because I'm out of time.... So I'll talk to you all next week! This weeks thought comes from Elder Bednar. :) 
Inline image 1

I love this quote. Something I've heard a lot this Christmas season is, "Keep Christ in Christmas." It makes me think of the reason why we're celebrating, and helps me to focus more on my Savior as we celebrate His birth. We are so blessed. I am so grateful for this season and the hearts that are softened as we all turn our hearts and thoughts to our Savior.

I love you all so much, and hope you have a wonderful week. 

Love, Sister Wood 

Week 64: Back to San Clemente!!

Hey y'all. :) 

I'm not 100% sure where I picked up the y'all thing, but I literally say it all the time. It's a little bit funny. 

This week has been completely crazy. I have never seen a chicken run around with it's head cut off, but I'm sure that we looked something like that, and I don't know if that is going to change any time in the near future. It's all good though. It's good that Heavenly Father is in charge, cause otherwise, I would probably mess everything up real good. :) 

We all got Christmas pajamas!!!! :D I don't currently have a picture, but hopefully soon. :) Our stake president got a pair for every missionary in the San Clemente zone. It's awesome. That's one tradition I did miss last year. :) 

We pretty much hit the ground running this week. We got all our stuff packed into the car after transfers, then drove straight to dinner, and from there to a weekly lesson with a less-active in our ward and his non-member girlfriend, who is investigating the church. It went really well! This week we're going to invite them to come with us to a baptism that is happening in one of my last areas, which they will hopefully come to. 

I realized that Heavenly Father has some crazy planning going on. When I was in San Clemente last time, I was on exchanges in Forester Ranch and San Clemente wards at least twice a week. So now I've been transferred here, and I already know a ton of people! Plus, I keep seeing people that I love from Marblehead, which is amazing. These wards are so amazing. So many wonderful people. We also have 3 progressing investigators already, which is also a miracle. Heavenly Father is so amazing. Something that seemed like an inconvenience at the time, is now such a huge blessing. 

We have been able to meet a lot of awesome people this week. We met 3 out of the 4 investigators, and were able to do a lot of service this week. We randomly got a call from a woman, who asked if we could go help her move, so we rounded up our district, the missionaries who serve in her area were able to go and help her. It was good. We helped one of our investigators move from one house to another, which means that she will now be keeping all of the commandments! We are hoping to set a date with her soon, because she really wants to be baptized, but she is going to be up in Northern California with her parents for the next little while. Hopefully soon though.

We got to go help the Elders teach their investigator the Restoration, which is one of my favorite things to teach. I'm so grateful for the Restoration of the church, and for all that Joseph Smith did and went through in order for it to happen. Man, every time I think about the restoration, it just amazes me. It's so wonderful to be able to share it with others. 

We have two elderly people in one of our wards that we and the Elders visit on a weekly basis. They are the sweetest people on the planet. One's name is Bud, and he is 95. He is the sweetest old man ever. He was telling us the story of how he and his wife met... I was literally almost in tears. It was so sweet. The other lady is 80. Everyone calls her Mother Perry. It's so fun. 

I love these wards so much, and it's only been a week. I know that there are people here that I need to meet, and I'm so excited to get to know them. I'm excited to see miracles and tender mercies here in San Clemente. It's going to be amazing! 

The thought today comes from John. :)

Inline image 1

We've been focusing a lot on the #lighttheworld initiative. I want to invite all of you to go and check it out on It's so awesome, and it invites everyone to just do little things everyday that can bring a little more light into the world. It's been amazing to do it everyday, and I'm excited to keep going. There are blessings and miracles in store. 

I love you all! Thank you for all that you do! I hope you have an amazing week! 

Love, Sister Wood :)