Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Week 8: Life is Great!

Hello Everyone!!

Thanks to my wonderful mother for sending me a delightful Easter package!!! And... a cello string!! I am not sure yet if I can keep the cello in my apartment or if it will even sound good, but I will keep you all posted! I'm pretty excited because chances are good that I will get to play a cello again!!!! :DD It's nothing fancy, just an internet cello that a member family had. Their daughter played the cello for like a week and it's been in their basement ever since. 

Wow, time really does fly by on your mission! I've really noticed that this week and last week. I feel like I've had lots of experiences but most of them aren't anything I can write about in lots of detail. We've been blessed with lots of appointments lately and I haven't been bored! I totally can relate to the prophets in the Book of Mormon when they talk about how they can't write the smallest part of what they feel! There's too much to talk about and not enough time. Soon enough it will be Mother's Day and I'll get to call home!! :D Time has really flown past me this week, but I'll do my best.  I spent most of my email time reading about all that has happened to my family this week! 

Poor Ash, so sorry you broke your foot... well, at least it wasn't your leg again!! :P And poor Kyle!!  Mom, I'm super excited the house sold!!!! I've been praying a ton about that. It was hilarious to hear about the G-parents giving their talks at church.  Poor Mom!! Haha, it sounds like you had quite a disaster Saturday night.  I can imagine how frustrating that would be!!! I would be super upset.  But I'm glad you pulled it off. I bet your talk rocked! It seems like so much is happening at home right now.  

I find that even though I'm away from you, family, my love and appreciation for you is increasing all the time!! Especially as I teach people how the Gospel blesses families. I miss you and pray for you all the time! We will have an even better, closer relationship when I get home, I know it. :) 

I had a great Easter yesterday. It rained.  I had to give an impromptu talk in church.  That was exciting! I just hurried and shared a few scriptures I studied that morning and bore my testimony about Jesus.  People still think I'm super fiery and excited about the Gospel.  I guess I am!   Simple, right? I think a few months ago that would have been much more terrifying than it was.  It was fine.

We had  a new missionary meeting on Wed. in Oshkosh. (all the city names in Wisconsin are super fun to say... more about that another time.)  
It was so great to see Sis. Osmond and Sis. Askerlund again. It was a 6 hour meeting, actually, but I enjoyed every minute!! I learned a ton about how important it is to talk to everyone and many other valuable things of that nature.  We have to do so many "role-plays" as missionaries. It's rather awkward if you think about it.  But, that word can't exist in the mission field! (because it's all awkward and you have to roll with it.)   I wish I could write more but the meeting was super inspiring.  They encouraged us to pray to feel the strength of the Atonement every day!! I've been doing that and it's awesome, so you can all try it.  :D It works. 

On Friday we had companion exchanges, which last for 24 hours.  Sister Smith, one of our sister training leaders, switched with Sister Pearson.  It was quite terrifying, actually! Suddenly I became in charge and had to drive the car and decide what to do!!! Talk about scary. Imagine me, new missionary, in charge of all the responsibilities!! It was quite funny, because I didn't remember which key opened the door and we had to stand outside for like 10 minutes trying to figure it out. We had to say a prayer... haha. :P But Sister Smith is an amazing talker and I feel that I learned so much from her.  We went college contacting, and taught so many lessons! It was really great. We met an awesome part-member family that is interested in hearing the missionary lessons again.  We are going to start teaching them, hooray! Lots of good things are happening in this area... 

We had dinner at the Nation family's house.  They made ham, mashed potatoes, and THE MOST EPIC banana pudding vanilla wafer dessert.  Ever.  It was super good. And people gave us Easter candy, which must be destroyed!!!! :P

The weather has finally warmed up. It's been rather humid and rainy lately, but very nice weather.  Even 62 degrees! No tights or jacket or anything. ;) 

We had a church tour on Saturday with Trish.  We invited William, the enthusiastic guy who baptized Bryan last week, to the lesson, hoping he would help Trish see that there are some really fun people at church.  Well, this was the wrong decision because he acted crazy and kept interrupting the Spirit by talking about crazy Mormon tattoos/ I don't even know...  It was craziness! But, Trish had a good laugh, I suppose.  And the Spirit finally made it's appearance after we watched the Restoration movie.  So, miraculously, Trish still wants to be baptized!(?) We are thinking the end of May but it may get pushed back a bit.  She wants SIs. Pearson to be there, but she will almost for sure be transferred next time b/c she's been here for 6 months.  Yep, you guessed it, the first transfer has now passed and Sis. Pearson and I are staying together! 

I had a cool experience yesterday.  We were walking outside and I say this guy on his porch w/ headphones on. We walked past, but then I felt like we should go talk to him even if it was weird. So we did.  Turns out this guy was just thinking as we walked by that he wished he'd gone to church that morning and wants religion back in his life. He said he felt like God answered his prayer by us talking to him. (even though I felt super uncomfortable the whole time!)  His name is John and his Mom was reading the Book of Mormon before she passed away.  He is totally open and receptive to our message and he's a new investigator now.  But, he's in the Elder's area so they will be teaching him.  Anyway, it was a neat experience for me because it's still really hard for me to approach and feel comfortable talking with strangers about the Gospel.  It's a big challenge for me, actually, but I'm hoping that my mission will enable me to conquer this fear for good!! As we learned in the new missionary meeting, excellence in missionary work requires time and practice, just like music.  You can't expect yourself to play a concerto on a new instrument overnight!  I know that the Lord will qualify me for the work as I continue to do my very best.  The Lord is toughening me up, I can feel it!    

For something inspirational, I read a wonderful talk about how to receive personal revelation.  It's called "Opening the Heavens" by Elder Kikuchi of the Seventy.  I have to say... I tried what he suggests this morning and I totally had an amazing experience.  That's all I'll say, but I definitely received some much-needed counsel and reminding from Father in Heaven (about having courage)! :D I'd encourage you to read that talk and apply it.  Totally awesome.

Skylor is being baptized this next Saturday!! I can't believe it, time is flying by.  

That's all for now!!! The church is true!!!  Love you all!!


Sister Woods

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