Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall in Oshkosh

           Yikes!  Don't step back, Sis. Woods!  


Look at those amazing colors on the trees!  Wow!

A flaming background for a beautiful girl!     

Week 31

Hello Family!

I am emailing you from the car, actually. The laptops are plugged in the church kitchen and we have a long extension cord allowing us to email from the laptops in our car so we don't have to sit in the rain. The Elders and we were helping the Wastarts move around noon today so that threw off our emailing schedule. Of course Elders and Sisters can't be in the church building at the same time, so we are outside. :) It looks kind of silly, but it works. 

Well, I've had a great week this week with investigators.  I have been unusually happy, actually. :) We had the best first lesson ever with a girl named Lydia this week. She is from Kenya, actually, and is going to school here. She is so cool!!! She had so many great questions for us. I just know she's going to read the Book of Mormon and know it's true. I am way excited about her. :)

We also had a breakthrough lesson with Quintesa. She and Lydia will be my first blacktisms, haha. (That's assuming all goes well with both of them! Which it should. Sister WIlson and I have a motto to expect great things, much like Kohl's).  Well, the trouble with Quintesa is she has no one else but us to tell all her problems to and she has been going through some really hard times with depression and money problems, and other drama, and hasn't put forth the effort to grab hold of the opportunities we are extending to her. This has gone on for a while.
 One thing that really impresses me about Sister Wilson is she is willing to "take one for the team" with Dominique, Quintesa's rather wild 3 year old son who is starved for constant attention. He has a really nasty cold and likes to come up to us and cough and sneeze on us without covering his mouth. And play in our bags, oh and comb our hair with his fingers. Blegh. Obviously I have to work on my tolerance in this regard. He is a cute kid and all, and I love him, but I have a hard time with this. Watching general conference with them will be... super rough. Gen con is precious. But if that's what it takes to get Quintesa to watch, then that's what we will do. Anyway, our breakthough lesson happened because we brought Sister Wesner with us, who babysat Dominique so Quintesa could pay attention and we could both teach (instead of having one of us entertain Dominique and the other teach).  Quintesa told us she had an eye-opening experience and feels like she is ready to be baptized. Hooray! Of course, we had to have a talk with her that this will require effort and as much as we love her and want this for her, we can't make these changes for her. Otherwise we have to stop teaching her. That was a hard discussion to have, but it was well-received, I think. We will just have to wait and see if she's going to put forth the necessary effort to read and come to church. We are hoping for the best! :) 

We run a family history booth sometimes on Saturdays at the Farmer's Market. It was gorgeous weather outside (we dressed super warm this time!). Highlight: a creepy guy bought us giant apples. Sister Wilson didn't eat hers, thinking it was a creepy apple, which it might have been. I ate mine, though, and I have to say it was creep-a-licious. Best apple ever. :)

We also had a returned missionary come back on Saturday from Korea. That was exciting! He bowed to us a little bit, on accident, and had a bit of a challenge thinking of some English words. But it was fun to see what missionaries are like when they return. :) 

 I loved the Womens Broadcast, by the way, especially Elder Uchtdorf's talk!!! I had no idea what a life hack was. :P But I was very impressed by his talk and his umbrella analogy. He is a funny man! :) I'm sure Mom greatly enjoyed it,too. I thought of you, Mom! :) But in all seriousness I greatly appreciated how he testified of God's love for all of us (which is especially easy, it seems, for us as women to overlook) just as we are. It was very powerful. 

Thanks to my wonderful mother, we now have some fabulous music to listen to in the car! We have been listening to Lamb of God, which is spectacular and features a solo cello, who represents Jesus. Awesome!!!!! :) 

What I have gotten into lately are conference talks. SIster Wilson calls me a talkoholic, haha. If anyone wants to send me a talk, please feel free! I love them. :) I found a really awesome quote about fasting, but I left it at home so it will have to wait until next week. Anyway, I read a really great one by Elder Bednar this week called "Clean Hands and a Pure Heart."  I was very impressed by it and want to share a quote:

 "Hands are made clean through the process of putting off the natural man and by overcoming sin and the evil influences in our lives through the Savior's atonement. Hearts are purified as we receive His strengthening power to do good and become better. All our worthy desires and good works, as necessary as they are, can never produce clean hands and a pure heart. It is the Atonement of Jesus Christ that provides both a cleansing and redeeming power that helps us overcome sin and a sanctifying and strengthening power that helps us to become better than we ever could by relying only upon our own strength. The infinite Atonement is for both the sinner and for the saint in each of us." 

Throughout this talk, Elder Bednar cites scriptural evidence of the fact that there is actually a difference between having clean hands (the sanctifying aspect) and a pure heart (the strengthening aspect). There are two parts to what the Atonement does for us. See Mosiah 4:2, Mosiah 4:26, Moroni 10: 32-33, Alma 13:12.  I love the example in Alma 13:12 because it shows that this transformation from good to better, happens to ordinary people like you and me.  

I  believe with all my heart that these things are true, that the Atonement is far more infinite and far-reaching than you and I can ever imagine, and that it is a tremendous source of power for not only redemption, but for a mighty change of heart, a true transformation to become more Christlike.  I have seen it work in small and simple ways and I enjoy learning all I can about it. 

I love this work and I know it is true!

P.S. I heard a good joke today. What do you call it when Batman skips out on church? Christian Bale. Ha! 

P.S.S. I'm SO excited for General Conference!!!!!! The Kakushke's, my favorite family in Oshkosh, are taking us out to lunch in between the sessions. Hooray!!! :) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

A couple more pics . . .

Sister Rice is always concerned we aren't being taken care of...  She is so funny. She goes on these huge tangents about how something needs to change, these members need to sign up on our dinner calendar every night. Someone MUST take care of you, sisters!!!!! She used to be a police officer in Vegas and is always telling us to check under our car and in the backseat for creepers BEFORE we get in the car. And she has oven spray to protect herself, haha. 

Sis. Peterson, Sis. Woods, and Ryan with his daughter (Stevens Point)

New Pictures from Sis. Woods

Go Packers!!  Yay!

This is Sister Billman, the super cute lady who invites us over for french fries. She made this dress. :) 

Yes, I have to eat french fries on my mission... out of a frier!!! D: Things I never thought I'd do, haha! She always gives us a gift each time we visit. That is mine, a hot chocolate santa pourer thingy. :)

This is Katie, our favorite cute old lady that we get to push to church at Evergreen on Sundays.

Feeding the ducks at a lake in Stevens Point!

Lucas, Sis. Woods and Sis. Peterson

Pictures of me, Tang, (a recent convert in Stevens Point) and Chris 

Week 30

Hello Family,

First off I want to wish my delightsome sister, Ashley, a happy birthday!!!!! I hope you can feel the love radiating off of all those exclamation marks, from Wisconsin all the way to Korea. :) 

I also want to wish Abby luck on entering the MTC on Wednesday!!!! Good luck, Abethus, get ready for the journey of a lifetime!!

Well, not a whole lot has happened this week. We weren't really able to see any of our investigators. The people we were able to see is a returning less-active family, the Vasquez's. We have been teaching their son, Albert, who is 9. Now we are also teaching his sister, Anna, who will be 9 soon. Both of them have a baptism date for November 1. They are a cute family. The trouble with Oshkosh is that no one seems to have a car (they take the bus), so it is very difficult to get people rides to church. This includes the Vasquez's and they are out of the way from the other ward members. We joke all the time about all of us chipping in to get a giant fun bus to take everyone to church. That would solve a lot of problems!  Haha, Kyle's comment about suffering the children certainly applies with this family! They are so cute but the little girl, Adrie always wants to play with our hair... with sticky watermelon hands! So that's fun, Haha. One trick we like to use with young kids is light a tea bag on fire to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. The tea bag is unable to make it to the ceiling (heaven) without faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the Holy Ghost (the fire!).  That one is fun. They are a nice family, like I said. But young Albert has some pretty bad behavioral issues and we were present for some family drama this week. This was us: "So... uh should we say a prayer now?? (and get outta here!!!)" Haha. It's fine, it happens, it is just interesting all the situations you get to see teaching people in their homes!

I got to play the cello in church yesterday!!! It was just me, no piano. It went alright, not my greatest performance ever. I definitely could have started preparing it sooner, but hey, I'm a sister missionary!! :) Nonetheless, everyone really enjoyed it and was very, very appreciative. I got tons of comments afterward, and people were impressed. (go figure right? I hadn't played in 6 months!!) This cello really is a nice one and it has great sound. (And I get to still keep it in my apartment!!! :) ) Sister Moffitt, the cute violinist lady, ran up and gave me a hug afterward telling me nice things about my vibrato, and all these technical terms that she observed in my playing. Cute lady! I sure hope we get to do a gig this week. She said it's time for another one. ;) 

Actually, speaking of Sister Moffitt, we were able to visit her this week in her adorable, decked out, penthouse apartment. This is seriously the most fashionable lady ever, and her apartment is full of cellos and musical things. Her bird is named Mozart! We had been told she was feeling down and was in need of a visit so we actually ended up spending the entire evening with her. She is hilarious!!!! I love this lady. She reads out of the Book of Mormon in Croatian while we read out of the English one. :) She ended up making us dinner, inculding the greatest eggs I've ever had in my life! She made them with olive oil. She seriously spoiled us :) We were able to help her with a few things and we were so happy we were able to help her feel better. :) 

I also had an interview with President Cutler this week. Those are always my favorite! What an amazing, loving, and inspired man!!!! He spent a rather long time with me, and answered my questions. He had some great insights for me, as mission presidents do. :)) 

This week I've been studying quite a bit about obedience (which, coincidentally, is the subject of Kyle's blog post this week! :)) I've been studying the Christlike Attributes out of Preach My Gospel (which is an amazing resource, I highly recommend it!) so this was my week's focus. I was able to see how obedience helps us to know Jesus Christ better (see 1 John 2:3-4) because we are following His example. Didn't He also align His will to the Father's? When we are obedient we actively become more like the Savior. A quote I love by elder Perry is as follows: "The discipline contained in daily obedience... builds an armor around you of protection and safety from the temptations that beset you." When we are obedient to the commandments (and mission rules in my case, there are many!) it fortifies us with strength. Pretty cool, right? This week I was able to think of obedience in a different way than I had before. Not only does obedience yield blessings and happiness, which are very nice indeed (D&C 130: 20-21 and Mosiah 2:41) but I think it is also a form of being true to ourselves, our immortal selves. After all, we shouted for joy at the opportunity to come to earth and prove ourselves by being obedient, to become more like our Heavenly Father and follow our Savior. This is the point of our life on earth, obedience! (Abraham 3:24-25). These are only a few of the many great reasons why it is worthwhile to be obedient, of course.  I've been able to experience an increased capacity and desire to be exact in obedience, even in details, as I've prayed for it. I'll share a few examples. I've been able to manage my time much more effectively, particularly in the mornings. Before, I used to struggle to be EXACTLY on time for things (maybe a minute or so late) but now I've got it down to a science. :) This was something a former companion of mine tried to instill in me, but I think I finally caught on. I must be feeling a lot better because I just didn't have the strength before now. I am striving to help my current companion in this regard but I definitely won't be using the Sister Peterson strategy. :P The same goes for my workout time. I'm able to get a full 30 minutes (thanks to Sister Wilson who is willing to tolerate us running outside in the cold for 20 whole minutes in the morning, she is NOT a morning person, poor soul! ).

Well, that is all for now. I'm learning lots out here in Wisconsin. I love being immersed in the Gospel 24-7. It is richly rewarding! The Gospel is the greatest. There is always SO MUCH to learn and read. All the time. I never thought that would happen with our limited mission library.  

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Look out for those tender mercies!


Sister Woods

Monday, September 15, 2014

More Pictures from Oshkosh!

Sis. Woods, Eric and Sis. Pearson 
(At Eric's baptism in Stevens Point)

Aww!  Sis. Woods loves the nutritious snacks that Mom sent to her!

The Kakuschkes let me borrow their cello for my performance next week in Sacrament meeting!  So happy and excited!  :)

Week 29

Hi Everyone!

Get ready for the longest email ever. Here we go! :) 

Well, it is definitely fall here in Wisconsin. All of a sudden the temperature dropped to the 50s plus wind and my California companion and I didn't know what to do with ourselves. It's not supposed to be this cold in September! We run a family history booth at the Farmer's Market every other Saturday and lots of people came up to us.... only it was to tell us to put some pants on, girls, it's COLD! Ha. I guess that worked a bit to our advantage to start talking about family history. I had to cave and buy a hat and gloves, for I was frozen! And not the Disney Frozen, either. :P 

We had a really great Zone Training meeting this week. It was really, really great. I could tell it would be because we sung "Hark All Ye Nations" which starts every good missionary meeting out right. ;) I enjoyed the STL's training about becoming a more consecrated missionary and how love should be our primary motivation for working our heart out to serve the Lord and His children . It is not easy, it involves sacrificing all of you, your thoughts, fears, laziness, pride, and even your primary motivations, despite your weaknesses. ARGH, I sure don't like that I have those! :P It's a good thing Nephi had them too. I like how it didn't matter to him, in the long-run, that he had weaknesses. I love how he says "why should my strength slacken?" (see 2 Nephi 4). He knew he had Savior's grace to rely on so he was able to look to the future and press forward, despite his weakness. Mission life is difficult for everyone for different reasons, that is for sure. I think my mission has and is continuing to force me out of my comfort zone in the worst (and therefore the best! :)) possible way. It's been great for me, it truly has. I've grown lots and have learned to rely on the Lord. Anyway, it was an exciting, great meeting, and I was able to set some goals, apply them, and refocus on my work. Consecration is the goal!! 

I'm having lots of kid experiences in this area. As you know, I don't have much kid experience. I don't really know how to handle them, so that's probably why the Lord is giving me lots of practice. They need to start calling me Sister Jungle-gym, haha. :P Whenever we go visit Sister Lowery, (Or Quintesa, for that matter, or the Vasquez's) these kids want to enter my personal space big time. They like to play with my hair, climb on me, play with my watch or necklace, oh, and Isaiah, the 1 year old, totally sneezed a big one in my lap. It must have looked like a nice pink napkin to him. Blegh! But hey, good times. :) 

Let's just say things are not going to best with Quintessa

We went on exchanges and Sister Nicholes came to Oshkosh. Since I don't really know my way around town super well yet, and we didn't have many appointments planned, we did lots of tracting. But it was great because we met so many cool people! I've decided that, for the most part, people are pretty nice at doors in Wisconsin. Or maybe that's just Oshkosh for you, but one guy, though he was adamently opposed to hearing a message about Christ, offered us a bite of his red velvet cake at the door. :) I loved that day. It was a great day, refreshing, and full of miracles.  We found TONS of super awesome new investigators. We gave out tons of Books of Mormon, and one guy called out to us as we were walking along, thinking we were Jehovah's witnesses (like everyone does!). At first he seemed a bit closed off but by the end of the conversation he was excited to read the Book of Mormon and said we could stop by again. :) Seriously. I think Oshkosh is the promised land! 

Also, while on exchanges, during personal study, a rather perplexed-looking Fedex lady knocked on the door, wanting help carrying in all these boxes of bubbly water!!!!! Yep, AGAIN. So we went out to her truck to help her carry in 10 cases. Haha.  She was probably like, "not again, you crazy church ladies!" I wonder what she thinks, haha. Thanks, family! 

On exchanges we also saw the cutest, frailest old lady, Sister Billman, who fed us lunch. She made a huge plate full of french fries and fish. She cried twice, actually, and loves telling us about cool experiences she's had seeing her mom in the temple. tells us to choose big or small before we visit her.  This determines what size of gift we are getting at her house. I chose small this time, so that meant a red monkey for me and a giant bear for Sister Wilson. And a giant Santa for Sister Nicholes. What awesome people they have here in Oshkosh! 

We had dinner with this awesome lady, Sister Rice. Ok, Sister Rice needs a bit of explanation. She's a little bit off, but likes to take VERY good care of missionaries. Like, extremely. She told us, no less than 10 times on Sunday, like a week in advance, exactly what we would be having at her house: sloppy joes, baked beans, and chips. She also describes for us, no less than 10 times, the pizza she bought us (we must put it in the freezer RIGHT AWAY) and tells us lots of safety tips, especially to bring a bright-beamed flashlight wherever we go, etc.. This lady is so funny. She claims to have a big crush on the prophet Joseph Smith especially, and also President Monson. Haha! She also added that Jesus is a swell guy, a fine catch.  ;) 

I was also able to go to Eric's baptism in Stevens Point on Saturday. I called President to get permission and find a member to drive us there, but it was AWESOME.  It was so great to see Eric again, lots of familiar faces, and both my former companions. :) We couldn't stay long afterward to catch up with people, but that's ok. I was sure glad I could go. It was such a strange feeling, it was like I never left! Lots has happened since I left.... crazy stuff.  Eric looked so happy and I sure am excited for him. 

I was finally able to meet lots of people this week I haven't been able to meet yet, like Sister Hanford. I am so impressed with the ward and how helpful the members are. (They actually like us, what?! :P) The Relief Society president is AWESOME. She fed us lunch today and is helping us coordinate visiting teaching. They are also starting up a missionary moment system in the ward. I'm not sure exactly what it means, but it is exciting. 

Guess what? I gave a talk in sacrament meeting. I was supposed to just give a brief introduction and maybe talk about sanctification a little bit. Well, I didn't plan anything at all, except to share Heleman 3:35. So I said a prayer, crossed my fingers, and went up there and just started talking. Somehow (magically! Just kidding it was totally the spirit) everything flowed together, I shared why I decided to serve a mission and how I came to that decision and it all tied together with sanctification. Many people told me afterward  they were really touched by what I said (I don't even know!).  I haven't given very many talks before in my life, and when I had them planned out. So it was cool to see in that instance, and in many other instances this week, that the Spirit can give us utterance! There have been many times when I have no idea what or how I'm going to say something but I just open my mouth and start talking and all of a sudden everything flows together coherently. It totally wasn't me. The Spirit rocks! :)

The Kakuschkes let me borrow their cello since I will be playing in church next week. They are awesome! Oh, and they gave us not only a cello, but some warm chocolate-chip zucchini bread! :D This cello is super nice, by the way. It has  great sound (some serious lungs!). I keep feeling bad for Sister Wilson because it is loud, but she claims to love it. Haha.  We will probably have a gig at Sister Moffitt's this week. Exciting!

Ok, that's about it for now because I'm running out of time. I love you all, have an amazing week!


Sister Woods

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Photos from Oshkosh

Picture taken in front of the Oshkosh Museum

Thank you so much for the packages, Mom!!

Check out this cute girl . . . she was our "third" companion at Church!

This is Ray and his scooter.  Lacey got to ride it at the Evergreen rest home where she volunteers.

Sister Wilson and I moved our beds into the living room of our apartment.  It is so much fun because it makes us feel like we are having a sleep over every night!  Hee hee!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Week 28

Hello Family!

I had a really nice week. It was peaceful and not super eventful.  You'll notice I'm emailing later in the day than normal. That's because we now have to share the family history center in the church with the elders and they emailed first.  I wish I had more exciting things to write about. In fact, it puts a lot of pressure on me to write a good email every single week so every now and then I'd like to take a week off from my blog and keep my audience to just family.  

One thing I've discovered about Oshkosh is it is full of roundabouts! There are circles everywhere, actually. We sit in circles for district meeting, sunday school, and relief society, which was not the case in Stevens Point! :P There is also a Lake Butte-de-morte here (aka lake butt-demort) which I find amusing. 

As you can see, we decided to have some fun and move our beds into our living room, next to the front door. (notice Sister Wilson sleeping, haha! she is not a morning person so we set our alarm early, that's why I am awake)  It makes it really fun, kind of like a slumber party. We noticed that was how the Elders had theirs set up (see the story below), so we thought we would mix things up a bit! Now we can watch the thunderstorms at night and it feels like a sleepover all the time! Also like a dorm room because we can just chill on our beds and eat on them. We moved all the armchairs into our bedroom and it is now "the chill room" where we can read.  I'm so glad my companion loves to read, too!!  

Okay, so I've had an embarrassing moment with each of my companions. I had mine with Sister Wilson this week at the Salvation Army, where we volunteer on Thursdays. Here we go. So last week there was a kool-aid container full of very-strong kool-aid. I drank some and assumed that everything in that container was okay to drink. Well, I was super thirsty and was drinking it up a storm, though I noticed it did seem very strong, and had a bit of an aftertaste, but figured it was okay, maybe they just had a new flavor this week. Then Sister Wilson was like: "Sister Woods, that's iced tea!!" Oh dear!!!!! I do have a bad habit of liking that stuff, now don't I?? :)(Hence the bubbly water fiasco).  hahaha...

Let's see... I've done quite a bit of tracting this week. I think I've become much more bold than I used to. But we didn't meet a whole lot of success in giving away copies of the Book of Mormon. We did meet this really awesome lady named Lisa who talked with us forever on her porch. It's always a pleasant surprise when you find someone nice who will talk to you! By the end of our conversation she went from not interested at all in reading the Book of Mormon to saying she'll pick it up and give it another try. I'm not used to having a companion who is the same missionary age as I am. She is only a transfer older. But it's great because it gives me lots of opportunities to improve my contacting and teaching, try new ideas, and take the lead more. 

I really love how pretty Oshkosh is! I'll have to send some pictures by the water. Lots of members have really pretty views of the lake from their backyard. The members here are very friendly and nice. Also, Quintesa and her son, Dominic came to church yesterday. Dominic is... very rowdy! My companion had to bribe him with pretzels and there was a big screaming episode when the child in the bench in front of us took back his toy car. This kid is a handful! And his poor Mom doesn't know how to handle him well, like at all, so I'm really glad my companion is good with kids! He's cute. I'm learning a lot too. I've definitely not had much experience in that department, since I am a youngest child.  I totally got sprayed with a thawed ice pop drink the other day. Good times. :) We were very pleased, though, church was amazing. We had a great discussion about baptism in sunday school and about studying the scriptures in Relief Society, which really inspired her, I think. I was sure inspired! The RS teacher talked about how we crave the paths we travel over and over again, because they have become habits. The point of her lesson was that If we don't crave studying the scriptures it is because we aren't studying them consistently enough. It hasn't become a habit. That's why we revert to what feels comfortable: not reading them.  That is definitely true! Study time is my favorite time, and because of my mission I'm forever going to be a fan of daily scripture study. I think the same principle applies for prayer, exercise, positive thinking, and other worthwhile activities. These things may require some discipline at first, (and perhaps forever after that) but then they become a part of us.  I am also speaking next Sunday and playing the cello in sacrament meeting the week after. Exciting stuff!

Also, I think it's safe to say that we are, in fact, getting ipads. mini ones.  They will let us know details about that soon enough, but we will probably each have to buy one. I'm excited about that! :) 

Well, I'm still getting adjusted and meeting lots of people, which is terrifying, even overwhelming at times, but ultimately good for me. I am learning lots out here, especially to rely on the Savior. Missionary life is challenging, that's for sure!  But rewarding. Feel free to write to me!! Missionaries love letters! :) 

I love you lots, family, and hope you have a great week!!!! :) 



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Funny Story From Sister Woods

Ok, so you you know how I have been known to experiment in trying berries off of random bushes?? 

Well, this was another one of those "bonding points" with Sister Peterson. She actually thought it was funny!

 So I've "sampled" a few things out here--just for fun. So there are tons of wild mushrooms that grow here because it's so rainy. So I picked up a mushroom, sampled it (yep I totally ate a piece! Sis. Peterson made a video), and then I threw it at one of the ducks.  It totally hit the duck! (it squacked) Then, my bracelet flew off into the water, and I had to jump into the lake to grab it! 

We were just rolling. xD 

Sister Woods Arrives in Oshkosh! (Pictures)

Meet Lacey's new companion . . . Sister Wilson!!  She is from Santa Clarita, California.
Lacey is so excited to be serving with her.  Lacey says she is fun, hilarious, witty, super smart and happy!  Sounds like a perfect fit!  Yay!

I love this apartment! It's very fun-sized and we have a roomy living room.  Lacey's favorite part about her new apartment in Oshkosh . . . they have "spinning" chairs!

Look what Elder Booth left for me to play! He was going home from his mission and is letting me use his cello. :) 

 I can just mail it back to him when I'm done with it. It has speakers as well. My companion has played it too, haha.  I usually play without the speakers so it's not super noisy. She loves when I play so that is good news!  :) 

And there is also a member family who has a cello and they are very nice and will let me borrow it for church performances and such. :)   I'm using that cello's bow right now, as well.  

Saying Goodbye in Stevens Point--Pictures

Our cute family home evening group . . .
L to R--Sister Zimmerman, Albert, Sister Woods, Sister Harper, Sister Lively and Sister Olsen.

This is Bryan.  He is probably my favorite person in Stevens Point that I had the privilege of working with!  He loves to run marathons and he loves to ride bikes!

Sister Woods with Sister Wilson

Oh, no!  Therapy from Belts' Ice Cream Parlor.  Yummy!

Lacey with Brother Somers
(He may be a possible relative--find out Grandma Donna!)

Bryan on his bike

Sister Peterson and Sister Woods by the riverfront in Stevens Point

Richie and his daughter on the riverfront in Stevens Point

This is Lucas!

And, this is Martice!  No snuggling the Sisters, Martice!!

A great crossroads . . . Wisconsin Packer fan!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Sis. Woods' New Address in Oshkosh

Sister Lacey Jo Woods
1806 Taft Avenue, #D12
Oshkosh, WI  54902

Greetings from Oshkosh!

Hello Everyone!!!

OhmygoshKosh!!!! Oshkoshbgosh!!!! I love Oshkosh!!! It is SO pretty here! I love it. There are lots of lakes and rivers here. It actually looks quite a bit like Stevens Point, but it's 3 times as big! There were like 27,000 people in Stevens Point and there are like 66,000 here. And I get to be in a ward!!!!  :) It's a small ward, but still! The ward here is so great. The members here are so friendly! The missionaries here have done a great job at establishing great relationships with them. They come up to us and hug us, which is so nice. I feel very welcome here. :) The Young Women go out and teach with us all the time. They were really excited to meet me. :) The members take good care of us but don't feed us dinner too often (which is actually a GREAT thing). It was funny, we stopped by to go meet the Irrizares yesterday, a Mexican couple, and they kept bringing out more food (zucchini bread, grapes, fresh tomatoes from their garden...) There are lots of investigators here, too, which is exciting! We've already been invited to go celebrate Sister Rice's birthday with her out near the lake over conference weekend. Sister Wilson's birthday is the next day, plus it will be conference so I'm pretty sure it will be the greatest weekend ever! 

I love our apartment, especially the spinning chairs.  That is so nice! My companion, Sister Wilson, is awesome!!! She has been out 1 transfer longer than I have. This is her first time as a senior companion. She is currently 19 but turns 20 soon, is from Santa Clarita, California (about an hour drive from Disneyland aka Chapman). She was going to BYU Idaho and studying elementary education. She is quite a bit shorter than I am, around 5'5". Ok, so I love this girl! She is super sassy, witty, and fun!!! She's hilarious and very easy-going. I love to talk to her late at night, study with her (she's smart), tract with her, and banter with her, and she's just awesome. :) We have lots of fun together, which is refreshing. 

And I have a cello now!!! I feel super blessed. In fact, I've been asked to play in sacrament meeting on the 21st of this month! I met the most amazing lady ever, Sister Moffett. She is in her late 70s or early 80s and plays the violin! She is a super stylish lady, lives in the coolest penthouse apartment ever and has a bird named Mozart. She served a mission in Croatia, actually! Lots of people in this ward have lived in Vegas, which is a good conversation starter. :) The last elder, Elder Booth, who so graciously allowed me to use his electric cello (he is home now) also played all the time with Sister Moffett in church, so I am the perfect successor! This ward is already used to cellists. :) Sometimes Sister Moffett performs with the missionaries in her fancy resthome building (her form of missionary work) and the fact that I will be able to participate in that makes me very happy. My companion loves that I play the cello and wants me to teach her to play Twinkle. :) 

I just can't believe how much the Lord is blessing me. This area is perfect for me! There is a Qdoba here and we went the other day! :) They have tons of restaurants here: 2 Culvers, 3 dairy queens (including one right next to our apartment (oh no! :P)), 2 froyo places and an Olive Garden. We also live next to a Mexican restaurant. Oh goodness! I just love it here. :) It is windy here and they have a nice downtown area and a bridge!.  We do service at the Salvation Army on Thursdays (preparing and serving food) and at the Evergreen old folks home on Sundays. We get to push cute old people in wheelchairs. We also get to have a family history booth every other week at the Farmer's Market, which is totally awesome. I've actually been to Oshkosh before. It's one of the central areas in our mission. Whenever there is a missionary leadership meeting or new missionary meeting of some sort, it is held here. 

We had an awesome church tour the other day (I was actually getting one at the same time) with a guy named Vere who accepted a baptism date.  This was a miracle, apparently the missionaries have been working on him for a long time and we didn't know he would actually accept. We are also teaching a lady named Quintessa, who has a cute son named Dominic. And there are more that I haven't met yet, of course! :) 

I just love Oshkosh, I love that the Lord called me here, to be in this friendly ward, with a fun companion. It seems almost too good to be true. The Church is true, God answers prayers, Christ loves us incomprehensibly and will give us strength beyond our own if we but turn to Him. I know that the hardest times in life are the best growing experiences. I am sure grateful for what I've learned so far. I am so far from perfect it's freaky. That thought, and my failings used to terrify me and make me feel horrible. I don't like not being perfect. (Do you? haha :P) But now I know that it is a much sweeter, more satisfying feeling to simply be me, even in my weakness, and to love and serve with all my might, for then I feel God's love and approval. Then I can know and recognize that gradually He's helping me improve and make changes for the better.  I've learned a lot out here and still have much to learn, for sure! That's what life is about and it's exciting. :)  I love being a missionary!!!!!!!! 

I hope you all have a great week!


Sister Woods