Monday, September 22, 2014

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

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