Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 38

Hello everyone!!!

So transfers happened. I'm a bit sad that Sister Wilson is leaving, she will definitely be missed, but I know she will do awesome in her new area. My new companion, Sister Peel, is awesome! I've already met her. In fact, her last area was the YSA branch so she already knows lots of people in Oshkosh. That should make for a smooth transition. :) 

Some exciting things are happening in Oshkosh! And in the mission. We are starting up a new survey approach, which apparently has been quite successful. It should greatly help us get invited in people's houses! And escape the snow.(perhaps for some hocho! :P) #satanstears. Just kidding. I suppose it's rather pretty if you squint your eyes. :) 

Well, back to the excitement in Oshkosh. Seriously. That former investigator who contacted us, Paige, is so awesome!!!! She told us the most incredible story. She has been attending institute and reading the Book of Mormon with her husband, who is less-active. She used to be totally not interested. Well, she was listening to the Book of Mormon the other day in Omni and it just hit her. She described it as a "knowing,"  a pure surge from the spirit and she knew she was feeling the spirit confirm to her that the Book of Mormon is true!!! So cool. And we are meeting with her several times a week because she is eager to get baptized! :D 

I got to go to West Bend on exchanges. That was fun! 

Since it is so cold outside we have been working out at the church in the gym. There is also a seminary class going on and it was funny because the seminary teacher, Sister Kakuschke thought we were hobos walking in to the church in our hoodies! 

I also had the opportunity to play the cello at the Evergreen old folks place we volunteer at on Sundays. I played prelude music for the cute old people at their Sunday service and then I played their hymns (with a pianist) with them while they sang. It was quite fun. They seemed to really enjoy it! SIster Wilson said that the pastor lady about laid an egg she was so excited. :P Ha! She is funny. 

We are teaching Quintesa again! Well, I don't think things have changed. She came to church yesterday and man oh man. Lots of intense drama! Dominic, her son, takes rowdy at church to a whole new level. We tried to lull him to quietude with some crayons (he broke them) and various other means but to no avail. So, long story short, she ended up having to take him out into the foyer, kicking and screaming, with laptop in hand and she ended up breaking her laptop with all her homework on it, in the struggle! She was not happy. Oh man. I'm so grateful we have such great members that were able to help out with the situation! They are sympathetic. Ha! Always an adventure with Dominic (and all these children!) :) 

Life is great! Hope you have a great week!


Sister Woods

Week 37

Hello, Everyone!!!!

Wow, it has been a really busy week this week! I'm afraid I don't have TOO much to report. 

Sister Moffit wasn't feeling well so we just had lunch at her fancy manor, we didn't play anything yet. We will be rehearsing our piece for sacrament this week, though. :) 

We had lots of members come to our lessons this week, which was great! Nine is the most I've ever had in a week! :) We have built up quite a teaching pool. I love being busy! And having lots of appointments. Teaching is fun. It has also been really fun to take our friend Ashley out tracting with us. She is 18 and thinking about going on a mission. We have a few eager youth that like to come with us. They rock! Anyway, we were invited into lots of people's homes (during the limited time we had to actually go tracting) and we were  actually able go in (since we had another girl with us). :D 

We also had a cool story. So on Halloween, at Sister Moffitt's place, we noticed this kind of sad-looking lady in a wheelchair. I felt prompted to give her one of the bat candy bags we were out delivering to people in the ward. Well, when we were at lunch at Sister Moffitt's, we saw her again! (we actually had to split up, as in Sister Wilson and I each had to sit at different tables and eat lunch with whoever was sitting there). Well, come to find out, this lady was really touched by the bat we gave her (it is sitting in her living room) and now she has a Book of Mormon and she is a new investigator! :)  

We were supposed to have a blizzard today but it hasn't happened yet. I'd definitely be okay if it decided to be delayed until, um, never. :P Haha. JK. I'm going to learn to love winter, like it or not! I'm hoping that since I'll be here in Oshkosh (aka the promised land) people will invite us in at the doorstep for some hocho! Haha. 

And last week I forgot to include a funny story about Charm, the skirt-lifter. Well, apparently this isn't the first time this has happened. This funny little girl also pulled down her Mom's pants (underwear and all) at the doctor's office!!!!! Oh man, I got off easy! :P 

We decided to push Anna's baptism date back a few weeks so she could retain the information better. Teaching hyper 9 year olds is a challenge, that's for sure! I invented a fun jeopardy game, though, for the baptism interview questions. And there were pieces of gum attached to the cards as prizes of course. ;) We did have a nice turnaround though, once we brought a member with us to the lesson. 

One thing I've learned on my mission thus far is that prayers get answered when done with faith. We have to ask in faith, nothing wavering like it says in James. Also see Enos 1:15. We have to ask with so much confidence that the Lord will hear and answer our righteous desires that it is like they have already been granted. I had a neat experience this week because I had fasted and prayed to find someone who was prepared and ready to make covenants with Heavenly Father last Sunday. Well, the next day we got that text from the former investigator who says she wants to get baptized. AND the day after that, we were following up with a potential investigator, trying to set up an appointment and she was like "Don't give up on me. I still want to join the church!"What?? Who says that?? Haha. Our jaws dropped a little bit. Of course, we don't know what will end up happening. I've been a missionary long enough to recognize that sometimes people just say things. Nevertheless, it was just a tender mercy to see my prayer answered.  I only mention these small instances as examples of the power that faith can have in our righteous petitions to our Father in Heaven.  

We are looking forward to another great week. I hope Sister Wilson doesn't get transferred!

Well, that's all for now. I love you all!!!!


Sister Woods

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Week 36

Hello, Everyone!!!!

My oh my, it has been an amazing week! Warning: long mail!!

First of all, when we have a missed call or a text message on our phone we are usually like: " Oh I just knew it! Ten people want to be baptized right now!"  Yeah right! :P What is this, Brazil?? Ha. But this morning we ACTUALLY, in fact, received such a text message from a former investigator saying she wants to meet up to discuss getting baptized!!!!! But actually. This really happened!!!! #tearsofjoy. :P 

It has been funny to hear about these returned missionaries, though. Benjamin, who served in Korea told us that since people like to grab things in Korea, they would just hold out a Book of Mormon and people would walk up to them and grab it. No way!!!! :PP If only that happened here, haha! And Jared, who served in Brazil, never really had to knock on doors. He just clapped his hands and people would open the door and invite them in. Ridiculous! :P People opened the door only twice my whole mission and the first time we were like: "Wait. Do you even know who we are??" :P  

OK. So. This week, a serious of funny, but unfortunate events happened. Hold on, cause this one is SCANDALOUS. So we were teaching Sister Lowery. She has two young kids, Charm, who is 2, and Isaiah who is 1. Well, so there I was, standing, talking to Sister Lowery, when out of nowhere I feel a bit of wind on the back of my legs. Breezy. And then a shriek of "NO!" I barely felt anything, but little Charm had totally lifted up the back of my skirt enough for Sister Lowery to see my whole butt, haha!!!! #justgotcharmed #aintnothingbutagthing. It was kind of a long skirt so that's why I didnt really notice. :P AND THEN. Oh no, this embarrassing story didn't end there. I was putting my shoes on and Isaiah totally grabs my butt! No joke. Like a full-on stroke and a pinch. This kid is one and he's copping a feel! Oh man, we were dying laughing. xD Apparently these kids have a butt fettish! I suppose I should feel honored that mine was the chosen one. :P 

One of the most useful things I've learned on my mission so far (and am continuing to learn more and more especially now that winter is here!) is found in Philippians 4:13: "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." It's kind of funny because Sister Wilson says this about everything: "All things through Christ!" I've definitely learned that I am able to do things I never thought I would be able to do. This is something that keeps getting tested over and over again, often in kind of funny situations. :P So we actually had a very spooky cleaning experience on Halloween. We were helping one of our ward missionaries clean up an apartment that her son didn't clean up before he moved out. Anyway, we had very meager cleaning supplies (just a few dirty rags and some windex) and it was one of the nastiest experiences of my life! I won't go into much detail but one of our tasks was wiping out the spilled-mystery-sludge-filled fridge and freezer. Oh MAN. #vomitusmaximus!!!! I was like "don't think about the germs, don't think about the germs, all things through Christ" over and over, haha!  :P  Remember, all things through Christ! 

We also had  a pretty fun Halloween. We made cupcakes and cute bat candy bags for our less-active friends and investigators and dropped them off. We also got to surprise-decorate Sister Moffitt's door, hehehe. :P 

So this week was great for many reasons. One of them was that we got to have Zone Conference!! Actually, it was extra great because the Sheboygan sisters, Sister Osmond and Sister Milligan (who was both Sister Wilson's and Sister Peterson's companion and she is hilarious!!!) slept over with us at our apartment!! We had such a party! Any by party, I mean we went to bed by 10:30 and played a few rounds of the Ghost Blitz (i.e. Holy Ghost) game. But hey. That's how missionaries party. It was a blast! And I make pumpkin chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast. You know me, the breakfast committee! :)) 

I played the cello at Zone Conference and it went pretty darn well, I think! President and Sister Cutler enjoyed it. I played "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" which fit right in with our Atonement theme. (Isn't that always the theme? Pretty much :))

At Zone Conference we heard an amazing message from Elder Uchtdorf. He told us that overbearance is just boldness without love. But if people can feel the love we have for them ,then we will never be too bold. I loved that! Also, he told a story about two missionaries. One, whose name was Elder Strong, often referred to 3 Nephi 5:13 and his motto was: "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ and I fear no man!!" And he didn't. He talked to everyone, all the time!  He was always either teaching or seeking out someone to teach. Anyway, I was inspired and feel like learning to overcome my fears is something I'm meant to learn while I'm out here.  On a related note, here is another scripture that I have come to love: Jeremiah 20:9: "Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay." Isn't it awesome? :) 

I have some more gigs set up this week. Sister Moffitt and I have acquired the music we need to play "Come Thou Fount" in sacrament meeting. We will play with Jared, who plays the piano. Also, we, Jared, Sister Wilson and the Elders are doing a hymn performance at Sister Moffitt's high-rise fancy dining room. I'm really excited! We might even obtain some more people to teach from doing this. :D

As far as my studies go, I've been greatly enjoying reading King Benjamin's speech (see Mosiah 2-5). It is always such a humbling experience to read this part. It is one of my favorites! Reading the Book of Mormon is always great. One brief thing I'll share is that I love how the Book of Mormon is intended for us to "learn with joy" about our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and their plan of happiness for us to succeed in life (Jacob 4:3). It is very joyful indeed! 

We have lots of great lessons set up for this week. I honestly can say that I've never been happier in my life. I love that I get to wake up every morning with a purpose and with people to love and serve. I love being busy all the time doing productive things and being immersed in the Gospel. That doesn't mean it's easy and everything is always peachy. No way! But I do know, with all I've got, that the things I'm sharing with people are absolutely true and that makes me happy. :) 

And that concludes one super long email! :) Thanks for all your letters, love, and prayers! I hope you have a great week!



Saturday, November 1, 2014

Week 35

Hello Everyone!

Okay, I know I say this every week but this email will actually be super short! This week went by super quickly. It very well might have rocked but I can't seem to recall very many details. It's sad that many of our investigators are being evicted from their houses. We are sad that we don't know how to help them. All we really know how to do is teach the gospel and bring them uplifting talks. ( Which should fix everything, right?) :P

 But we also had another missionary return home from Brazil. He and the missionary that went to Korea have said that the hardest part about returning home is... speaking English. The elder who went to Brazil speaks English with an almost accent and it's funny. :) 

We had a ward Halloween party on Friday which was really fun. We had an appointment scheduled right after it, though, with an awesome family. It is one of those families that already seems like they are members of the church but they aren't! And they should be. :) I hope they will join one day!

Also, I am playing the cello at Zone Conference on Thursday with a sister in Fond du Lac who plays the piano. We are playing " A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" and we drove to Fond du Lac to rehearse today I'm looking forward to it! I'm not sure if I've shared this before but I thought it was funny. Our mission president called us last week to give us a referral and Today was a great p-day because I got to take  a nap. And eat venison that the elders made us.  

Thanks for your letters! I appreciate those very much. :D Have an excellent week!