Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Week 77--"SISTER. . .The Gospel is NOT a drop mic!"

Hello, Everyone!!!

First of all, I must attribute the hilarious title of this email to one of my favorite Sisters ever, Sister Osmond, who returned home last Thursday! #sistercomeback #thussaiththelord.

This is one of my favorite mission quotes which was said to my new companion, Sister Nixon during a role-play. ("The church is true. BOOM!" "Sister!!")  I have been laughing about it all week. Why, you might wonder? Because sometimes the Gospel really does seem like a drop mic! For example, last week I met a Super Contentious Guru Indian man on the bus who proceeded to tell me that my testimony, my spiritual confirmation of the veracity of the Book of Mormon was a "hallucination." I was so mad at him! Sister Poole said it looked like I was about to punch him in the face ( I wouldn't, so don't worry! I'm pretty sweet, I'm told, however I do get rather intense when I share my testimony and have become quite "feisty" on my mission!! :)) but to make a run-on sentence complete, I was telling my companions about what to do in that kind of situation. You don't punch them in the face (that's not what Jesus would do! Nor is it effective) but you say "I know this is true because I've lived it. I know it's true because I know it about as well as I know that I'm alive. The Church is true the Book is blue. Living this has made me happier than anything else in the world. That's why I'm out here sharing it." BOOM (that's the drop mic)" You testify and BAM that's it, walk away. It's a fine balance between sweetness and boldness. :) The Gospel really is that epic. But, Sister Osmond is right, it is NOT a drop mic!!! xD We must be respectful always and testify with love. THis was a prime example. :) 

Anyways... I have only 10 more days on my mission! Which is crazy. ANd I might have forgotten to mention that I am now training two missionaries! It's another fabulous trio. :D 

The goal this week? Taking the cello out on capital square. We are inviting the elders and it will be awesome!

We have been very busy trying to cover both wards and deal with the fact that we have 4 miles left in the car, enough to go around the block like once, so the members have been saving our lives again by giving us rides. We have accumulated a massive "brownie" list of people to make brownies for. :) 
Serving a mission makes you feel so needy sometimes! I try to remind myself I'm giving them opportunities for blessings. :) 

So we had a great experience tracting this week. We decided to knock on 5 doors out in the Boonies of Wisconsin (pronounced Wis-CAHHN-SIN) and we were able to place Books of Mormon in 4 out of 5! Everyone was like: "Sure." *Since when?! Haha. This 14 year old girl was in her nightgown. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she was like "group hug!" It was so precious. :P There were some other stories like following up with Jwanda (jwanda get baptized?!) but those can wait for 10 more days or so! Ah, I have too many silly mission stories. 

Also, I'm going home really soon so this is the time for me to share what my mission has meant to me. This means that my email next week will be super short (to make up for the huge email I"m writing this week!)

So, here we go!! 

Ahem. :)

In 18 short )months, I've experienced the most concentrated emotional, social and spiritual growth of my life. I decided to serve a mission because I knew, based on events of my life, that God wanted me to serve. I knew it would help me become who He wanted. I really had no idea what to expect, but I knew it would be hard. 
I was right. My mission was far from easy. It was the complete opposite. It was replete with new experiences, both positive and negative, rejection, unanticipated physical and emotional trials, sorrow and struggles I didn't know I had. There were times when I felt I could sink no lower. Despite all the amazing experiences I've had (many of them breathtakingly epic and awesome) I am most grateful for these times of agony for it was then that I learned to find the Savior. I learned for the first time to truly , fully and completely rely on Him, which brought such profound peace and strength, and ultimately, a sense of self-worth and confidence that I'd never felt before. My mission was a miracle. I have so many wonderful, faith-filled memories, times when I was able to act as the Lord's instrument, filled with the spirit, and touch lives. I met incredible life-long friends. I learned to turn my fears into faith through Christ, how to turn outward and truly love others as He would. I learned to trust Him. I learned  that through Christ we can do all things (Philippians 4:13). I experienced a deep and true conversion and a change of heart I didn't realize I needed. My Savior and His Atonement have become written indelibly in my heart. I've learned more than I can possibly express. Most importantly, I know what truly matters in life. I know that my testimony of the Savior and the Restoration of HIs church is my most important and prized possession and that an eternal family is an essential priority in my life. Thanks to Him, I've become and am continuing to become the person God wants me to become, the person described in my patriarchal blessing, in ways I never could have achieved without this experience. I thank Heavenly Father every day for the blessing of serving a mission!

Here is a quote that changed my life last week. And since "sharing is caring" I thought I would return the favor. :)

President Eyring taught “I will tell you the rule by which you may know the Spirit of God from the spirit of evil. The Spirit of God always produces joy and satisfaction of mind. When you have the Spirit, you are happy. When you have the other spirit you are not happy. The spirit of doubt is the spirit of the evil one. It produces uneasiness and other feelings (anger, anxiety, frustration, self-pity, suspicion, fear, impatience, bitterness, touchiness, arrogance, boredom, discouragement, despondency, humiliation, envy, hesitancy to take initiative, resentment, contempt, indifference, sadness, feelings of failure) that interfere with happiness. Happiness is an indication that you are on the right course.”

I also liked the "everlasting faith" described in Alma 7:6. I think this is the type of faith my mission has given  me. Words can't describe the depth of my love and appreciation for God for giving me this opportunity! And my family and friends for all of your support. :)

And with all that, and with all the love I can squeeze into an email, I conclude. 


SIster Woods 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Week 75--Madisonian Week of Epic Adventures!


I don't have much time again, but it was an incredible week! Why, you might be wondering? Allow me to explain. :)

Zone conference was epic! Though my wrists hurt, I played the cello again and I received many nice comments. I also bore my "final" testimony which I was nervited about but it turned out just great just like things usually do. Why do I worry so much? Haha. ;P #jesustakethewheel. Zone conference was especially great becasue President Cutler gave a training about how eternal life=family life (it just wouldn't be zone conference without one of those! ;)) and he made an elder eat 4 snickers bars! It was hilarious. It was supposed to represent the lies Satan tells us to convince us to commit sin and overall it loses its appeal... as we could see. That poor elder was like "I don't want another one" but President said "will you if I really wanted you to?" And he said "Yes of course." Poor guy! Well, I'd feel more sorry if it were a sister because Elders in this mission tend to be beanpoles by the end of their missions. 

So all the bus drivers know us now. They say: "Really? You're on my bus again?!" Haha. One is named Rick and the other one is Paul. They are really nice and we were able to share a card with one and answer questions for the other one. Next step: give 'em a Book of Mormon. ;) 

We had an interesting bus experience! So there we were in teh corner and in walks a guy who asks us if we have a cuetip. Our response: "No. But we can offer you a card with a great website to learn more about Christ! :)" Haha. For this purposes of this story we will call him "Curious Baptist." Curious because he asked us lots of questions and wants to read the book of Mormon. Next walks in the Jehovah's Witness lady. We offer her a card and of course she says "no. I'm a Jehovah's Witness" to which we respond: "cool! We are really curious about you because people are alwyas getting us confused." We had a good conversation. We will call her "the first nice Jehovah's Witness." Next walks in a recovering alcoholic. We talk to her and she tells us about her recovery and how she's an agnostic. We respond with Ether 12:27, relating it to her experience with overcoming her addiction. She gets way excited, gladly accepts the book and tells us she will tell all her friends about it and call us later. Woopee, I know. :) Then we walk off the bus and this lady runs up to us, grabs us by the arm, in tears, and asks us to pray for her. We gave her a hug, told her how she's a wonderful daughter of God. It was such a tender moment! We gave her a card and were so grateful we could plant all those seeds on one bus! :)

Next miracle. We text people we meet on the bus and they actually respond! WHAT?! I know. It's crazy. Well these 2 cute chinese girls really wanted to meet with us and luckily we were impressed to bring the Chinese member who was able to translate with us back and forth. It was so.... COOL! The Lord knows how much I love Asian people so He allowed me to teach them on my mission! :) Haha. It was pretty hilarious because we had no idea what they were saying but they smiled, laughed, seemed to enjoy the Book of MOrmona nd wanted to come to church. Then it started pouring rain, like rainforest rain, so we booked it out of there. Haha we took that as our cue to be done teaching. :) 

Then we met with this Italian guy, John Luca who is looking for friends. He isn't super interested but he is a scientist and we were able to relate everything, meaning his faith, to cells via Alma 32 (if the cells grow it means he's doing something right!). It was fun. :) He said he'd be interested in "trying out the experiment." I was able to relate the story of how I came out on a mission and it worked out great! 

Lastly we visited Shante, a lady who wouldn't really talk to us after we handed her the Book of Mormon, haha. It was cool becasue we knocked on her door as she was praying for guidance. We taught her a bit and she has some great questions! We are excited. After I said the closing prayer she said "Did you girls feel that?! I just felt the Holy Spirit all over. Do you know what that is?" Haha. 

I need to go but I love you all and hope you have a great week! I'll tell about Dante next week. :) 


Sister Woods 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week 74--"Week Ahhhhh!"

Hello, Everyone!

In case you haven't heard it's back to the buses for me. #crazybuses And I'm training an adorable missionary named Sister Poole! Not only does she put the "ool" in "cool" but she is from Idaho and is a master chef! She made brownies yesterday and plans to make homemade salsa soon. I am definitely okay with that. :) 

As some of you might be aware, I was in a car for 4/6 weeks I've been in Madison so these past 2 weeks have been very challenging to get used to the buses! THese buses are CRAY CRAY. In other words, the lovely members get to rescue us lots when we get stranded, haha. But these wonderful members are awesome and don't seem to mind. Actually we figured it out this week! We only got stranded on ONE sketchy street out in the hood. We finally got where we needed to go successfully, across town! And it was an appointment at a Mexican restaurant, too, with Shaun, who is a big guy who writes gospel music (he wrote his own "Stand with Jesus" song and sang it at church yesterday!) So that was awesome! As usual on my mission I got overly excited about Mexican food (because I so was ravenous from walking around all day) that I ate all the chips before the lady came back with our drinks, haha! I really like all the walking because it's helping me shed some poundage before I go home, which is always a great thing. I can tell I've already lost some. :D 

We met lots of people on the bus this week, people we needed to speak to. I've seen so many miracles from talking with everyone. I even met an Italian lady who taught me to say my name in Italian (Sorrella Bosco), Indian ladies, a Turkish family, and there was a cute Mom living in  a meth house who needed to hear about the Book of Mormon and about how families can be together forever. I was so proud of my trainee because she totally "embraced the awkward" (that's our motto :P) and moved over to sit by a lady and teach her about the Book of Mormon! It was so scary for her but she is awesome and did a great job! It has been incredibly rewarding to see how much she's grown in her faith, teaching, and confidence in just 2 short weeks! She is testifying and teaching like a pro! :) 

We met an awesome Sudan lady this week. We met she and her daughter outside and she's like "I've heard things about Mormons. You practice polygamy (FALSE! not anymore. everyone and their mom says that and it's wrong! ) and you don't drink coffee and you are very healthy people. Tell me more about your church. Sit down." So, after doing a silent fist pump in our hearts we taught her the full Restoration lesson and invited her to be baptized. It was so cool because she said "I know that everything you just told me is true. That makes sense to me. I believe you." That hasn't ever happened before! So we are excited to teach her again tomorrow. 

I also finished all the Standard Works today. JS History is so epic! I just need to finish True to the Faith and I"ll have finished the whole mission library. I'm also working on the Master Scripture List to memorize that Kyle sent me and I should be finished memorizing all 200 before I go home! :) I"m also hoping to do some "chantacting" (teaching the Plan of Salvation using chalk) and some cello contacting on Capital Square before I go home. :) 

We are practicing teaching with members which is really great. People have been feeding us lots of peaches which I find just "peachy." :) Coley, the 3 year eternigator has a baptism MONTH (September) so we are reteaching all the lessons to help her decide. Pray for her! I'm also playing the cello on Wed. at zone conference, on Sunday in sacrament meeting, and in a few weeks with the choir. My wrists don't hurt too bad, thankfully! I also realized that I have only a month left of my mission!!! AHHHHH!!!!! Gotta finish strong! :)

The church is true!!!!!!!

Love you all,

Sister Woods :D 

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Week 73-"Sha-wano hear about the Gospel??!"

Hello, Everyone!!

My oh my it's been another eventful week! There is a picture that goes along with the title of this email (notice street sign in picture).   :) 

Well I am a busy sista and don't have all the time in the world here but I would like to share a few words~ 

As I write this I am plagued by a horrible carpal tunnel that has been viciously intensifying over the past 5 days. Please pray for me! I normally try to be "tough" and don't like to draw attention to things like that but I could sure use the extra prayers. 
I found new meaning this morning in the part of the Standard of Truth we recite each morning. The "no unhallowed hand[s] can stop the work from progressing" was definitely meant to apply to me at this time! :)

But on to some great news! I'm training a new missionary. I've secretly wanted this my whole mission but now that I was "100%" sure that wasn't going to happen, it did! Crazy how that works. I"m really excited! :)

Our trio is breaking up! SIster Weaver is going home and Sister Osmond and I are both parting ways and training. :( It's been really great. 

Great news. Brother Brown has accepted a baptism date! OK, his story is amazing. 5 months ago he was agnostic, didn't believe in God at all. BUT he's been reading the Book of Mormon with his wife for 62 days in a row now and he has a STRONG testimony that the Savior lives! He knows it's true. :D I told him, he's got a stronger testimony than I did when I joined the church at 8 years old AND more than anyone else I've seen join the church on my mission. The most tender and special part is that he told me he felt the spirit so strongly last Sunday when I played the cello. :) AWww! I brought the cello over to his house to play just for him and I surely will at his baptism. I'm so grateful and excited for him! And, i need to clarify that I have only taught him like 4 times now. But I'm grateful I got to take part in his conversion. He has some concerns, like  I would totally join if everything depended on the BOM being true. Well YAYA it does!! Haha. I told him that his concerns, (about not having read the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price) are a lot like Sister Brown's ice cream (SO DELICIOUS!!!). You know it's good with just one bite! You don't need to eat the whole thing to know it's amazing. ;) He liked that. Also, we are keeping his date a "secret" from the ward, and the Lord totally led us to the Stake Center at EXACTLY the right time to stop the Bishop from congratulating him on his baptism date. Ahhh, miracles!

We are meeting awesome new people. Life is grand! And Sarah is working actively toward her date too and Latoya will be baptized in Green Bay. Not sure if I can go yet. :) And there's a lady named Kelly in the 4th ward who will be baptized soon. She has mouth cancer, has endured blood clots and radiation and is SO POSITIVE! I might have mentioned she flagged the missionaries down and said "HEY are you LDS?" Bahaha. :) I love her. 

I also played the cello again in sacrament meeting (after downing a million ibuprofen) and President was there! That was surprising. :D We also gave talks in the 1st ward! We all talked about the sabbath day and it was fun to present it as a "trilogy." Haha, it was hilarious!

We went to visit a less active and met a totally prepared soul named Lavesha. She has totally been to church before, has such strong faith and asked to meet with us! She totally agreed to baptism and can you tell she is totally awesome!!!? :) Yep. 

I also forgot to mention last week that we ate goose claws at a chinese family's house!!!! You spread the fingers apart and eat the webbing. There are pictures... or at least there should be, AHEM! :) They told us they season and boil it, then eat it on the couch as they watch movies... like popcorn!!!! #eeweth

The Lord is pouring out his tender mercies and it's ridiculous. I've learned so much especially lately. I know that times are hardest right before the blessings. See D&C 58:3-4 for a doctrinal backing for that statement. Seriously, I have learned that SO MUCH these past weeks. We go out tracting in the 100 something degree heat and are dying of sweat and are about to give up right before we find some awesome new investigators. My carpal tunnel flared up right before I start training a new missionary. I'm about to sink in despair before I'm placed in the most amazing trio of all time. I testify that as we pass through the sentinels of suffering in our lives, there is a bright beam of mercy just up ahead. "Every trial and experience you have ever passed through is necessary for your salvation." -Brigham Young. Remember that! It all comes down to faith and acting out of love for Christ.  If it weren't for suffering, even upon those who are "truly good and without guile" (not me necessarily) how could we ever learn to do that? Our every wrong action would be immediately condemned and we would cease and thus cease to act according to our free will. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. I wouldn't trade all the painful trials I've faced over the past 18 months for anything, not for the world. I've truly discovered that the Lord is beyond merciful and that the most valuable thing I can possible possess is my testimony and conviction of the reality of the Son of God and the restoration of HIs church in these latter days. I know this with all my soul and I wouldn't have attained that without adversity. But, above all I hope you can see that I am beyond happy and that the happiness in our lives far outweighs the sorrow and always will as we turn to God. I have many more thoughts on this subject but, alas, it will come forth in due time. :) 

I love you all!!

Have an amazing week!


Sister Lacey Woods 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Week 72--"An Interesting Week"

Hello everyone!

I have only a few minutes to write but here goes! 

we went on an epic tour! Epic is a massive place where program designers work and it is massive! There are lots of themes like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, etc. 

Talking to everyone can be very interesting at times! There was a cute Chinese couple installing an AC in their 2nd floor window. So I stopped them and said, "Hey what are you doing? You are doing a great job, it looks like! Can we share a card with you??!" xD Bahaha. 

We decided to have a "spa" p day last week and put on face masks. We couldn't find cucumbers so we used bananas. I wasn't expecting this but mine was green so I ended up looking like Yzma. xD

We worked really hard but didn't get crazy numbers like last time. Just 45 or so. We found out we are staying together as a trio again! Until the end of the transfer. Excitement. 

We had a 2.5 hour nap this morning so that was great! I also played the cello in church but Sis. Cue wanted me to play a different piece last minute to match the theme. It still worked out great! I'm also speaking in church next week. 

Lun Cheng pretty much dropped us... but we found some more cool people! 

THe church is true!


Sister Woods 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Week 71--"I think God kind of likes me" -a quote by a certain epic sister :)


Okay so I didn't think this week could be any better than last week but it was!!!! In fact, I will call this the Cello Week. I'm so exhausted. With that kind of introduction, you know it's gonna be good! :) 

So I got a cello on Monday! Like most people we talk to, the guy at the cello store knows Sister Osmond's family so it was cool to make a connection with him. He also knows one of our investigators who recently finished the Book of Mormon so hopefully we can bring him along to her lesson sometime! 

I've been without a cello for a few weeks so it's been a little bit like I'm a kid in a candy shop or something. I've been playing up a storm whenever we get a few spare moments. In fact, the guy next door stopped us in the hallway and he told us he's heard the cello lately. My first thought was "oh no, I'm sorry!" But then he was like, "No, I've been loving it! I've always wanted to play the cello and it's super relaxing. But what's funny is that I only hear you play for a short time and it completely stops by around 10:30 at night." Bahahaha!!! !So that was hilarious because I can only play during lunch break and right before bed. We shared a card with him and invited him to learn more. He seemed kind of interested so that's cool! I play a song for him every night, haha. 

I also came up with a new contacting approach! Get ready for this. Cello. Contacting! So here's what happens. I take the cello to the park and play some hymns. Meanwhile my companions are hiding up in a tree and jump down, armed with BOMs and pass-along cards #operationtrojancello... just kidding. xD They actually act normal and just go up and talk to the people who pause to listen and invite them to sit on the bench with us and learn more. Just everyday behavior, right? :P We have been able to meet so many cool people!! This lady who is totally not religious and doesn't like religious people stopped us right away and wanted to hear me play. We ended up letting her choose the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" and she said a prayer with us! It's been pretty hilarious to see how people are so much more willing to talk to us even if I just walk around with the cello on my back. :) We even met a cello major named Brent! I promise I'll send pictures next week. :) He played the cello too and it was neat to be able to relate how we feel when we play music (i.e. feeling the Spirit) to how it feels to read the Book of Mormon. We ended up giving him one, (one of my first people who has downloaded the app!) and setting up a time to meet again to play music and learn more about the Gospel. And then! In that same hour we also met a guy named Daniel who is going through a hard time and living out of his car, having just lost his job. He was sitting on a bench and listening and he had a dream the night before where he heard music that had lots of Es in it. Well, we invited him over to learn more, taught the Restoration and suddenly the wind blew the page open to "I Stand All Amazed" which coincidentally has lots of Es in it. So we sang it with him and the spirit was so strong!!! We also did a musical number "Trying to Be Like Jesus" at Zone Training and Sister Weaver and Sister Osmond sang. So that was really fun, and a cute sassy lady in the 4th ward insisted I come back and play in that ward next week. I guess I can do that. :) 

I had a funny moment. We felt impressed to knock on this door and it turned out to be a friend of one of the members we had just visited. So I'm like "Oh, your little girls are so cute!" Turns out they were boys. Hahahah! THey wanted to learn more at first, then later cancelled but the mom still came to the baptism of her friend's daughter. I was asked to play the cello there, too. So fun! 

We found people who were almost baptized at the gas station! Sister Osmond did while SIster Weaver and I passed out in the car for a few minutes as we were getting gas. #seriouslywipedout. She is such a bold missionary! I've learned so much from her. Yay for new investigators! We found a whole bunch this week. Okay this is crazy but we had 85 other lessons (90 total), 5 member presents, 5 investigators at church, and gave out 21 Books of Mormon this week for both areas. And we had 62 other lessons just in our area and 20 of those occurred in just one day. It has been absolutely exhausting and epic all at the same time! If this trio continues I won't be able to walk after next week and we might need wheelchairs soon. xD 

Egyptian people. So we went to talk to these egyptian people and attempted to give them a Book of Mormon in arabic (it was actually in Hindi) and we ended up singing "I Believe in Christ" for them and in return... they gave us a creepy coloring book about body parts. Bahaha! :) 

Chicken tender mercies at Culver's. I discovered that chicken tenders at Culver's is delicious. We were able to talk to and pray for people that really needed us! The SPirit is amazing.

Jogging girl. So we randomly stopped this jogging girl mid stride and invited her to church. She was like all sweaty and stuff but said "sure!" And guess what... she actually went to church with us!!!!!! xD All the talks seemed to be directed towards her and her love of anthropology. Such a miracle! And she wants to meet with us again. 

Olive Garden. We went there and it was awesome! 

I'm running out of time but our investigators are doing really great, too! 

Missions are seriously the best. I could never have imagined I'd be doing what I'm doing, talking to so many people about my testimony of Jesus, being bold,  and loving it so much. I know it's because I've been blessed and strengthened so abundantly by Heavenly Father. This mission has changed my life! Ever deepening and abiding is my testimony that Jesus Christ lives, his Atonement is real and that he knows me personally. I love this work!!!

I love you all more than honey bunches of oats. And, yes, perhaps, even froyo. :) Haha way more than that!


Sister Woods 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 70--The Greatest Week Ever!!

Hello, Everyone!

As you may or may not have been able to tell by the title of this email, I had an amazing week! Rather, we did! I am now in a trio with Sister Osmond and Sister Weaver. Sister Osmond's companion went home early so she has been rocking it with us, and she even brought a car with her! This means we are all staying in our apartment, laughing nonstop, and covering two areas! People are feeding us like crazy. Both areas are booming, even more than before we became a trio, the first and fourth wards ( we are now the one-fourth sisters :P), and  it is SO EXCITING. I am so flipping excited that I don't know where to begin!!!! So, here we go! :D 

Also, I think I've reached the stage in my mission where people no longer write to me. It's been 2 weeks without a letter!!! Haha. And for me that's a long time. But, alas, it's okay because we had an epic week and there is no time to focus on anything else! But seriously, you can send more. :) 

We got a call from a former investigator, Latoya, saying she wants to meet with us at the church. Turns out she was at church last week (totally missed that one! #hugeward) and wants to be baptized! She has such a strong faith in Christ and a strong desire to attain a brighter hope and future. We are working with her for July 25th. And, she has a great fellowshipper so she's gonna make it!!!! :)

That was just one of literally a hundred miracles this week. We worked so hard!!!!! We didn't even have time to think. And when we did we were singing the Lamb of God CD in the car or laughing hysterically because these sisters are amazing. I call us "Team Wow" (Woods, Osmond, Weaver) aka "God Squad" aka Mormon Mafia...Our motto is "let's ascend together."  I am "sister scripture power", Sister Weaver is "sister that's what's up, and SIster Osmond is "sister go get 'em." And wow does she deserve that nickname! 

I've never talked to so many people in my life. Like, all the people I've ever talked to in 20 years combined could not even compete with this week! It was so epic. :) Even when we work out we are armed with Jesus cards and pass them out left and right, even to ladies across the street, a man in a pit, lady crying in a car, hispanic ladies behind glass doors, to a guy eating a box of donuts, tons of people at a 4th of July celebration picnic, and a even a lady with a watermelon in front of her house. This girl is fearless and it's contagious! xD Just to give you an idea about how crazy our week was, we taught 35 other lessons in each area and gave out 25 Books of Mormon!!! That's so many. xD Sister Osmond has had a great influence on us! We started doing this thing where we stop people, ask if they have Mormon friends and ask if we can share what the Book of Mormon is in 60 seconds! It's amazing!!! OH, and this is hilarious, we also had exchanges ( I called in an abduction), so SIster Osmond went with BOTH the Sister Training Leaders (we had a sleepover with 5 sisters in our apartment!) and SIster Weaver and I stayed in our area and passed out 5 BOMS and had 11 others in a day. Numbers don't matter but it was cool because I beat my personal record! :) Missionary work is an absolute blast! :) We met the COOLEST people! One lady, Latosha, was super excited about the Book of MOrmon ("I gotta read that book!") so she brought her mom over and we gave her one too... annnnd each of her cousins. 5 at once. We referred her over to Sun Prairie. A lady in Wal mart was like "STOP" to us today (it scared me!) and was telling us all about her daughter who just joined the church and is marrying a Mormon and how she wants to meet with us. THis one is my favorite. There are so many Chinese people here so we ordered a bunch of Chinese restoration and plan of salvation pamphlets. So there we are at a park and we spy a cute asian family. So we march right up to em (Sister Go get 'em, haha) and start talking to them. They were so cute and nice! They told us they LOVE talking to such wonderful people and when I said a prayer for them they cried! It was so cute. THen they busted out their selfie stick and we took a picture together! I told them I've been to China and spoke the only CHinese phrase I know and they loved it! Awww.  I totally call dibs on teaching all the cute asian families in the spirit world. :P 

Speaking of hilarious language barriers, we taught so many lessons to spanish speaking people! Between the three of us we were able to communicate somehow. I was like "Queremos ensenarte sobre JesuChristo!!" Haha!!! :) And SIster Weaver said a prayer in Spanish. It was pretty funbarrassing but we made the people laugh so that was fun. 

ALSO apparently "Lehi" means " a good performance, well done" or something like that. So we walk up to the cute Chinese people and talk about Lehi in the Book of Mormon and they just light up excited. xD Haha! 

We milked cows this week!!!! We used a little machine, and it was scary because I thought I'd get kicked in the face but good news is I didn't! Something unexpected happened, though! So when the cows lift their tails you better run... yep. So much "stuff" emerged and totally almost drenched us! Oh, and we saw a fox! :D 

Both areas have some really great investigators. In SIs. Osmond's area there is the sweetest most frail lady who has cancer, who totally chased down the sisters! They thought she was going to tell them to get off her lawn but it turns out her daughter just joined the church. She is so positive and so faith filled! She really wants to be baptized. Excited about her!

Also, we had an epic lesson with Chole this week. She gets anxiety when we talk about setting a baptism date ( I asked her last week if she thinks the BOM is true and she said yes!) but she wants to know before September. So at least that's a goal to work toward! :) We offered to fast with her yesterday so she can recognize her answer. SHe totally has a testimony but has such a hard time with faith and trusting in it. THis also reminds me (scattered, I know) but our mission is currently working on getting 75 more baptisms before September! We did a mission-wide fast for it yesterday. 

Also, I should add that I was totally fasting last week for an opportinity to work my hardest and finish my mission strong and I kid you not, the next day PResident called us with this wonderful news about the trio. Fasting and prayer bring miracles, I tell you! Miracles! :) 

Also, Lun Cheng is doing great. He went to a baptism with us for the Spanish Elders' investigator and he had an epic, several hour Q and A session with the Delorey's yesterday. He is so logical and is trying so hard to wrap his mind around the concept of eternal life. He is so awesome! It may take awhile, but I know he'll get there eventually. 

Sister Osmond has another investigator who is going places, too, I just feel like this email is too long. :) 

On yet another note, we are going to learn the Restoration cup song (Sis. Osmond knows the song and the cups and I know how to do the cups) and perform it for people at the park this week. It will be so much fun!! Lots of crazy fun ideas we are trying. We also taught this lady the Plan of Salvation at a park bench. We are trying 60 second pamphlet approaches too. I want to see if we can get 50 lessons a week in both areas but we might die trying, haha. :) Lesson=teach a principle and a prayer. 

The fourth was great. We had lots of appointments and went to a pancake breakfast and a baptism. It was neat because we thought that both the girls we invited to Lun Cheng's lesson after the baptism, were members but they weren't! So it was a great experience for them. They both want to go on mission. Ah, I'm rambling I think, but we seriously had so many miracles like that this week. 

I have such a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel and of the Atonement. I know God lives and answers prayers! Miracles happen. I can't even handle it, I'm so happy. I've never been happier! I'm grateful for trials I've faced and overcome through Christ because they have strengthened my faith a ridiculous amount of a lot. I don't think anything can ever shake me from the testimony that I have.This work is epicly true. It changes lives; it has certainly changed mine! 2 Timothy 1:7. :) 

Have a fantastic week!


Sister Woods 

P.S. I might be getting a cello this week! Also, it's crazy to sing at appointments with SIster Osmond! :P 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Week 69--Hello!

Hello, Everyone!

I don't have too much time today but we had an amazing week!

Our investigator, Lun Cheng, is doing so well! He went to all 3 hours of church this week and has such a sincere desire to find the answers to his questions! I've never had an investigator who is so careful, deep thinking and studious about his investigation. He is awesome! We had an epic lesson about why it's worth it to believe in God and how God wants all of us to enjoy the happiness He does and reach our potential. We think he's afraid of being disappointed and afraid of the trials that will come his way. I compared life to a parabola and that seemed to click well with him. Then we had the ward mission leader and his wife teach with us, which was great! He has so many questions. It's awesome. This guy is going places! Pray for him if you feel so inclined!

On a lighter note I learned an important lesson this week. Dishwasher soap is fundamentally different from dishwasher detergent! We had a bubble fest on our kitchen floor which was hilarious. #specialsistermoment

Oh, and a less-active lady teaches all the sisters to knit. I am really enjoying it!! I actually inherited a giant tangly mass of yarn from the sisters before me and this one lady we visited was obsessed with untying it for me. So we talked about Jesus while she undid the entire thing and rolled it into a ball. It was quite the undertaking.

We have also been asked to start singing for people at each of our sit-down lessons! Hilarious, I know. I think the Elders were very concerned.

I had an awesome exchange with a temple square sister from Austrailia!!! It was awesome. I of course asked her all about the kangaroos and what she thinks of Outback Steakhouse. We stayed up really late giggling and the best part was that we were trying to come up with all the stereotypical Austrailian names and it took us 15 minutes to mention Sheila. xD We even acquired a triple referral! Oh and the members took us to Red Robin. Yay!

Contrary to my request, my dad sent 8 boxes of candy this week! And juice and water which were requested. It was hilarious. OH DEAR! And of course this all happened when I was on exchanges. xD  I shared with the elders and they were super excited about it. One of them put the entire box of sour patch kids in his backpack yesterday and I'm pretty sure they are gone now.

It was pouring rain yesterday! I am the designated umbrella holder because as one  really sweet lady in the ward says, I'm a tree. And my dear companion's head comes below my shoulder. :P But she is fast! It was funny to see her sprinting through the rain with the meal calendar clipboard over her head on the way to ward council. xD She is pretty hilarious.

Well, I had better go! Love you all and have a great week!


Sister Woods

P.S. President just called us and we are nervited! Something big might be happening!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Week 68--Mad Town, Wisconsin

Hello, Everyone!!!

So here I am in Madison!! Like I may or may not have mentioned last week, it's a bus area! The buses here are crazy. We have been stranded a few times because if you miss it then... that's it for you! But the members are super nice and offer to rescue us and drive us home. We had a cute member rescue us this week. Her name is Sister Vigil and she is from Hong Kong. It was so great to talk about CHina with her. She also served her mission there.

Madison is huge! There are so many people, everywhere, all the time! Lots of opportunities for me to do street contacting, haha! It's a big adjustment for me. THere's lots of diversity, too. Lots of Asians. Not everyone is pasty white like in the other areas I've served! We even have a large Spanish speaking population. Half the sacrament prayers and the programs are in Spanish!

So we get to go to church in a castle. Seriously! It's a super old building, like with trap doors and hidden basements and such. And there were weeds everywhere so we got to help out with that.

AND our apartment is pretty nice. We had a dishwasher AND a workout room! We have amazing investigators, lots who are on the verge of being ready for baptism. Hopefully they will get there! We also have an incredible ward mission leader. He was actually just called to be Pres. Cutler's counselor for the mission presidency. It was seriously the most loving and in-depth correlation I've ever had! He totally just volunteered to fellowship and teach our investigators with us. Speaking of which, my favorite so far is this adorable little Asian guy, Lun Cheng from Taiwan. He says he is 30% Christian,  he's so tiny, 30 years old and has tons of questions for us. He reads the BOM lots and he's so funny! We've gotta get him going to sacrament meeting and third hour, though. He loves Gospel Principles the most. We've also got lots of other people who are on the edge of glory, so to speak (much like Lady Gaga) and just need to commit themselves to baptism. They all read the BOM and go to church every week anyway so I don't see what the big deal is.

The biggest lesson I've learned this week is NOT to talk to everyone on the bus. Seriously. Girls only from now on! So there I was just trying to talk about Jesus with this guy on the bus and he's asking me lots of questions about Joseph Smith and why I'm a missionary and such. It was weird. THEN he puts his hand on my shoulder and says "Why are you doing this? YOu are too beautiful and attractive to be all churchy.  Just be yourself!" AAAHHHHH It was so creepy and scary, I died! Luckily my companion, SIster Weaver, rushed to my rescue! hahahah. I had to pretty much burn the shirt I was wearing. Haha!!!

Sister Weaver is cool by the way. She is from Salem Oregon, is almost 25 and is pretty hilarious. I like her.

I've been taking naps and sleeping like crazy. So has my comp. I guess we are both old-timers. She only has 1 transfer left. It was pretty great. I'm still exhausted all the time. But it was funny, yesterday as we returned home for lunch I said "I'm so tired I can't do anything else... but I have just enough energy to eat ice cream." Bahaha.

Anyway, the church is true.


SIster Lacey Woods

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Hello Everyone!!! 

Well I survived the week on a bike! And, it even rained on us. I am really sore! But it was a great workout, and wow is it beautiful up here!!! We got to drive right by the lake, feel the cool breeze and enjoy all the pretty green scenery.

I don't have much time today but here are some highlights!!!

1. We set a baptism date with Gray!!! We had a rocking lesson about the temple and she wants to go!!! So excited for her. It's far off but she is totally willing if she feels ready.

2. Jack's friend Corrina came to church for the first time!!!!

3. So we went to visit the  Syria's on our bikes and were exhausted, naturally. So they made us some chocolate protein shakes. Yum, right? Well, it was really tingly!!! Guess why? There was CASHEW milk in there!!!!!!! Dx Bahaha. For those of you who don't know, there is nothing on this earth I hate more than cashews. BLEGH. Theylight my mouth on fire. Oh, it was so hilarious! I've managed to avoid them my whole mission!!!! And there they are, hiding in a protein shake! xD 

4. I'm being transferred!!!!! NOOOOOOOo...... That's what I said inside. I will miss Marquette SO SO SO much!!! I will miss the amazing people, the beauty. I will miss Sister Payne! But, on the other hand, I'm going to Madison 1st ward, which is the only sister bus area, I think! So I will truly get to experience all the transportation methods on my mission, haha. :P My new companion is Sister Weaver, who is awesome I hear. She only has one more transfer on her mission.

5. We had such a great missionary moment on exchanges this week. I got to spend the day with Sister Pope, who is AWESOME (aka the Popesicle) and we went to the park to do some contacting and lo and behold, a nice lady was sitting there on a bench, watching the lake. We talk to her and she is super nice, super interested in the Book of Mormon!! She actually wanted to hear what we had to say. Her daughter is super into religions right now and oh man... it was just one of those moments where you are super glad to be a missionary. YES. This is why I'm here. :) 

I'm sure there are a hundred more things I could share today but I'm out of time. I love you all! I know this work is true!!!!!


Sister Woods


Hello, Everyone!!!! 

So this week was filled with excitement. A few highlights.

Last p-day we went over to Gray's house for a lesson and her roommates found a bunch of baby bunnies!!!! they were so tiny, fluffly and cute!!! I will send pictures. Promise. ;) The hilarious part was they hopped right over to Sister Payne and fell asleep on her! She is the bunny whisperer. Haha, she also whispered to the fish apparently becasue we were cleaning the fish tank at the Beacon House again and the filter broke and she magically fixed it. 

Also, a quick funny story. I was describing this hilarious less-active lady we go visit. She has wild puffy hair and while she won't let us in her house, she will make us laugh on her doorstep. As I was telling the story, Emily asks us if she's black, to which I respond: "A little bit. :)" "WHAT??!! What, is she milk chocolate??!" Bahahaha. 

We also went bowling in skirts (I know. there will be pictures, I promise! :)). I almost won. 

We had a showing of Meet the Mormons at the church and 3 investigators were there!!!! So great. Two of them were really touched by it and the other one got to socialize lots with the members, which was great. 

We helped a family fold laundry (secretly my favorite chore) and do dishes. They had gotten really behind because they have a young baby and the husband just had shoulder surgery so he can't help the Mom by holding it while she cleans. We were so glad a member ACTUALLY took us up on our offer to help!!! Seriously. Ask the missionaries to help you. Put them to work. Make them feel useful!!! :) 

Anyway, it was fun, and as a reward they took us out to get Mexican food at this oober fancy place I've had my eye on ever since I got to Marquette! It is called Sol Azteca and it was SUPER. DELICIOSO. claro. (that means "true dat" :)). Haha. Actually, I hadn't had chips and salsa in so long we both went wild and ate all the chips and were too full to eat our enchiladas. Haha! So good.

And this week will be extra fun because we are getting our truck fixed. You know what THAT means?? We get to be biking sisters. I am not excited. I can't lie about that. These are boy bikes which means I'm getting high centered in a skirt and will be in a world of pain (although I do normally enjoy bike riding on girl bikes without horrible seats). Sister Payne, on the other hand, is way excited. She loves bike riding, even boy bikes, and it is her goal to be out tracting on bikes in a big rain storm. I am pretty sure she will achieve that goal this week! Oh man. :) Should be fun. 

I also made one of my best puns ever yesterday and no one appreciated it. (Granted, I was making a lot of them, but still, this one was great! :P Come on now!) Kimi Woods, this one's for you. :) Sarah Briggs was telling us how the new Pope is chosen. (sorry if my recounting isn't entirely accurate). Anyway,  They have all the bishops and cardinals meet in the Vatican in this big council from all over the world, discussing, meeting, back-and-forth about who the next Pope should be. So I respond "Hey, It's a big Pope-erree!!!" (Potpourri) xDDD I thought that one was about as good as my orc-estra. 

The zone leaders told me I'm playing the cello at zone training tomorrow. Should be fun I suppose.

Something we are really focusing on as a mission right now is fasting. We are studying it in preparation for interviews coming up. I can absolutely attest to the fact that fasting is amazing. I felt the Spirit so strongly yesterday. I have been ridiculously blessed on my mission to be filled with love for those around me, everyone, even strangers, so strongly, so unconditionally, that I know it can only come from our Heavenly Father. I by no means am anything special. This is I'm sure something lots of missionaries feel. I know the amount of love I had before my mission. It was selective. Only for certain people and it was a little bit, and actually rather conditional. But this is truly an amazing thing the Lord has blessed me with since I've been out here. I love the Lord. I love my Savior. I know for an absolute certainty that our Savior lives, and that His gospel has been restored in its fullness. The things I've felt and experienced have confirmed that to me so powerfully that nothing on this earth can ever convince me otherwise. Even amidst the most challenging, debilitating, lonely and heartbreaking trial of my life, I know the Savior loves me and understands. I have felt that. I rely on His strength every single minute of every day. I have faith that we can do all things through Christ. I hope to gain a more certain and perfect knowledge of that one day. Rather soon, I suspect.   

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Also, something else I've been pondering lately is prayer. Sister Payne and I read an article the other day about how we can make our prayers more spirit-filled and effective. It was by Elder Pearson and he suggested that we take a moment to ponder our relationship with Heavenly Father before we pray, to actually form in our minds what we wish to speak to Him about. I have tried that lately and it has really helped me be more focused! Just thought I'd share. :)


Sister Woods

Monday, June 1, 2015

Week 65--Birthday Week!!

Hello, Everyone!

I don't have too much time left but I'll just tell y'all a little bit about my week.

We had P-day on Tuesday which is so strange! I woke up thinking it was Sunday on Wednesday. Craziness. 

So I turned 21. We drove like 3.5 hours to Green Bay and spent the night with the STL's. We slept on the floor and had a giggle fest, as any good sisters would do. My birthday was awesome! Sister Kelley and I both have the same birthday. We got breakfast at McDonald's before driving to Manitowoc (an hour drive). Zone conference was the best it's ever been. We talked lots about the importance of teh sacrament, how it's amazing, the only ordinance we repeat for ourselves and we can obtain a remission of our sins at any time, not just the sacrament. Even as we are out doing missionary work! It heals and revitalizes us and helps us grow in sanctification and spirituality. I was seriously super excited for church (which I am anyway, but especially after that training!). We also had trainings on the sabbath day, how important it is in establishing "multigenerational" families in this wonderful Gospel, and how we can set goals right now for how we will honor the sabbath day in our future families. THe spirit was so strong!!! I loved it. They sang Happy Birthday to us. We ended up having to stay in Green Bay another night becasue some of the other sisters had some "emergency appointments." So it was another night on the floor but this time the Green Bay sisters were on exchanges so we got to have a sleepover with Sister Kealer! So much fun. :)

I got a ridiculous amount of food from the family so that was great. And clothing. 

Now to the best part of the week: Gray was at church!!!!!!!!!!! I know. THAT was super amazing. Let's see. That was essentially the highlights. 

Hope you all have a great week!


SIster Woods

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 64--Miracles!!

Hello, everyone!!!

I know I took a week off, but I'm still alive! :)

I don't have too much time today but I have some stories to report. 

The first one is pretty great. So there we were, driving in the truck with Sarah Briggs. We drive past the Farmer Q market and outside is a man wearing an apple suit holding an asparagus sign. Sarah says:" You should go talk to him, he can't run away from you!!" Well, the spirit confirmed so I flipped that truck right around and we marched right up to him. Hey, I've learned that you just have to try those wild ideas out on a mission, cuz that's how miracles happen. :) So it turns out he can't talk to us, or see us. But we try to make a conversation with him. Haha! SIster Payne was like: " So, are those asparagus locally grown??" xD All he does is point toward the market so we hold onto our Jesus card for the moment. We walk inside and the lady starts talking to us. Apparently she knows all about missionaries and even knows the RS president. So we give HER the Jesus card and she gives us fancy Artesian water. Haha, a new potential investigator! Pretty random. :)

I was playing with the king snake at the children's museum and he got a little too cuddly. He wouldn't let go of my neck! xD I think I will call him "Snuggles."

We also tracted into this hilarious girl. She must be like 12 years old or something but the best part was that she is a referral landmine! She pulls out her phone and starts giving us the contact info for her mom, dad, and anyone else we want and there we are scrambling, trying to write it all down. Bahaha! xD

We also found a lady who seems genuinly interested and friendly and a cute old lady, who I named Mouthy Myrtle, who talked to us about all the miracles she's seen in her entire life for a half hour. That's always fun! xD We mixed up our tracting approach so that clearly helped produce miracles.

Memorial day was interesting. Most people said "Go away!" but then we found a cool guy named John who said we can come back, he's neighbors with a member family, and has lots of questions for us. He wants to learn more! 

Jack's friend across the street wants us to come over and teach her the Gospel, and Jack's friend Corrina should be going to church next week. Excitement. 

I played the cello on Sunday (I was anticipating lots of investigators at church) and Sister Payne gave a powerhouse talk. 

We also had finnish cheese at the Syria's. Everyone wants me to bring my cello when we have member lessons, apparently. :P Guess I'll need to.

THEN the miracle. So there we were at church and this lady says "Do you want to teach the first discussion after church today?" I was shocked and pretty sure my jaw dropped. "YES!!!" (are you kidding me, of COURSE!!) So we got to teach her granddaughter, Izzy, who is 15. She's been to church lots (she was baptized Catholic and raised Methodist) but never baptized. We taught her and she's like "that makes sense." She wants to be baptized so we set a date for her! Yay!!! 

I'm turning 21 in 2 days and I'm pretty sure it will be the least scandalous 21st birthday ever. I get to go to zone conference! :)

Love you all! Have an amazing week.


SIster Woods

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 62--Mother's Day Week

Hello Everyone,

Since I just talked to my family yesterday I won't be reporting in too much detail today. Especially because I don't have too much time!!!

I did just want to mention a few highlights.

I just got the best new companion ever, Sister Payne!!! She is from Montana, is a powerhouse missionary, and we have so much in common it is ridiculous. Oh and did I mention we are Sister sisters? 'Tis true. :) We both had the same beyond- amazing trainer, Sister Pearson! She is learning to play the cello and I have to say she is the best beginner I've ever seen! She can rock that "Twinkle" AND a 2 octave C Major scale. :) But that's just a side note. I love her!!!! :) 

Next, I did some gardening for like the first time in my life!!! It was intense, too. We pulled up all kinds of weeds in this sweet lady's backyard. Apparently the landscapers she hired to look after it cheated her and didn't do anything and now the whole place is overrun with weeds and such! She is such a cute lady and it was honestly so much fun to help her. We are going back on Wednesday, actually. :D Oh dear, perhaps I'm my mother's daughter?? :) For those of you who may not know, my Mom is the "Lowe's Mom." She is insanely obsessed (in the best possible way :)) with gardening and hauling rocks and such. I can attempt, in my physically weak state, to be as awesome as she is but will never succeed, haha. #loveyoumom

I had to opportunity to play the cello with some interesting people this week. The first one is Brother Syria, who plays the guitar. He had me bring my cello over for some "jamming." He is super awesome and writes songs for commercials! I will definitely be going back to play with him again! 

I also played the cello with Gray's boyfriend, Roscoe, who plays the trombone. He is really good! He even taught me how to play jazz a little bit. It was way fun! It was kind of hilarious because he wanted me to just start playing and he'd improvise something, so what do I play? "I Know that My Redeemer Lives!" xD Bahaha. I'm a missionary, what do you expect? He had no idea what I played. :)

It's also been a fun adventure at the Children's Museum. SIster Payne loves the turtles, but not the snakes!!! Our job is normally to take the animals around to show all the kids. :) Haha it's all good because I can hold the snakes for her.

It's raining up a storm out there.

Our investigators are doing great. Gray is learning to pray (ha, it rhymes!) and we are teaching Jack's friend, Korina. Sweet! Hope to find some more 'gators this week. Which shouldn't be too hard since it's raining so much, ha! :P #lamejoke. 

I'm LOVING life right now. The Church is true, the book is blue and all that jazz. :) I've got the best job in the world. #soblesseditsnotevenfunny #noonewearsskirtslikewedo. 

Hope you all have a great week and that wherever you are, it's not super rainy!!!! Haha, I dried my clothes then had to walk outside in the pouring rain, so I guess I didn't need to dry them. #whatsthepoint :P


Sister Lacey Woods 

P.S. did anyone catch my hail joke last week? I think that was one of my better ones. :) #preachallhailtojesusname. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Week 61--Another Week

Hello, Everyone!!!

So this week we actually had some lovely Spring weather. It was 70 degrees outside! Amazing. It was a great opportunity to approach strangers outside, everyone we see, and talk about the gospel! Haha. 

Transfers are happening on Wednesday so that means I'm getting a new companion, Sister Payne!!!! I am beyond excited. We both had the same trainer! This would make us Sister sisters. I've met her before and she seems really awesome. Plus she likes to giggle and who knows... she may even enjoy my lame jokes, haha! :P 

Some highlights from the week.

We wore our skirts to the landfill, since we got lost last week. I've never been to a landfill. And never in a skirt! So we get there and we need to use the restroom. Normally, the sign says we'd have to use the stinky outhouses but the lady is like "you are girls... in skirts, dressed all fancy-like! I will let you use the one inside." Yay.

I got to defrost a freezer using a hair dryer. Never done that before. Nope!

I requested 1 or 2 bags of sour candy from my Dad and guess how many he sent? Nope, not one or two... but 66!!!!!!!!! Oh man. It was hilarious. (see the picture). I've been using numerous opportunities to pass them out at Institute and other locations! #foreverfat #myfavoritehashtag #scandalous

I also found out a funny bit of information. Apparently, there was a study done and the U.P. is the furthest away from a temple out of the entire continental U.S.!!!! I found that hilarious. Also, because the lady said it looks like there is a ward in Marquette, but the most noteworthy city is Munising (it's SMALLER than Marquette!) and it doesn't look like anyone lives up there, anyway. xD Haha!

On another note, Gray is doing really well!!! She told us she didn't really read much in the Book of Mormon... just to 1 Nephi 10!!! She's really awesome, and told us she loves meeting with us!!! I''m excited about her.

I'm also excited for Sister Payne to come up to Marquette! It will be a great transfer.

Love you all, hope you are all feeling snazzy.



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 60--A Sassy And Sizzling Spring!

Well, well, well! Hello, everyone! 

How are you all enjoying your nice 80 degree spring? I hope so! We are currently enjoying a rather pleasant 55 degree spring. I know, it's SIZZLING over here! I am still in denial, of course, and refuse to wear tights even if it's windy and cold. I've been at this since NOVEMBER and I'm tired of it! :P

 Some people have commented that I look like I have spring fever without my tights and my companion looks like she's yearning for winter in her snow boots and leggings! Ha! That sister will probably be wearing leggings forever, so it seems! She is so silly. :) I hardly recognized her a couple days this week without the vest and leggings. 

Also, side note, the Elders have made a deal with us where I need to straighten my hair (a member brought me one) and Sister Dunlap needs to wear her hair down and curl it. This will take place tomorrow and it will be so different (it's been over 14 months) I'm not sure I can handle it! :) 

WELL, I suppose I have a few things to report on. 

We had an AWESOME lesson with Gray this week! Did I mention she plays the viola and is learning the cello and is in orchestra?! Awesome connection right there. Oh, and she's not actually grey. That would not be very healthy looking! :P JK. She is really good friends with Troy Graham, who was able to give her a priesthood blessing as part of the lesson. It was really intense and the whole time he was like "open your heart so you can feel God's love!" which is really good because she seems very cautious. But, she is eager to learn and loved learning about the Plan of Salvation. It truly is my favorite lesson to teach. I love sharing my testimony that knowing this plan makes every day amazing because I can know where I want to go and that the choices I"m making will take me there. It makes me so happy! She asked us why Mormons are so happy and smile all the time. Well, the Plan of Salvation is why!!! :) Oh, and the Book of Mormon. That makes me pretty darn joyful. She was supposed to go to church this week but her mom was in town. But, the great thing is she always calls us RIGHT AWAY if she can't go to something or needs to reschedule so I can tell she means business. :D 

Haha, I also discovered this week that missionaries are "quirky." I had to look this word up in the dictionary (I had never thought of myself as "quirky" before! I thought you had to collect bottlecaps and make a statue out of it or something like that to get THAT classification!) And, apparently it means "unusual." So therefore, missionaries are unusual. Who else goes around rocking long skirts all day and talking about Jesus?! #noonewearsskirtslikewedo. So that was a funny discovery. Haha, so I'm pretty sure I'm "unusual" and therefore quirky. #bornthisway :) Oh, and since I have a bit more time today I'll add this comment. I love this scripture: 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10. Basically (you should look it up) it says that  quirks and weaknesses (as we do our best) are made perfect through Christ. YAY. 

So, I'll continue on with the "small stuff" before I get to the most exciting part of the week... Mary's baptism!!!! Yep, you'll have to be patient. #patienceisavirtue. 

We were supposed to have lots of lessons out on Base on Tuesday but lately it's become a ghost town. So we went tracting with Emily Blotter, the AWESOME returned missionary who just got home. She is the BOMB and knows how to jump in and teach with us. I love it! We even got some member presents tracting! That rarely happens. She comes to so many lessons and feeds us delicious food (homemade mac and cheese and ice cream. What??!) when people abandon us and cancel our dinner appointments. :P  #tearsofjoy. We did get sucked into a creepy guy's house though (well, he's more crazy than creepy) but we were able to escape! Hooray. Also, I was pelted with hail! We went tracting in it and were able to "[Preach] All Hail to Jesus Name" (haha, it's a hymn :P). It was giant! I've never been hit with hail before. It looked like dippin' dots ice cream falling  from the sky!

We DID have an amazing miracle expereince before that! So it was pouring rain/snow outside (I know, #michiganspring) and we had to decide whether we should knock on some doors or head out to base before the snow clogged up all the roads so what do we do? That's right, we pray! After we finished the prayer it suddenly stopped. So we figure we are supposed to knock on these doors. So we do the survey with this totally awesome guy. He's christian and totally interested in everything we are telling him. His wife flies by and says it's okay because we are Christians (we were handing him a card with a picture of JEsus on it. USUALLY a good indication ;)). So then we give him a Book of Mormon and start to explain when all of a sudden she comes back and starts shouting at us that Mormons are a cult and that we have been deceived! Then she said a strange prayer where she shouted to Jesus to pray for our souls to be saved (even though she thought we seemed like good, nice girls). It was such a jarring moment, so out of the blue. But I followed the Spirit and was super calm. It was hard to get a word in edge-wise but I told her that no, that isn't true, we believe in Christ, and that I can't be shaken, I know for myself that the Book of Mormon is true!!!! As I said it the truth echoed even deeper inside of me. It was kind of terrifying and in hind-sight I could have done a better job but it was also kind of not at all terrifying because the Spirit was there. Needless to say we had to book it outta there after that but we were able to leave that guy with an articles of faith and family history card. At least he knows where to go to find accurate info and hopefully he was touched in some small way. Scary expereinces like that happen lots to missionaries, but I include it here because it was definitley a testimony-boosting expereince. 

Random interjection here, but everyone reading this who has not heard of the "Lamb of God" musical production, go and listen to it right now! That has been my jam in the truck lately. And, the cello personifies Jesus, which makes it even better. ;) It's gorgeous!

Anyway, we also had a super exciting, amazing, exhillirating adventure at teh landfill this week. Yep. We were given the task of taking all the trash from the Beacon House straight to the landfill, which is clear out in the middle of nowhere. Both our GPSes spazzed out trying to find it. So we had to call the lady a bunch of times and spin around in circles trying to find it. Ha! We went through lots of mud and did lots of offroading. And then guess what? It was CLOSED!!! Good thing we have a million miles to use before the end of the  month. It was definitely a test of patience! :P It's not every day sister missionaries get sent to the landfill. 

I also had an interesting day on Saturday. Perhaps it was Mary's baptism that exhilirated me or something this time, but those of you who have ever seen me play sports know that I play sports like a musician. It's pretty embarrassing. xD Well, we play volleyball/frisbee/soccer every Saturday night with the missionaries, and the recent converts and such. Well, I actually got my game on and got really into it this time. I got really sassy, stole the ball from everyone, scored some points and had a crazy collision with an elder #notscandalous xD. It was way more excercise than I've had in a while and I was exhausted! So much fun. 

I've left you all in suspense long enough. Mary got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was so great! It was actually a totally crazy adventure trying to get the font filled with the CORRECT temperature of water. Picture Sister Dunlap down in the water in her skirt and bare feet, stirring the water around with a broom handle trying to stir the warm water throughout all the cold water. Haha! I've never actually been "in charge" of all these things before so it was interesting! It all worked out, we got the programs printed WITH the Jesus picture, and there was actually a good turnout! She was baptized in her glasses and without a towel. I graciously offered her a paper towel to dry off with. xD Bahaha. I was able to play her " I am a Child of God" on the cello. And, it was in a tiny room so there were people 2 inches in front of me, staring. #pressureson. xD But, it went really great and she loved it. Getting the gift of the Holy Ghost was also an adventure because she can't be touched due to hypersensitivity. So, just the Bishop confirmed her and even though it involved touching, she said it was definitely worth it. ;)  So great!

Also, another record was broken this week. THREE investigators at church! Aubrey, Audrey, and Bela. I know, cray cray. And I played the cello in church! I played "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" with Sister Winn and it went really, really well! Probably one of my best performances. I think this ward loves the cello and is excited now. :) It was just a great church overall because 2 recent converts spoke and so did Sister Blotter, the returned missionary. AND there was a potluck. AND Aubrey taught us how to do the cup song. (if any of you have seen the youtube video of the sister missionaries teaching the restoration with the cups!) It was awesome and it took me forever to figure it out. :P And then, Bela and Taylor wanted to play the cello, so they did. It is actually super interesting for Bela because she is deaf and can't hear me play but she can feel the vibrations through the floor, I guess. She had a lot of fun plucking the strings and such. :) 

One more thing. apparently there is a new and fancy device, like a virtual reality helmet, but in eye form (does that even make sense?! :P). You put your phone in it and it's like you are sitting in a movie theatre and even on teh moon! Br. Chaney let me try it (you can look around and see moon rocks and everything!!!) with a Mormon message #notscandalous and it was AMAZING. Technology has changed sooo much! 

We also had an awesome time at teh Bishop's house. Emily has started a Sundae Sunday tradition where we have ice cream (delicious ice cream made inside of a crepe??!) and socialize (all the recent converts and investigators are invited. It was SO FUN. We got to watch Meet the Mormons!

Ok, so I had a pretty great week. :)

Love you all!!!

Sister Woods  

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 59--Power House Week!!

Hello, Everyone!

Normally I take a few notes so I know what to write about. Well, not this week! It's been very busy, which, as a missionary, is the best thing ever! :D 

So, with that I will name a few highlights. The first one being that it was a bright, beautiful and sunny week! With the exception of today (it rained). BUT, records were made this week. Because of the gorgeous weather, we were able to find many people outside. I know, it sounds like a crazy concept up here in the U.P. But, it's true! We were truly blessed to be able to teach 37 other lessons this week! This is my all-time record. Normally, 20 is a good week and 10 is the minimum standard of acceptability (for me, at least.) And we found 5 new investigators! We are being insanely blessed. I like it. :) 

One of these wonderful new investigators is Gray. We just taught her the Restoration today, actually. She knows the Powerpuff girls as well as one of the ward members. She is super tiny and very sweet so she is a good match for Sister Dunlap and me. And, the best part is she's staying all summer so we can teach her! She seems a little cautious, but interested and excited about what we shared with her. 

We also met some other exciting people. One of them casually said "I'm getting baptized." Psssht, we'll see about THAT! :) Actually, we really do hope to see that. 

Some of the other 5 new people we found are also friends with the Powerpuff girls. Two of them are also friends, and meeting with us. The Powerpuff girls are super awesome for inviting their friends to family dinner with all of us! #inviteyofriends! 

We also had blitzes in Marquette with the Sister Training Leaders. This is a partial explanation for the unusual number of lessons taught! I went with Sister Kealer, who is a powerhouse! I mean it, this girl is small but she packs a powerful punch. We talked to absolutely EVERYONE. It was great, I loved it! It was kind of hilarious, actually. We walk out of a house and we pause to listen. SIster Kealer hears someone raking far off in the distance, so we march right on over there and offer to rake that lady's leaves. And we don't take no for an answer! JK, we did (eventually) but we DID said a prayer with her! Haha. I love talking with everyone. It's like a fun challenge. I'm normally pretty good at it, decent, but I've never seen a sister take that so literally before! I am inspired! :) In all seriousness, I could definitely see this sister being my next companion. We both can, since she has only one more transfer. I'm secretly hoping that is what the Spirit will whisper to President Cutler. We would make a great team, oh and we both have the same career goals. :D 

Funny story of the week. So, there we were, teaching a recent convert at her house, in her basement. She has a new puppy, a sort of hound mix. The kind of dog isn't really important to the story. However, you know you have put on a few pounds on the mission when a dog comes up to you, grabs hold of a side handle and won't. let. go! It kept nibbling and nibbling. xD Bahahaha. It was funny AND embarrassing #funbarrassing. 

We also had a missionary return home in the ward! It's the bishop's daughter, actually. She also, ironically, has the same career goals as I do and is attending medical school in the fall. She is super awesome and wants to go out teaching with us all the time! I have to admit, it may be a *sacrifice* on our part to allow such a thing ;) but... I suppose we can allow that. :) 

This Saturday is Mary's baptism!!!! And, it will be Sister Dunlap's first! So excited. :DDDD We got her all suited up at church so she's all prepared. I'm playing the musical number for her. The only sad part is it will be her last Sunday. After this week, she will be graduated and moving... who knows where. Pittsburgh or maybe down state (which means Wisconsin in Yooper).  I only hope that we can be temple buddies a year from now, or some point in the future. That would be awesome! 

Well, that's it for this week! I love you, I miss you, and I hope you all have a splendiforous week! 


Sister Woods 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week 58--A Quiet Week

Well, Hello!!!

So, the weather in Marquette has been SUPER whacky!! It snowed so much this week! (I've figured out how to drive in it! ;)) Then it was pouring rain. Then it was a whopping 71 degrees yesterday ( I was burning up in my snow boots!), it felt like I was in Vegas again or something! Then today, anticipating a turn for the better in terms of weather, I wore my flowery spring skirt only to find... that it is pouring rain outside!!! Craziness. I never know what to expect anymore! :P 

We've been meeting with some new people this week! We tracted into this girl, Kaylee, who has a grandma who is a member of the church here in Marquette! She is 18, (the girl, not the Grandma :P) curious about what Mormons believe and she's awesome! We already met with her and it went really well!  :)

We have some other exciting things coming up... but I will wait until they are " fo show" before I report on them! :) 

Aubrey has become super busy and has stopped meeting with us for the time being. Darn!!! President wanted us to try to help her be baptized before school gets out. That's okay, there is always the future. :) 

Mary is still excitedly anticipating her baptism next Saturday! I can't wait!!!! I will be playing the cello. :)

We celebrated Sister Dunlap's birthday this week, which also happened to be interview day! This companion is silly and doesn't like breakfast food (pancakes and such). BUT she did allow me to make her a giant breakfast quesadilla (she likes protein.) It took her 3 days to eat it becasue it was giant! I also had to be extra sneaky and get us a dinner appointment while she was being interviewed and make an oreo cake. It's hard to surprise someone when you spend every waking moment together, within sight and sound! But all in all it was a fun day and a fun challenge to be sneaky! :P I had basically the best interview of my life. It took a whole hour and included a very special blessing. We found out that Sister Dunlap will be transferred! President prayed to know where to send her next, so we are pretty sure. :) 

We fed crickets to turtles and lizards at the Children's Museum. That was exciting and gross all at the same time. 

I'd say that the funniest part of our quiet week was on Sunday. So there we were in Gospel Principles and the teacher didn't show up again and since the Elder's taught last time, the ward mission leader asks, "how are you feeling about this, sisters?" I looked at the lesson, which was on Priesthood Organization and said "How are YOU feeling about this, Brother Niefeler??" ;)) Hahahahahaha, I mean, of ALL subjects to have the sisters teach, you want us to teach THIS lesson, not the elders? In front of all the investigators!!? Well, we had to teach it. And boy was it interesting! Yep, totally impromptu teaching about each of the priesthood responsibilites, offices, and classes. I drew a picture. :) Sister Dunlap knew very little about it, so THAT was a fun time for me! :P Haha. I felt bad for the Elder's investigator whose first Sunday at church it was, but that's okay. Given the circumstances it went really well! 

I can't really describe to you the joy I feel on my mission. I try but it doesn't turn out right, I feel. Some weeks, like last week, are really intense. But I am so grateful for everything I'm learning. For the people I get to work with, for the privilege I have to share with them the most joyous message in the world. That lights a fire within my heart and makes every day worthwhile!It changes me.  I don't want to go home. It's amazing to me how every ounce of energy we put in to serving the Lord, He turns around and pours out His splendiforous blessings. I made up that word. :) 

Love you all! 

Sister Lacey Woods