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 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Week 57-A Marvelous Marquette and a Wonder!!!

Hello, Everyone!!!

Are you ready for a totally crazy letter??!! It's probably going to be a mile long, just to warn you. :)

First off, my face-plant story. So there we were, tracting. There is still ice everywhere in Marquette so I slip on some ice, and, flailing my arms madly, trying to catch hold of the wall, I face plant right on the ice!!! I've got a gnarly bruise on my knee from it. #goodtimes. 

Another story. We went to visit this cute old lady this week, who is home-bound. We sit down on her couch, only to catch with the corner of our eye, sight of a bra! We, of course, politely pretend not to notice. Then she discovers it and says "well at least you're not Elders!" Bahaha. It was pretty funny. 

I also learned this week that people will accept anything from you if you say the magic word: "gift." That's right! This handy little word allowed us to pass out all of our easter cards! Sweet. :) This might be the most important discovery of my mission! :P

We also have an interesting predicament in our district. No piano player. So, they nominated me to play the cello during district meeting. It was way fun!!! i got to play prelude music and play the hymns while the elders and my companion sang. It was kind of hilarious because this group consists entirely of mumbling Elders and my companion who also decided to mumble because she felt self-conscious. So, it's pretty funny. Perhaps I will get a consistent calling as district cellist! :)

We were worried about how our lesson would go with Aubrey this week. Well, I'm happy to report, it went really well! Thank goodness for the Spirit because it gets me out of all kinds of sticky situations. Ultimately I was able to explain how in God's plan men and women need each other, and have complementary roles. If it weren't so, why would anyone be married or start a family? Not an exact explanation because ultimately I can't give one. It's something we have to understand by asking the Lord about it. And ultimately, in my opinion, go to the temple. Then we will understand why women don't exercise the same priesthood authority as men. ANYWAY, since I'm rambling, it was just such a neat turning point when Sister Dunlap and I each shared what our future career plans are, as a way to illustrate how women CAN and DO have the freedom to have careers and great responsibility, even as members of the church, wives and mothers.I definitely think we were both meant to serve here in Marquette, perhaps just so we could teach Aubrey. Sister Dunlap wants to be a fighter pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps and I want to be a doctor. Interesting! She seemed to really like that. Then we brought everything back to whether or not she knows that the church (and Book of Mormon) are true. We bore powerful testimony that she can know it, and then she ultimately agreed to be baptized if she gets her answer!!! SO not what we were expecting. She's willing to change!!! #jesustakesthewheeleverytime. So cool.

Mary is out of town but listened to a session of general conference!!!!! She loved the talk about the sabbath day. 

I want to talk a little bit about my favorite parts of General Conference. I loved it!!!!!!! I have to say that President Uchtdorf's talk about grace was my favorite, along with Elder Holland's (about the Atonement), and also Elder Packer (about eternal marriage and the Atonement. All hurting can be turned to beauty and God recompenses us beyond our mortal ability to understand!) and L. Whitney Clayton's (about actively CHOOSING to believe in Christ!! We have to CHOOSE to be healed!). I guess I have a lot of favorites. :) Oh, and who could forget the GREATEST HASHTAG OF CONFERENCE!!!!! #greatandspaciousbuilding found in Elder Pearson's talk. I was laughing so hard! xD I was so impressed and my heart just swelled as I listened to Elder Pearson talk about how he made his decision (to be a mission president) when he was 19 and went to the temple and made covenants with God. And, how he built his entire life around that! So powerful, and really resonated with me. I also found the music talk (Wilford W. Andersen's) amazingly hilarious. Mostly because of the musical terms. :) I love general conference!!!!!!!!!!!

Now, I need to transition into somewhat of a more somber mood. I had planned all of this out this morning so let's hope it comes out alright. :) There is a long story I felt impressed to share. And, it's one that holds deep meaning to me. I've often spoken about some of my mission experiences as a "deepening of soul" kind of experience. Well, that's what this one is. Ultimately, I am filled with gratitude and awe. I should make it clear from the very start that my intent is not to sound bitter. The experiences I mention may sound harsh but it must be noted that I bear no ill feelings toward the individuals that I'm referring to. I love them and we are on friendly terms. :) Rather, I am grateful to these individuals for pointing me toward the Savior. We often talk about the Fall of Adam and Eve right before we talk about the Atonement in order to provide an informative contrast and a more powerful explanation for why it is so pertinent in our lives (See Elder Holland's talk from this most recent conference!). So, this is why I'm sharing today. :) Perhaps I'm writing a mini talk here, but my intent is to share an experience I had this week that I hope will highlight the amazing ability of the Savior of the World, through His Atonement, to turn the ashes and bitterness in our lives into peace and strength. I hope I make sense. :) This is a long intro, but again my intent is to edify and not drag down, so I'm going to mention, albeit briefly, one or two of the "Falls" I've had on my mission. So, here we go! 

For those of you who may not be familiar with the healing and enabling aspects of the Atonement that I often refer to, I'll attempt to explain using a quote from True to the Faith, an amazing reference guide that we like to study as missionaries. And it's pretty great for all members of the Church. :) 

"In addition to offering redemption from the pain of sin, the Savior offers peace in times of trial. As part of His Atonement, Jesus took upon Himself the pains, sicknesses, and infirmities of all people (see Alma 7:11-12).  He understands your suffering because He has experienced it. With this perfect understanding, He knows how to help you. You can cast 'all your care upon him; for he careth for you' (1 Peter 5:7). 

So, I'm going to be referencing the ability of the Savior to heal and strengthen us in times of trial and difficulty. He can help us forgive and let go of our anger, sadness, bitterness, frustration, and a thousand other negative feelings of this sort. 

Over the course of my mission, I've had some really wonderful companions. Some will be friends  for life and I greatly cherish the lessons that each one has taught me. They are all wonderful people, but some of them have been especially challenging for me to get along with and befriend. In fact, 1/3 of them have, at some time or another, been downright cruel. I don't use that term lightly. There's something about being told I'm worthless, there is nothing good she can see in me, that all she can see are my flaws, and that she has had love for everyone else in her left except me. All of that is in response to my full might, mind and strength effort to serve the Lord and her, to love her and help her learn and grow. That's one of them. The other one pointed out, (famously in my mind) that only Jesus Christ Himself could handle me. That was in the midst of my all-time lowest of lows and all I needed and wanted was a little patience and love. These are different experiences. The latter one happened first but the first experience I mentioned I actually stood up for myself.  Add both these experiences to the already stressful and demanding rigors of missionary life (surely a time when you hopefully have a companion at your side who is willing to support and sustain you as doors get slammed in your face, etc.!) and you've got a miserable brew of loneliness and sorrow!  You no longer have your family to support and sustain you, after all. Only a weekly email to look forward to in that department! That and the Holy Ghost. :) Trust me, I stampede to the mailbox every day, hoping for a nice note of encouragement, a "Kyle letter" or a box from Mom, but it's especially true during times of difficulty that this desire is present. :) 

It must be interesting to observe, especially for those who have never served a mission and don't really know the full extent of what I'm referring to, to observe all the highs and lows missionaries experience. Indeed, missions consist of the most breathtaking high points I've ever experienced, but also the most devastating lowest of lows that I've ever experienced. It's quite an adventure!!! Never before have I felt such an all-consuming need for the healing and strengthening aspects of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And it's AWESOME. Now I'm getting to the point. I had the opportunity to experience that redemptive healing from my Savior. This isn't the only time, but this is a very prominent one. There were moments this week when I truly felt I couldn't go on and felt like sinking into despair (when I wasn't teaching the Gospel). Haha, I felt like it was either toss Sister Jensen or myself into a snowbank and stay there. :P Anyway, I applied Psalm 55:22 and cast my burden on the Lord. I prayed for strength! It didn't all go away at once, all crushing weight of the anger and hurt I felt. It actually took two separate, powerful occasions, as well as prayers throughout the day. But, to make a long story shorter, my bitterness was released and in its place was the sweetest sense of peace and comfort, such as only the Savior Himself could grant. I felt sorrow with Him (on Easter, actually) and realized, in a very real and literal sense, that the pain our words cause affects not only others, but the Savior Himself.  I felt awe and unspeakable gratitude for the fact that He bore not only this very pain, but the pains of all of my pains, so I wouldn't have to endure them alone. So He could grant me and everyone else this same peace I was yearning for. This event is so real to me, it's almost tangible. It has given me a deeper understanding of the Atonement, like Jose A Teixera pointed out in his conference talk yesterday. I learned that it requires faith on my part to access it. I must do all I can to let go and act "as if" the Savior truly would lift the pain from me.  But I knew it was not me who took that weight from me. If it was as simple as "I let it go... NOW!" it would have happened instantly, at the start of the week. I even questioned why the relief didn't come immediately. I realize now that He wanted me to 1. stand up for myself this time 2. understand the Atonement more deeply and 3. attain greater confidence. Scars I thought wouldn't heal, relationships I thought were broken indefinitely, words I thought would never stop cutting have been lifted from me. Like Alma says in Alma 36:19-21: "I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of {my pains} no more. And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!". There is, in my mind, no other way this could have occurred. Oh, how grateful I am!!! It's like Elder Packer said, when the Atonement works on our spirits, it leaves no scars. 

I learned from this expereince that others words and perceptions don't define me. I knew that already, actually. But now I know in a very literal sense that there are NO words that can ever overtake me. I can stop them before they cut too deep. I can face ANYTHING with the Savior of the World at my side. This is what real confidence means. I can't even pay proper tribute to Him for all He's done to succor, heal and lift me through  my trials. I simply would not be who I am today without Him. Like Elder Holland mentioned in His talk, this is the real meaning of Easter to me. The atonement is a gift of victory over every fall, sorrow, or discouragement we've ever had! Nothing, in all creation, could be more important to me that what I've learned these past 2 weeks, and it's the most important thing I've learned on my mission. This scripture puts in back in perspective: Isaiah 40:31. Perhaps you've had an expereience similar to mine. Write it down, save it. Treasure it and share it at a time you or someone else needs it. You will change lives!


Sister Woods 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Week 56-Week of Craziness and Off-Roading Adventures!!!!

Hello, Everyone!!!

I only have like 15 minutes to write this email so here goes!!!

This week has been a toughie, I can't lie about that. Most of my emails are nice and cheery and uplifting but this one will have a touch of realism as well. But, overall, I'm a happy sister missionary, being lovingly chastened, doing her duty and floating along. :) 

First of all, the most dramatic thing that could have happened. I got into an accident!!! There was lots of wind and snow yesterday and we were driving along the freeway and ran into some black ice!! Next thing I know we are spinning in a circle #JESUSTAKETHEWHEEL!!!!!!! And land into a snow bank. Everything is fine, no one was hurt, or hit, but that was TERRIFYING!!!!!! I'm super glad I had the thought for us to say a prayer before we left. We were heading to Base and Sarah was in the car with us. The only thing I can think of happening that would be MORE scandalous is if my comp were pregnant or something. Now THAT would be scandalous! :) But, joking aside, the truck's bumper is torn and we will have to get it fixed. It was such an adventure with the cops and the tow truck. Good times. :) So we took some pictures, of course. And we got to hang out in the truck for a minute or two SIDEWAYS (we thankfully landed on a hill otherwise we would have flipped!! #tendermercy) and, naturally, played "Jesus Take the Wheel" to commemorate this terrifying, yet somewhat humorous, experience. 

I was also SUPER SICK this week! For four days in a row. But, the amazing part is I was only sick during the times we were at home in the apartment, not when I'm out trying to spread the Gospel. I won't describe too much the type of sick but let's suffice it to say it was NOT pleasant! And I totally lost my appetite. I can't eat much of anything. If this keeps up I'll go home looking as thin as I was in high school! Oh man. :) Maybe this is a blessing?! Haha. 

Jack is reading up a storm! He says he has the spirit with him and is never letting go! He is our miracle of the week. :) 

We are praying hard-core for Aubrey right now who had a major issue with women and the priesthood at church yesterday!!!! She's backed up to the wall of faith and we hope she can make it through!!!!

I've been very much tried in other, much harder ways this week. Even though persecutions may rage, "all these things shall give us experience and be for our good" (D&C 122:7).  It's interesting that I'm learning these lessons right before Easter!!!! It's a powerful reminder to me of the Atonement, and how it "encircles us in the arms of safety" (Alma 34:16). I'm definitely seeing the Lord's mercy. I love this work! 


SIster Woods