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