Wednesday, December 31, 2014

First Transfer!

Christmas!

Last day in Mayoraz!

THIS is how happy I am to be in Cañada de Gomez!!! :) :)

​I made a graph of all the birthdays in our ward. There were a ton in December!!

Oh my goodness, I am so happy! I got transferred and I am now in my second area! It is called Cañada de Gomez. It is a tiny, little town and all the people are so humble. They are all so ready to accept the gospel and I am so excited to be here and teach them. And I love my new companion! Her name is Hermana Matias. She is 20 and she is from El Salvador. We get along so well and I already love her! I am so excited for this transfer and to work with her. It will be amazing. :)

In the two days that I have been here, we have already had some success and some awesome miracles! We found a woman named Claudia. She is the girlfriend of a recent convert named Angel. He was baptized about a month ago. We went to visit Angel to have a lesson with him and Claudia was there. We started talking to her just about the church in general and the blessings that she can receive and SHE asked US if she could be baptized! She wants to be baptized really bad and start a new life with Angel and just be happy. She is amazing! :)

I don't have much more time, but I hope that everyone had an amazing Christmas and have a Happy New Year! I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Happy Christmas!!

This SUPER AWESOME slug. It was huge!

Hermana Knapp, my favorite. ;)

You know you speak too much Spanish when you directly translate "Feliz Navidad" into Happy Christmas and tell your latina companion that that's what all the people say in the United States. Oops...Merry Christmas!! ;)

Wow, so much stuff happened this past week. We had lots of activities and lots of amazing lessons. The spirit is so much stronger during this time of year.

The one investigator I want to talk about this week is Belkys. She is so prepared and amazing!!! I love her!! We had a lesson with her this week. We told her that there were certain ordinances that she has to perform here in this life so that she can live with her husband again. We held up a picture of Jesus Christ being baptized. She took one look at the picture and said, "¿Vos sabes que yo quería bautizarme en este forma todo mi vida?" Translated: "Did you know that I wanted to be baptized this way all my life?" Wow!!!! We quickly told her that she can be baptized this way and her face just lit up. She has a date now and she is SO excited to be baptized!! She is 70, and she is still super healthy. She is going to walk to church with us this Sunday. She wrote it down in her calendar. ;) She is so cute and so great and so ready.

Last Saturday, we went to an old people's/disabilitated home with our whole zone and Presidente Zanni and his family to clean and sing songs. While we were there, it started to rain super hard and the home started to flood! It was super good that we were all there because we all started bailing water and helping the workers. It was sad to see, but it was good we were there. :) Then we ate cookies and sang and talked to all the people. Afterwards, we ate empanadas and played games in the stake center. Super fun!!

We also had our ward Christmas party! It was super duper fun! We had 18 investigators come to the party!!!! :) It was amazing and super delicious! I had my first pollo asado! It was so good and so fun. :)

Tonight, we are going to have a cena with some members in our ward and with the Elders, and then tomorrow I am going to skype!!! It will be 7:00 a.m. in Utah. I am super excited!! I love you all!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cockroaches!

Argentina is doing weird things to my hair. It's super great.

Family Nights at their finest. ;)

I had to prove to myself that I can still get ready and look nice. ;)

A purple Christmas tree just for you. :)

Don't worry, I am pretty sure that we are always going to have some sort of problem in this house. This week was cockroaches. Every night we came home there were cockroaches! And I am talking HUGE ones. The ones that you have to smash at least 7 or 8 times until they are finally dead. And Hermana Cuchiparte does not like animals or bugs or anything, so I, once again, am in charge of killing everything and making sure everything stays out. Haha, it is a great responsibility to have. ;)

We taught Hermano Enrique twice this week. He really is a great guy, and he knows basically everything about the gospel, because he has been going to church every sunday for 5 years. We asked him if he would be baptized, and he told us that he would be baptized the 30....of February. Ha ha. Not funny. We are trying to figure out what is holding him back and how he can make this step. He told us he knows this church is true, but he doesn't want to be baptized. We are going to keep praying to figure out what he needs.

About two months ago, we found this woman named Belkys, but we could never find her again..until this week! We were walking down the street and for some reason, I remember her, so we went and clapped at her house (we don't knock, we clap). She came to door, looked at us, and quickly let us in. We were very surprised and grateful. She told us that her husband died 5 years ago and she still misses him very much. We started talking about the plan of salvation. We got to the part about the spirit world and we read Alma 40:12. She started crying and told us she knows this is where her husband is. I was able to testify with all my heart because I know that the spirit world is real. I know that there is life after death and that my grandpa is still with me. I started crying, she was crying. The spirit was really strong. She offered the last prayer and she prayed so sincerely and was so grateful for our visit and for the knowledge of where her husband is now. We have another lesson this week and I can't wait to teach her.

The final thing is we are working with lots of menos activos. We had two menos activos families that came to church this week because we visited and invited them! They are just as important as the investigators and I was super happy to see them there!

The work our our Heavenly Father is moving forward! Make sure you are on the train and you are constantly trying to help it move forward. There is always something you can do. :)

I love you all!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Spiders!

Don't worry, we got rid of the rats. But we are pretty sure that some spider laid eggs and they all hatched because one day we woke up and there were spider webs EVERYWHERE!! We didn't get bit, but we had to clean up all the webs. It was quite an adventure. :)

This week has been amazing! We have found so many new people to teach and lots of our investigators are progressing. We have been focusing alot more on part member families and how we can help their families become eternal families. We have found lots of new investigators this way.

The first one is Hermano Enrique. He is 80 years old and he is married a member of the church, Beatriz. We actually didn't know that he wasn't a member. They both come to church every week. They read the book of mormon together and pray every day. Someone mentioned that we should talk to him and once we found out he wasn't a member, we quickly set up an appointment. He has some problems with drinking, but we are working with him. He is super awesome! Another is Dominga. Her daughter is a member of the church and sealed in the temple to her husband and her 3 year old kid named Lucio. Lucio loves Superman. He is so cute. The daughter told us to stop by her mom's house and talk to her. We said we could the next day. We went home and looked in the area book, and we found out that TONS of missionaries have visited Dominga in the past. We were a little worried that she wouldn't want to talk to us, but we went anyway. She quickly let us in and told us she won't ever be baptized. We told her that was fine and we just started talking to her. She told us about her life and she started getting really emotional. We told her that Heavenly Father was just waiting her to be baptized, and she accepted! Whoo! What a miracle! We are super excited to work with her!

The final one in the Familia Cocuzza. Hermana Cocuzza got baptized 4 years ago with one of her daughters, Lilian. However....Hermana Cocuzza has 10 other children who aren't baptized! They are all grown up and have children and none of them are members of the church. Two of her children live with her in her house and we started teaching Paulino and Cristian. They are Hermana Cocuzza's grandkids. They both came to church with her yesterday. It was amazing! :)

Don't forget that there are always people to share the gospel with in your path! They are always there, and you just need to look for them. Pray to recognize who is prepared and just be nice and talk to them. Share the website christmas.mormon.org. It is super amazing and all about Jesus!! I love you all!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, December 1, 2014

Cheers, My Dears

Hey, this week has been hard because we are still trying to find new people to teach! It is hard because I know that everyone needs the gospel and I want to help everyone, but they need to have a desire to learn and listen, or else we can't help them. It is difficult, but I am learning patience a lot this week. :) We had a couple great activites this week! On Satuday night, we had the farewell party of Nico! He is the kid that received his mission call to Columbia. He is leaving tomorrow! It was super difficult because I really am going to miss him a lot. He is a super good friend and he is so strong in the gospel, and I know that he will touch so many hearts in Columbia. He will be great!

This week was also my companion's birthday! It was on Thanksgiving! She turned 26! It was lots of fun and we got to know each other a lot more. Things are going a lot better and I am excited to work with her and to find the people that are ready to hear the gospel! We are focusing a lot this week on less active families and recent converts. In all reality, they are more important because the have already made these covenants with Heavenly Father and they need to keep them.

We are starting this new video all over the world! Probably some of you have heard of it, but we are starting to share it in our mission and I love it! It is found in Christmas.Mormon.org. It is a video about Jesus Christ. Especially during this Christmas time, it is a lot easier to share your testimony about Jesus Christ and tough people's hearts. Please go to that website and share the video! Yo puedo testificar con todo mi corazón y sé que Jesucristo vive. Jesucristo es mi Salvador y mi Redentor. Jesucristo es mi hermano. Él sufrió para mi individualmente y me conoce personalmente. Yo sé que Él es la Dádiva de nuestro Padre Celestial. Estoy muy animada por este tiempo en el año y yo quiero compartir mi testimonio con todos! Les quiero mucho!!!!!!

Con amor,
Hermana Wood :)

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

La lucha con las lauchas (The fight with rats)

Transfers were this week! I am staying here....but Hermana Thornton is leaving! She is going to a little tiny pueblo named Cañada de Gomez in Rosario. So I am getting a new companion tomorrow! Her name is Hermana Cucheparti. She is a latina! That means that every waking hour will be Spanish. Hopefully that means that I will improve and I won't sound so much like an American when I speak. ;) I am super excited for this change and I have heard so many good things about Hermana Cucheparti. It will be good. :) We were very sad this week because Carina was not able to be baptized. :( We had her interview scheduled for Monday and she had to go to the hospital for her ear. So we moved it to Tuesday, but she couldn't get off work, so she couldn't have it. :( We have tried to stay in contact with her, but it has been very difficult. We are very sad because she was so close to making these precious covenants with our Heavenly Father. But we are going to continue to try and work and teach her. :)

This week overall has been very hard. We dropped a lot of people this week and we have had a hard time finding new people. And our schedule changed. We now wake up at 7:00 and go to bed at 11:00 because of the heat. It is getting so hot here. It is just super great. :)

We had some super great experiences with the rats this week! We now have 5 rats...at least that is what we have seen. We have Rufus, Ramon, Blanca, Churripan, and Maria. We have tried everything to kill them! We trapped Rufus in our bathroom and we are feeding him poison every day, but he is still alive. We are thinking that the poison doesn't really work. ;) We have tried to catch them and "baptize" them in water. Our plan was that we would just baptize the whole family and we wouldn't be sad if they weren't alive to get confirmed. ;) But if they were alive, baptism by fire isn't a bad option either. ;)

I am super excited to start a new week and a new transfer and find new people!!! I am super excited to talk with everyone and share the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am super excited for the opportunity I have to be a missionary and to bring the spirit and joy from Heavenly Father that can't be found anywhere else! I am just super excited! I know that through the spirit, we can accomplish all the things Heavenly Father has in store for us and we can continue to learn and grow and progress. That is the reason we are here on this earth. Through the Atonement, we can repent and change and become better every day. I love you all!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Oh......Rats!

This week has been super interestingly good! We haven't been able to find too many people this past week, but we are working hard and trying to contact more people. We are both getting a lot braver and we are taking to everyone in the calle (street). It is super fun and I love starting conversations with completely random people about completely random subjects. Then...we have to somehow tie in the gospel and it usually goes pretty good. Usually. ;) Update for Carina. She is doing awesome! Everything in her house is calming down and she is still super excited for her baptism this Saturday! Ella va a llegar a su fecha bautismal por fin!!! We are super excited for her. She has been a investigator since December and now she is finally going to be able to get baptized. She has her interview today and we are just beyond excited for her. :)

We were able to teach Rita this week! She is so amazing! We found out that she isn't married....which is sort of a problem. But we explained it all and she told us that she knows this church is true and it makes her happy. She wants to be baptized really bad. We have a man in our ward that is pretty high up in the world and he helps people get married...so he is going to help her out with that. :) We are super excited for her!

I don't remember if I told you this story, but I have a restoration folleto to the woman that runs the kiosko right by our house. We ask her how it is going, and she says she has been reading a little bit every day. She says she loves it and she wants to learn more. :) This is super awesome for her! It is super awesome for us...because then she gives us free food. This last week, she gave us a torta. It's basically a cake, but it's an Argentine cake. And it is delicious. :) Anyway, we went home, ate a little bit of it, and then left it on the counter wrapped up and went to bed. The next morning we woke up.........................and there was rat poop all over the ground. We looked at our torta...and there was a HUGE chunk missing! We have a rat!! His name is Rufus. Yuck! Haha, we are trying to figure out what to do, and thus far we haven't found much to help. But don't worry, there will probably be more stories about Rufus. :)

I have been studying a lot this week about being humble. There is a difference between being confident and being prideful. I sadly admit that most of my life, I have more just been prideful instead of confident. I feel really sad that I have never figured this out before. The opposite of pride is humility. The definition of humility..in Spanish..is "la condición de ser manso y moldeable". I love this definition. Being humble isn't a weakness. Jesus Christ was completely humble. In Matthew 26:39, it talks about Jesus in the garden of gesthemane. He was completely humble and submissive to our Heavenly Father. I want to be more like Him. :)

Anyway, that was my week! The heat is coming and so are all the cockroaches! Oh, and the rats. Hurrah! ;)

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Don't Happy, Be Worry

Dear Mommy,
My title is not to make you worried or anything. Here in Argentina, lots of stores have clothes with English words on them. No one here knows what their shirts say. Usually they don't make sense at all, and "Don't Happy, Be Worry" was on one of the shirts this week. They are hilarious!

This week was pretty good. But Carina got super sick this week. She has a baptism date for November 14, so we are visiting her almost every day. She was really sick in bed, so we called the Elders to come and give her a priesthood blessing. Her son, Nacho, was in the room as well. He listened to the missionaries a while ago, but he decided he didn't want anything to do with them. The elders got done with the blessing, he had tears in his eyes, and he asked to have a lesson right then and there. We stayed with Carina and the Elders taught Nacho in the other room. We had two other lessons with both of them this week. Great experiences! We hope Nacho will want to change and keep having the discussions. Carina also came to church this week. :)

Something really weird is that we went to teach David this week...and his house wasn't there. Like, it doesn't exist anymore. Nothing is there. We are really confused and a little worried...He hasn't answered his phone or texted us back, so we don't really know what to do in this situation. Oh well, we will keep praying for him. :)

I had to go to Rosario this week to do tramites. Everyone has to do it here. It is kind of like customs so that we can be legal here! Techicnally I am still illegal...but that's okay. :) I have to go to Rosario tonight as well. It is fun because you get to meet other missionaries and go to the mission home...but other than that, it is pretty boring. But something amazing happened! We were waiting in line to do tramites, and this little girl came running over to me and my companion, Hermana Knapp. She told us she loved the way we talked, (because we were talking in English) and she thought we were just so cool. Then her sister and her mom came and talked to us. We told them we were missionaries and wanted to have missionaries come and teach them. They agreed. Guess where they live?? In our ward!!! :) It was amazing because we were all the way in Rosario and we found them there. The elders are going to teach them. They are such a cute family!

Halloween was this week! No one celebrates that here. But..we still wore orange and black. It also poured super hard on Halloween! We ran like two blocks to our house and we were completely soaked! It was super fun! :)

Other than that, this week has just been pretty normal! Lots of work to do and I am super excited to do it!!!! :)

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

P.S. Just in case you are wondering, potato bugs still exist all the way down in Argentina. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Un Bautismo!

Dear Mommy,
This week has been pretty long, but I have learned so much this week. I have learned that everything is in the Lord's hands and that we need to accept His will. I have also learned that you need to try your ABSOLUTE hardest to do His will and follow Him with everything you've got.

The sad new first...Hilen moved away and is living with her grandma for two months.....so she isn't in our area anymore, so she can't get baptized. :( Sad moment. Also, Inez and Maria Elena dropped us this week. They like the church and I'm pretty sure they have felt the spirit and the happiness...but they have decided they don't want to change. We have to acknowledge their wants and trust that somewhere down the line Heavenly Father will help them and they will remember what we have taught them. I hope that they will be okay and that one day they will want to be truly happy and follow our Savior.

We found David this week!!! We had a lesson inside his house and we taught him the restoration completely. He is just like Joseph Smith. He has a lot of questions and we answered them. He obviously works a ton and I don't know how quickly he can come to church and have all the lessons, but he has a desire to follow Jesus Christ and know the truth, so we are definitely going to keep working with him.

We had a crazy learning experience. We were walking along the vía ( I think that means railroad..I'm not sure. It isn't a very safe place to be, but it is much faster and it was in the middle of the day.) and we saw this boy about 16 years old. We usually don't just go up and talk to 16 year old boys..especially on the vía. So we said hi and kept walking...then Hermana Thornton and I looked at each other and we both realized we had the same impression to talk to this kid. We thought about it and decided to do it..but when we turned back around he wasn't there. We were both very sad and felt awful because we didn't follow that prompting. We went on with our day, but this kid wouldn't leave our minds. We wanted to find him so bad and follow this prompting. We kept praying in our hearts for some way to make this right. You wouldn't believe what happened. We walked around this corner and there was the kid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He was leaning up against a wall, almost waiting for us to walk by. We literally ran over to him and started talking to him. His name is Lucas. He doesn't live in our area, but he was very interested in the church, so we got his address and referred him to other elders. That doesn't happen. We found Lucas again!! I am beyond grateful for this experience and now I know to talk to every person I see because it was 1 in a million that we found this kid again. I am so grateful!!!

Finally, the Elders in our ward had a baptism! Her name is Jesica. She is the strongest, most amazing person I have ever met. She has such a sweet spirit. They found her and she got baptized three weeks later. She is literally amazing. She has a testimony that is stronger than many other people and she is ready to follow Jesus Christ with all her heart, might, mind, and strength. She is amazing!

We started clase de ingles this week. It is hilarious to hear all the people try to speak english. It is super fun!! I love my mission!! We have to other people with baptism dates now: Andy and Rita. Hopefully we can keep teaching and helping these people! I love you!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Divisions and Diego

Dear Mom,
This week has had lots of changes! We had zone conference this week. It is really powerful. Our entire mission has the mindset that we can't baptize and that we aren't a baptizing mission. Our new mission president, Presidente Zanni, is changing all of that. The zone leaders gave lots of talks that pumped us up and gave us a lot of hope! The best thing that they taught me was to see every person you come in contact with as a child of God. See them dressed in white in the baptismal font. Imagine them having a calling in the church. Picture them standing in the temple, sealed to their family for time and all eternity. This completely changed my mindset this week. We went from having 15 lessons to 28 lessons this week. We found 10 new investigators and we have callbacks with them. We are definitely making progress now and I am beyond excited to be in Mayoraz, Santa Fe, Argentina right now at this exact moment in time. It will be awesome!

I had the opportunity to do divisions this week! It is when the capacitadoras split up and one person in the companionship goes to another area with one capacitadora and the other stays in the area with the other capacitadora. Sorry, I don't know the word for capacitadora in English. But I had to stay in my area and be in charge of it for an entire day! And my companion was Hermana Condori. She is from Peru and doesn't understand a bit of English. We had 9 lessons together while she was here. This is the first time I have truly felt like a missionary. I know I can communicate with the people and I can control my area. I can have success. I am very grateful I had this big learning opportunity.

I want to tell two stories about two of the new people. The first one is a girl named Hilen. She is 22 years old and we found her one afternoon while we were contacting. We gave her a Book of Mormon and got a return appointment. We went back and taught her the first discussion and she accepted the invitation to be baptized! She is going to pray about what day, but she is going to be baptized. We are very grateful for this humungous blessing. :) Hard work brings success.

The other one is about Diego. He made it into my subject line because it is a very interesting story. ;) We found Diego. He is about 17 years old and he told us we could come back and teach his whole family. We went back another day and found his mother and...let's just put it nicely that she never wanted to see us again. However, Hermana Thornton and I both felt like we needed to go back to that house. We went back yesterday. Yesterday was Mother's Day here in Argentina. We knocked on the door and Diego answered. He said his mom was gone, but his aunt was there and that we could come in. We sat down and taught him, his aunt, and his cousin. Then Diego's mom came back and saw that we were in her house and basically threw us out. We probably won't see Diego again, but we know that we needed to go back right then and there. It was pretty cool. :)

Since we had lots of lessons this week, I have lots of other stories. But I will have to save them for another day. Something funny was that we were walking and this almost dead bird made it's final last attempt to fly and flew right into the back of my head and fell down my back and I had blood and guts all over me. The other one was that we were just walking like normal and a bird pooped on my shoulder. I'm not really fond of birds anymore. ;)

I love you!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, October 13, 2014

My Letter Home

Dear Mom,
This week was a little bit slower on the progressing side of investigators, but we still had lots of lessons and I hope we are still helping people.

We had lessons with Inez and Graciella (Grace) this week. We asked both of them to be baptized, but both of them are very well educated and it is obviously a big step for them to accept a fecha, but they said that they want to keep reading and praying and tell us when they are ready. Hopefully that is soon. :)

One of the new families is the Familia Avila. They are a reference of the Familia Carlotta. Hermana Carlotta's son, Albino, and their son play on the same soccer team and they are really good friends. We were talking to the mom, Liliana, about the sons and she commented on how nice and kind and loving Albino was all the time. He was always well behaved and never got into bad stuff. He was a very good friend for her son to have. Albino didn't even know what an impact he had on this entire family by just being himself. Our lesson with them was really good and we have another this week.

We found Carina again this week! We literally haven't been able to contact her for the last month. We asked her why she didn't get baptized and what was holding her back. She proceeded to tell us her entire, beautiful testimony and that she really does want to get baptized. We gave her another baptism date for November 14, and hopefully she will realize that she wants this enough to sacrifice and get married to this man! He really is great, so we are trying to figure out why they don't just get married already. That's our next goal with her.

We realized this week that we say some pretty funny things while we are walking around the streets of Argentina, so we decided to create a quote wall. Probably no one else will think our quotes are funny...but we think they are hilarious. :) Por ejemplo:

H. Thornton: ¿A donde vamos?
H. Wood: El mundo de los espíritus. (because that is always the answer when we are teaching the plan of salvation.)
(about 5 minutes later)
H. Thornton: Hermana, ¿A donde vamos?
H. Wood: Well..are you ready to die?

I don't know if any of you will understand this, but it was pretty hilarious. :)
Also...........I bought hair dye. Yup......we'll see how that goes. :)

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, October 6, 2014

General Conference!

Dear Mommy,
This week has been so great. Before I tell you about conference, here is a list of things I did this week:

1. I survived my first transfer in Argentina!
2. I learned to do the bridge with face cards
3. I drank caffeine for the first time in my whole life...it was coca cola. It was super gross.
4. This woman randomly came up to us and told us her whole life story about how her husband died and how she loves her family and then she just walked away. We were so confused. So..we literally stalked her for about 8 blocks to see where she lived until she walked across the street and out of our zone...so then we had to stop.
5. We made a Christmas tree out of a chain that has the number of days until Christmas (80 days, by the way)! We are very excited about Christmas.
6. I watched General Conference! I watched two sessions in Spanish and two in English. I hope that I understood the Spanish talks and that they talked about what I actually heard. ;)

Now, about conference. I don't have a lot of time to write, but my favorite talk was Richard G. Scott. I loved the list he gave! Pray, read the scriptures, have Family Night, and go to the temple!! I love the temple and I miss it so much! Make sure you go to the temple all the time. If we do these things, we will qualify for blessings and personal revelation and peace in our lives. I am very grateful for all the talks and the opportunity to learn and grow. It was a great week! All our investigators are progressing really well. We found two new families and we have citas with them this week. We have lots of people now and things are really picking up! I hope that you all had a great week!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Missionary Work at it's Finest

Dear Mom,
First off..Happy Birthday Chalise!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't believe that you are 11 years old! You are so beautiful and I wish I was as cool as you. ;) I'm glad you had such a good birthday! There is also 88 days until Christmas, if anyone was wondering. :)

Missionary works changes so fast. You clap in front of a door and all your plans for the day change. Someone starts talking to you on the street and you visit them three more times that week. You are contacting and you find a menos activo that decides it is time to come back to church. It is crazy how many people are being prepared for us every day and how Heavenly Father places them in our paths. Through planning and relying on the spirit, it is okay for your plans to change and to go where Heavenly Father needs you to be.

Our investigators this week: We were able to find David again, which is awesome! He has such a crazy schedule, so we visit his house every day to try and find him. He has such a strong spirit and desire to learn. If we keep trying and trying, I know that we will be able to keep helping him. Fabricio doesn't always live with David, so we told the missionaries in the other area where his mom lives to visit Fabricio as well. He is such a stud because he is 12 years old and reading the Book of Mormon all by himself and wants to learn more.

Graciella is really progressing! She has lots of questions about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. She has started reading the book for herself and I know that if she prays with real intent, she will know through the spirit, not her brain, that the book is true. It is important to know with your heart instead of your brain that this is the true church.

We also found another woman this week. Her name is Inez. She tries really hard to speak to us in English! Usually it is harder to understand her English than to just speak in Spanish, but she loves trying to use english. She is a teacher in her church, and now that we have been teaching her about the gospel, she told us she doesn't really want to teach at her church anymore because it doesn't feel the same. She definitely feels the spirit when she prays to her Heavenly Father because she has never prayed the correct way. It is has always been rehearsed prayers, but now she is actually talking to her Heavenly Father. It is so great to see her progress.

We have two sets of missionaries in our ward, us and a set of Elders. The Elders had a baptism this week of this adorable 13 year old kid named Alejandro! He has been coming to church with the Mathier family since he was 8 and he has wanted to be baptized for 5 years, but his dad kept saying no. However, he finally said yes and he was able to get baptized this week! Our ward was very happy and I am glad our ward had this opportunity. Missionary work is great!

I am very excited to watch conference this week! We are hopefully bringing all these people plus Patricia, Angelica, and Eva to the conference this weekend. I know that President Monson receives revelation for us in these days and that he will keep us all on track. I love you!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, September 22, 2014

My Grandpa

"And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow" (Alma 40:12).

This is where my grandpa is now. He isn't hurting anymore. He is with Heavenly Father again. I didn't think it would come this fast. When I left for the MTC, they said six months. It was very hard to leave knowing I wouldn't see him in this life again. I am the oldest grandchild and it is very hard to be here and not with my whole family because I don't want anyone to forget what an amazing man he is. Some of the little kids don't know him as well as I do. I am so grateful for the 19 years I had in this life to have him as my grandpa and to learn from his example. Here are a few things I learned:

1. Be supportive
All growing up, he would come to endless concerts, games, races, birthday parties, etc. just for me. He was always there to say he was proud of me and that I did a good job. Every time I visited him before I left he told me to go on my mission. He said he would always be there for me and would help me teach people. I know he is supporting me every step of the way and this is where I need to be.

2. Never give up
My grandpa did not have an easy go of things. Long before I was born, he got in a really bad car accident and had to relearn lots of things. I know he didn't give up. He kept going. There was aftermath from his accident all the way until the end. But despite his pain, he will would give Zac and I donkey rides so we could really be Mary and Joseph. My favorite memory is very recent. I had the opportunity to be in the temple with my parents and my grandma and grandpa. His back was already hurting, but he pressed on and came to the temple just for me. That is called never giving up.

3. Always tell people you love them
Grandpa was really good at this one. Whenever we would come or go, he would give each of us a hug. I would have to stand on my tippy toes and wrap my arms around his neck and he would give me the biggest hug. And his line was always the same: "We sure do love you." He would say that every time. I loved it because I knew he loved me individually and that, no matter what, he would be there for me.

I learned so many other Christlike attributes, like being selfless, humble, patient, long suffering, kind, diligent, and most of all charity. My grandpa is one of the best men I know. I look up to him in everyway. I know the plan of salvation is real. Jesus Christ died for us so that we can be with our loved ones again. He is the bridge that connects us back to our Heavenly Father. I know my grandpa is doing the same thing I am doing: preaching the gospel to all who will hear. I know he is with my and watching over me and our family. I am so grateful for this knowledge and my testimony. I will always love my grandpa, no matter what!!!!!!! This gospel brings true joy and peace that isn't found anywhere else, and I am eternally grateful for it.

Such a Crazy Week

Dear Mom,
This has been the craziest week so far. I'll start back with last Monday. I was able to play soccer!!! I love soccer!!! I have missed it so much! We can't play with the elders in our mission, and girls literally don't play sports down here, so we haven't been able to do anything like that. However, we had a special pday where our whole zone got together and the sisters played soccer. I did score every goal...but it was still so much fun. I have missed it. Don't worry, I can still juggle the ball at least 50 times in a row. :)

We had a little bit more success this week in refinding our investigators. We found David and Grace again this week. They are both learning really well. David's son is very sick, so hopefully he can get better so that we can teach them both more about the plan of salvation. Grace is a little bit harder to teach because she knows the bible inside and out. She always has questions because everything she knows about the gospel is from Youtube. She really just wants to know the truth, and we told her to look on mormon.org and lds.org so that she learn what we really believe. The most powerful answers always come from the BOM, so we are trying to help her find her answers there. We found Carina again! She isn't living with her boyfriend at this moment, but she needs to be a little more stable before we up and baptize her. So we are working with her more this week.

This was super funny this week. I don't know why, but when we walk down the street, some guys hit on us sometimes. Like whistle, or say things that I, gratefully, don't understand. Anyway, Hermana Thornton and I were walking down a street, and we heard a cat call whistle. We have learned to ignore these and keep walking. But we heard the whistle again and again and again. So we turned around and it was a parrot whistling at us! It was hilarious!

It was really hard this week to find out my grandpa passed away. I am grateful that you were able to call me and tell me instead of finding out by an email. I am so grateful the the plan of salvation. I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will see my grandpa again. I know that he with me and watching over me. I know that love can be eternal and that he will always love me and I will always love him. I hope that my whole family is doing good and that the funeral will be good tomorrow. I wish that I could be there, but I know that everything will be okay. Thank you so much for your love and support!!!!!

I love you!!
Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Lord's Hand

Dear Mommy,
This week has been a little bit harder than the others, but we have still had miracles. If you see them as miracles, then they are miracles. Look for the Lord's hand in your life because I know it is there. Look for the little things. :)

We have amazing success while we go contacting from door to door. The first man we found this week was Leondro. During our companion study that morning, we were reading in Alma 22 about the father of King Lamoni and Aaron the missionary. In the story, Aaron starts teaching and the King believes everything Aaron is saying. They talk about God, the plan of salvation, and our Savior and the King believes every word. We wanted to find a King Lamoni. We prayed for it, and then we went out contacting. We knocked on this door and Leondro came to the door. We told him we wanted to share a message about Jesus Christ, and he said, "I'll open my door for Jesus." (obviously he said it in Spanish, but I translated it just for you. ;)) We started talking about God and that he is our Heavenly Father. He asked us who God was to us and we bore our testimonies about our Heavenly Father and that we are children of God. He loves every single one of us individually. He told us we could come back and we were so excited! He is our Rey Lamoni.

Another time we were contacting we found this woman named Grace. In Argentina, lots of people have speakers on the outsides of their houses. It was raining pretty hard outside and it was late, so we didn't think many people would walk through the rain to open their doors for us. But we rang the doorbell and Grace came on the speaker. We introduced ourselves, and she told us to hold on for a minute. She walked through the rain, came to the door, and let us into her house! That never happens here. We sat down and tried to teach her the first lesson. For some reason, she wasn't really understanding what Hermana Thornton was teaching about Jesus and the Great Apostasy, so then Grace turned to me and asked me to teach her. I got super nervous because if she couldn't understand Hermana Thornton, I don't know why she would be able to undertand me. But I started teaching about Joseph Smith. I told her the whole story and then I recited the First Vision to her. Her eyes filled with tears and she said, "Oh, good. Now I understand." I know we found her because I needed to have this experience. I can testify that Joseph Smith is a profet of God in two languages and I know that he saw what he said he saw. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the gospel to this earth once again. I am beyond grateful for this experience.

This week has been hard because our baptism for this Saturday dropped. She started living with her boyfriend again and she has stopped talking to us. We don't know what do for her, but we are praying for her and hoping she will start talking to us again. We love her and want to help her be happy!

The other thing is that we find all of these incredible people that want to learn about the gospel, but we have a hard time finding them again. We make citas with them, but they aren't home or they don't have time. We have people to teach, but we can't ever find them to teach them. We trying to figure out what to do, so if anyone has suggestions, let me know. :)

I love you so much!
Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Miracle on Belgrano Street

Dear Mommy,
I can't believe it has only been two weeks here. It feels like I have been here forever. Like I have never done anything different than preach the gospel to the people in Argentina. I love it. I love sharing the gospel and sharing my testimony. It is the best feeling in the world. I love that our Heavenly Father is the same yesterday, today, and forever in whatever language you speak.

We had some pretty funny and amazing experiences this week. Every day is an adventure and I hope I can remember everything that happens.

First off, we wanted to get our map enlarged so that we wouldn't get lost so much. We took it into this little store and she enlarged it for us. We asked how much it was and she said, "Cincuenta (50)." We assumed 50 pesos, which is a lot, but we took out 100 pesos and handed it to her. She asked if we had anything smaller, and we did...but not enough to pay 50 pesos. So she takes the 100 pesos and gives us 99.50 pesos in return. It was only 50 cents, not 50 dollars!!!! We paid $100 for something worth 50 cents. We felt really bad because we took all of their money...so we probably won't go back there any time soon, but that's okay. :)

We had a special meeting this week where President Zaballos of the seventy came and talked to us. He gave the most amazing analogy. I didn't quite understand it in Spanish, but my companion explained it to me, and it is awesome: You can count the seeds in an apple, but you don't know how many apples will come from that seed once it is planted. You can count how many people you teach or how many baptisms you have, but you never know how many lives one person can touch. He was a convert to the church, and now look at how many people he is helping and sharing the gospel with. It was an amazing analogy.

We had a miracle this week on Belgrano Street. It was about 8:45 at night, so we were heading back to our house. We hadn't had a very good day because most of our citas had dropped and we only taught 2 lessons that day. We were walking back through a park and this man and his son were walking towards us. It was late, so we weren't going to say much, but they stopped us on the road. He told us that 20 years ago, some missionaries had taught him the first lesson and he wanted to know more about the gospel!!! He told us what he remembered about Joseph Smith and the Libro de Mormon and that he had felt something very different about us than any other church. We were dumbfounded and we have a cita with him tonight!!! We gave him a Libro de Mormon and invited them to church and they were so excited. They are a miracle. I am so excited to teach them and get to know them more tonight and this upcoming week. I know that the Lord is watching out for us and wants us to succeed. We have to put in our part, and He will definitely help us out.

We had an amazing week this week. And...I tried the ice cream here. That was a bad thing to do because it is SOOO good! I love all the food here and the ice cream! It is just so great! :)

I love you!
Love,
Hermana Wood :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

ARGENTINA!! :)


Dear Mom,

You will never guess where I am at! Well, you probably will considering the circumstances...but I will tell you anyway. :) I am in ARGENTINA!! Can you believe it??? It is so super great and incredible! I have loved every single second here and I can´t wait for more.

For starters, my new companion is Hermana Thornton. She is from Spokane, Washington. She has been on her mission for 4 months. 4 months. And she was called to be my trainer. Usually trainers have been out for at least 6 or 12 months, but she got called to be my trainer. She definitely has the gift of tongues, but there are still moments when we are walking the streets and we don´t know what is going on..........which is sort of a problem. But she understands way more than I do, so we are progressing pretty well. We also get lost sometimes. The streets here are actually numbered really well, but she doesn´t know the area very well because it is a new area for her too....It is interesting and we are learning so much together. It is super great. People ask us all the time if we are from the United States because of our accents. They speak castellano here, which is a different dialect of Spanish. They slur everything together. But we are working on it and hopefully the Gift of Tongues will kick in a little more. ;)

I am loving it here! I actually understand quite a bit. I can definitely communicate and help out in the lessons. All the members here tell me that I am doing better than lots of missionaries that have come through here. So that makes me happy. :) We have an amazing ward. We have 70 active members that come to church. They are so great. The best is Hermana Carlota. She is our mom. She takes care of us, feeds us a lot, and does our laundry for free. She is so great. The members have a calender where they sign up to feed us. We have lunch every single day this month with different members. They are so great!

They only eat lunch here. It is the big meal of the day. Then they take Siesta. Siesta is pretty sacred here. Everything closes down and we do our studies during Siesta because everyone is asleep. It is super funny.

Now, for our investigators. I taught a lesson the very first night I was here! We taught Eva. She is going through a divorce and she has two daughters. She works at an old folks home and she works every Sunday morning. Coming to church is the only thing holding her back. We are hoping that she can try to work something out. We are praying for her.

Next is Carina. We taught her on Thursday and we committed her to baptism!!!! She is getting baptized on 13 de Septiembre. They have taught her for a while, so I am excited to be here for her baptism.

We found Lucrecia while we were contacting. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation because her Grandma just passed away. It was really hard for her. I told her that families can be together forever and that there is a plan for us after death. We are going back tomorrow to teach her again.

Those are the ones I can think of right now. I love it here in Argentina. We teach a lot of lessons and we get to know lots of people. One thing I don´t understand is when the Catholics tell us that our religions are exactly the same. They are not. We have a plan and we have the same church that Jesus Christ organized when He lived on the earth. We have another testament of Jesus Christ. We can know for ourselves if this gospel is true. I love being a missionary and being able to walk right up to people and say, "I have a message about Jesus Christ that will bless your life forever." It is so great. I probably forgot a lot of your questions, but I don´t have much time left. We are playing frisbee and making tacos today for P day! It will be super great!

I love you!!!!!!

Love,
Hermana Wood :)

These are Hermana Thornton´s pictures. I´m not very good at taking pictures. The guy with the mission call is Niko. He was a convert and his year mark is the month. He got called to Columbia!!!! It was super great!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Argentina Rosario Mission


Dear parents:

The Argentina Rosario Mission has received excellent missionaries this week. President Zanni and I are very happy to welcome them. We thank you for the great support you give to your children in this great work of the Lord.

Sister Wood arrived safely. You will now be able to communicate with her on Monday (Preparation Day) through email.

We thank you very much for your collaboration. We know that your daughter is an excellent representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We thank you for the support your daughter provides.

We have also attached some pictures of Sister Wood with her trainer, President Zanni, and myself and another with her group. I hope you enjoy.

Thank you for your love and support.

Yours truly.
Sister Zanni