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!

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!!
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!
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!
Hermana Wood :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


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!!!!!!

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!