Monday, March 30, 2015

Gotta love cambios

Wow, so many things changed this week! We have had so much success and I am so grateful for these next couple weeks to keep progressing and growing and learning the things that Heavenly Father has in store for me!

First off, we found out that Claudia was able to go to the registro civil and she was able to pick a date for her and Angel to get MARRIED!!! They are getting married April 24!!!!!!!!!! And she is going to be baptized April 25!!!!!!!!! We were so excited and I am can't believe she is finally going to get married and be baptized! She is so amazing and I love her so much!!

We also learned this week that.....Claudia doesn't live in our area. :( She lives in the area of the other hermanas, so Hermana Cerna and I aren't going to be teaching her anymore. :( It is sad because I have been through so much with her and we have grown so much together. But I feel very blessed because I will still be here in Cañada to watch her take these huge steps in her life! :) Jorge also doesn't live in our area, so they are going to be passing for him as well. He is doing good. :)

The one thing Cañada lacks is young people, especially in church on Sunday. Usually the primary has the same 3 kids every week, 2 young women, and 2 young men. They suffer because sometimes they feel alone and church isn't very fun. So we have all been focusing on finding kids and young people to bring to church, and it has been very rewarding. :)

First, we found Sheila. She is still doing awesome! She is praying every day and starting to read the book of mormon. She loves the classes and is applying everything she is learning. I love to teach her because she is so ready to be taught. She is super busy because she is working and studying, but she always finds time for us.

We also found three siblings this week: Aylen (12), Cintia (10), and Eduardo (9). They are the sobrinos of Jorge! And they are so amazing! We taught them about prayer and Eduardo said, "Oh, prayer is a dialogue with God." Haha, right? He is so great and they all understand. We were worried that their mom wouldn't let us teach them, but she was all for it. It was a miracle! We brought them to a family home evening and to church this week! They absolutely loved it and they told us flat out that they want to be baptized. We are so grateful for these great kids that are prepared. You never know who is ready to hear the gospel. :)

The other kid that we found is named Valentina. She is 9 years old. We were teaching her grandma, Marta, and Valentina was just sitting there listening. We asked Marta if she wanted to be baptized, and Valentina asked us if she could be baptized too! We said yes! I love kids and their amazingly strong spirits. I am so excited to teach them. :)

All of this ties in with the general woman's conference that was this week! It was so powerful about families. I know that it will be a lot of work to have a family, but I know that if the family is centered on Jesus, it will succeed. I am really excited to keep working and teaching people. I love this gospel!

Hermana Wood

P.S. I finally dyed my hair. I am BLOND. But really, super blond, I love it. :) Pictures to come!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I'm staying!

I am staying in Cañada de Gomez with Hermana Cerna!! Whoo!!! I am super happy and grateful for another transfer to help these people progress and get to baptism! I really feel like they are going to get baptized this transfer because they are progressing a lot and they are prepared to make these special convenants with their Heavenly Father. I can't wait to see what happens this transfer!

We also received two other hermanas to work here in Cañada! We are four again! Hermana Gudiel and Hermana Cuchiparte, my old companion! Hermana Gudiel is from Honduras. We are all from different countries and it is fun. I'm the only one from the United States.... :)

This week has been awesome! First off, we went to Rosario for 3 days because I had to do tramites for my ID here in Argentina. Something expired, so I had to go and figure some stuff out. But the secretary said I should have my ID within the next couple months, so I am excited for that. :) And then stayed in Rosario and we had exchanges with the capacidatoras. It was good and I learned that it is really important to retain the people that you have helped come back to church...or else they are just going to become less active again and they won't progress. We need the members to help the other less active members stay active. :)

Sheila and Estela are doing amazing! We had a super powerful lesson with Sheila this week. We read 2 Ne. 31 and we talked about the plan of salvation. The thing I love about her is that she knows that baptism isn't the is the first step in a very long process to get back to our heavenly father. I love that she already recognizes that. She also told us that she loves the feeling she has when we are in her house and when she was in the church. she only feels this sense of peace and tranquility at these times. She already recognizes when the spirit is there and when the spirit isn't there. I can't imagine a life without the gift of the holy spirit. She can only feel the spirit when we bring it with us. I am so excited for her to make this big step to be baptized and receive the gift of the holy ghost! She is so prepared and ready. :) They came to church again this week! And Sheila was able to stay for the entire 3 hours!!! She asked her boss if she could stay one hour more and he said he didn't have a problem with it. I love blessings from Heavenly Father when we put Him first!

I was supposed to give a talk this Sunday. I prepared for it by praying, reading, and really thinking about what our branch needs. I wrote it all down and I was ready to give it Sunday. When we got to sacrament meeting, the stake president and his counselor were there, and so there wouldn't be time for me to give my talk. I was okay with that, so I sat down to listen. They talked about the exact same things that I was going to talk about. They talked about how to be truly converted and how to help other people. I felt like they were reading my talk. It was such a huge testimony builder to me that revelation is real. We can receive revelation directly from our Heavenly Father and He will tell us exactly what we need to do. I was so grateful for this huge miracle and I am always going to strive to be worthy to receive personal revelation so that I can help other people progress and be with Heavenly Father again. I love this gospel!!! I love you all!

Hermana Wood

P.S. the picture is of Estela and Sheila. Sheila is the daughter, the taller one. She was a model growing up. She is super great. :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Church is True

We had a super amazing week! The best part is always when we get to Sunday and the people we have been visiting come to church! We have been visiting Estela and Sheila all week. Estela hasn't gone to church for about a long time and when we asked if they would come to church, Estela was really hesitant. She said she would drop Sheila off at the church and pick her up, but she didn't want to go actually go to church. We started talking about all the blessings that we receive if we do what Heavenly Father wants us to do. She really felt the spirit and finally said that she would come to church too. AND THEY BOTH CAME!!!!! What an amazing miracle! We were waiting and waiting for them outside of the church and they finally came around the corner in their motercycle. It was so great. Everyone was so excited to see Estela again. :)

We visited Angel and Claudia. Angel said that he officially decided that they are going to be married, so we are going to make everything final tomorrow! We are going with Claudia to find out what day they can get married. The members are really helping and are all excited to have a wedding and help them out. I really hope that I am still here for their wedding and her baptism!!

We also had our zone meeting this week. Hermana Cerna and I had to give a talk about how to be unified with our companions. We really found out that the only way to be unified is to have charity. We need to start with our companions before we can really love our investigators and members. I am really grateful for my companion and everything she does for me.

That was the best part of my week! I hope you are all doing great! I love you all!

Hermana Wood

Monday, March 9, 2015

The Atonement

Wow, I learned a lot this week. We had some awesome experiences and we had some really sad experiences. I'll start with something happy. This week, on March 3, 2015, Andres turned 65!! He lives alone, so Hermana Cerna and I made a cake and put a huge candle in the middle and went to his house and sang happy birthday to him!! He started crying and said that he had been all alone and that he was so happy that we remembered and that he loves us. It was so touching and I was so glad to be a missionary and to help him feel loved. :)

Our hunt for menos activos has once again been a success! We found a menos activo named Estela. She has been inactive for about 11 years. She has a daughter named Sheila and she has 18 years. Her mom went inactive right before she turned 8, so she was never baptized in the church. However, Estela has a super strong testimony that this is the true church and the only way we can live with our Heavenly Father again. We talked about how the gospel gives us clarity and purpose in our lives and we asked Sheila is she wants to be baptized, and she started crying and said yes!! No one has ever asked her to be baptized. She is so humble and so ready. She is so great. We are super excited!!!!!

But something really sad happened just after that. We had an appointment right after this lesson with Sheila with Jorge. They live on complete opposite sides of Cañada. We were so happy and full of the spirit when we left Sheila's house. We knew that we wouldn't make it to Jorge, so we called a taxi and payed $50 pesos to get to Jorge. We were so excited to see him. Earlier that day, we had started planning for his baptism this upcoming Saturday. We made invitations and the program and everything. I had all the faith in the world that he was going to be baptized this week. But...we got to his house and he was drunk. :( my whole world fell. I felt so sad. I couldn't believe that he had made so much progress, and then he threw it away and drank again. I felt all my faith leave me. I was so sad. When we got home, I just prayed and prayed. I wanted to know how this could happen. I was so sure that he would be able to overcome this trial and be baptized.

The next day, we had a service project for Jorge. All the members came to his house and helped cut his grass. As we were helping him, I felt such a strong love for him. I realized that my faith had all been centered in him. I had faith that he, alone, could overcome this trial. I realized that I only should have faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ. Honestly, Jorge can't overcome this trial alone. The only way he can do it is through our Savior. I learned this week I only need to have faith in Jesus Christ, and He will make all things possible. I know that the atonement is real and that Jesus Christ knows us personally. He knows how Jorge feels and how to help him overcome. He also knows how I feel, as a representative of Him, and how to help the people that have confidence in me to receive revelation from my Heavenly Father specifically for them. I have a big responsability, but I know that through my Savior, everything is possible. I love you all so much and I hope you have a great week!

Hermana Wood :)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Time is flying!

I'm starting to feel like all my other friends that are on their missions. They always start their e-mails by saying, "The time is going by way too fast! It's already Monday again? I can't remember what happened this week!" This is starting to happen to me. So...hopefully I will be able to remember and share the best things that happened this week. :)

We have been focusing a lot in menos activos. We went through our directory and charted out every menos activo, we have 300 of them, and we are trying to have contact with all of them. We found lots that are from other religions, and it is really sad to know that at one point in their lives they accepted the gospel, and now they don't have those blessings in their lives. However, we found some amazing people that we are working with now to bring them and their families back to the church!

The first one is the Flia. Mostajo. They are such a cute family. They are from Columbia. They have 4 kids. We have been trying to get them to church, and they came this week! We were so happy! They also brought the wife's dad, and he isn't a member, so hopefully we can help him out too. The other is a cute couple named Rodrigo and Celeste. They are both 28 and both menos activos. We learned that they have been trying for 8 years to have children, but she can't get pregnant. We shared a message that God is aware and loves us individually and that families can be together forever. They both came to church this week. I love this gospel!

Jorge is doing well! We visited him and he hasn't drinken all week!!! We are super excited for him and for his progress. He said that his friends came to his house and asked and asked him to drink, but he was strong and said no. He said they set up everything outside on a table with all the alcohol, and he said no, closed the door, and watched movie. I love it! He is reading the book of mormon everyday and praying for strength. He is super awesome and we are praying so hard that everything will go well!

Claudia and Angel are doing okay. They didn't come to church yesterday. :( So we visited them and rekindled their fire. They have been reading the book of mormon together every morning for the past month, but this last week, they didn't read. And then they didn't come to church. There is power in the book of mormon. It is a magic book. Every time I read it, I find new things and receive revelation from my Heavenly Father. I love it!

I love you all! I hope you have a great week! Read the book of mormon!

Hermana Wood :)