Monday, December 8, 2014

Maria Michael Jackson and Transfers!

   Olá!! :) I hope everyone is doing super well. How was the first week of December? I can´t freaking believe it is already DECEMBER. #wut
But anywho, my week was good! We had a Christmas party on Saturday in a city called Viseu and it was fun! Got to see all the missionaries from our zone, eat good food, and watch Portuguese people do hilarious things. Like sing and dance to Michael Jackson in celebration of Christmas. HAHA. We have an investigator, Dora, who loooooves Michael Jackson so so much. Like a ridiculous amount. So we were there in Viseu, and the youth in the ward there did a little skit and sang Man In the Mirror for everyone. And Dora started crying profusely, then proceeded to tell me all about good ol´ MJ. Why his skin was white, how much he loved children, all about his childhood in Gary, Indiana, and so on. Then yesterday we visited her after church and she made us call her Maria Michael Jackson. Then she sang We Are The World and moonwalked for us. I WAS LAUGHING SO HARD. Really, people are cray. But I love them. 
   Also, I´m getting transferred!! Ahhh! I´m going to a city called Vila Franca da Xira, close to Lisbon. I´m going to finish the training of Sister Levitt, and we are gonna have fun!! I´m nervous to train but it will be fun. And I heard through the grape vine that the bishop there teaches karate... and has a karate/rap vídeo on YouTube. A member here may or may not have showed me. So yeah that´s gonna be fun! I´m excited, but also sad to leave Leiria. I love Leiria and have learned so much here! The ward is incredible and I´m going to miss them so much. Transfers are a weird thing. 
   Well, that´s about all I have time for today! Have a WONDERFUL week, I love you all so much. <3 

Sister Wood 

Maria Michael Jackson

 Christmas lights in Leiria
 The Castle

Thursday, December 4, 2014

It's December...WHAT

Hello!! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving last week! Haha, I ate beans and rice on Thanksgiving. For lunch. Then we didn´t have dinner. LOL. But I celebrated in my heart all day long and wished my comp Happy Thanksgiving like fourteen times. And she´s not American so.. yeah!

Last week was great! I did divisions with Sister Sorenson. Splits are a freaking hoot. And we talked in English! My brain was grateful for that break! Sometimes my brain gets overloaded and betrays me haha so it was nice to speak my native tongue a little. But don´t worry, I LOVE PORTUGUESE! :) I got to go to Lisbon yesterday to do my residency (holla) and HOLY SMOKES I LOVE LISBON. It is so beautiful! One day I´m gonna dye my hair brown, pull out one of my teeth, buy a cat, and move to Lisbon. #portuguese. it really is such a cool city!

So have you all seen the new Church vídeo "He Is The Gift"? IT IS SO GOOD!! Watch it! It´s about how the Savior is Heavenly Father´s gift to us because He loves us so so much. I watched it and just cried. I love Jesus Christ. He truly is the best, most importante, most wonderful gift! As missionaries and members we can all "share the gift" this Christmas by sharing the gospel :) So maybe.. watch the vídeo... share it with someone.. I don´t know, just an idea!

Well, that´s about it! Not that spiritual this week, but just watch the vídeo and you´ll get a nice dose of the Spirit. I hope you all know how much I love you! I love the gospel, and I am so so grateful to be a missionary! Até próxima!

Sister Wood

Heaps of Gratitude

   WHADDUP! So this week was good! I say that every week haha. But it´s true! There´s lots of things to be happy about! :)
   So a few funny things this week. First, Sister Da Luz told me all about how much she just LOVES Obama. She loves him. I just laughed and laughed. #obama. Also on Thursday we didn´t have electricity, so that was fun! Here in Portugal the homes and apartments aren´t heated or insulated. Everything is made of cinder block. So literally the street is warmer than our apartment! Without our little space heater we freeze haha. Needless to say we had a cold night. With lots of candles. It was fun! But the really good part about this week is that they started decorating Leiria for Christmas, so naturally I broke out the Whitney Houston Christmas álbum! Whitney Houston is a tender mercy. I love Christmas music. I can´t believe it´s almost December!
   We had interviews with President this week, and it was great! I seriously love the Fluckiger´s so much. Sister Fluckiger is HILARIOUS. Interviews are a great way to get more motivated haha! When we got home afterward we really worked hard and saw some miracles! We found this guy Ricardo who is really prepared for the gospel. We were actually looking for someone else but I pushed the wrong button at the apartment building and Ricardo answered! He has already been to church a few times and met with the missionaries a while ago, but then started working more and lost touch with them. He said he has been wanting to learn more for a long time! It was definitely a little miracle to find him!
   In honor of Thanksgiving this week (which I will be celebrating thank you very much) I just want to say how INCREDIBLY grateful I am for the gospel in my life! It is truly a privilege and great blessing to be a missionary. I´m grateful that I get to be a part of this great work, and see the miracles happen in people´s lives because of the Atonement, Because of Jesus Christ we can be truly happy. Our families can be forever. We can progress on the path back to our Father in Heaven! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and He is what I´m most grateful for. He is the only way.  Because of Him we have so much to be grateful for! :)  Also, I´m so thankful for all of you!! THANK YOU for your examples and love. I love you!
   Have the BEST WEEK EVER. Loves and hugs all around

Sister Wood

   PS- don´t judge the chubby cheeks!

New Comp

So this week has been killer! 

First week of the transfer, first week with Sister Da Luz. She is great! She literally doesn´t speak english. Okay, sometimes she says "good." But really we don´t speak english! It has been interesting! So here´s an update on my #portuguese: It is getting better. I´ve had two native speaking companions, so my Portuguese is progressing a lot faster than if I had an American comp. Duh. I feel WAY lucky because there are like five native speaking Sisters in the mission, and I´ve already served/am currently serving with TWO. It´s hard, but I know I´m learning correct Portuguese. I think President just knows that I need the extra help haha. It´s a cool experience to live with Sisters from SUCH DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. One day I will go to Cape Verde. And speak Criole to them. HOLLA 

We met a guy on the street this week named Marito. His real name is Mario, but he likes to go by Marito. He claims he is a member but I´m not sure I believe him. Anyone, he is the Portuguese version of Dwight. FOR REALZ. He is actually insane and so. hilarious. After we met him on the street we had a lesson in the chapel with a recent convert. So there we were, teaching and chatting, when Marito walks in and joins us. Then he pulled out some crazy book from his "new religion" and proceeds to teach us a few things. Then, HE PULLED OUT HIS RECORDER AND STARTED TO PLAY A LITTLE JAPANESE TUNE. At least he said it was Japanese. I was laughing so so hard. One of the funniest things to happen in my mission. I love crazy people. 

But the greatest thing from this week is that we had a conference with Elder Quentin L. Cook! It was so cool! He taught us a lot about Preach My Gospel and obedience and answered questions and it was wonderful. At the end he "invoked a blessing upon us" as an apostle of the Lord. He made us promises with so much power and love and I felt his authority as a special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know that he is an apostle, called by God, to lead us in these days. I sustain him and all the other general authorities, and I love them! 

Well, this is all i got for this week! I love you all A LOT

Sister Wood 

The Witness After the Trial of Your Faith

Heyo fam and friends! 
   This week was the last week of the transfer, and it was crazy and good! I´m staying here in Leiria for the next transfer, which is only gonna be four weeks. Weird as all get out. I´m getting a new comp! Her name is Sister Luz, she´s from Cape Verde (so that means she´s black and a fluent Portuguese speaker holla), and that´s about all I know haha. Haven´t met her yet. I hope she´ll teach me some Portuguese criole... more on that next week! :) 
   We had two baptisms on Saturday- Sofia and Filipe! We´ve been teaching Sofia since I got to the mission. She has been a hard nut to crack! But it has truly been a blessing to see the change in her as she has grown closer to the Savior. She is wonderful and I can truly say that she is my good friend. It was a very happy moment to see someone I love so much enter the waters of baptism! 
    Filipe is the son of Isabel and brother of Francisco, who were baptized my first transfer. A family! Woooo! They are seriously such a blessing in my life and I´ve learned more about faith and the power of the Atonement with them than with anyone else in my mission so far. I´m still a noob in the mission, but they seriously have taught me so much. It was an incredible blessing to see Isabel as she watched her second son be baptised. The joy was just too much! :) Needless to say, all our hard work with Sofia and Filipe was totes worth it in the end. They have entered the path back to Heavenly Father and I´m so happy for them! 
    I´m excited for this next transfer! As a normal missionary! #trainingisforgoobers. I love you all, have a WONDERFUL week! <3 

Sister Wood 

Zone Meetin's


This week has been good, a little diferente! We had Zone Meeting and that was great. I have some great leaders! I did divisions with Sister Cardoso, one of the Sister Training Leaders, right after the meeting and it was way cool because I got to stay in her área- a city called Coimbra. It was awesome! Sister Cardoso is Angolan and the sweetest person alive. Also she doesn´t really speak English like at all so it was a good solid 24 hours of Portuguese. It was good to put my skills to the test haha! Needless to say, I have lots to learn. But it was a great experience!
This week we also put on an activity for our ward! It was called "Enfrente Teus Medos", which means Face Your Fears! We had a bunch of little games about facing our fears of speaking in public, the dark, bugs and spiders and things, and sharing the gospel! The last part was suuuuper cool because we did a pratica with our recent convert, Isabel, about how she could share the gospel with her friends. She´s already a cute little member missionary! I love this ward and all the things they are teaching me about charity, member missionary work, and courage! And of course at the end of the activity we ate cake. Portugueses love their cake! I do too haha. One of the Elders in our ward, Elder Almeida, teases me about food SO MUCH haha. I like to eat! There is this cereal here called My Time and it is basically granola with little chocolate bars in it. Elder Almeida and I love it and we talk about it all the time. When I eat My Time, it truly is My Time. So yeah!

I hope you all have a WONDERFUL week! Can´t believe it is already November!

Love, Sister Wood

I Live in the Midst of the Portuguese Hogwarts

Olá meus amors!!

   So in Leiria there is a beautiful castle up on the hill in the middle of the city. There is also a catholic university here and they straight up wear Hogwarts uniforms. Except sometimes the girls wear bowler hats. The students are EVERYWHERE so we feel like just a couple of missionaries stuck in Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not sad about it! Anywho.
   This week has been great!! For lots of reasons! I will touch on one. So my friend Gabriel was baptized on Saturday!! We taught him for about nine weeks, since i first got here. Then a couple weeks ago he moved to the Elder´s área and they finished teaching him. So on Saturday it was a party for all of us!! We all got to be a part of this step in his life and see the change in him, and it has truly been a blessing! I know that this is the Lord´s work and i feel so blessed to be a small part of it. The opportunity to help people come unto Christ is an incredible blessing in my life! The gospel is the way to true eternal happiness, a happiness that will last! Jesus Christ is leading His work on the earth. He is our Savior and He lives! I have seen the power of the Atonement change people´s natures. Through the Atonement anything is possible!! I´m so grateful to be a missionary!!

Love you all!! Have a wonderful week and a Happy Halloween! Eat a Reeses for me.

Sister Wood

I am the Lord's Investigator!

HELLO FAM AND FRIENDS!! How are you all doing? I hope you all had a great week!! :)

Mosiah 23:21
Mosiah 24:13-16

Sometimes in life we feel like Alma and his people in these scriptures! Haha. This week was cray, and all I gotta say is that HEAVENLY FATHER ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS! He knows exactly what we need! This week we were able to see that every day. In lots of diferente ways. Here´s a little taste: So my comp has been having lots of health issues, and it´s hard to do missionary work and have lots of health issues! About a week ago when we got home for the night she was reaaaallly sick. She just kept getting more and more sick and we didn´t know what to do! She had had priesthood blessings, medicine, more rest, everything we could think of doing besides going to the hospital (She DID NOT want to go to the hospital). So we were at a loss of what more we could do. So we knelt down in prayer and asked Heavenly Father for help. Actually, I knelt by her bed and she layed down and tried not to pass out or throw up or something. She asked me to say the prayer. We put ALL our faith into that prayer. We poured out our hearts and asked for His help and guidance. Then we went to bed and kept praying in our hearts for our prayers to be answered. AND THEY WERE! Seriously it has been a miracle. Sister Correa has been perfectly fine this week! Not sick, not week, just healthy and strong! This experience has taught us that if we put all our faith in the Lord, He will answer our prayers. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us! This week I´ve really been learning to trust in the Lord and expect miracles according to my faith. I am the Lord´s investigator!!

I hope you all have a happy week! Love you all! BEIJINHOS!! <3

Sister Wood
How is everyone? I´m doing good over here in Portugal! The rain has begun and I´m probably gonna be a popsicle here in a couple days. I´m way stoked about it!

Something funny from this week: We had Zone Conference this week and it was way good! I seriously love President and Sister Fluckiger. They are great. After lunch me, two other Sisters, and two Elders were asked to do a little musical number for everyone. Nbd, right? So we practiced once before and it was great cause everyone was singing really loud so I just thought I´d be able to sing normal and not worry about anyone hearing my awful voice. Boy was I wrong. When we were singing in front of everyone all the other missionaries singing with me sang SO QUIET. It was basically like i was doing a solo and they were my back up singers. But it was terrible because my voice is NOT GOOD! Needless to say it was hilar.  I feel like a freaking superstar over here.

So the work this week has been a little diferente! Sorry for the Portuguese words, the computer just autocorrects them and i don´t do anything about it. ANYWHO, yeah. Sometimes literally no one wants to talk to us! I had a little experience this week with feeling inadequate, frustrated, and just kind of lousy. It happens to all of us! I read a talk called something like "It´s Always Better to Look Up." I can´t remembre who wrote it, but he tells a story about when he was first called as a Seventy and he was feeling completely overwhelmed and inadequate to carry out his calling. He was in the elevator on his way down to go home, hanging his head and thinking about all he had to do, when the elevator stopped on the next floor and none other than President Monson got in with him! President Monson said to him, "What are you looking at down there?" Then they chatted for a bit and stuff as they went down, and when President Monson was saying goodbye he said something like, "Remember, it´s always better to look up." I love this story! I love our Prophet!! This story really helped me out this week, it truly is better to look up and put our trust in God. If we put our trust in God and pray always, Heavenly Father will hear our prayers. We will be able to go forth in His might and He will deliver us (Mosiah 9:17-18). I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who wants us to succeed. He and our Savior will do all they can to help us if we put our strength in them and continually look up! Ah man, I love Them. This gospel is the best!

Have a great week all! LOVE YOU!!

Sister Wood  

Alien Voices

 Hello family and friends!! How are you all? How was Conference? IN ENGLISH? Haha. We got to watch two sessions, in Portugese, in the chapel with the ward. It was great because I love our ward soooo much. It was also quite hilarious because, due to some sort of technical mishap, the voice of the translation sounded like an alien. Like imagine the most alien-esque voice you can and that´s what we heard as we were trying to listen to the Prophet. Needless to say, I´m quite excited to get my Conference Ensign in English in a month or two. Also... did President Uchtdorf look really tan to anyone else? Ah man, I´m so grateful for our leaders.
   This week was good, kinda nuts, but everything always ends up okay! My comp´s wallet got stolen, so therefore she lost all her money and important documents (ie residency card, medical card, etc). Don´t ask my why she was carrying all that around. SO yeah, crazy stuff. But everything always works out! Tudo bem!
   So because I´m still a super noob missionary and have a ton to learn, we do little practice lessons every day to help me out. Other missionaries do them too, but we do A LOT OF PRATICAS. And I kind of hate it haha. But this week I had a really cool experience! I was teaching Sister Correa about the Book of Mormon and why it is important. Pretty basic, not all that exciting, or so I thought! As I was sitting there trying to explain, I was OVERCOME with my testimony of the Book of Mormon. The Spirit was so strong and we both started crying! And laughing haha.  It just goes to show that sharing testimony, even if it´s just a practice lesson with your companion, can/WILL strengthen you! It seems so silly, but I won´t forget the way I felt as I testified of the truthfulness of this book. Heavenly Father gave me this experience to help me see my testimony of the Book of Mormon, and i know that it is true! Tender mercies all day erry day.
   Well, that´s about it! I love you all and am so grateful for your examples. Have a great week!
Sister Wood

Pretty flowers with Sister Correa, 

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Cure to learn English, and Portuguese AdventureTime, and Francisco´s Baptism

Olá! How is everyone doing? I hope you all had a great week! 

   So my title for this email probably makes me sound like a really disobedient missionary haha, but let me explain. On Saturdays we teach an English class and it´s way fun! Usually only like three people come, but it´s all good. We have this recent convert in our ward named Paulo and he comes to English class every week. He´s bem fixe. Anywho, it´s real hard to learn a new language so we have to use the way that helps the most. And for Paulo, that´s music! He has good taste haha. So this past week we were learning the days of the week, and Paulo loves The Cure, so naturally we sang Friday, I´m In Love. It was HILAR. Just us, sitting out front of the church singing, "I don´t care if Monday´s blue, Tuesday´s gray and Wednesday too. Thursday I don´t care about you, it´s Friday, I´m in love" haha. We also sing the Beatles and Prince sometimes. It´s a party! 
   The other night we were at a member´s house having dinner and they´re daughter was watching AdventureTime. All I have to say is that AdventureTime is still hilarious in Portuguese. 
   And most importantly, FRANCISCO WAS BAPTISED!! Wooo! I talked about him a couple weeks ago, he´s the son of our recent convert Isabel. He is actually one of the coolest people i know. The Atonement has completely changed his life and he glows with his testimony of the Savior. It´s truly incredible to see! He´s eighteen, so mission age!! The other night after his baptismal interview he comes out and says, "Sisters, you forgot to tell me something really important!" and we ask him what he means, then he said, "You didn´t tell me that there are people waiting for me share my testimony and how i feel now that i have the gospel!" Haha it was awesome! Truly a blessing for me to know Francisco, Isabel, and this whole ward in Leiria. They teach me so so much every day and I am so grateful to be here! Mission rocks. 
   So yeah, that´s about it! Today is the first day of second transfer and we´re staying here. Totes excited. I hope you all have a great week, and ENJOY GENERAL CONFERENCE!! So jelly, I wish I got to watch it in English haha. Tudo Bem! 

Loves and hugs to all yall, 
Sister Wood 


  Heyo family and friends! How are you all?
   This week has been great! Getting more into the swing of things with mission life, so that´s good. This is the last week of the transfer and so yeah that´s weird! I feel like i got here like two days ago. I was gonna say I feel like I got here yesterday, but everyone says that. I wanted to be unique. #hipster
   So the reason for my title is this: we had to literally run home, as fast as we could, to get home on time this week. Almost every night we made it home with just seconds to spare haha. Usually we´re carrying stuff (like a huge casserole thing a member gave us that i was carrying like a football) and it is mayhem. People laugh and dumb boys start running with us and we know we look ridiculous, but it´s fun! When we get home and we´re breathing hard and all sweaty, we just laugh because we know that we´re doing our work until the last minute of the day. It´s a great feeling! But also i like a nice leisurely walk home sometimes too haha :)
   Anywho, this week we´ve been really trying to work with recent converts in our ward.  They´re testimonies are so strong and it is SO UPLIFTING. There´s this one lady, Elisabete, and she is the sweetest. Her testimony is solid and she loves to read the Book of Mormon, so we read with her and all feel the Spirit together. We also have another RC that we teach, Paulo, and he is actually the nicest guy I´ve ever met. They don´t know a lot about the gospel yet, just the basics. But what they do know they love to talk about and share. I think sometimes we, as life long members, get caught up in the deeper doctrines of the gospel, and we tend to forget how simple and clear it really is. These recent converts are really teaching me the importance of focusing on the basic principles of the gospel like prayer, scripture study, and going to church. The examples of the people in this ward in Leiria are truly giving me strength and helping my testimony grow. I love being a missionary!
Beijinhos to all of you, have a great week! Love you!
Sister Wood

Nutella for Dayzzzz


Reason for this title... So Nutella is a freaking big deal here. We eat Nutella filled donuts, Nutella on cookies, Nutella croissants, Nutella MCFLURRYS FROM MCDONALDS! Seriously, Nutella is like manna from heaven. Also I officially had my first solid meal of pastries the other day, so that ruled. Lots of new things happened this week! Here´s a few: 

-Pastries for dinner (not even a little bit sad)
-I almost got kissed by a man and had to quickly force my hand in between our faces for a handshake. SO AWKWARD
-We were teaching this girl named Dina about the Book of Mormon when she pulled out her little bag of tobacco and started rolling up a cig.. The Spirit does not like cigs. 
-First week of crazy rainstorms of the mission. Apparently it´s just gonna get worse from here on out! As you all know, i love being cold and soaked! 
-A crazy little girl started wacking us with a broom at one of our recent convert´s house. Felt good. 
-MOST IMPORTANT NEW: We have an investigator named Gabriel who read the Book of Mormon, prayed about it, and really knows that it is true. So cool! That doesn´t just happen for a lot of people. Such a blessing! 

So yeah, being a missionary is so fun. I´m learning a lot every day about the Atonement and how it changes not only our actions, but our natures. And also we´re learning about the power of faith. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and miracles WILL HAPPEN when we have faith. :) 

I love you all and pray for you every day! Thanks for you examples <3


Defying the Odds

   I´m defying all odds because I have yet to trip on this blasted cobblestone. So HA! It´s way slippery and I have close calls erry day but I refuse to fall in a skirt in front of all the Portuguese men that just love the Sisters. Too much.
   ANYWHO, this week truly has been incredible! Finding people has been hard, nobody wanted to talk to us this week. Why is everyone in a hurry all the time? Haha. Tudo bem! Although that aspect of the work was kind of hard this week, we saw some huge miracles with our investigators. First and foremost, ISABEL WAS BAPTISED ON SATURDAY!! Truly one of the sweetest experiences of my life. Last week i told you a little about her, and her desire to know if God exists. I also mentioned that her son Francisco is also our investigator. So here´s the miracle. A few months ago, before either of them met the missionaries, Francisco was super into drugs and crap like that. And Isabel was at a complete loss of what she could do for her son. In her desperation she uttered a prayer to Heavenly Father asking for help. She said something to the effect of "if there is a God, please help Francisco." Then she completely forgot about this prayer! A few days afterward she met the missionaries in the street, and then a few days after that Francisco also met the missionaries in the street. And for the last three months they have been taking the discussions and trying to have faith. On Tuesday Isabel and Francisco were talking about how their lives have changed since meeting and being taught by the Sisters. And the Holy Ghost helped Isabel remember that prayer she uttered so long ago, the prayer to help Francisco. Since meeting the missionaries, Francisco has stopped doing drugs. He got a good job. They get along better as a family and go to church together. Isabel remembered her prayer, and she knew that these changes in their lives could only come from God. She knows He is our Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is our Savior because of the way Francisco has changed. And let me tell you, he has CHANGED. I can literally see in his eyes the way the Atonement has changed his nature. And for this reason, Isabel has a testimony and was baptised on Saturday. Francisco is marked to be baptised on the twentieth. Straight up MIRACLE.
   I know that we have a Father in Heavenly who loves us. He knows how to bless us, and it may not come in the way we expect. This is true for Isabel and for me. I´ve been praying to understand our investigators, and I thought that meant that I would be able to understand the Portuguese they say. But I´ve seen this week that the way Heavenly Father is helping me understand our investigators is truly through the Spirit. I may not know exactly what they are saying, but I can feel the Holy Ghost as he works miracles in their lives. It truly is a blessing. I´m SO grateful to be a missionary!
   Loves and hugs to all of ya. Have a super great week! I´m gonna go eat a pastry now. <3
Sister Wood

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Olá minha familia e amigos! 

How is everyone doing? Things here in Leiria are just dandy. This city reminds me a lot of San Fran. But there is a castle right by our apartment. It´s actually really cool, but this past weekend there was a music festival there and it was a little crazy. It was SO LOUD and SO BAD. I don´t actually know if the words were bad, i think they weren´t, but the singing was just terrible. It was HILARIOUS. 
So the food here is so good. Like, it´s so good that i´m going to start running in the morning so i don´t get fat. That´s a big deal! haha :) 
Onto more important things! We are seeing miracles here! I´ll tell you about one. We´re teaching this lady named Isabel and her son Francisco. They are awesome, but have a lot of doubts and weird ideas. Isabel has a really hard time believing in God, and she´s doing all she can to gain some faith. She reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day, but she keeps saying that she never feels anything different. We fasted with her on Saturday so that she could feel the Holy Ghost and know that God is real. She wants to know so bad! So in our lesson with her after church yesterday we had a three part miracle. First, the member that taught with us was perfect. Working with the members here is a huuuuge blessing because this ward ROCKS. Second, I actually shared more than just a simple testimony! The gift of tongues is real, people. The Spirit directed me to read 2 Nephi 28:30 with Isabel, about how the Lord gives us things line upon line. We don´t know all the answers, but Heavenly Father has given us what we need. And third, Sister Correa testified at the end that we are here in Leiria for ISABEL. It was powerful and the Spirit touched all of our hearts. And for the first time, Isabel could feel the difference of the Spirit. It seriously was a wonderful experience! Maybe i can´t speak Portuguese, but i can feel the love our Father in Heaven has for His children here. It is incredible! 
So about the title of this email: Fake it till you make it. I´m faking it til i make it with Portuguese, as you all know! But one thing i often forget is that there´s no sense in trying to fake it with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. They know exactly what´s going on and exactly what we need! This week as i´ve realized this and tried to turn more fully to them, tender mercies have come. We have a Savior who knows us perfectly, and a Father in Heaven who wants to help us! I know they live and i love them SO MUCH!! 

Have a great week everyone! loves for dayz <3 

Sister Wood 


  Olá!! Okay. I´m in Portugal. Like what? Also I can´t figure out this keyboard so I´m using accents as apostrophes. yolo. 
   On to the important schtuff. So my first area is Leiria! it´s north of Lisbon and super beautiful. it is the picturesque Portuguese city. Out our window we have a real nice view of a castle, so that´s fixe!  My companion is Sister Corrêa and she is the cutest little Brazilian I ever did see! She likes chocolate, sharing scriptures over the phone, and working until the last possible minute of the day. So needless to say, she´s a freaking champ. The fact that she doesn´t speak that much English and I speak like no Portuguese is a slight problem but oh well! TUDO BEM! 
   This week has been the craziest of my life. But I love Portugal! The ward here is so sweet and I already love them. I bore my testimony in church yesterday and it was great. I try to talk to everyone in the ward and they are all really patient and kind. And kissing (on the cheeks of course) and hugging are a big deal here. There is no such thing as personal boundaries. Even with strangers! So that´s fun! And I can´t understand like anyone. The accent here is really hard to understand even for Sister Corrêa because they don´t like to finish their words. i´m lost the majority of the time and bear my testimony A LOT. So that´s fun. :) One day i´ll understand! #babystepstoportuguese
   I love being a missionary. It is not easy and i´m on my knees more here than ever before in my life, but that is never a bad thing. I know that Heavenly Father is preparing people here for the gospel. 
   Talk to you all next week! I love you and pray for you cada dia! 

Sister Wood
  ONE DAY MORE. I'm going to Portugal AMANHÃ!! I'm way nervous/anxious/EXCITED/STOKED/HAPPY/MORE THAN READY TO NEVER EAT MTC FOOD AGAIN. Seriously, it is awful. I'm pretty sure I had an intestinal virus that was going around for a while. I can't freaking wait to eat bolo, bacalhau, e pão em Portugal (cake, cod, and bread HOLLA).  
   So I had to give a talk on faith in Jesus Christ and the Atonement yesterday in sacrament meeting, in Portuguese of course. It was actually a great experience and i'm super glad I got to speak on my last Sunday here. The MTC has been so good! Like way better than I was anticipating. I feel like I've begun to tap into all that Heavenly Father wants me to learn on the mission. While here, my relationship with Jesus Cristo has grown more than i ever expected.  I'm starting to understand the power of the Atonement more fully and actually use it every day to turn more fully to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  The Holy Ghost has touched my heart and brought experiences to my remembrance that have reinforced my conversion and helped it grow some more. I am SO GRATEFUL to be here! But I'm so excited to actually start serving!  I'm ready to give everything I've got to Portugal and the Lord.  The last line of Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing has been ringing in my ears the last couple days - "Here's my heart, oh take and seal it. Seal it for thy courts above."  I'm giving my heart to the Lord. My life is consecrated to Him and His work.  It is such an honor to be a representative of our Savior!  He is always with us, Every step- if we let Him! 
   D&C: "Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you; seek me diligently and ye shall find me; ask, and ye shall receive; knock, and it shall be opened unto you." 
   I love our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know He lives. If we trust Him, He will bring us more joy and light than we can comprehend. The world needs to know Him! I'm one lucky duck to be a missionary!! :) 
   Well, that's about it haha. I hope everyone is having a great week! Eu amo voces! 

Sister Wood 
 Comps and Brother Nothum her teacher
 the district
Bom Dia!!

How is everyone? 

   So in a week from today I'll probably be going through security or something at the SLC Airport. Wooooo! We got our travel plans on Friday and I'm so excited. My whole zone is together and the traveling is going to be nutz. First we fly to Fort Worth, then London, then on to Lisboa! I'm really excited and super nervous and anxious haha. But mostly stoked. I can't speak Portuguese but it's going to be okay!
    For TRC on Friday we got to Skype with a lady in Porto. In case you are unfamiliar with what TRC is, I will tell you. For the last four weeks in the MTC we get to chat with and teach members in Portuguese. The first two lessons are with volunteers who come here, and the second two lessons are with people in Portugal or Brazil via Skype. It's way cool! Her name is Raquel and she served with one of my teachers in Lisboa. She told us our Portuguese was good and I just laughed haha. Ela é MUITO engracada. It was really uplifting to chat with her about the gospel and it made me way more excited to go to Portugal.  She told us the sky is bluer there. :) 
   I've been thinking a lot about the people in my life. I think about all of God's children who have ever lived or who will ever live. That number is incomprehensible for my brain. I think about all the people I know, and all the people He has placed in my life. That number is quite small in comparison to the millions of brothers and sisters we have in our spiritual family! OF COURSE Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us individually. He gives us opportunity to meet, love, and serve a small handful of His children specifically. What a blessing that is! He knows who we need to meet in this life in order to help us learn and grow. The people we come in contact with are not a coincidence! Therefore, I want to say THANK YOU for all each of you have done, probably without even knowing it, to help and teach me. I love you and am tremendously grateful for you! I thank Heavenly Father every day for you! 
    Well, I hope you all have a wonderful week! My next p-day is on Monday so yay! 

-Sister Wood 

Funny of the week: So remember how I wink a lot? Well, that little habit did not go away the moment I stepped foot into the MTC like I hoped it would. At first it was kind of an issue, but then I just decided to accept it. I wink at everyone. IT IS HILARIOUS. Also my teacher winks at me like four times a day. I love winking! 

   Week four of the MTC has been a good one! Basically we do the same thing every day but it's so good. And so fun! Lots of hilarious things happen all the time. Like the other day my companion peed her skirt and yes I'm still laughing about it right this very second. I think that I'm just appreciating more the funny things that happen that I may not have thought were funny before. And like, I'm really happy. Happy to be here doing what I'm doing. So laughing happens!! 
   I only have two weeks left in the MTC! Unless my visa hasn't come yet lol. But none of us have heard anything about visas so we're just kind of assuming that all is well and that in two weeks from now we'll be on our way to Lisboa. I'm so excited!! 
   I have shocking news.. my district thinks I'm CRAZY. haha who's shocked? No one. My companions are always like "Sister Wood, we're glad that you can just be yourself and not care what other people think." And my teacher is always saying that he's not laughing AT me, just WITH me. It's way fun. Seriously the Elders give me SO MUCH SASS. But I give it back because sass is my talent. I don't want to bury my talent! 
   So I've been studying a lot about grace. I've read some talks in the last few days about the grace of our Savior and how we can use His Atonement not only to repent of our sins, but also to improve ourselves and have the strength to overcome trials. The grace of Jesus Christ is not just for when we can't do anymore. It's not for when we are at the end of our rope. It is for EVERY DAY, all the time, in all we do. Jesus Christ's Atonement is never ending. We can use it all the time! And through it we can do all things the Lord asks us to do. I feel like I have to remind myself of this all the time.  Through Jesus Christ and because of Him life is SO GOOD! :) How lucky are we to know of Him! 
   Portuguese update: It's coming, slowly but surely. Conjugation is actually THE PITS. But really, I know Heavenly Father is helping me so much. I get really frustrated sometimes because there is so much I want to say that I simply can't. But then I get over myself and look at all that Heavenly Father has already helped me learn. And I'm so grateful! And I'm working on patience. :) (PMG pg. 120) 
   That's about it! I love you all a ton, and pray for you every day. THANK YOU for your examples and love! 

-Sister Wood 

Fun Facts..
-I've had the song What A Night stuck in my head for the past week. Literally. Is that baaad dooododoodooo
-I see Alexis and Kenzee all the time and it rocks
-Madeira. You know, like the island in my mission? Well, Madeira means wood! Irmao Lemperle calls me Sister Madeira. I have an island. 

Talks and Vids that are good: 
"In the Strength of the Lord" by Elder Bednar
"His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox
...and on Youtube search "Unleashing the Dormant Spirit: Advice from Elder Busche" 
All are great!! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

the flirting situation

This is just an excerpt from the most recent letter I got from Carley.  So, Sisters, beware!  HAHA soooo funny!  I share this only because it is funny to me, not because I  am really worried about it.  Old habits die hard for some!

"Mom, the flirting problem here is REAL!  I don't flirt...but the Elders...Holy Cannoli.  It's not so much the Elders in my district, but sometimes with them I'm like WHOA, STOP!  But I love them and I know they don't mean to flirt.  I think it's an 18 year old boy thing.  At the Sunday Devotional the other night, we met a guy who was in one of the Mormon Message videos.  Anyway, so I talked to him before the devotional and then throughout the rest of the evening he proceeded to look back at me and wink and be super weird. Also, the flirting going on around me at meals is crazy."

She goes on to talk about how wonderful the MTC is and how much she is learning!

HALF WAY through the MTC

   So I'm half way done with the MTC. What is that? So weird. I feel like I've been here my whole life but it's been good! :) This past week has been great. Ya know, just sitting in nine hours of class every day trying to teach in a language I don't know. there is never a dull moment! Mom- I told my zone and one of my teachers (Irmao L, the dreamboat) about the CPR bunny incident. You are a hero. It's one of the funniest stories of my life! 
   On Friday we had our first TRC lesson. Which basically means we got to talk to members about the gospel and stuff in Portuguese. It was seriously so much fun! It was such a tender mercy, the whole time I was able to speak and understand Portuguese as if it were English. The Lord is truly blessing me with the language. I'm still learning slow, and some days are better than others. But I know that as I continue to work hard and have faith that I will eventually be able to speak Portuguese! 
   In one of our lessons the other day we were teaching about the Restoration. I was able to recite the account of the First Vision in Portuguese, and the Spirit was incredible! I really can't say much in lessons. But I know how to testify, and bearing my testimony has truly strengthened it! I love Portuguese. Even though it's super hard haha. My brain is like a pile of English/Portuguese mush haha. Tudo bem! 
   So I seriously love my companions. They help me so much. But it is like herding cats! They are the queens of Lolligag Kingdom and it kills me. Getting out the door every morning is a struggle, but eventually we get where we need to be. #smallvictories 
   I'm learning a lot about conversion. Conversion isn't a one time thing, it's a life time thing! I'm so so grateful that every day I can come closer to my Savior. This gospel is about progress, and trying our best every day to follow Jesus Christ so that we can gain all the Father has. I'm very grateful that I can be better today than I was yesterday. I was studying last night about the power God has in all things. He is perfect and knows all. And it just hit me that He truly does want us to have all that He has! Because He LOVES us!  He has given us a way to return to Him, and that is through the Atonement of His Son. I love the gospel and this beautiful opportunity I have to be a missionary! 
Love you and miss you! 
-Sister Wood 
PS: Sheri Dew came to Relief Society on Sunday, so THAT RULED. 
Also our Zone Leader, who actually left this morning to Boston while he waits for his visa, knows Elder Marse! Apparently Kenny served in his ward for like six months. So that was cool! 
And I miss roller skating. I sing What A Night a lot. YOLO

MTC life

  How is everyone doing? How is the house coming along? I'm gonna write some letters today so yeah be excited for that! :) 
  The MTC is still a really fun and enjoyable experience! I've only been here for two weeks but it feels like ten years. I'm learning so much, and also seeing that I have SO MUCH to learn. But that's good! It's a blessing that we can always progress. And like my district rocks. We have lots of fun and giggles and stuff. 
  Portuguese is MUITO difficile. I'm learning, but very slowly haha. I get frustrated sometimes, but I know that if I do my best and be patient that the language will come. Heavenly Father will bless me with the gift of tongues if I work for it! 
  The food.. oh what to say. I love the cookies way way too much. WHAT IS THAT?! It's an issue. 
  Okay so my teachers are Irmao N and Irmao L.  They are GREAT. They expect a lot from us and push us hard, but it's good. I'm grateful for them.  But here's the issue: Irmao L is like OMG SO GREAT. Holy cannoli. He was our first investigator, then we found out that he is also our teacher! So for the first week we only had one teacher and had no clue that our investigator would become our second teacher.  Let me tell ya, class can be ROUGH.
    Something I'm learning in the MTC so far is that the Lord does not expect me to be perfect.  This is so hard for me to remember, I think I expect perfection from myself. In teaching, in Portuguese, in everything.  I set my standards high because I don't want to waste the Lord's time. But something Irmao L shared with us made me pause and think a little differently. We read a quote by Elder Cecil O. Samuelson that says "Just as we should not lower the standards that the Lord has established for the conduct of His servants, we are also not authorized to raise them...Be sure that you do not have higher standards for yourself or others than the Lord has established." This really hit me. In the MTC so far, it's like a huge light has been shining on all my weaknesses. It motivates me to try harder and rely on the Lord, but I still fall waaay short all the time. I have successes, and I have many failures. I get frustrated and down on myself. BUT, the Lord does not expect me to be perfect. He doesn't expect any of us to be perfect! We are not on this earth to gain perfection. We are here to try our best and rely on the Lord in our many moments of weakness. Through our humility we can be tools in the hands of our Father in Heaven. I know that as long as I am worthy and willing, the Lord will help and guide me through!
  Anyway, I love you all so much! Have a great week! 
-Sister Wood 

Things I've learned about Portugal: 
-Apparently there is fresh bread and cake on like every street corner. One of the teachers here gained 40 pounds. OH NO
-The Azores have some French influence in the Portuguese they speak there. So that's pretty cool! 
-They eat cod like nobody's business. It's a funny word in Portuguese so the natives test you on your pronunciation of the word. Apparently if you can say codfish in Portuguese then you are on the right track! 

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

First Official letter from the MTC!

Ola Minha Familia!

This is you, right mom? haha I should know by now what your email is. But, thank you for the Dear Elder! Also, if you guys want to send me more letters that'd be cool, both my companions have gotten like ten letters by now haha. Food for thought. I'm sorry you guys had a crappy couple of days after I left! Dad is such a trooper haha. I feel bad I didn't know he was in pain! I hope you are all feeling better and that the construction is going well. I'm giving you all a virtual hug!
So my first week in the MTC has been just plain old nutty. Like holy cannoli, this is a hard thing! Portuguese is haaard haha. But, just know that I am so so happy. My brain works really hard every day because I have SO much to learn, but every night as my head hits the pillow I cannot help but be grateful to be here, grateful to be a missionary! My companions are Sis. Knutti and Sis. Larson, and they rock.  It's interesting to be in a trio haha. We get along great! We've taught three lessons in Portuguese so far, and our fourth is tomorrow.  In the MTC you have fake investigators to teach, and yeah I know it's fake, but the things we've learned from teaching are very much real. Heavenly Father has a plan.  He gives me weaknesses for a reason, and I know that if I trust him and follow the Spirit, I will be the missionary He needs me to be.  I know this Gospel is true, and because of our Savior Jesus Christ we can repent and improve every day. I sure am grateful for this!
A few funny things from the MTC. So the MTC is hard, but also like, so fun. There are four other missionaries in my district, all elders, and we have lots of fun.  Last Thursday when we were meeting our branch presidency for the first time, I lost it at the worst time imaginable hahaha. So President Jackson was talking to us about the importance of whose name we bear over our hearts, our sacred calling as missionaries, and other important things like unto that. As he was talking to us, one of  the counselors in the presidency was walking behind me to go to the hall and just farted waaaay loud. I LOST IT. Like I literally don't think anything funnier has ever happened. I was trying so hard to hold my self together but I failed. The giggles were simply out of control haha. Also we locked ourselves out of our room the other night and had to walk across campus in our pjs to get a spare key. It was uncomfortable to say the least. But yeah, the MTC is fun.
A few things I've learned about Portugal: 
-It's President Fluckiger (flew key grrr) 
-Nobody rides bikes or drives cars. Purely a walking mission. 
-it is not uncommon to walk up to 20 MILES A DAY. OMG 
-Apparently President Fluckiger is very strict. So hooray for exact obedience!
Well I love you! Talk to you next week! 
Sister Wood