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!!