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,