Sunday, December 27, 2015

FELIZ NATAL



Happy Christmas week everyone! I´ve been celebrating Christmas since November. I´m excited that it´s actually here! It just gives me even more reason to eat 7 boxes of gingerbread ice cream sandwiches this week. #blessed 

Our week was good though! Lots of door knocking, finding, sharing messages about Christmas, etc. I love this time of the year! We had our ward Christmas party on Saturday, which was actually so great. I love this ward. Us Sisters had to sing a musical number and like it often happens, Sister Smyth lost her cool and started laughing right in the middle of her solo. So naturally I started laughing. And it all went downhill. The reason for the laughing: This really weird guy Antonio, who´s not actually a member but just takes turns going the different wards up here in Porto, stood up in the middle of our song, went to the front (like five feet away from us) and just started snapping pics on one of those old crappy wind-up cameras that you can buy at a gas station. In front of everyone. And my comp always has the GIGGLES, so she was just a goner. It was fine though. Then later we were forced into singing karaoke in front of everyone, and you´d best believe that I made a fool of myself. All in the name of Christmas! 

Christmas is so fun and I love all the parties and music and everything, but the real reason for Christmas is Jesus Christ. We all know that, but I think sometimes we still forget. I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who sent us His Son. Jesus´s birth and life and Atonement gave us the way to have true happiness. He is our Savior, and I love Him with all of my heart. I am so happy to be a missionary during this Christmas time! :) 

Have a great week and a Merry Christmas! LOVES

Sister Wood 

pics: the cake our bishop made for the party, and some of my favorite old ladies ever! and me just awkwardly squatting because she´s like four feet tall. 





BABY ITS COLD OUTSIDE



OLÁ!!! 

I can´t stop singing this song. We duet in the streets. It´s getting chilly. ANYWHO 

This week was wonderful/crazy/stressful/#blessed. It really was. I loved it. 

First thing´s first, our investigator Telma was baptized!! Woohoo! She is actually the cutest little lady ever. So Brazilian and so hilarious. I remember the first time we talked to her, we contacted her on the road. It´s funny because we actually walked past her on this really crowded little road, but something (aka the Espirito) told me to turn around. So we did, and there Telma was! All ready for the gospel! It´s true, her heart had been prepared by the Lord to receive our message. During these last few months of teaching, we have truly seen the Lord working in her life and using us as His instruments. We´ve learned a lot about listening to and following the promptings of the Spirit. And we´ve seen so many blessings! I´m so grateful to have this missionary calling, to be able to teach people the truth and see how it changes hearts and lives. It´s true what they say, the truth can set you free! 

That was the main event of this past week, but here are a few other little things: 
-We went to Porto on Monday to see touristy stuff, and holy smokes what a beautiful city. Get excited fam, you´re gonna love Porto! 
-the Polish lady in our ward made us Mexican food... I went ham. Annnd basically went into a food coma later. Whoops. 
-My comp bought a One Direction advent calendar. I couldn´t stop her. Can´t say I´m sad. 
-I made 3 (large pans) of brownies for the baptism and it was all gone in the blink of an eye. I tell you what, Portuguese people love them some good ol´ american brownies. 
-I had a moment the other day (this actually happens with increasing frequency), that I just kind of had to stop and thank my Father in Heaven for giving me the blessing of serving in Portugal. I love these people. The kindness and love that is shown us, often times by complete strangers, is amazing to me. Example: we knocked the door of this family we´ve been trying to contact for a while now, and they finally answered! And let us in! And fed us DINNER! The mom, Eugenia, told us that if we ever needed anything, that we were always welcome in their home. She said she would take care of us. And the funny thing is, this is not the first time that this has happened. I´m telling you, there are SO MANY good people in the world. People that want to serve and help others. People with big hearts and kind words. A lot of these people happen to live in Portugal. I AM SO GRATEFUL TO BE HERE

I´ve been trying to not get too sentimental up in here, because I start to get weepy, but when I remember little things and blessings like this that Heavenly Father sends my way literally every day I start to get a little emotional! I love my mission. I love the time I´ve had, and that I still have, to be a representative of Jesus Christ and share the gospel. I know that He lives and that this is His church. Nothing can change that! 

I love you all! Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 

a few pics- baptism (dont know why Telma wanted to take a pic like this but we went with it), a ghetto little nativity, the ladies of Gaia 2


THANKSGIVING WITH THE POLISH

HEY fam.
This week was good! Full of Thanks. Thanksgiving, that is. We celebrated all week. I actually think I ate the equivalent of a Thanksgiving meal.. five days in a row. Not joking. I just threw caution to the wind and decided to CELEBRATE. And it was great.
We had a turkey dinner with a family in our ward and it was great! Sure beats last yearś dinner of beans and rice. The mom in the family is Polish and the dad is Portuguese. But they met in England and had to only speak English to each other, so they still just talk to each other in English. But she talks to the kids in Polish, and he talks to them in Portuguese. And they alsoInline image 2 understand all the English. I WAS AMAZED. It was a great Thanksgiving though. I absolutely LOVE the members here. Gaia 2 or die.
We are working hard and the Lord helps in every aspect! I know that God answers prayers and guides us by His Spirit. I love the simples truths of the gospel. This church is true people.
LOVES
Sister Wood
Pics: last weekś p-day run down to the beach... trying to work off those thighs.. but then I just eat a pan of brownies. Oh well. You all still love me. 

Inline image 1
Olá! 

This week was super good! We´re starting a new transfer today, and Sister Smyth and I are staying here in Gaia for a third together! We´re stoked! I´m SO HAPPY to be serving in Gaia for my last transfer, I love it here. This ward is the best. It´s gonna be a great transfer! 

So yesterday was one of my favorite days of all time. Church was incredible, and we had 4 investigators come so we were soooo stoked. We´re teaching this couple, Altino and Fatima, that we actually only taught for the first time on Friday and then they came to church on Sunday morning. They even got there EARLY. And they loved it! It was the Primary Program, so naturally they loved it. I will say that although primary programs in America are hilarious, this one was hands down the funniest I´ve ever seen. Portuguese children are so loud. 

Then last night we had a little musical fireside about prayer and it was so good. This ward is so united and they love each other so much that I can´t even get over it. Once again I say, I LOVE GAIA. 

I love my mission so much. This church is true. 

Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 

This is our amiga Telma. She´s the cutest. Also this is the Ransoms, the mission office couple that end their mission this week. They are the best! 



Fake Cafe Rio best day of my life



H

Heyo :)

This week was great. It went by super fast. As always. Dang it. 
 

So on Tuesday a Sister we live with, Sister Barratt, turned twenty. So at district meeting we actually had a huge party with tons of food. And guess what we ate? FAKE CAFE RIO. #yes. It was actually super close to real Cafe Rio. The pork, the dressing, the salsa, the beans and rice, the works. I´ve never actually eaten so much in my life and I almost went into a food comA that afternoon, but it was worth it. Blessings blessings blessings. 

The work this week was good too! We´ve been finding a lot of new people to teach and the Lord has blessed us sooo much. We are teaching this one little family, a mom and her two kids. The little son João (John in english) is actually the cutest thing in the world. We were reading scriptures and he ran to his room to grab his Bible so he could read with us haha. It was the cutest. Then after that we were scheduling a return appointment, so he went and grabbled his school schedule so he could tell which days he was free. So cute. I love little kids. 

We had a ward family night this week and it was so fun! It was a chestnut roast. November is the month of chestnut roasting. Tradition. They´re kind of nast but I still ate like twenty. They taste kind of like a cross between potatoes and pine nuts. We also played games and had a spiritual message and ate soup. Fun Fact: it is ALWAYS soup season in Portugal. #blessed

Yesterday at church the theme for the sacrament meeting talks was covenants. It just kind of hit me, yet again, the importance of our covenants! They are promises with the Lord that, if we are obedient, bring soooo  many blessings. I´m grateful that Heavenly Father is so patient and willing to help us progress on path by making covenants with us. I know that as we keep our covenants that we will be happier and receive all the promised blessings! This gospel is just too good. 

Love you guys! Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 












Heyo! 

Didn´t write a big email last week... oops. The last two weeks have been good! I actually feel sick about the fact that it is NOVEMBER (puking). What even is that? So crazy. But the good news is that I have Silent Night by Michael Buble on my ipod. Christmas is coming up! It´s the most listened to song I have. That and maybe A Child´s Prayer by Janice Kapp Perry (JUST KIDDING). 

I´m trying to think about all that´s happened in the last two weeks of my life, which is a lot because mission is a busy lyfe, and mostly all that´s coming to mind is how grateful and happy I am to be here! I love Gaia, this area is wonderful and we are meeting/teaching some incredible people. We have this one investigator, Telma, who is an actual saint. So sweet and Christlike. We´re helping her quit smoking so that she can be baptized. We love her so much! Also this ward is amazing. Sister Smyth rules too. 

I went to Mission Council this last week with the Amorim´s and it was great, as usual. It was weird because a lot a lot of the Sisters are going home at the end of this transfer, so I had to say tchau to a few really good friends! I love the missionaries I´ve been able to serve with. People are such a blessing. President talked about overcoming trials and how we can improve and progress on the path of our mission and also our life. It was so good. He shared that quote by President Monson, don´t remember exactly how it goes, but it´s something like "one of God´s greatest gifts to us is the opportunity to try again. No failure ever need be final." I am so grateful for that! Heavenly Father is so patient and merciful. We have a Savior who literally made it possible for us to try again. I love this gospel. It gives me so much hope! 

I´m grateful for opportunities to bear my testimony. As missionaries, we get questioned a lot. Lots of people have told me that I´m wrong, that I´ve been tricked, or that I need to read the Bible again because Joseph Smith´s name never comes up in there (haha). But one thing I know is the power of a true and pure testimony. The Lord gives us all so many ways to know and feel for ourselves the truthfulness of the gospel. No one can take away the fact that I KNOW this church is true. God has given me too many answers and I can´t deny what I know. I am sure that as we bear our testimonies that they are strengthened and peoples hearts are touched. The other day, we were teaching a lady who was trying to catch us in our words and make us deny what we know. As she literally told me that I was blind, the Spirit filled my heart and I just bore my testimony with all that I had. My own testimony was strengthened as I defended our Savior and His church. I know that the message we have been called to share with the world is true. It is of God. And I am so grateful. 
I hope you all have a great week! LOVES <3 

Sister Wood 

Pics of us being in our study outfits.. our house is freezing. Also the ladies at Mission Council! 






Olá familia e amigos!

   This week was good! It was definitely one of the more dramatic weeks I´ve had for a while but nonetheless we learned a lot and still had a great week. Some weeks are harder than others, but that´s just the way the cookie crumbles. We always end up having a good time anyway. Missionary work does that. 
   On Sunday we had stake conference in Porto and some big ol´ news was made... they´re finally starting construction on the Lisbon Temple! FETCH YES!!!! The temple has been announced for a few years now, but because of various setbacks they haven´t started to actually build. UNTIL NOW YES YES YES YES. I´m so excited and happy that there will be a temple in this country that I love so much. The members are so faithful and ready to get to work in the temple! 
   I also loved stake conference because I got to see all my pals from my last area, Porto 1. It was the freaking best. It was like a huge family reunion! I´m so grateful for the wonderful people that I´ve been able to know and serve. I was a happy happy camper yesterday! 
   This week I´ve been thinking a lot about the story of Adam and Eve in the beginning of Moses 5, when the Lord commands them to start offering sacrifices. I´ve been thinking a lot about how Adam was exactly obedient, even though he didn´t know the purpose of the sacrifices. It wasn´t until after they obeyed that an angel appeared to them and explained The Why. This is true for us a lot too. Sometimes we don´t know The Why of things, but we just need to trust in the Lord and obey Him. We can trust that later we will understand The Why. I´m grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is perfectly trustworthy. He knows what´s best. He knows The Why of everything we do, and it is up to us to trust in Him and follow His commands. Oh man, I love the scriptures. They are so cool. 

Well I hope everyone has a great week! I love you! 

Sister Wood 

This is Abel, a member that works with us A LOT. He is waiting for his mission call. He´s cool. Also this is Sister Smyth on the daily. She is Princess Giggles.



Heyo! 

This week was good! The beginning of the week I was slightly dying because #sickprobs but by Thursday we were kicking and ready to go, and our weekend was so good! Saturday was like a miracle day for us because we made some big goals and invited a member to work with us the whole day and we were able to meet some way cool new investigators and teach 6 solid lessons! It was the BEST. Believe me, we felt so dang blessed. I´m so grateful to be working in this area with Sister Smyth and such wonderful members. It was a great week! 

We also enjoyed the Halloween package Mom sent me! Can´t believe we´re over halfway through October. YIKES. At least we have orange rice crispy treats to get us through. 

This is a lame one because I don´t have a lot of time but I hope everyone has a great week! Loves! 

Sister Wood 







And another transfer... gone! Crazy. But I´m staying in Gaia with Sister Smyth, no one´s shocked. I´m excited to keep working here with her! WE LOVE GAIA! 

This week was good! We had Zone Conference on Wednesday with the Amorims, and it was great. He is literally so inspired and I was basically falling out of my chair the whole meeting because of it. I´m soooo grateful to have leaders who are called of God to guide us. I´d be a basket case without them! 

We did a division with the Sisters in the other Gaia ward, and it was good! I love divisions because in my mind it means SLEEPOVER HOLLA! Is that bad? They are great Sisters and I always learn a lot from working with them. 

The work in our area is also picking up and we´re so stoked! The beginning of the transfer was rough but now we have some progressing investigators who have TONS of potencial. We´re teaching a lady from Angola named Marta and she is so cute. She has two little daughters and they all look like Beyonce. They came to church yesterday and loved it! Of course they loved it, church is the best! 

Fun Fact: I threw up for the first time in like 8 years the other night! Too far? But literally being sick on the mission is theee worst. I was on my freaking death bed for a couple days, but oh well! It happens! 

Have a great week everyone! The church is true. Loves! 

Sister Wood 

Fotos: ladies of the zone, division chins (SO BAD I KNOW) 




One more week and here I am. Holy smokes!
This week was good though! On Tuesday we had mission council with President Amorim. It was yet again really good! Its always fun to go and see my mission friends all the while being nourished by the inspired messages from Pres and the Spirit. A few calls to repentance here and there, a nice Portuguese lunch, and a few good laughs is what I call a good mission council!
The next day we had zone meeting which was also good. Sister Smyth and I got to give a training on how to teach the complete message of the Restoration in five minutes. Let me tell you, my companion is a straight champ. Had I had to do that in my first transfer I would have pooped my skirt. Too far to say that? But really, she did great! We also always play scripture games. We are strongly encouraged to memorize scriptures from the missionary lessons to help us in our teaching, but we all know the real reason we memorize scriptures is so that we can destroy everyone in the scripture games. We played this game call "Castigos," which just means punishments. Basically you just go up against an opponent and the reader gives you a doctrinal point from one of the lessons. The first person to give the scripture reference and also recite the scripture wins, and the other person gets a castigo (punishment) to do. A few examples are tango-ing with your comp, telling your most embarrassing missionary story, and many more. Needless to say it was hilarious and also probably out of hand, but i loved it. Zone meetings are too fun.
Conference is the real reason that this week was good though! How lucky are we to have a living prophet who guides us today. How lucky are we to have so many inspired leaders to show us how to be happy in this life! This is about to get real cheesy, but as I was watching conference at the chapel and we all stood to sing "We Thank Thee, O God, For A Prophet" in Portuguese I just started crying. As I looked around at all these members that I love so much here in Portugal and at the screen of all the people back in Utah, I felt like I was going to burst with gratitude to be part of the true and living church of Jesus Christ. We are all striving for the same thing, to follow the Savior, in all parts of the world. I am so blessed to be able to serve my mission in Portugal. I love these people and I love my mission!
I hope you all have a great week! I love you! 



GRAPES GRAPES GRAPES





Hello! 

This week was good as well! This is the week that I´ve eaten more grapes that I ever have before in my life. OMG. Porto is known for grapes and wine and stuff and literally everywhere we go people give us grapes. They´ll just go out to there backyard grape vine and cut a bunch of grapes off for us. I´m literally graped out. Holy smokes. 

But really, our week was good. Super busy. We had an activity on Friday night called Night of Fados. It was a concert. Fado is a traditional Portuguese style of singing. I advise you all to look it up because it is just a treat. But President and Sister Amorim came and they let us stay until the end of the activity, which ended at midnight. That was super weird. But it was a great night! 

On Saturday night a little girl in our ward got baptized, Maria. It was basically just a Frozen singalong the whole time.. in the chapel... but in the midst of it she did in fact get baptized. It was also her birthday so there was a big party afterward. SO MUCH FOOD! Do you guys remember that part on the Grinch, when the Whos are carrying him around and shoving all sorts of weird food in his face? I literally feel like that anytime we eat with members. But I´m #grateful. 

On Sunday our investigator Conceição came to church and turns out she already knows like 7 members. She was so pleased to walk in and see some familiar faces, and some long lost friends! She also loved sacrament meeting. I love church! It is such a good thing! Heavenly Father´s love is here in the chapel! 

I love the mission. I love the Gospel. Love all of you too! Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 


District lunch on Tuesday... 6 pizzas and an icecream cake later... oh well.
Also my sandals literally split down the center. 
and Noite de Fados 

Maria de Fatima

Olá Familia! 

This week was really good! We started out the week with a nice TROPICAL STORM on Tuesday! Tropical storm, meaning red alerts on the news and and people not leaving their homes because of the rain and wind warnings. But no one actually told us about this tropical storm so yeah we worked in it all day! IT WAS A JOKE! We were literally being pushed around by the wind all day and soaked all the way through by the buckets of rain. Plus two cars drove through lakes of water right next to me and I actually almost drowned. I was like I had jumped in a pool. Our umbrellas kept flipping inside out like would be expected, but they also closed in on our heads several times as well.  We decided to name the storm Maria de Fatima, hence the title. It was one of the most hilarious days.

So on Thursday we went to visit a member named Celeste. She is 85 years old and actually an angel. Because my comp has the voice of a disney princess, we asked if we could sing a hymn with Irmã Celeste and she quickly chose "There Is Sunshine In My Soul Today." We started singing and Celeste just went HAM. She was singing so so loud and like rolling around on the couch and enjoying that hymn more than I´ve ever seen anyone enjoy a hymn. I tried to hold myself together but I couldn´t help but laugh, so we all started laughing and singing and she was SO HAPPY. Hands down one of the best moments of my lyfe. I love love love the old ladies here! 

On Friday we decided we would have a day of miracles. Cheesy, I know. But we decided to fast and ask the Lord to help us reach all our goals and find people with a lot of potencial to teach. And then we went to work! It was one of those experiences when Heavenly Father answered our prayers exactly how we asked. We were able to reach all our goals for that day and we found a new couple to teach, and we had a really good lesson with a family we´re teaching. It was a testimony builder for us! I know that when we do all that we can and show our faith that the Lord will make up the difference and help us achieve righteous desires. It may seem like a small thing, but for me this day was a huge tender mercy. 

President Amorim has asked us to be more bold and brave as missionaries. He´s asked us to do at least one new bold thing every week. AH. So yesterday Sister Smyth, me, and the two other Sisters in our ward went down to the boardwalk where there are always hundreds of people. Three of us sang hymns while one person contacted the people passing by, handing out invitations to church, family proclamations, etc. And then we would switch off. It was really awkward and I wanted to jump in a lake. But as we kept going, people started to stop and listen. It was neat because quite a few people actually came over to us and asked for the family proclamation. We were able to share the gospel with a lot of people by this seemingly uncomfortable activity, so that was great! Sister Smyth and I have also been working on contacting large groups of people, such as those waiting at bus stops and stuff. The Lord asks us to open our mouths and share the gospel with EVERYONE, and as we´ve been trying to be more brave and bold we have felt the Spirit testify of our words. We just gotta get out of our comfort zone sometimes! 

That´s about all I got, I´m proud of myself for sending an email with four big paragraphs. So yeah, i hope you all have a great week! Loves! 

Sister Wood 


Fotos: Sister Smyth and I
Also us four down by the river that separates Porto and Gaia



Watch out everyone, Fat Sister Wood is making a comebck!





Olá! :)
This week was quite a doozy! We had mission council meeting (Zone Leaders, Sister Training Leaders, and APs) on Tuesday with President Amorim. Mostly my mind just gets blown any time we get to have training meetings with him, it is true that the Lord inspires his servants. I am super grateful to be serving with the Amorims.
That night we had transfers... and I got transfered to Gaia! Itś the city on the other side of the river, so iḿ still really close to Porto. I was sad to go! I loved serving in Porto, I learned a lot there. And i love love love the ward. But this transfer is going to be great- also a big challenge! This transfer I am training a new missionary, doing a white wash, and working with the Sisters in the Gaia zone as Sister Training Leader. YIKES IS RIGHT
My new companion is Sister Smyth from northern California. She is a champ and im super stoked to be serving with her! This ward here in Gaia is wonderful and we are excited to work here! We have been getting to know our area and the members these last couple days, contacting all day and trying to find old old old investigators. But the ball has started to roll and this week is going to be great! Also WE GET FED BY MEMBERS EVERY DAY. I am going to get sooooo fat here! We are already breaking records with the amount of members that want to feed us in the very few days we have been here. I am prepared to just get absolutely huge. Oh well!
Iḿ so grateful to be a missionary and have the opportunity to share the gospel. I know that the Lord makes up for our shortcomings when we are doing our best to be obedient and consecrated!
Have a great week!
Sister Wood
Heyo! 

This week was good, but super tiring! We´ve just been running around like crazies trying to find people to teach and get to know our area. But it has been good! This ward freaking RULES and I don´t even care that i´m gonna get fat here because I´m so so grateful for all the members do for us. They are like "you guys are our family while you serve in this ward!" I love it! 

My companion teaches me a lot about being JOYFUL in missionary work! She is so excited to be here and we laugh so so much and just talk to everyone. I love being able to dedicate my life to sharing the gospel with everyone we meet. I´m so grateful for the gospel, for my Savior, and for my mission! 

Sorry this one is super short and kind of lame! I hope you all have a great week! 

Love, Sister Wood 

Lady Midnight and Riff

Heyo! 

This week was really good! We´ve been finding some super cool people, working hard, and also having a grand ol´ time. That´s something that I´ve been learning the last few weeks- our attitudes are super important. We´ve been feeling more optimistic and letting that push us forward. And it´s made a huge difference for us this week! We taught more lessons, had more people at church, and we´re just working with more enthusiasm and energy.  That has helped us see the Lord´s hand even more. Every day is a new chance to be happier, more grateful, and to do more. I´m glad for that! 

On Thursday President and Sister Amorim invited us over for lunch! They are going to start inviting over all the duplas for a little lunch date. It was super cool and so so cute of them. It was great to be able to just chat with President about our area, our experiences, and get some personal advice and counsel from him. I´m real happy to be serving under the direction of the Amorims! Also we got to eat Brazilian food and no one was sad about that! 

For weekly planning we were brainstorming creative ideas to do contacts. Sooner rather than later the ideas got out of hand and we found ourselves discussing code names for when we´re talking on our walkie talkies for when we are hiding in the bushes waiting for someone to take the Book of Mormon that we had left on a park bench. The idea was to watch and wait and then chase down the person who took the book. Anywho, in a moment of inspiration, the names Lady Midnight (Sister Parkinson) and Riff (me) came to my mind, and it was perfect. And since then we´ve been referring to each other and ourselves by our code names. I´ll let yall know if we ever actually end up doing that contact. 

We met this super cute old couple the other day, Orlando and Margarida. We walked in to teach the first lesson, but before we started we were just chatting and stuff. They asked where we were from, if we like Portugal, the usual. Then Orlando goes, "America seems like such a great place, like how that humble man JOSEPH SMITH restored the church you represent and translated that one book.." I almost fell out of my chair. The fact that he didn´t say Joseph Smith like it was swear word was a miracle in and of itself! We then asked him how he knew all that, and turns out he worked right by our church building for like twenty years and talked with the Elders a lot and ended up reading some church books. Needless to say, we were suuuuper stoked. The lesson went really well and they are reading the Book of Mormon together as a couple. They are the sweetest couple, and I´m really grateful to know them! 

Well fam, I hope you have a great week! Love you all! 

Sister Wood 

The Amorim's and the Sister Parkinson

Life is Good

Whaddup family and friends! I hope you all had a great week! I can´t believe that school is already starting and everything... YIKES! Glad that´s not me! ;) 

All is going well up here in good ol´ Porto, I love this place! I´ve been in Porto since the end of April, and I have thoroughly enjoyed my transfers here. Sister Parkinson is the best and we absolutely love serving together. These last few weeks have been hard, but it´s been the biggest blessing to be with her! The giggles get out of hand and no one is sad about it. 

We´ve been working a lot on improving member relationships in our ward, getting to know all the families and visiting them. It has been a TREAT! The other night we went to the home of familia Carvalho, the dad is in the stake presidency and they have two little boys that are hilarious. As we were giving the spiritual thought the younger boy, Alfonso, just farted waaaaay loud and immediate chaos ensued. We were all dying laughing, and the parents pretended to be like "hey, you can´t do that right now!" but they were also laughing too hard. Then the mom was like, "well at least you Sisters have something to write about in your journal tonight!" Needless to say, it was a great visit. I love love love the members in this ward. They are truly pioneers and their examples change my mission! 

We´ve been doing a LOT of finding lately, so much door knocking and contacting on the street. It´s hard work, but i´m so grateful for the opportunity I have to bear my testimony various times throughout the day. Yesterday we were knocking doors, and we met this man who initially didn´t want anything to do with us. He was all, I´m catholic, I have my own set of beliefs, I´m not interested, etc. But we just simply shared why we were there talking to him and bore short testimony of God´s love for us. And he stopped and listened. He then started to ask a few questions about the mission and stuff, and we started having a real life conversation like real people. We continued to bear simple testimonies of gospel truths as we conversed and we saw his heart open little by little. By the end of the conversation we marked to visit him again and meet his wife and son. It´s experiences like this that show me that when we bear heartfelt testimonies, the Lord sends His Spirit and touches hearts. Being a missionary is really so good, really. 

I love you all, I love the gospel, I know it´s true! Have a wonderful week! 

Sister Wood 

My How the Tables Have Turned

HEY fam and friends! I hope you all had a super stellar week! 

The title of this email literally only has to do with the giant inter-zone soccer tournament we had today, which wasn´t actually super big but it was super fun. Guess who scored TWO TIMES? That´s right. I DID!!! #humility. It was a big deal for me! Turns out the rec soccer days were actually just prep time for being obligated to play soccer on my mission. Also turns out that I actually like playing soccer now! Sort of! Just picture me doing some grapevines and screaming and marking the occasional goal, and that is exactly how my morning went. It was the best! 

The week started out well with a big mexican fiesta birthday party for Sister Parkinson after district meeting. It was the first time in a looong time that I´ve eaten a taco, and it did not disappoint. Our week was pretty good, but it was probably one of the most challenging weeks of my mission. Sometimes we just have to have challenges! It´s part of the plan! I´m grateful for our merciful Father in Heaven who gives us a million chances to be better and try again. And He is always there to help us! 


I hope you all have a great week and know that I love ya! 

Sister Wood 
TACO TUESDAY

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

YAHTZEE

Heyo! 

This week was pretty good! In our district we played this really complicated missionary version of Yahtzee! I won´t get into the details, but throughout the whole week whenever we did contacts or had lessons with members or basically after we did anything one of us would throw a fist in the air and shout YAHTZEE! There was a complicated point system involved as well. It was good for our spirits I think, because this week we found a loooot of new investigators. Lots of families! We´re super stoked to keep working with them and keep playing Yahtzee. YAHTZEE

We had Conference with President Amorim this week and it was super inspiring. He is making a lot of changes, and at first I was like whoa no this is not how we do things. But then I had to get over myself and remember that I´m not the one receiving revelation for our mission, President Amorim is! So we went to work, changing the things he asked us to change, and we were truly blessed. I know that the Lord guides his servants. I am so grateful for the revelation we receive from our leaders, and also the revelation we can receive personally. We are members of a living church that is guided by the Lord Jesus Christ! 

Also this week I almost got my hand bitten off by a satan dog. We were looking for a house, and we walked past this dog that look like it was dead, but all of a sudden it started chasing after us and snapping at us! The screams out of Sister Parkinson´s mouth were UN.REAL. The dog was on a chain, but the chain seemed to never end and my life flashed before my eyes. So we were cornered at the end of this little alleyway and the dog decided to cool its jets, so I made a run for it. Bad idea. It was literally snapping at my bag and almost got my hand and it was crazy. The dogs in Portugal are actually insane! 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! I love you! 

Sister Wood 

The ladies eating ice cream. Me being a goof. 




Can you translate for me?



HELLO fam and friends! I hope you all had a great week, because I sure did! :)

We had transfers on Wednesday, and no one is shocked that I stayed here in Porto. I´m not sad! I love this area! Sister Da Luz left me, and my new companion is Sister Parkinson. When we got the transfer call we both FREAKED out. We got to do divisions together last transfer and it was the best and we were like dang, we´ll probably never get to serve together. But here we are! She´s in her fourth transfer but already speaks super well and is like, an amazing missionary. We just laugh all the day long.
I´m technically still a Sister Training Leader with another Sister though, Sister Jones. We live together. Four Sisters in the same house is way more fun. This transfer has already proven to be super good!
So at church yesterday we had a visiter from Taichung, Taiwan! She´s here to learn Portuguese, but doesn´t quite speak it yet. She speaks English really well though, so she stuck with us during church. Then during sacrament meeting she really wanted to bear her testimony, and she asked me to translate for her! It was a super cool experience because it just reminded us all that the gospel is perfect, it is the same in all the world, and the language of the Spirit is what is most important. The Spirit was so strong as she shared her love for the gospel, and I felt really blessed to be able to help her. It wasn´t a perfect translation, but that doesn´t matter. Thank goodness for the Holy Ghost is all I have to say!
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Beijinhos!
Sister Wood
 Fotos: The ladies.



SERVICO

Hello family and friends! 

One of my weekly goals is to write a better email. This is for you mom! 

This week was good! Every week is good, and every week is different. We did divisions in a city called Vila Real, and it was hotter than sin but also a wonderful division! I spent the day working with Sister Júmua, who is from Mozambique. She tried to teach me some African dances, and then later we braided her hair. I have never felt so white in my life! My new joke is telling people that I´m from one of the islands of Cape Verde. People don´t really know how to react, sarcasm doesn´t go over the same way in Portuguese.. I think I´m pretty funny. 

We did a Family Night with the Elders and two recent converts who are actually the two funniest old ladies I´ve ever met! We just laughed the whole time. Isabel and Maria Angela, best friends for life. Maria Angela is the lady who dove into the baptismal font when she was baptized. LOL.

On Thursday we went to a member´s house to give a little service.. we didn´t know what type of service it was, so we just went in proselyting clothes. But when we got there we discovered that we´d actually be sweeping up mounds of dirt and cemente from a house this lady is renovating. We weren´t exactly prepared, so she gave us some clothes to work in. We looked like middle eastern women, but it was wonderful to help this member out! 

One of my favorite moments from this week was visiting a member who has recently passed through a family tragedy. We talked about the Plan of Salvation, and how God knows what is best for us and how to help us with our specific needs. I am so grateful for a Savior who loves us and knows us, and who overcame death so that we will too. I know that the plan Heavenly Father has for us is perfect. We felt the Spirit so strongly as we shared our testimonies with this member. We also ate Oreo's with her, laughed, sang hymns, and she gave me marriage advice. Not too shabby! 

All in all, I learned, or was reminded of, the importance of service this week. Whether it was helping a Sister out and braiding her hair, having family night with people whose families have already gone to the other side, helping a member with some house construction, or sharing a testimony and a laugh, service does not go unnoticed in the eyes of the Lord. I am eternally grateful for the blessing I have of serving a mission, and having experiences like these that teach me to be more like our Savior. All He ever did/does is serve us, so now it´s our turn to do a little service too. Helping each other feels good! 
 
Have a happy week! Loves! 

Sister Wood