Monday, April 27, 2015

Here we go - PORTO!

Hello family and friends!! This week was good, it was the last week of the transfer... and I´m being transfered TO PORTO!!! #northhereicome. This basically means that I will be in the Porto Mission when the mission splits in July. Weird! But it´s going to be good. I´m serving with Sister Da Luz.. again! We served together in my third transfer in Leiria, and we´re together again! No English for me wooooo. This time we will be Sister Training Leaders together, which means that we get to do divisions with the other Sisters in our zone. And do training and stuff. AH. I´m super stoked but also feel like throwing up a little haha. It´s going to be fun! And the coolest thing is that we get to do divisions in Madeira- island freaking paradise here I come! Vacation time, am I right? LOL
But other than that, this last week was good! Straight up it was a hard week with the work, but Sister Elliott and I made the best of it and had a great last week together. I´m so grateful to have served with her, and I´m so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in Vila Franca De Xira. I was a wonderful, challenging, FUN three transfers. I love my mission and I am grateful for the privilege I have of serving full-time. The people I´ve met, companions and others, have truly changed my life and helped me be a better me. And a better disciple of Christ! I know this church is truly Christ´s church and that He lives! Heavenly Father sure does love us to send us His Son, to give us this church, and to help us all along His path. We are blessed!
Love you guys A TON! Have a good week!
... pictures next week cause I forgot my camera... IMAIDIOT


Oi! So this week was super good, mostly because Elder freaking BEDNAR came to our stake conference! IT WAS THE BEST!!! Literally the whole week we were just waiting for Bednar. It was such a good conference! Elder Teixeira from the Seventy spoke too. He´s the Portuguese guy that spoke in General Conference. :) He spoke about the importance of having a personal relationship with Heavenly Father through prayer. It was so good! Prayer is something that we will always need, and we will always be blessed because of it. I´m grateful that I can communicate with our Father in Heaven whenever I want! 
   Then Elder Bednar spoke and blew all of our minds. He is also really funny. First, he talked to all the non-members who were there, explaining the reason that our church is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He basically taught the whole reason for the Restoration. It was so powerful, especially for our investigator that came with us. He emphasized how Joseph Smith didn´t restore the church, but that Jesus Christ restored His own church through His servant, whose name happened to be Joseph Smith. It was super powerful and SIMPLE. I love that about the gospel. 
   He then talked to all of us who have seen General Conference from a few weeks ago. He gave us a few tips on how we can study conference better, by explaining how he does it. He said that when we get our copies of the Conference Liahona, we should read every talk and look for these three things:
1- the doctrine or principle being taught
2-the invitation, or what we are being asked to do
3- the blessings that are promised if we heed the counsel
   I´m excited to do this in a couple months when I get my Liahona haha. He promised that if we truly study the words from Conference that we will receive the promised blessings. 
    The last thing he taught was from a passage of the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 24:13-15. About Alma and his people when they were in captivity, and the Lord strengthened them in their burdens. Elder Bednar read this and tied it in to the Atonement, and how we can be strengthened to bear our burdens ONLY through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He talked about how we must become new creatures in Christ and put off the natural man, and that this is only possible through the Atonement. He said that Jesus Christ and His Atonement and the only things that truly matter, and that they make everything else possible. It was so powerful. The Spirit literally filled up the room as he spoke. At the end, he Invoked a blessing upon each of us. He Invoked the blessing that each of us, as individuals, would feel that his message was specifically for us. That he only came to Lisbon for one purpose- to share that message with us. He said that he blessed us to feel the power of the Atonement work personally in our lives, and that we would know and feel that the Savior knows us. He loves us. And that He is with us. It was such an incredible experience to hear Elder Bednar as he testified of Christ and Invoked his blessing upon us. I know that the Lord calls prophets and apostles today to lead and guide us. I am so grateful for this FACT! God loves us so much. 
    The rest of the week was good, but this was definitely the highlight. I hope you all have a great week! Loves <3 

Sister Wood 

 Going to Conference with these cute members 

 And I snuck a pic!
 P-Day in Sintra
 A cute Portuguese road
 P-Day in Sintra

A week to make your eye twitch...

This week was straight up NUTZ. Seriously one of the craziest, hardest, funniest, tiring, rewarding weeks of my mission. And the title of this email is straight truth, I have literally developed an eye twitch in the last week. Imagine- We´re sitting there, trying to teach a lesson, bearing testimony about something, and my eye starts TWITCHING. It is rough! Apparently it´s due to lack of sleep and potasium. Oh well!

This week our investigator Rosa was baptized!! :) It was such a sweet experience! The whole week the adversary was working SO HARD against us- meaning us and Rosa. I won´t get into all the ups and downs but I´ll just say the baptism was a miracle! On Saturday morning we went to pick Rosa up, along with her daughter and three insane grandchildren. We have a long walk from our houses to the train station, and making our way down there with those kids was like a circus. We were so sweaty haha. We finally got on the train to go to the church with the baptismal font, after like an hour walk that is usually only 15 minutes, and we thought we were home free. But about half way there the train STOPPED. I just looked at my companion and laughed. Of course the freaking train stopped. That never happens! But after a little while it started again and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We rolled into that chapel way late and tired and sweaty, but all that doesn´t matter because the baptism was beautiful! Rosa was so happy. Her daughter was crying the whole time. It was just a very sweet, spiritual experience! Such a good day.

I love this work. I´m so grateful for the experiences I´m having, and how I´m learning to trust more in the Lord and His hand. The Lord works with His power in all cases among the children of men, including mine. I love my Savior, I know He lives, and this is His church. I´m so happy to be a missionary!

Loves and Hugs,

Sister Wood


Fun Fact: this couple, the Brodericks, were in the MTC with Grandma and Grandpa! They are serving in my district and are so cool. Apparently they hung out with G&G a lot. They even sent Grandma a picture of me the other day haha. Small world, huh? That´s all! Love you guys! arm is looking freakishly long in this picture... uhh


Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter and enjoyed General Conference!! It was great, wasn´t it? I loved so many talks, but one that really stood out to me was Elder Bednar´s. Jesus Christ really does silence all our fears! It got me especially excited because in 2 weeks Elder Bednar is coming to our stake conference here in Lisbon! WOOOO!! I´m so stoked. Two
 We bought grandma night gowns because it was a long day. 
 And we had division this week - me and Sister Schill
 Us with the cute easter cake this member (in the other picture) gave us! It was nice. 

 And just some sassy in between conference session pictures. <3
apostles of the Lord have come to speak in Portugal in the last six months. The work is moving quickly here and I am so happy to be a part of it!

It is warming right on up over here! The sweatiness is getting so real. I´m getting a watch tan line on my wrist and sandals tan line on my feet. It´s pretty cute! Also this week was awesome, but the way! I love my companion and my area! 

Cool experience from this week- I was on a division with Sister Schill, and we were teaching a less active member Ricardo about the importance of coming to church. A member, Irmão Lopes (the shepherd), was teaching with us. A little back story about Lopes- he was inactive until about nine months ago when the missionaries found him again. He started going back to church after many lessons on the importance of church. Apparently it was a real battle to get him to sacrament meeting. But now, he has a POWERFUL testimony of the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy. He witnessed to Ricardo with so much Spirit and power. Sister Schill and I were both just trying not to sob! He also referenced a story from the Book of Mormon as he bore testimony and it was amazing to me because I remember when I first got to this area, Lopes asked me SO MANY questions about the Book of Mormon. But now I can see that he is STUDYING and having his own spiritual experiences with that sacred book, and he is using that to do missionary work. He is now the Elders Quorum President and does so much good for this little branch. It was a powerful testimony to me of the importance of the little things, like going to church and reading the Book of Mormon. I´m grateful for the examples of the many faithful members here in Portugal. I´m so glad to be where I am, with these wonderful people. I love my mission! 

Well, I hope you all have a lovely week! I love you! 

Sister Wood 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Heyo! It´s EASTER this week! I love this holiday! Also it´s General Conference and I´m way excited. Watching it in Portuguese is not the same but still SO GOOD. It´s going to be a great week. 

This week we had Zone Conference with the Fluckigers and two other zones. It was so good! I saw lots of friends that I haven´t seen in a while, but more importantly we learned a lot and had a really spiritual conference. It is incredible to be surrounded by so many missionaries that I love and am lucky to be serving with. We talked a lot about Easter, naturally, and we watched the Because He Lives video. Have you all seen it yet? It´s incredible! I love it! I´m so glad the church is making videos like this. We´ve shown it to quite a few people and the spirit it transmits is powerful. We basically just talked about the Christ´s love for us and how we can use that love to improve our missions/missionary work. It was powerful. My trainer was there, and she made me bear my testimony with her in front of everyone. An elder that I served with in my second transfer was there, and as I was talked he was in the back just smiling and kind of laughing. I went up to him afterward and was like WHAT THE HECK WHY WERE YOU LAUGHING? He said he was laughing at the drastic change in my Portuguese from my second transfer to now. I took that as a compliment... he´s Portuguese. He can say that. 

We had a really powerful experience this week with our investigator Rosa. After the conference we were just feeling really good and happy. Full of the Spirit and reminded of the love Christ has for us. We went over to Rosa´s house afterward and just shared with her what we learned and felt during the conference. We all talked about how we have seen God´s love for us in our lives and how much we love Him too. We were all crying and laughing and the Spirit was so strong. Then at the end my cute little trainee asked Rosa if she wanted to be baptized, and she accepted! It was incredible! As we really sat and felt God´s love for us together in her living room, the Spirit touched Rosa´s heart and she accepted to be baptized. The power of His love is real and unending. I am so grateful for my Savior and all He did and does for me. I know He lives and I love Him so much! I´m so grateful for this Easter holiday and the opportunity we have to focus more on Him and His love. Easter saves the day, everyone. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and enjoy Conference and Easter! I love you! 

Sister Wood 


 cool bridge
 nice and sweaty waiting for the bus
 man on the wall

District lunch. Proud of the photobomber in the back 
   And also the man on the wall is cool!  

A cool monastery 

 I believe this monument is called Tower of Travelers. Or something like that. 
Sister Camacho is the best! and the Tower of Belém 


Oi. This week was so good! And so nuts. My companion, Sister Elliott, didn´t get here until Thursday so I spent half the week with the other Sisters in my District and it was WAY FUN. I was in the MTC with one of them and she was like "Sister Wood, I think you´re crazier now than in the MTC.. but I like it." So yeah I thought that was kind of funny lolz. 

I went to pick up Sister Elliott on Thursday and it was cool because I got to see my trainer, Sister Correa! She´s training for the fourth time haha. What a champ. I love the Sisters that I´ve been able to serve with! And Sister Elliott rules. She´s from California and runs track for BYU. She is so so funny and says ratchet all the time. Not sure if it´s mission appropriate but I just laugh. We´re going to have a fun transfer together! 

When we finally got back to our area we had three days to work for our weekly goals, so we went hard in the paint and got to work! It was great. Being a missionary is so cool. I´m grateful to still be in this area too. I love this little branch of mine! President Fluckiger has asked that we pray for the gift of charity and love in all of our prayers, and I can see my love for this branch growing so much. When I first got here it was hard for me to adjust because the members are so different than my first area, but I can honestly say that I love these people. I´ve met some of my favorite people here in Vila Franca and I´m so grateful for them! Also I love the gospel. I love my calling. Being a missionary is truly such a blessing! 

Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 

Pig skin

Heyo. This week was good! We definitely saw some miracles! More to come later. It was an awesome last week of the transfer. I´m so grateful for the time I had to serve with Sister Esplin! I´ll be staying here in Vila Franca De Xira for one more, and I´m training a noob! Her name is Sister Elliot and I´m way excited to meet her on Thursday. I´m really tempted to just be really crazy weird for the first couple days to freak her out... But the first couple days are hard enough lol so I´ll just try to reign myself in. Training is fun. #welcometoportugal

So the title of this email is Pig Skin and I´ll tell you why. Last week we went to lunch with a member to try a "delicacy of Portugal." Turns out we just went to this little hole in the wall place that sells only pig skin sandwiches. PIG SKIN. Literally. It´s basically just strips of greasy fat put on a piece of bread. The member, Lopes, was so stoked to see how much we loved them so we pretended! I attacked mine with hot sauce but I forget that the hot sauce here is actually like eating fire. I got down to two more bites but I couldn´t do it, so I took grandma´s advice and stuffed the rest of it in my bag haha. It was terrible! We felt SO SICK for the next two days. Never doing that again.

Something way cool from this week- Our investigator, Rosa, was showing us some religious books that she´s collected over the years the other night. She pulled out two books from 40 years ago that an Elder gave her about Relief Society and the Aaronic Priesthood. We were just kind of amazed that she still had them! The Lord has been preparing Rosa her whole life to receive the gospel. He truly has a hand in our lives and He prepares His children! I´m so grateful for the gospel and to be a missionary!

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Wood

Miracles happen every once on awhile if you believe!

Anyone know what movie that´s from? #princessdiaries. Well it´s true! This week was good! Spring is springing over here and it is so nice! And let me tell you, I am WHITE. Like so white. My arms and legs are blinding. I´m trying to get a sunburn. #weeklygoals
   The weather is only one reason this week was good! We have been really trying to find new people to teach to refill our teaching pool. And we´ve had a lot of success! We taught a lot of lessons and really felt like we found some solid new investigators. Then Sunday arrived... and NO ONE came to church. We were like what the heck! We worked so hard and thought we´d have lots of investigators in church. But not a one showed! So we went out and passed by everyone we could think of, and we called all our contacts. But sadly no one said they´d come! We were a little down, but went outside again to make some last calls. We had been praying all morning for at least one person to come to church. Just one. As we were scrambling, racking our brains for someone more we could call, our old investigator Rosa walked up to us. We invited her to church and she said no no no no no, but we knew Heavenly Father sent her to us. After some testifying and teaching more about the importance of church, the Spirit touched her heart and she agreed to come. As we sat in sacrament meeting with her, Rosa just cried the whole time. As she partook of the sacrament she was filled with peace. She said that she felt the talks were "just for her." It was one of the most spiritual sacrament meetings of my life. Rosa is just one person, but she is important to God. I´m so happy she came to church with us. Heavenly Father answered our prayers exactly because we had the faith that He would. It really is true what the scriptures say, God does not cease to be a God of miracles. More often than not, I just need to open my eyes a little wider to see them. :) I know this church is true and that it changes our lives. Members, non  members, everyone. God lives and He loves us!

I love you all!! Have a great week!!

Sister Wood

Just some pics of us eating. Enjoy

Flower headbands are never a bad idea!

 Hello! I can´t believe it´s freaking MARCH already! Weird. This week ran by so fast for us for some reason. Time is really starting to move and it´s weirding me out! But it was a good week.

   On Saturday we were on our way to eat with a family in our branch, the Gomes, when we happened upon a cute little field of flowers. We decided to make some flower headbands haha. It was cute! We felt cute. Then we went on our way to eat with this family. It´s a mom, Dora, and three daughters, Camilla, Naide, and Alda. They are the BEST. Their conversion story is really cool- Five years ago Dora´s husband was contacted on the street in Lisbon but he gave the missionaries Dora´s number. And she DID NOT want to talk to them haha. She already had a religion and didn´t want anything to do with the Elders, but they were persistent. One day they called her and for the first time she was actually home, but she didn´t think they´d be able to get to her house before she left to get her daughter. But somewhat miraculously they showed up 10 minutes later and she finally talked to them. After some time, she read the Book of Mormon, which was the key to her conversion. She was baptized first, then her daughters and husband followed one by one. They were sealed in the Madrid Temple and now are a really strong family in the church. The daughters want to serve missions. I´m so grateful for those persistent Elders that didn´t give up on this family, because they have changed this branch and also my mission. 
   My mother asked me if I´ve eaten anything really weird here, so I will give a recent example. For lunch Dora fed us this really good meat and vegetable stew that was delicious, along with this other thing. I can´t remember what it´s called, but it´s something they eat in african countries a lot. It fills you right up. It´s this plant root that they dry and ground up and mix with flour and boil. It doesn´t sound that bad and it doesn´t really taste like anything, BUT IT HAS THE CONSISTENCY OF A THICK BOOGER. Ohh my goodness I was dying. Boogers are like the one thing I cannot do. I can deal with poop or vomit but BOOGERS NO. So rough. I dutifully ate it and was grateful for the meal. But I hope I never get served boogers again.
   This week I learned even more about the power of fasting. I know that Heavenly Father guides us and answers our prayers as we fast with faith. :)

I love you! Have a great week!

Sister Wood

All you need is Love (and brownies)

Heyo! This week was good! REALLY good!

So we taught a lot of lessons with members this week, which is ALWAYS better. We have this one investigator, Jorge, who is actually the coolest. He´s a retired basketball player and just super fly. We taught him with our member friend Camila and it was a really powerful lesson! We talked about baptism because he had a few questions about the authority (priesthood) that we have in our church that make the baptisms different. The Spirit is always so strong when we teach Jorge, but especially this time. He is a really special person and we could feel that. He has a desire to be baptized and follow Christ, and we are really grateful we get to teach him!

Also this past week we focused a lot on strengthening our relationships with the members here in Vila Franca! A lot of them live quite far away, so it´s hard to really see them throughout the week. Our solution was to make a BUNCH of plates of brownies, hop on the bus, and do some service at the houses of the members. It was AWESOME!! And let me tell you, they love brownies. They truly are the key to everyone´s hearts. #brownies

I´m learning that one of the most important roles I have as a missionary is showing my love for these people. Sometimes all we can really do is love people and try to show them. People make choices and hearts are sometimes hardened, and that´s really hard to see. But I know that as we truly try to love people the way the Savior loves each of us then we can be very powerful tools in the Lord´s hands. Love brings us all closer to Christ. I´m kinda cheesy today, but we just need to love each other!! I love you all!

Have the best week! <3

Sister Wood

Just some pictures!

It all started with a prayer!

Hello! I hope you all had a great week! :) We wanted to feel American for Valentine´s Day so we made heart shaped sugar cookies and it was great. Carnaval also started this weekend, which is basically just Halloween. Cross dressing is a popular thing during Carnaval, and we ran into a less active boy from our branch dressed up as a woman.. we laughed SO HARD. We also saw a number of other flat out ridiculous things that I won´t expand on... Oh, Portugal.
This week we also had interviews with President Fluckiger which is always good. He had some Reese's Pieces that he shared with me and Sister Esplin... it was like gold. We also went out to lunch with Sister Fluckiger and ate some curry. Curry is actually like a really big deal here haha. I´m so not sad!!

Yesterday we had a really cool lesson with a less active, Catarina. She is the daughter of Lopes, the shepherd guy. As a mission we´re doing a study on prayer, and I´ve been reading a lot in Joseph Smith History about the First Vision and other experiences Joseph Smith had with prayer. Basically the whole Restoration started with a very simple prayer! We felt like we should talk to Catarina more about the First Vision and the power of prayer. The Spirit is always so strong as we recount the sacred experience that Joseph had in a quiet grove of trees, and we were all touched by the Holy Ghost. In the end we asked her to offer a prayer, and she was really hesitant because she had NEVER said a prayer aloud before. But the Spirit told us to wait until she was willing to say the prayer, and in the end she said such a sweet prayer. The Spirit flooded the room and she started crying, her dad started crying, and it was just such a sweet experience. The power of prayer is real, and the Spirit will touch our hearts as we sincerely talk to Heavenly Father in prayer. It was a lesson I will never forget!
Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Sister Wood

Tender Mercies Come in Lots of Ways

HEYO! What if one week I just wrote my email in Portuguese and made you guys translate it? I think about that every week as I start my email. I won´t do it cause that´d be dumb. How are you all doing? I hope you all had a great week!

There are challenges to overcome every week, and this last week was no exception haha. But we always find stuff to laugh about. For example, Sister Esplin fell up the stairs three times and out of her chair once. I´m laughing so hard right now as I remember. That is something that hasn´t changed about me I guess, I still think falling is the most hilarious thing. LOL

But anywho, this week was full of tender mercies. Especially on Saturday. We decided to fast to receive some guidance for our investigators and our area, because we feel like we´ve kind of been scrambling. In my mission my testimony of fasting has been strengthened so much, I´ve seen the power and blessings that come from it. So on Saturday we went to this way sketchy part of our area to teach this guy we contacted a couple weeks ago, Evanildo. He´s so cool and we´d been wanting to teach him since the contact, but it never worked out until Saturday. We´ve been slightly nervous lately because of some encounters we´ve had while contacting, but we felt so happy and safe as we walked there! That was a tender mercy. When we got to his house, turns out his cute cousin was home so we got to teach them both! Her name is Melia and she was the sweetest. We taught them the first lesson, about the Restoration, and the Spirit was incredibley strong. Neither of them have much religious background besides believing in God, and they were so excited to hear our message. As we taught their smiles just bigger and bigger. They both offered prayers, and could feel the difference of the Spirit. We basically floated out of that lesson. It was more than a tender mercy, it was an answer to prayer and a miracle. I love this work, and feeling the Spirit work through me as a missionary and representative of Christ. I know He lives and this is His church. I´m so grateful for these experiences!

I found a new favorite scripture this week, 2 Nephi 4:35. It´s about prayer. Read it. <3


Sister Wood