Friday, January 8, 2016

Familia Barros


So here I am, sitting in the mission home waiting for dinner. Writing one more letter home as a missionary. WHAT IS HAPPENING

But I just wanted to share a little bit about my last week, this special family, and the many blessings that came pouring down this week! 

So the Barros family are members of the church. The dad is in the bishopric, one of the sons is a priest, and their youngest daughter Alicia goes to primary. They are all super cool. When Sister Smyth and I first got the the area, we asked our ward mission leader if there were part-member families in our ward that we could work with. This family was brought up. The mom, Isabel, had been inactive for months and months. No one really knew what happened, but she just didn't want to come back to church! And because of her inactivity, Alicia, who is almost ten, still wasn't baptized. So we just decided to get to know this family, especially the mom. They live out in the boonies, but regardless we trekked out there and visited them a few times, just trying to help and serve and love them. We didn't really know what else to do haha. But after a little while the mom came back to church! It was actually such a miracle! She has been actively coming to church for the past two-ish months and I just love to see her there. It has helped their family be so much more united, having mom at church too. 

A few weeks ago we asked if we could help Alicia prepare for baptism. Isabel said that they still wanted to wait until February for her to be baptized. We were a little bummed, but we knew that we just needed to respect the decision and keep helping to strengthen the mom. BUT THEN, two Sundays ago, they announced in sacrament meeting that Alicia was going to be baptized the following Sunday, which was yesterday! Isabel called us over, we helped prepare everything, we helped Alicia prepare a little more, and yesterday we had a beautiful baptismal service. It was amazing! 

I know that Heavenly Father has plans for us. He knows His children. He inspires and uplifts us. I am so grateful for this wonderful family, they have a very special place in my heart. As do SO many people I have met on my mission. I love Portugal, I love my mission, I love the Lord! 

See you tomorrow! 

Sister Wood 

Here we go....

Here we go everyone. Last week. WHAT THE HECK

But this past week was great! I love Christmas! We had a Christmas Conference with President and Sister Amorim and all the missionaries from the zones up here in Porto. It was really good! I´m so grateful for inspired leaders! And I also got to see lots of mission friends. We ate a lot, participated in a few Christmas festivities, and also were spiritually uplifted. It was a good time. 

Then Christmas Eve was so fun! Fun Fact: here in Portugal they basically just celebrate on Christmas Eve. So we went to a member´s house, ate SO MUCH FOOD, laughed a lot, opened a few gifts, and of course we talked about how much we love the Savior and are grateful for His birth and life. It was a wonderful night and I´m SO GRATEFUL for the members here in Gaia! 

Skype was good- fam, you are all looking great! 

All in all, it was a wonderful week. I´m so grateful for the gospel in my life and to be a missionary. I love my Savior and I love His Church. If there´s one thing I´ve learned on my mission, it´s that the Atonement is real and that it is sufficient for each of us. God loves His children and wants us to be happy, and because of Jesus Christ we truly can be. I´m so glad for one more week to be a full time missionary! :) 

I love you all! Have a great week! 

Sister Wood 

lots of pics: Porto, Christmas, etc. 

I especially love the man with the trumpet. 

Sunday, December 27, 2015


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. 



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


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.
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

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


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