Monday, October 28, 2013

YOSO - You Only Serve Once

Courtnee had a hard time with the computer she was using and wasn't able to send any pictures this week. In almost every email she tells us how much she misses everyone especially her brother, Stetson. I always smile when she expresses her love for Stetson because their entire life they have battled. Courtnee would drive Stetson absolutely crazy and if Stetson could catch her, she was done for. Even a couple of weeks before Courtnee left on her mission I had to sit between them at church. It does my heart good to see the love they have for eachother now. So in honor of that I am posting a few pics of the two of them.
Stetson and Courtnee the day of her farewell

Sister Woods letter:

Everyone, I apologize that my letters are shorter haha! My bad! We had to email early this week because the big BRGY. elections are going on right now. Its a big deal, so we have to be in our apartments early and stuff.
This week basically all of the foreign missionaries had to come to Laoag to get finger printing done for our immigration/travelstuff. Which meant we got to reunite with EVERYONE! It was so great. Besides the fact that we were at the Stake Center for 4 hours, it was all good. It was just like socializing forEVER! :) It was awesome. We did that on Tuesday, so it was just the start of a great week!
Oh my heavens, so this week, something happened that is every missionaries dream. We were in the barbecue shop, and this young lady approached us and asked if we were Mormons, then asked if we could visit her. I mean OF COURSE we will! So that was the first thing. So the next day we visit her, and she was the most bubbly, happy, desiring and willing to listen person ever. Makes teaching even more fun I am telling you. Then towards the end before we even invite her she asks, "Can I come to your church?" Well DUH of course you can! So we give her a Book of Mormon and stuff and then we're planning with her that we would pick her up for church, and then she asks, "Can I just go by myself?" BY ALL MEANS, please do! hahaha. It was so awesome. God has blessed us with some amazing people. Her name is Rose. I will keep you updated on her.   
With her, we have 33 baptismal goal dates after this week. Almost all of them are for November too! The biggest issue is getting them to church. Man, it is hard. But we just have to have faith! We had5 investigators at church this week, so it was really good.
There is a family we are teaching in La Paz, and I absolutely adore them. They are the Patoc family. Nanay and tatay, and 3 kids. They are so receptive, and honestly, seeing them just brings me so much happiness. Sometimes as a misisonary, all some people need is to just feel loved. And when you can do that, there is no greater feeling! 
This week was stake conference, and it sure was good. The speakers did so good, and were very inspired. There literally no more room in the stake center. I had to stand outside to let all the members sit inside. But we found out at Stake conference that there are 29 missionaries in our stake! So many! They had us all stand up, and then all of the returned missionaries, and then all of the ones preparing to serve. Wow, it was cool. Just to see the Lord's army all standing there. Missionary work is amazing. It really is. Little miracles are happening every day. I hope that you all have an amazing week, and have a Happy Halloween! We will do what we can to celebrate haha. :) 
Kita kits. YOSO.
ay-aya ten ken
- Sister Wood
A ginormous spider in Sister Wood's apartment - 7 inches long

Monday, October 21, 2013

What About Your Boyfriend??

Sister Wood loves the Filipino Children and from the looks of it, they love her too!!

Hi everyone!
It has been an excellent week. A lot of good things happened. I hope all of your weeks were amazing as well! Earlier this week we saw first hand the power of members working with missionaries. During companion study Sister Rico and I were practicing teaching the lesson we were going to teach to a referral we got from our recent convert (Joey). Just the restoration lesson. As Sister Rico was teaching me she was prompted to ask a question we have never asked in  our lessons before. About who was standing above Joseph Smith in the Sacred Grove. So anyways, later that night, Joey was fellowshipping with us and we got to the first vision part, and afterwards, Joey immediately asked Jerick if he knew who was standing above Joseph SMith. Like out of nowhere. We never told him anything or did any prep with him before it. Jerick answered completely different than the right answer, so it was amazing, and Joey was inspired to ask him that and he had no idea. It was such a cool experience for all of us.
We had exchanges this week! i was so nervous... I went with Sister De La Cruz who didn't like speaking english. So she spoke tagalog the whole day. It was mahirap. It was a good day besides of course no one we planned for was there! But we got 12 new investigators! :) It was a really good learning experience for me. Especially since I am training in 2 weeks!
So, the best story of them all.... on Friday night, I had my camera in my pocket and as I was getting out of the tricy at our house, it fell out inside there., Of course I didn't notice. Before we went inside we asked him his name just to be friendly. Come  to find out he was a nephew of a guy in our bishopric. So we go inside.. about 20 minutes later I realize it is missing. I knew I had left it in one of the triceys. But I was just sick to my stomach. Ah so scared. Cause I had rode two different triceys that night so I didnt know which one it was. Basically, I knew I wasn't going to get it back. But I still had some faith in me. I prayed so hard, and so did all the other sisters! I woke up the next day and still no news on it. Everyone said to go repot to the police station, so we did, and the officer there basically said tough luck because we didn't have the tricey number. He told me to just pray that whoever found it has a conciense. So that wasn't much help. I still had some faith in me don't worry. While we were studying a member pulled up at our apartment. (he always does). And I was a bit ornery and said "he better not be here unless he has my camera!" haha anyways, i just went outside to see what they were doing, and his wife knew i had lost it and asked if i prayed. Of course i said YES! She walked back to her tricey, and I was about to turn and go inside and she walks around holding my camera. I stood there in shock. Seriously so happy. I couldn't believe it. Heavenly Father ANSWERS PRAYERS EVERYONE! No matter what it is. Gosh I am so grateful. I still don't have words for how I have my camera haha. Kind of speechless! The police told me "you are lucky." That's it. And it is because Heavenly Father loves His missionaries. More than we could ever imagine. I am so blessed. 
Last but not least, this week in relief society the teacher asked me what I have sacrificed to be here on a mission. So I begin telling everyone that giving up soccer for a year an a half was a huge sacrifice. As I am talking a lady speaks up loudly and says "WHAT ABOUT YOUR BOYFRIEND?" from across theroom. Everyone started laughing, and I had to explain that I am extremely single right now, and that I did not have to give up a boyfriend. Hahaha. Seriously! I was just like come on now. But of course it was funny. 
Anyways, it has been an excellent week! Our work in our area is progressing so much! 
Thanksfor all the love and support!
-Sister Wood 
Sister Wood and Sister Brewer

Look who it is!!! Elder Sloan

Rice laid out to dry on the Basketball court

We didn't get our weekly cow picture, but instead she sent us this gem - A Rat

Monday, October 14, 2013

Simply Amazing

mga bata (little children) and Sister Wood
"This is so my favorite picture. something unique amongst a field of all the same thing. Kind of like us as people. If that makes sense?" - Sister Wood

Once again, time is flying by so fast. I am already on my last week of the 12-week program! Yay! :) Then I will get to be a "normal" missionary for a few weeks. It will be so sweet. So us people here in the Philippines just barely got to watch General Conference, and I will just add that it was absolutely amazing. I literally could go on and on about every talk, but it would take too much time! All I know is that we are so lucky that God loves us enough to call Prophets and apostles. I know they are called by God, and everything they said is what Heavenly Father wants us to hear. And you best bet I wrote exactly what President Monson wrote in his journal that night! :) Because it is true.
Yesterday we were out proselyting and had a list of people we could visit. There was a young girl we saw a couple of days ago that I knew I wanted to visit. She is half canadian half filipino and speaks all english. When we passed her she was just outside playing the guitar and wearing nike running shorts. She also plays basketball. She is adorable. And my type of girl haha. My companion wanted to bypass them yesterday and go to someone else and I told her no, we are right here lets just go to them now. So we went there and tao po ed their house and no one was coming. We waited like 5 minutes. And were about to leave. Then out pokes the girls head out of her door. She is SO SHY. We walked over and just let ourselves in because they all ran and hid! Haha we told them to come out and started talking to them. We began sharing our message with Bianca (13) and Phoebe (26). Phoebe began to cry during it. I guess she had been praying that she could find the missionaries again. (i guess they taught her a long time ago). I am so grateful that I had the prompting to go and teach these girls. Its an amazing thing being an instrument in the Lord's hands. These two girls now have a baptismal date for November 23rd. :) 
This week we got 7 new baptismal dates and 19 new investigators! The Lord is helping us so much in our works. We have been setting high goals and have been able to achieve them with his help! He keeps sending us people that are prepared and want to hear the message of the Gospel. Without Him all of this would be impossible. 
So our new AP is Elder Tate who went to Northridge High School. I never knew who he was, but come to find out we have a lot of mutual friends! Such a small world. 
Haha the people here don't get the concept that it is really hot. (i just assume they don't.) I wear my hair up all the time, and they have never stopped asking me why I put my hair up. They straight up tell me I don't look as good with it up. Hahaha I just laugh at them and tell them sorry, it is too hot here in the Philippines. My companion actually chopped her hair last week. Don't worry, not gonna happen with me!
Well, the adventures and amazing experience continue to happen here. I love it here. I really do. I am so blessed. 
Love, Sister Wood
Sister Wood helping out the "bird man"

Sister Wood and Sister Rico

Sister Wood fell love with this cute little boy and his toy car
Rice Fields

The Filipino people lay the rice out on the roads to dry it

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chicken Head Soup and BIG Spiders!! Halloween? Nope, Life in Laoag

Apparently Sister Wood got her Halloween package

Hi everyone!

Another week has come and gone, and it sure was a great one. This week I had the opportunity to cook for our apartment. Soooo.... you know of course I do the usual breakfast for lunch on Saturday which consisted of banana pancakes and bacon! That is what I decided I wanted to make haha. The only thing that was different was that the bacon here isn't like at home where it has flavor. It tasted like it had come right out of the pig. Haha oh well, it was worth the try!

The other night I saw a massive spider on the road, so I found the heaviest thing close to me (a cement brick) and dropped it on it. Come to find out it was pregnant and right as I smashed it, tons of baby spiders went running everywhere. So sooner than later, there will be many giant spiders like the one I squashed. 
The VERY BIG Spider 
This just might have been a 'deal breaker' for my arachnophobic son, Stetson. But Sister Wood is one tough woman!
This week we happened to come across a huge group of women under a waiting shade. Like I am talking 30+ ladies. So I told my companion, lets teach them! Haha of course after I said that she made me lead and do the whole thing. All of the ladies were so attentive, and it was such a good experience for me. It was scary teaching a group that big with such broken Tagalog, but I know the Lord helped me big time.
There is a 75 year old Nanay that came to church this week. Her name is Nanay Batugal (grandma of joey who just got baptized), and she has been being taught for 5 months. Yesterday was the first time she has come to church. It was truly a miracle. We went to her house in the morning and took breakfast so that there was literally no excuse for her not to go! As she got out of the tricey and hobbled into the church I couldn't have been more happy. 
This week we had 19 new investigators!!!!!!! It was such a blessing! We got 21 a few weeks ago, but the Lord is putting so many people in our paths! We just need to work to get all of these people baptized. Right now we have 10 people with baptismal goal dates. There is a whole family amongst that number, and we are doing everything we can to prepare them to be baptized. 
We are all so excited to watch General conference this weekend. It is such an amazing time to bring all of our investigators and for all them to hear the words of our living prophet! I know for a fact that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. He leads and guides our church. We are so lucky that Heavenly Father loves us enough to call prophets! I hope you all have an amazing week.
Sister Wood
P.S. People here think that Clara looks like an "xerox copy" of me (meaning twins). Is that true?!? haha

Chicken Head Soup................Before
Thank Heavens they have been de-beaked

Sister Wood showing me her long hair - Vitamins are working!!

Sister Sunday Night - She loves these ladies!

The weekly random cow picture 
Sister Wood  was so irritated about the fact that they put a rope through the cow's nostrils.