Monday, November 18, 2013

YOSO pt. 2 - You Only Serve Once Part 2


Sister Fuchs and Sister Wood

Today was pretty sweet. We had a zone activity and we went sand boarding. Just basically sledding/snowbarding, but on sand. It was pretty legit. The hill we were on had an ocean view so it was cool. So while you are at home in the snow, we are here in the Philippines sledding on the sand. :)
Zone Activity

So we are so blessed with the apartments we have to live in. They are incredible. The only thing is, the ANTS. I have never encountered so many ants in my life. While we are studying at our desks it is literally like playing wack-a mole and smashing them with our fingers. The other day we also found them all over inside our toilet and around it. Like so many ants. And then, Tom and Liza are the greatest and sent me tootsie pops. Which I loved so much thank you. And there happened to be literally a little sliver of a hole in the bag, and when i opened it, it was swirming with ants. But don't worry i just brushed them off, put them in the fridge, and still ate them. I guess I have been in the Philippines long enough. :) 
I have decided that all of the funny things that happen to us happen while we are in La Paz. This week we found a couple of ladies whose dad was a member of the church, but lived in a America. So we decided they would be good to teach. Well we started teaching them and of course like a crowd of 20 kids come and gather around. We continue the lesson and I asked her "Sister, gusto mo ba and walang hanggang pamilya?" Do you want and eternal family? She responded, "Hindi!" No. I sat there like wait what? I looked at our fellowshippers and was like did she say no? They nodded, and then come to find out, she thought I asked her if she wanted NO family. I was SO confused. So obviously there is room for improvement in my tagalog. It kind of made the whole mood of the lesson leave though, so I guess I just need to be better haha. Next thing, so as you have seen La Paz is along the big river here. Well we were walking along the riverside and come to this little lagoon where all the little kids are swimming and jumping off rocks. Super cool/sweet. I had to take a picture of them because they were so cute. So I walked over there to take a picture of these 4 kids and right as I was about to take it, this little kid who was swimming, but was away from us on the side (not the one i was taking a photo of) starts SCREAMING! BALLING! CRYING! Louder than I have ever heard in my life. I didn't know what was going on. I turned around and he had jumped in the water and started swimming to the shore (still crying). By this time, since it is La Paz, there are probably about 50 people watching this. All of the people are laughing at this little kid. He is probably 4 or 5. He gets to the shore, grabs his clothes (cause he was naked) and starts running. I did not know what was going on at this point. I told my companion we gotta go find that kid! So we start walking up the the walkway and i remembered i have some tootsie pops in my bag. Perfect. We look over, and the little boy is hiding behind the waiting shade. We could see his little legs there. I start walking towards him with a sucker and he starts screaming bloody murder haha. He was legitimitally scared haha. He starts running up the side of the houses and all i wanted to do was give him a  sucker because I didn't know why he was so sad! AFter he ran away there were about 30 people around me. I asked them ANO NANGYARI! What happened! They told me he was scared of me. HE WAS SCARED OF ME! I have never felt so bad in my life! hahaha. I couldn't believe it. This little kid was scared out of his mind. Anyway, I had to find this kid and give him a  tootsie pop. We walked up to the main road and there he was. At his house, on the balcony with his mother, just calming himself down from crying so hard. Probably because he knew I wouldn't be able to get him or something hahaha. I don't know, but I at least finally got to give it to him. :) I never thought of myself as scary, but I guess I am wrong! haha. 
I have amazing news. NANAY BATUGAL passed her interview and will be getting baptized this Saturday. It is going to be the most incredible day ever. This woman has so much faith. We taught her about modesty a little bit ago because being an old nanay she always just wears these little tank tops. Well we came back later that night after teaching her for some reason and we saw that she had changed her shirt to a modest one. I love the woman! She only speaks ilocano, but somehow we find a way to communicate. :) Not to mention the coolest news that Joey WILL be baptizing her. It is going to be such an amazing experience I can't wait. I hope we can make it the most memorable day for nanay. 
I just love this picture. Its Sister Wood's hand and Nanay's hand.
You know what, in the short time that I have been a trainer, I have realized how imperfect of a missionary I am. There are so many things that I could be better at. So many christlike attributes I need to better develop, just the WHOLE enchilada. But I do know one thing. That Heavenly Father has been with us in our work. As we do our very best as a companionship to have the Spirit with us, all of the flaws I have, and the ones she has as well, will become strengths. God sends the weak to do His work, and I have realized how weak I really am, but I am grateful for Him because I know that if I do what I am asked of, he will make up the rest. Every day I am shown the happiness that the gospel brings. Being able to look people in the eyes and bear my testimony to them about the joy they will have if they accept the gospel is a feeling that you can't describe. I am so so so grateful for this opportunity. 
Trust me, I know there are a lot of things I am missing out on right now back home, like the NCAA tournament, the holidays, all the things i love back home. But the Lord's work is what really matters right now. He is hastening his work, and I will be eternallly grateful that I get to take part in it. Have an amazing week everyone. :) 
Sister Wood
P.S. Oh yeah, just FYI, our zone is doing a Filipino folk dance for the Christmas conference. Bahahaha enough said. 

Sunset in La Paz

Elder eating Balut -  a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. It is commonly sold as street food in the Philippines

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hindi ko alam tungkol sa inyo, perro naramdaman ako dalawam pt dalawa!

Hi all, this is Kim, Sister Wood's mom. Courtnee has definitely maintained her sense of humor and quirky, randomness. I laughed when I google translated the subject of her email. Just know that she is a huge Taylor Swift fan and it will make much more sense......

Hi Everyone,
I had to make that the subject of this email in honor of her. So you can put it in to google translate and figure out what it says if you want. :)
Obviously it was a big week because of transfers and training, and everything else that went on! But I will start with the days that Sister Brewer and I got to be companions! Greatest days ever. Everything just went perfectly. We got to teach so many lessons, and the people, yes i repeat, they understood us the whole time! Heavenly Father was really watching out for us haha. But yeah it was awesome.
Sister Wood and Sister Brewer before their new trainees arrived!
This was the big week that we got our new companions! After the days of anxiously waiting, my new companion is Sister Fuchs from West Valley, Utah!  I love her. She is so funny. She is shy/quiet, but then out of nowhere cracks the funniest jokes. I love it haha. And she is so extremely chill. We make a good pair. And she likes soccer! So woohoo! I am excited for the next couple of months. Plus,being a trainer is super fun everyone. I love it! I am pretty sure that God gives trainers of missionaries the power to somehow understand the language more, and be able to commmunicate. Because somehow everyone seems to get what we are saying through our broken tagalog haha. The language is definitely improving rapidly though. :) 
Sister Wood and her new Trainee Sister Fuchs - I dare say that Sister Fuchs is in for the time of her life with Sister Wood as her trainer.

Sister Wood with her new trainee Sister Fuchs from West Valley and President and Sister Barrientos
So regarding the people we are teaching. I hate to say it, but the J. family we have been teaching from La Paz and who have come to church, they don't want a baptismal date anymore. They told us to just wait until they were ready. So we are hoping that they keep progressing, but i will keep you updated on that. Nanay B. will be getting baptized on the 23rd. We are SO INCREDIBLY excited for her. She is too. So enthusiastic. We are going to see if Brother Joey (RC) and her grandson will baptize her. It would be such a cool experience. 
With the transfers that happened, we got 2 new elders in our ward with us. So there are 4 sisters, 2 elders. I think it will be a good addition! 
None of us here were affected by the Typhoon. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those missionaries and people that are in Tacloban. There are many missionaries here who are from that area, so we are praying that they are all okay. 
Have an amazing week! :) 
Sister Wood
PS, I am a giant here, we all know that, but the comments, they make to me make me laugh so hard. A 10 year old girl asked me the other day, "Apay malaking ka?" Why are you so big? I told her I was born this way. They thought it was hilarious. Anyways, gotta have tough skin here hahaha. :)

1D Lovin

Missionary Feet!  It looks like those big feet are getting a lot of miles put on them.

Dragon Fruit - Sister Wood's favorite!
Farmer Courtnee
The "Bird Man" - Sister Wood must be drawn to this man because he reminds her of her Dad. Lynn just might be the "Bird Man" of Layton.



Sunday, November 10, 2013

Typhoon Haiyan

I just wanted to let everyone know that we received an email Friday night from Courtnee's mission president saying that all the missionaries in the Laoag mission were safe and well. What a blessing it was to receive this confirmation.
Please continue to pray for the missionaries in Tacloban and of course the Filipino people.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Real Halloween!!

The Javier Family from LaPaz - Sister Wood loves this family so much!

Hello po once again!
It has been a crazy week that's for sure. So the typhoon that came through this week was actually the worst storm so far. Yeah I will admit, I was scared haha. BUT it did make for a good Halloween.
I hope you all had a very happy halloween as well. They celebrate it a lot different here in the Philippines and it is Nov. 1-2nd. They all go to the cemetary and eat and stuff. So it kind of made it hard to teach because everyone was so busy. To celebrate Halloween, we dressed up as much as we could, as you can see in the pictures.
Sister Wood and Sister Brewer - Happy Halloween
 While we were hanging out, all the power went out. So that was great. Then that night, the typhoon hit. I woke up at 1 in the morning cause i was blazing hot, and could hear this loud noise. Well, I guess our roof was broken and it literally sounded like someone was shooting missles at our roof and it was going to cave any second. Okay I am probably exaggerating a little, but it was loud enough that we moved downstairs and slept. I got like 4 hours of sleep that night  because the noise was so loud. It was a real Halloween I am telling you. We did get to go out and teach the next day, but it sure did take its toll on all the trees and homes! 
This week is transfers/getting my new trainee!!! I am so dang excited. I will be staying in the same area. Which I am thrilled about. I love it so much. I know that I still have a lot to learn, and training will be such a humbling experience. I am going to need to work even harder to be able to have the Spirit with me always because I know for a fact that I won't be able to do it without the Lord's help. AND, Sister Brewer and I are temporary companions for the next few days. To say I am excited is an understatement. Basically doing missionary work with a best friend. I don't think it gets better than that.
Sister Wood and Sister Brewer are now companions for a week, while they both await their new trainees.
So I told you about the 2 families that we are teaching from clear out in La Paz. Well we have continued teaching them twice a week. They are so amazing. The amount of faith they have strengthens ours. This week both of them came to church. Wow. It was the greatest thing in the world. I just want the gospel for their families so bad. They have so many little problems, and I know that if they just fully accept it, they will be so blessed. Their lives will be forever changed. Coming to church though, is one step closer to our Savior though. So thrilled for them. Plus we had the 75 year old Nanay Batugal come to church for the 2nd week in a row. This woman is a saint. She WILL be baptized in 2 weeks. So we had 7 new investigators at church. Heavenly Father is blessing us so much. All of the members were so good with taking them in, and so it made our job so much easier. There has been a lot of progression in the ward. 
We taught another person with a monkey this week! Needless to say, I was getting extremely distracted. More than I already do haha. Thanks Dad.
We just got back from eating at a members house. She fed us mussles, squid, and prawns (shrimp). It was so dang good. 
Well, I am truly happy right now. I mean my whole life I always thought the only thing I would find joy in is soccer hahaha. But, missionary work, I hate to say it, beats out soccer! The Lord's work is the most important thing! I truly have a testimony of it. 
Have a good week everyone!
- Sister Wood

Sister Wood cracks us up, with these short videos of totally random things.
A monkey eating rice
Courtnee shared her clothes with this sister - a mission miracle! (just ask her sister Clara)

a luxury Tricey

The "birdman's" turkeys