Monday, June 30, 2014


This is probably one of my most favorite letters that Courtnee has written. You can feel the love she has for the people she is teaching. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:
Sister Wood and Sister Ramos teaching their investigators

It's me again. I hope you all aren't going and forgetting about me. And I really hope you are reading this e-mail/letter because it is going to be a good one. 
Haha so to start off, I know I have said it a million times, but you can basically get anything here. I am not joking. Last week i went and had a stamp made with my name and address on it haha so that I could just stamp all my letters instead of write them. This old man carved it all by hand in like 3 hours. Haha I am crazy, but I love it so much! So here is the thing... if you want to see my stamp in action, you have to write me a letter. That's the catch. Along with the stamp, I got my dress... hope you can all see the photo of it. I am pretty excited about it. Let's hope I have occasions to wear it to....

 :)Yeah, so we had exchanges again this week. It was pretty good. We went and found all the rich people in their area and just basically knocked on their door. We ran into an Australian Filipino who was just here for a vacation staying at their house here. I quickly came to realize the culture differences that I will have to get used to again haha. I just started asked him all about his family in english, asking names, ages and stuff. Cause that is what we do to the filipinos here! Haha he quickly stopped me and said, what are you doing? Interviewing me? Just something I had to realize wasn't normal to do haha. Only here is that okay! We found them such good potential investigators.
I still don't like that apartment in Camalaniugan. You would think after being here for almost a year I would be used to everything, but the water to the shower with is the color of pond water and there was a frog in there with me when I was showering.... ugh I was in and out as soon as I could. 
We had a pretty cool experience this week that i want to share! I wrote it in my journal so i will just quote what I wrote. "We were walking in Centro 1 along the beach of the river when all of a sudden out of nowhere, what we though was a boy, was really a girl, and came up to us with her arm out to shake our hand. Of course we shook her hand and proceeded to ask her what her name is like we do with all the little kids. She didn't reply. We tried another question, and nothing. Not even an expression was made. Sister Ramos said, "I think she is deaf sister wood." A woman walking by saw us struggling to communicate with the little one. She confirmed to us that she was deaf. I immediately said we have to find this child's home. She obviously has a family. I grabbed her hand as we began walking towards Punta (the other sister's area). We were asking where she lived from the people around. With the help of all the people we found the little girl's home. No one was home, but her aunt informed us that the mom walked out on them when they were tiny, and the dad was a fisherman. Obviously this was a family that need the Gospel of Jesus Christ.Our conversation ended and little Cherrilyn was inside sticking her head out the window. We told them the other sister missionaries would return. They had never seen missionaries before. I waved to Cherrilyn goodbye and a bright smile lit her face as she waved back. I learned a valuable lesson from that girl today. From a child who cannot even communicate with the world. A child who never will be able to because sign language schools are far too expensive. Yet, she has the most important thing. A Spirit so sensitive to recognize 2 missionaries from the true chuch of Jesus Christ. she couldn't hear it, or read it, but she could feel it. I know that our spirits spoke to each other today. I don't know what will ever happen to her family reguarding the church, but i do know that because of this little one's sensitive spirit, she has now opened the doors for her family to hear about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ." I am so grateful that Heavenly father allowed me to feel and experience this tender mercy. It showed me the power of our spirits." Anyways, it was a really cool experience, and the other sisters have gone back to teach them. 
Now, on the complete opposite spectrum of that, there are so many drunk people here. Ugh it drives me crazy. But at the same time, you can make them do things they otherwise wouldn't do if they were all there. Haha this man was just going off about how beautiful I was, and wanted to take a picture of me, and telling me he has never seen someone so beautiful. Then he was about to light a cigarette and start smoking and i told him not to, and to throw it in the water. Haha he immediately taken them and throws them in the water. I just turned to my companion and said, well that was easy! Someone who probably just wasted his only money on cigarettes, and then just throws them in the water. YAY. I laughed so hard.
So the next thing is that Noriel and Mayline got married this week! Such a big thing because now he for sure can be baptized on June 9th! They got married at the catholic church. But hey at least they are married! haha the night before their wedding we went and visited them and taught them. We too, an article from a conference talk on marriage and shared it with them. It was a pretty funny site. Two sisters who know nothing about marriage, but on top of that, probably the two biggest hopeless romantics in the mission! Haha we are so lame. That baptism is set in stone and we are super happy about it!
The biggest greatest news of the week will follow.... We taught 50 lessons again this week and holy smokes it opened the doors to so many amazing things! We had 34 new investigators and they are so receptive and good. I want to tell you about some of them real quick. We taught a whole barkada (group of friends) this week. The friends of Jeffrey the recent convert. They are the roughest looking boys. There are 8 of them. They live in a very rough place. None of them go to school. They catch fish and crabs all day. That is their job. So they are all super dark skinned and spend their open time fixing fish nets and stuff. They were the type that we wouldn't have even looked twice at to teach. Well, this week we taught them all with Jeffrey. They are the most kind and respectful boys ever! Teaching them is the best. You can see them in a lot of the pictures! All of them accepted baptismal date for august 2nd. We of course invited them all to go to church on sunday and they said they would all go. We said that we would go by their homes on sunday more to remind them again. Haha we go their on sunday, none of them are anywhere to be seen. We start asking around. They are playing basketball daw. We have the tricey driver take us to where they are. What do you know, they are all dripping sweat playing basketball. I walk off the tricey on to the court kind of like their mothers would do and say do you know what time it is? Haha they immediately start walking off the court because they know what they should be doing haha. They told us they would shower and then come. We went and picked up more people for church. We got to church and they weren't there, and sacrament was already starting. I had faith that they would come. at this point we had 10 investigators already there. about 20 minutes into sacrament meeting, a tricey pulls up stacked with boys. 8 boys on 1 tricycle! THEY CAME!!! Oh I was freaking out. They had all showered and put on their best they had. Which I am sure you can tell that black was a common color hahaha. We ended up with 17 investigators at church, and it was the greatest sunday of my mission so far. I can't wait to keep teaching those boys! I know that they can find their true purpose in life. Their lives will be forever changed!
The 8 boys that came to church

 So can you see what i am talking about when I say that the Lord is blessing this area? You know how I said that I will probably only be here for one transfer more? Well, I am just hoping and praying that I get to stay for one more because there is so much good happening and i do not want to miss it! I WANT TO STAY! We will see if President is cool with it.I think I could handle 7 1/2 months here! 
Alright, hope you enjoyed our week as much as a i did! 
Love, Sister Wood
Gospel essentials class


Monday, June 23, 2014


 In this photo I am helping cut homemade noodles. It is for one of my favorite soups. Miki.

My proselyting shoes. I wash them every night.....

Happy P-Day everyone! Does everyone at home love p-days as much as missionaries do? Haha alrighty. It has been an awesome week. Super duper tiring, but super awesome. We have worked our sister missionary bums off this week. I love the feeling of hard work, and I know Heavenly Father loves it too. Cause he is blessing us. We taught 50 lessons this week which is something I have never done on my mission. Probably with the help of my brother joining the missionary force, that blessing was made possible! :) Obviously with that many lessons came a lot more new investigators AND baptismal dates. Our finding though was unique this week. So in the mission, the couple missionaries here have been working on lists of the names of members. The records here in the Philippines are really messed up, so a lot of people are kind of unknown. Meaning they don't know where they live. So they have given us lists and lists of all the people that are in our areas that are basically lost. Most of them are less active. So we have been using these lists everywhere we go. That is how we found most of the people! So many part member families. But most importantly, families that we need to help bring back into the church! These things are amazing and seriously the best finding tool. The Lord put so many people in our path I can't even explain to you.  
There is a less active family that we have been teaching and now they are returning. It has been hard because they own a store at the market and so the reason they wouldn't go is because they always had to have someone at the stand. Well the last month, the entire family has been at church every week. Yesterday their daughter told us that her mama and papa are super happy because the last few weeks all of their eggs have been sold way early in the week. They recognized it as a blessing from Heavenly Father because they have been going to church. I love the less active people that we are helping be active! :) One of the other less active families we teach is having a hard time going to church. We always wondered why only person out of the couple would only come. Either nanay or tatay. Never both. Well, one of the reasons some of the people don't go to church here is because if they leave their house, someone might still their pig. Ahhh I have the hardest time accepting these reasons. I guess I have never thought about it and we have NEVER had to deal with that at home. Like dad's ducks are always there when we get home from church. The turtle runs away, and we still get it back. The cows are left in the middle of nowhere and they are just still there all the time! So for this family not all of them can go to church in fear that their pig will be stolen... yeah. haha.
So this weekend we had a District conference again. It was pretty random, but Elder Cook did a broadcast conference to all the Stakes in the northern Philippines. It was pretty sweet to listen. We had 6 investigators there! The missionaries kind of have to set everything up at the place. For example, no one had set up any chairs in overflow, and good thing i remembered, so all the missionaries went and set them up! But as we were putting down chairs, and giant spider ( make a circle with your thumbs and middle finger) that big that was on the chair. It started running and starting going between the benches where people were sitting. Without screaming we all had to try and catch it. Of course I DIDN'T, but our zone leader grabbed it and chucked it outside haha. There is never a dull moment here i am telling you haha. So the one investigator that was supposed to be being baptized soon didn't come to church again this week. We got a funny text from them this week though. The text said "Sino po si Jeffrey R. Holland?" Who is Jeffrey R. Holland. Of course we reply, he is an apostle! Hahah they replied, He just texted us. We just started laughing hahaha like okay. Well, a member had just sent them a quote from him and it had his name at the bottom. They were certain that Jeffrey R. Holland had texted them. We had to clear that one up haha.
As for the Philippines, it is actually super hot. I shouldn't have said it is cooling down. We all have heat rashes. It isn't a big deal though.Something I also wanted to tell you they eat here. So mayonnaise to them is like peanut butter. I am not joking. That is what they eat on bread! Haha I told myself I would never eat it, but I guess I am becoming filipino. The best thing though is that Mercury drug store got a big order  of Frosted flakes in. They are smaller boxes, but I think I have almost bought them all. I have cereal in a cup all the time. Like it is my favorite. I refuse to ruin my frosted flakes with that gross powdered milk. So I just eat it dry. I am learning how to cook good food though since my companion is way good. 
I had a super awesome dream last night. So my mission was really supposed to be in London, england, but tagalog speaking. Maybe it means that there is someone in London that I am destined to meet and have to speak tagalog too, and help them join the church... (hint hint dad, i should probably go there). Hahah alright, I am going crazy. 
Shout out to my favorite brother. I wrote you today. 
Sister Wood
Look at this darling little face!


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's More Fun With The Filipinos!

Sister Brewer (my BFF) and Sister Wood together again (at least for a day)

I can't even describe how happy I was to email today! BAHHHH so much fun stuff going on I  can't handle it. Stuff at home, and stuff in the mission! How are you all? I am doing so great. I am super happy.
First though, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! I miss my dad. And I hope you all got to see the card I sent him. I have been working on that for a couple months now. Trying to get the star fish and dry them out and such. I am grateful that customs didn't take them though. :) I love you dad and am so grateful for you and all you do for me! 
Just a little bit of a pointless update on the jeans we had made.... They are amazing. So cute. i forgot to take a photo of them. We might go back and get more. I also had a lady make me a skirt like the school uniforms they have here. Then, on our way home last week from P-day I just asked my companion if we could go into this dress store to see how much it would cost for what I wanted. It was meant to be because this lady is making me the dress I want for p1800 which I got told by another dress lady it would cost p5000. Mostly because I am a "servant of God." Pictures to come at the end of the month.
Biggest news of the week is our mini vacation to LAOAG! I can't even tell you how fun it was. The bus ride is 6 hours long. It was just a long time to chat and talk to all the missionaries. The first day we got there we had lots of extra time, so I got to go visit the recent converts and less active families in my old area! Oh it was so happy. I was loving it. Then we got to go to McDonald's and we ate with all the Filipino elders. Okay i will be honest, i haven't got to know the filipino elders in our mission very much. But on our trip to Laoag we did, and it was the best. THEY ARE SO FUNNY! They are so fun! I am so dumb that I never made the effort. Being out here in Cagayan though, most of them are filipino haha. It was the best. They are so cool. Okay enough about them. We got to see almost everyone in our mission too. I mean it just didn't get much better. Sister Willson and I were screaming. It has been too long. Except I didn't see my child Sister Fuchs. she is still in vigan with air con. The conference was really good and way chill. I had a cough attack in the middle of it and had to leave, but Elder ardern said some good stuff. He talked a lot about marriage and did make a good point! Said that there are a lot of women who go unmarried in this life, and he thinks that the Priesthood holders will be made held accountable for it at judgement. Just talking about how guys don't take girls on dates. True true true! They fed us fancy food after, and then I was surprised with a lot of mail! WOO WOO WOO! I was thrilled. Thank you thank you thank you! Thank you Kathleen Davis for that necklace. It is absolutely adorable. If you wrote me, expect mail heading your way! 
We still taught a lot of lessons this week even though we missed 2 full days. Brother Noriel is the 21 year old we are getting read for baptism in July. We visited him this last weekend. They are planning their things to be married on the 28th. We went over there and they told us they had all their papers done! Of course we are happy. His girlfriend is a member. Then she said that she has something to tell us... She told us that she was baptized in the catholic church earlier that day. We asked uhhh why? She said because that is the only way that they will let her be married in the Mass wedding! She said she was basically forced and there were other people in her same situation. Sister Ramos and I just kind of looked at each other and had no idea what to say hahaha! So she got baptized in the catholic church so that she could be married at the end of the month. We told her that we don't really know what we can say about that, so she will have to talk to the branch president. The thing is is she told them she wasn't going to go to church there and that she was a mormon. It is just a really weird situation. They talked with the branch president and stuff on sunday, so it should be all worked out. The biggest issue is that they haven't told their parents about any of it. Meaning about getting married and stuff, and in the Philippines there is a law that you have to have parents permission if you are under age 23. So that was the biggest concern of the church leaders. It will work out though! :) They are so solid. We have a lot of finding to do. We have been focusing so much on all the recent converts and so we don't have as many investigators as we should. It is all coming together though!
Well, that is all for now. My Baloogy leaves this week, and I turn 1 year. It is going to be really weird.. I can't really believe it. But as for Stetson. You better email me every week, and set aside time to write me on every p-day. Even if it is just short. Because that is what I will be doing! Even if you say you don't have time, make time. :) Cause you won't be washing your laundry by hand. Hahaha. Next time I email you be an elder! Don't forget to open your letter after you are set apart. Just get passed the drop off at the MTC and life will be great. That is my only advice to you. :) Haha. I love you. 
I am just super high on life right now. I am so happy about all the things that are happening at home and so happy for all the good and miracles happening in my mission. The Lord is blessing me so much! Hope you all have a fabulous week. Throw and party for me on Thursday! ;) Haha. I can't believe how much you can change in just 1 year. I wouldn't trade it for anything. LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU ALL.
Sister Kahoy (Wood)
Lots of pictures from the mission conference in Laoag:


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hey Courtnee!!

Sister Wood
"Y" Cucumber

Hey everyone. What's up?
I have a new companion!!! I will start with that. Sister Ramos. She is so cool. We get along so good. We can talk about anything and everything. Like she is one I can sit and talk to about clothes or make-up or dates or boys or seriously, WHATEVER. She is super good in English, and I kind of basically count her as American. Plus she is gorgeous and has the longest hair ever. I am loving life right now. I am actually sad that we may only be together for 1 transfer. Her grandpa is a US citizen and she has family there. She still knows how to do all the cool things here though like washing squid! She taught me how to fully clean squid this morning. We were walking home from going to the market and there was this old lady carrying a giant bowl of fresh squid on her head, so we stopped her and bought some. I am just learning some sweet skills i am tellin ya.
Sister Ramos - Sister Wood's new companion
So our jeans. We went this morning to get them and they said to come after lunch and pick them up. So we are going there after this. I did see them though. They are so nice! I am going to wear them forever. Haha besides I hold up Sister Copeland's pair and they had sewn on a big Levi Strauss thing (like their jeans have) on the back of it. I just started laughing and said noooo take that off! We don't want that haha! Levi is super fancy here, so yeah they are just ripping off Levi and putting it on their jeans haha. I will send pictures next week of them! 
There was this big old deal here in Aparri this week. I guess a small cruise ship docked here along the ocean/river. Oh my gosh you would have thought Barrack Obama was coming to visit or something haha. They lined the beaches with torches and stuff. During the day we actually saw some of the tourists and they were white, so of course I was interested. I don't think they were american. It was coming from canada is what they were saying. Who knows. Basta, I totally thought it was something to do with the Survivor thing, but then that happened forever ago, so i didn't know. We were at the river that night and all the kids kept shouting the americans are coming! And then I walked over and really an american WAS coming, but it wasn't who they were wanting haha. Just to show you how big of a deal they made it, the city lit huge fireworks at the end of the night when they were leaving. Which that never happens here because it is expensive. I think they were just really happy that they decided to stop at this little tiny place. When we were walking home that night the rich Petron man drove by and i waved at him. He was caught off guard. But did a small smile back. No we haven't taught them yet. Their gates are really high with a giant dog. I thought of something to do. I wrote a really nice note and decorated it with my stickers. Telling them we want to share a message with their family about Jesus Christ and stuff. It looked fancy. And then I slipped it under their gate and told them to text us when we can visit. Haha. It makes me laugh because some of the things I do here, I would NEVER do at home. Haha I was meant to be in the Philippines. :) 
Even thought we did't get to work for 2 days this week, we still hit over standard. :) We did lots of finding this week and found lots of lost less active people. Families that have been sealed in the temple, but haven't gone back to church because they were offended. We are going to do everything to help them get back! I can't wait for a whole real week. We will be on fire. This week won't be normal because we.... GO TO LAOAG ON WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY! I am only a little bit excited. KIDDING. I can't wait. We feel like we are going on vacation. It will be a good conference. Not only the conference, but since we are goig to laoag, we have the chance that we might get mail! Pay attention to how I said the word MIGHT. Haha we are all at a time in our mission where mail and things is just a might. But just the thought of a might is better than nothing! But if you have written me, I love you.
We also had those 2 baptisms this week! It was a really good program even though it started an hour late again. The primary did most of it, which was suitable. We are getting the branch more involved in planning the baptisms. It is much better. Judy Anne and Cedrick are so cute. They were so happy. I want to be like them! We are now helping Noriel prepare for baptism which will be at the first of July. Just gotta get him to CHURCH! Church is important. I know that our area is going to start blowing up with success. 2 of our AP's went home this last transfer and it is so weird. All of the people that we feel like have been here with us are starting to go home! 
I forgot to tell you something at interviews.. so president was scrambling trying to find the airconditioner remote and he rushes passed me and goes, "HEY COURTNEE!" Then stops and says, "WAIT NO I MEAN SISTER WOOD!" Hahaha I laughed so hard. I miss my name.
Sister Wood
I also have a zen garden that is supposed to relax me. Sometimes I use the mini rake and try and cover the rocks in the sand. 
Sister Wood's Zen Garden - (the randomness continues)

Sister Wood's homie - Elder Castillo

Cute Cedrick

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

O Mega Week

Baptism Day!

Jeffrey P.
Elder Castillo - In every area Courtnee has had one Elder that she just gets along with so well and that understands her sense of humor. In Aparri that Elder has been Elder Castillo. She expressed in her last email home that she was really sad that Elder Castillo got transferred.

I will just start out apologizing for the length of this email. I know it is not very long, but there just wasn't a lot of crazy stuff going on! I will start with transfers. So I am staying here in Aparri another transfer and getting a new companion. Her name is Sister Ramos. She is a tiny little filipino sister. Which is funny because she has now been with the tallest sisters in the mission! She's lucky. :) haha. It will be good to have some change even though it will probably only be for 1 transfer. So here goes another 6 weeks in Aparri which will make it 6 months!
We had exchanges this week. I worked with Sister Villareal here in Aparri. GUESS WHAT! Guess how many lessons we taught? We taught 13 lessons in 1 day! Oh my it was so great. Yeah we worked way hard, but i have never got that my whole mission! I can't wait to keep doing that. There really should be no excuse for all of us in this mission to hit standard weekly! That's my goal the rest of my mission. Oh yeah, I will be a senior companion now. I am excited.
We had the baptism of Jeffrey P. on Saturday. He got there an hour late, and the branch president was climbing the walls. But it was cause he got in from fishing and then had no pamasahe to get there, so he had to walk. And it is pretty far. He showed up wearing jeans and a Derron Williams Brooklyn jerseys, and I couldn't help but laugh. We couldn't say anything because he really has absolutely nothing. It ended up being a good service. Besides the little kid who he got baptized with making comments about his tattoos and how we aren't supposed to have them haha.He was so happy though. He came on sunday wearing a white shirt and tie i think that a member gave him. We have 2 more rescue baptisms next week. A rescue baptism is when you baptize someone in a less active family that is over the age of 8. The girl is named Judy Ann (9) and Cedrick (10). Cedrick is thee cutest boy in the world. I can't wait to send pictures! In his interview on Saturday, Elder Felices asked him why he wants to be baptized. He responded, "dahil gusto ko pong maging elder." (because i want to be an elder). Okay I know this kid is young, but he is the best investigator we have ever had haha. It will be a busy week getting them ready for it.
Really, I think that is all the news I have for you this week. Hmmm I am trying to think. Oh I know I have been in the Philippines a long time, because the other night I dreamed that cockroaches were all over me. Ewww I even woke up because of it. They have these giant black crickets here too. According to my companion they bite. But who knows. It is still blazing hot here. I have been actually using my sun screen. And every one says I am not itim (black). Haha. I know it is true because the amount of freckles that are popping up all over me.
So, the jeans we ordered. Okay we are not happy about it. They already extended it a week longer, but we went back today and they said they haven't even started! I am just going to be patient and not freak out. Its okay it is okay.
Oh yeah I forgot! Next week we get to go to Laoag! Elder Ardern is coming on the mission tour and speaking to us! I AM SO EXCITED! I think that is on the 10th or the 11th, so our P-days could be a little messed up again. I am not sure. It should still be monday though. It'll be nice to go back to my city again. :)
I think that is all for now! I am still in the Philippines. Still in Aparri. Still on the other side of the world! Still wearing rubber shoes that are duct taped! Still speaking in a different language. But still really really happy! I feel like i am kind of running out of things to say about this place, so if you have any questions, just shoot me an email. :) Haha.
Sister Wood
P.S. They have this stuff here called Omega. It is like an Icy Hot but more lotion/liquid stuff. It is so cheap, and I just buy it and rub it all over me then go to bed. Every night. Hahahaha I love it. That's all. BYE. :)
Jeffrey P's siblings

An old Tatay (man) preparing his hooks for fishing. Sister Wood said, " I just want to give them some Power Bait and see what they think of it".

Fishing Hooks