Friday, December 20, 2013

Thursday, December 19, 2013 - Week 17
Hey Fam!! How are you? Sorry I`m a day late on sending my email! I hope you weren`t worrying. Yesterday was a super crazy day and we had no time to go to the Internet Center so we got special permission to write today. How is everyone doing? Are you enjoying the Christmas holiday? What have you been doing? Those sugar cookies look good! Haha. I got your package!!! It is HUGE!! You didn't need to send me so much stuff! You are not allowed to send me another package for the rest of my mission. But thank you so much! I can't wait to open everything up! Thanks for sending my jeans! I've already worn them twice since Monday. Haha. Well it`s been another great week! Very very busy. On Thursday we had another consecha but this time it was in the area of the elders with us in Tamboril. They don`t have many people to teach right now so hopefully that helped. We`ve been having a lot of practices for choir to get ready for the Devotional this Sunday. It will be so great! On Monday we had a district meeting and I gave a lesson about how we can apply the Atonement. The Spanish is really starting to come. I`m not even nervous to talk in front of people anymore in Spanish. It`s not that hard anymore. So good news about one of our investigators, Lisbeth, is that she came back to be with Julio again and I don`t know what happened but I think she`s thinking about marrying him now? Who knows. We are going to fast with her and Julio on Saturday for her to make a decision. Julio already knows he wants to marry her. Hopefully it all works out okay. She is already ready to be baptized. Tuesday we had zone conference with the mission president and his wife and 100 other missionaries. It was great. It was all about Christ and after we had a 2 hour testimony meeting. Then after that we had an activity for people in all of the areas of the missionaries that were at the zone conference. Not many people came unfortunately, but Ruben and Esther and their kids came. It`s a big sacrifice to come all the way to Santiago when you don`t have money. It was a night of musical numbers and it was so beautiful. Okay so yesterday... wow it was crazy. We left in the morning for Santiago to play paintball... again. I didn`t want to play but my comp did so we went. Then we went to Pricemart to buy a couple things but especially so I could print the pics for my gift of the heart. Well guess what? The printer was broken... I had the package already to send and everything. Just missing the photos. So we went to the office to figure out a new place to print pictures. We had to travel across town to find one, got them all printed, went back to the office, and put it all together to send. It was past 5 by this point. Well then we had to wait an HOUR for a car to come so we could get back to Tamboril. It was so crazy. There were about 50 people waiting for a car and there were NONE. We had to push people out of the way to finally get into one. So we got back at 730 and there was no way we could go to the internet center. We went straight to our last lesson for the day. So another good thing is that our investigator Ricardo has a baptismal date on the 18th of January. He was supposed to get baptized last month, but like I said, his wife is the problem. Well I think they are going to get married and it will work out. We`re praying for miracles. He is so ready. He has a testimony of everything we teach. Today we painted his house! It was a big project and it`s not done, but it looks great. We have a Christmas dinner with our branch tomorrow! I`m super excited. And we have 4 dinners for Christmas eve. FOUR! I don`t know how I`m gonna do it. Haha. I can`t even eat one dinner here...It will be great to visit with the members though. We also have a dinner for Christmas. Okay so for skype, the time will be 1 in the afternoon. We get an hour to talk. I`m a little worried about it all working out okay, but they have computers in the mission office to use if it doesn`t. I don`t know anything about a calling card or anything so let`s just hope it works. If not, I`m sure we can find a way to call you. And yes DearElder still works for me. It`s free so that`s a good thing, but it`s fun to get handwritten letters too. Scott and Christina have used it quite a few times for me! Well I can`t wait to talk to you in just 6 days!!! I am so excited!! Remember 1 o`clock. I love you all so much!! Merry Christmas!!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wednesday, December 11 - Week 16

Hey fam! How´s it going? Wow I can´t believe you all got so much snow this week! I can´t even remember the last time that the snow has stopped us from doing things for more than a day or two. Sad that you can´t have the Christmas party! But wow 18 inches in Utah! I can´t even imagine. Jaden must be having fun though! Haha. So this week has been good. Not much new. On Friday we went out with the Elders in Tamboril with us to visit a bunch of referencies we had for them all day. Saturday we did service for a widow in our branch for a few hours which was great. Sunday we had choir like all day long. First we practiced with our branch and then went to Santiago to practice for the stake conference in 2 weeks. If I have to sing La Primera Navidad one more time after this... lol. But seriously. And then after that we were going to watch the 1st Presidency message together in the chapel with our branch, but couldn´t get internet. By the time we did it was near the end. I did get to hear Elder Nelson´s talk though. I´m sure I´ll be able to read it later. Also Elder Sotelo downloaded Skype on the computer in the church, found someone with a webcam and bought a microphone!! He is awesome! So hopefully it will all work out! I got on for like 6 seconds to make sure I remembered my username and password, but none of you were on. Haha. So it has been raining actually pouring for 3 days straight. The streets are flooded. It´s been crazy. We did service for a woman in our branch yesterday outside, and it was crazy. We were drenched after only a minute or so. But it was fun. The sun finally came out this afternoon. Hopefully it will stay. So David is having trouble coming to church. We told him we would set a new date when he started showing us that he wanted to go to the church. He has a girlfriend now and spends all his time with her. BUT we found out where she lives so we can visit her with him. And when he´s not home, we know where he is! hahaha. Lisbeth has been with her family all week so we haven´t been able to visit her. I´m not sure if she has made a decision yet about Julio. But we have this other investigator Catherine who is progressing SO fast! It´s amazing. She reads more of the Book of Mormon than we ask her to, she reads the pamphlets before we start them, she answers all the questions in the back which includes searching the scriptures for answers, she´s coming to church every week, and always has lots of questions. Her baptism is set for Feb 1! So I started Our Search for Happiness a couple days ago. I´m almost done, it´s very short. But it´s so good. It would be a great book to give to someone that wants to know more about the church. I am loving the cards from Aunt Sarah and everyone who participated! It is so fun!! And there are great talks and Christmas stories too. I love it! So something kinda funny happened this week. Okay it´s not funny. It´s sad. But pretty ironic too. So this inactive member´s home burnt down- like the entire thing. But the only thing that survived was her Book of Mormon completely in tact and a couple pics from her mission. How crazy is that!!!?? Maybe she´ll take it as a sign after she comes back from this horrible thing that happened. Ok to answer your questions: I don´t know Sister Webber but I´ve heard of her. Do you know what area she is in? Who else´s moms do you talk to? I have a water filter but don´t use it. I just drink the water from the bottles that we buy and only drink water from people that I know buy the bottles. Most people do. It´s much safer. I do drink some soda, but not a ton. A lot of people give it to us or I drink it if there isn´t water. My clothes are good. Several are getting pretty loose. The skirts are easy to adjust because I can just put a pin in them, but the shirts I can´t do anything about. So they are just baggy on me. But maybe I´ll try to find someone to hem them soon. But yeah I have everything I need! Thank you for sending a package! I can´t wait! And Christmas lights!? That will make it really feel like Christmas! Thank you! I get a ton of mail from everyone in the family which is great! Not much in the mail from friends, but they all email me which is great! Well I hope you all have a great week! I love you so much! See you in 2 weeks!!!!!

Hermana Woolf

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Wednesday, December 4 – Week 15

Hey!!! How are you!? Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanks for the pictures! I love getting pictures!! That´s so cool that you went to Texas Motor Speedway! That would be so fun! Are you preparing for Christmas now? Do you have the tree up and decorations? Have the chimes come out yet? Haha. Are you going to make sugar cookies and chocolate marshmallow rolls? We´ll need to figure out a time for skype soon. What is even the difference in time from here to there? I´m hoping skype will work out. Our branch president said we could use the computer in the church for more privacy, but we have to find someone with a webcam which might be difficult. I´ll do everything I can to make it happen though! We now have dinner plans for Christmas Eve and Christmas!! It´s rare here because people only celebrate Christmas Eve for some reason. But I´m glad we´ll have something to do. Thanks for telling me the new challenge! I´m reading Jesus the Christ right now which is so amazing! I don´t think I´ll be able to finish it in one month since it´s like 700 pages, but I´ll try! haha. I´m also studying the topic of faith in the Book of Mormon. Elder Bednar challenged missionaries to take a brand new book of mormon and pick a topic to study. It´s so cool. You can recognize so much more when you are focusing on one specific thing. People keep telling me that I should read the lectures on faith when I get home. Well this week was pretty good. So we are teaching this girl Lisbeth. She is progressing so fast. She already has a testimony and wants to be baptized. But of course there is a problem. She lives with this man Julio who is an inactive. Well they don´t have a great relationship. So she either has to get married to him, which she doesn´t want to do. Or be separated. This is the choice I´m pretty sure she will make. And if she does, that means she will move to Santiago to live with her family and we´ll have to pass her on to other missionaries. It makes me really sad, but her happiness is most important and I know she will be baptized wherever she is. I just wish I could be there. We had to move David´s date to the 14th because he didn´t come to church on Sunday. I really hope he comes this Sunday or we´ll have to move it again. But Ruben, Esther´s husband, received the Aaronic Priesthood this past Sunday!! It was great! And now he can baptized his daughter Rubi in February! She has the same birthday as me! He is so excited! I love that family. A couple days ago we had exchanges and I went to Santiago and another hermana came to Tamboril with my companion. Well they told me that Rubi was crying and crying that night because she thought I had left for good. Haha. So cute. We had an activity for our investigators on Friday. It was great. A lot of them came! We had a spiritual message and some games. It was a good way for them to meet some of the members and have friends. So we´ll get to watch the 1st Presidency message on Sunday in spanish of course. Haha. But I´m excited! We went to the zoo today!! It was not very cool, but it was only a dollar so makes sense. When you think about what animals are in this country, you can imagine that the selection of animals was not very large. There was literally a cage of cats and 5 cages of different dogs. Hahaha. So weird. So did anyone go see the Hunger Games yet??? Was it good?? What other movies are coming out for the holidays? Oh Mom have you posted on my Facebook yet about my address? (not that there is any rush. just because I think I said every 3 months? I can´t remember.) Well if you haven´t, could you put my email address too? Seems to be much easier for people. If you did already, don´t worry about it! Thanks so much for sending a package! You are so sweet! It will totally make my whole month (after getting to see you guys of course). Well I love you all sooooo much!!! I hope you´re having a wonderful holiday season. Talk to you next week!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - Week 14

Hey! How is everyone?? That must be so fun to have the family there! I bet your making pies right now! (actually I have no idea what time it is in Texas) But you are probably making them tonight! What have you guys been doing? Is anyone going to play football tomorrow? Or watch parades? Cooking of course... Polar bear swim? I wish we celebrated Thanksgiving here. I´m sure it will feel like every other day. But I am so so thankful for all of you! My family is my greatest blessing. Things are going good here. I feel much better. Rash is gone and I just have a few more days of taking my medicine ( I would never even have known I even had it ) Haha. But yeah there is an LDS doctor but he only comes once every 2 weeks. So if we need help, we just go to the clinic. Well I´m not sure how to answer the question about how my Spanish is anymore. I feel like I´ve learned so much and I can talk to people and have no problem in the lessons teaching. But I feel like I´ve hit a wall and am not learning much anymore... or just really slow. I think overall it is more helpful to have a Latina companion because you learn much quicker, but at the same time, I am someone that learns best when someone can explain things to me in English. Or even small things like if I´m in a lesson and am in the middle of a sentence and don´t know a word, I can´t turn to my companion and ask really quick what it is. So that´s kinda hard. But I think I´m at a good spot for where I´m at. I only have 3 months after all. Oh yesterday we had a bat fly into our apartment!! Haha. We were screaming and screaming and locked ourselves in our room. lol. One of the scariest moments ever walking out of our room to see if it was still there. Because 3 of our rooms don´t have light so it could have been anywhere. But it flew out the window luckily. Haha. We did this thing yesterday called consecha. I don´t know the English word for it. But basically everyone in my district went to this place Guraba, the area that had the two missionaries that were sent home, to go contacting. Because basically two new elders were thrown in there and don´t know the area. So each companionship contacted for an hour and a half and then brought back the information to the Elders in that area. We found 4 families for them to teach. That is pretty good. It´s hard to find families. But it was good to help them. We got two new elders in our district out of the CCM so there is actually people that I know more Spanish then! Haha. But our district now has 7 out of 8 people that speak English! My comp is the only one that doesn´t. But it´s fun. Definitely a different experience. We were invited to have Christmas Eve with a family in our branch so I´m glad I have something to do! Also they invited us to go to the zoo with them sometime soon so that will be fun! We have a dinner this week for all of our investigators and to share messages as well. I think it will be really good. I can´t believe Kinsler got traded!! How sad! That´s great you´re having a Christmas activity! Those are so fun. I´m so jealous that it´s so cold there! That is one thing I miss so much! And the food. I don´t think there has been a single time yet in the field that I have eaten because I wanted to. I literally just eat because I have to. Nothing is amazing here. But I´m actually liking platanos a little more. It´s a miracle. A tender mercy. Because I have to eat those so much. Thanks for the recommendation Dad. I´m trying to take lots of pictures. It´s hard because there´s never a good time when you´re proselyting all day. But I´m trying to find ways. And I´ll definitely take some before I leave this area. I know I have at least 3 more months here so I have time. But I love you all so much! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Hermana Woolf


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - Week 13
Hey family! How´s it going? I´ve made it through my first transfer in the field! Yay! Well this week has been kinda rough on my health. (don´t worry mom, I´m okay) :) But I got the flu last Wednesday because I ate at this place called pica pollo. I didn´t think it was considered "on the streets" because it was like a restaurant. But I should have known better. We were with another American and he ate it, so I thought it was okay. Anyways... I had that for about 2 days. I just stayed home and slept all day. Then a couple days ago I got this rash looking thing all over my body, but it didn´t itch or hurt or anything. But we decided to go to the doctor just in case to see what it was. Well he sent me to the hospital to get tests done (which I don´t know why because he already knew what it was but didn´t tell me). But anyways we went back the next day to go over the results with him and he told me that I have a urine infection. Who knew? So now I have to take medicine for that. But the rash thing is a symptom of Dengae, but I don´t have dengae... how does that work? Anyways I´m hoping it goes away soon because it´s really gross looking. Haha. But yeah. Everything is good now. I´m getting better. So not much else new this week. We had zone conference on Thursday with President and Sister Douglas which was great and they fed us a Thanksgiving dinner! That was cool! My English class was great on Saturday. More and more people are there each week. I am teaching with an Elder in Tamboril (the one from Argentina) because he knows Spanish and English. Then the elders had a baptism after the class that we went to which was great! And every time someone has a baptism, I guess it´s tradition to have pizza night as missionaries. So the elders bought pizza for us all. It was so fun. I can´t remember if I´ve told you, but we are in the choir for our branch and we are going to sing in a special program in stake conference next month. Every ward will be singing. It´s so beautiful. However... no one in our branch can sing. Seriously. No one. I´m literally the best one. It´s so sad. But we had the stake chorister come and help us on Sunday to get better. But it is just a mess. We need to practice a lot. lol. So today was transfers. Elder Castro who has been with us in Tamboril left to be a zone leader and Elder Sotelo got another companion, Elder Hudson. An American!! Yay! Also two of the elders in our district are going to train new missionaries so I won´t be the newest anymore!!! As for our investigators, we moved the date of David´s baptism because he is just learning so slow. It will be in December now, right before Christmas. And we also got permission to move up Elizabeth´s baptismal date to December so I´m excited about that! But yeah that´s pretty much it for this week. Oh could you tell me what the family challenge is for this month? If even I can´t do it, I´m curious what it is. So to answer your questions... The humidity really isn´t bad anymore. Yes it´s hot obviously, but it doesn´t bother me anymore. Plus we´re in homes most of the day and only 3 hours are with the sun out. I´ll try to remember to take pics of my apartment this week. :) So does everyone come this week for Thanksgiving? Eat some pie for me! Thanksgiving will be my 3 month mark! That´s great Jamie tried out for a solo! Let me know if she gets it! Well I love you all so much! Until next week!

Hermana Woolf

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Feast at the Morel Family's place...comp Hermana Monegro on the left

                         Hermana Woolf with sweet little girl, Abish


                                      Esther and Ruben's wedding day

                                         Esther's baptism day


                                               Paint ball

         Why don't they have these pregnancy parking spots in the U.S.?


                                                 Tan line

                            New sisters in the front row, trainers in the back row

                             Hermana Woolf with Esther's daughter

                       Advent cards from Aunt Sarah and extended family

Mosquito bites after week 1 in the field

                               Service - two Elders and Branch President

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 – Week 12

Hi! How are you all? Thanks for your letters! So this week has been super amazing and kinda bad too. I´ll start with the good though. So on Thursday I had a pretty cool experience. We were going to teach an investigator and we ran into these kids. Well one thing led to another and they wanted to learn English from me. So I was teaching them a little and it was really fun. And then more kids started coming. And then adults started coming. And people were coming out to their gates to listen. There were like 20 or 30 people I was teaching in the middle of the street. Haha. It was so cool! So after that we visited this investigator Elizabeth. She is in the Elders´area but she isn´t married so we are the ones that will be teaching her. Anyways... She has expressed to us her desire to be baptized so we called the zone leaders to get permission to baptize her earlier. They said yes but only a little early. So for now it´s the first week of January that we will be planning for. Then on Friday we got to go to the wedding of Ruben and Esther! It was great! They are so happy to be married, even though it pretty much took everything they have to do it. After the wedding we had a branch activity. It was a talent night and it was so fun! My comp and I and the elders with us sang Hercules I Will Go the Distance in Spanish and English which was fun! There are some crazy people here so the talents were hilarious. After that we went to visit Ricardo. He is supposed to be baptized on Saturday. Well it´s really sad. He told us that he has gotten a confirmation that the church is true and wants to be baptized but has to either be married or separate from his partner first. Well they aren´t going to separate because they have a little girl and Ricardo wants to be married, but his partner doesn´t. She doesn´t like our church at all. So we are hoping for a miracle to happen and to soften her heart. Saturday was the baptism!! It was amazing! Esther was so happy. And I am just so happy for her and her family. I also had my English class, which was great. Lots of people were there. Each week is going to get harder though. I have to understand the rules of Spanish to explain the rules in English. But I´ll keep studying and help as much as I can. Okay so now for the bad part... Elder Hamilton, the elder that was in my district in the CCM and got sent home for teeth problems and then came back and was in my district, well he got sent home again. He has an infection in his stomach and it will take 6 months of recovery so he won´t be able to come back to this mission. He was my best friend in the mission so it´s been hard. But he´ll go out again and bless people in a different place. So Monday we had our meeting for new missionaries so I got to see all my friends from the CCM one more time. It was great. All the new missionaries met together and shared experiences from the first 5 weeks. All the Latinos were sharing and only one American shared (because it was in Spanish) haha. But then I shared too. One of the assistants to the president said my Spanish was super good. That made me feel great! (because it totally isn´t great. lol) But now I worry that the President will make me a trainer in January because he thinks I know Spanish. Haha. Hopefully I know more by then. We are visiting this couple Julio and Lizabet. Julio is an inactive but loves the church and wants Lizabet to get baptized. But, Julio is married to another woman and never got a divorce. So he is going to get divorced, marry Lizabet and then Lizabet will be baptized. It will be a long process, but they are wonderful people! Then we visited Glenis. I love when people talk about a feeling they got with goosebumps on their arms and a good feeling in their heart, but don´t know that it´s the Spirit. We get to explain to them that it is the Holy Ghost telling them that it is true. That´s what happened with Glenis in church on Sunday when she heard the testimonies. She is definitely progressing. But her husband... not so much. He doesn´t really believe so it´s making this difficult. But we are trying to really focus on him so they can be baptized as a family. Finally, we visited Ruben and Esther and talked to them about the temple and how in one year they can be sealed as a family. It was a really special experience. Maybe I´ll get to go with them! Hopefully! So I got your letters too! Thank you! I got them on the 9th. Letters just take a little longer because they get sent to the office and then the district leader picks them up a week later and then gives them to us at our next district meeting. But thank you! We have taught so many families with kids! I love the kids so much! They are adorable! Oh and Elder Sotelo, from Argentina, says that you served in like half the country! Haha. He is from I think Buenos Aires.  And he´s been a member for 2 and a half years. But he´s not really a fan of basketball so he doesn´t watch the Spurs. Jamie- congrats on making the musical!! That is so exciting! I wish I could be there! How is the college applications going? Almost done? Mom- thanks for sending me that talk from Clayton Christensen. I loved reading all the scriptures that talk about the blessings I can receive. Wow. Incredible. So when you send packages... whatever you´re doing it´s working very well for me. Since you send it through Fedex I don´t have to pay a cent. It means you have to pay more though so I´m sorry! But some missionaries have to pay like 4000 pesos for their packages and it comes out of our apoyo- the 90 dollars we get every other week. So for Christmas... I´ll give you so suggestions but you don´t need to send everything! It´s just suggestions. Okay, so I really like those blue razors that dad uses- maybe 2 or 3 of those. I need more makeup- mascara and eyeliner. I can tell you the kinds later. Some more pens- the ones that Christina gave me before I left. Precise V7 rolling ball from pilot. Chocolate. Haha. I miss chocolate so much. The jeans I brought got a hole in them so could you send my other pair in my box upstairs? A small predicad mi evangelio (Spanish) to bring with me to meetings and appointments. Some good conference talks printed. Any. Some recipes printed. Any that don´t require chicken or have a ton of ingredients. And some more printed pics of the family. Okay that´s a huge list. Don´t send it all. But thank you!! That´s great Spencer got his mission call! Well, hope you all are doing great! Love you so much!!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 – Week 11

Hi!! How are you? Sounds like things have been busy and super fun! I always loved those fall festivals. It really brings the ward together and is so much fun. So things are great here! It´s been a busy and wonderful week! The most exciting news... Esther is getting baptized on Saturday!!! I am so excited for her! It has been challenging to make it all work out, but it finally is! First they didn´t have the money. Then Esther called us up last week to say she wasn´t sure she even wanted to marry Ruben which is crazy since they´ve been together for 12 years and have 3 kids. Haha. She was just nervous I think. So we talked to them both and got them excited for it. Then we went with them a couple days ago to sign the papers and pay for the marriage and they were missing paperwork which would cost 2000 more pesos which is a ton. But they rounded up everything they had and we pitched in a little and they got all the money they needed. So now they just have to get married on Friday and we´re all set for the baptism on Saturday. I´ve learned that things aren´t always easy. Satan does everything in his power to stop people from becoming a family and joining the church. But this just shows me how much Esther wants it. She is so ready. I really believe their family will stay active. Maybe I´ll get to go to the temple with them in a year to get sealed! How awesome would that be? I´m crossing my fingers. On Sunday we had a ton of investigators at church again! It makes me happier than anything when that happens. This one lady we are teaching Glenis, came to church this week. I didn´t think she wanted to at all but there she was. I was ready to give up on her. And then in church, it seemed like she wasn´t enjoying it. Like she was bored or something. But then when we met with her a couple days later she said she loved it and thought it was so great. Wow I am just learning so much, to never give up on people. So on Saturday we got to do a Mormon helping hands service project! Well basically we just wore the vests but our ward cleaned up some of the streets. But it was so fun! And our investigator David came and Ruben (Esther´s partner) and one of their kids. David is really loving the church. He comes to church, he comes to service projects, he comes to our choir practices. It´s so great. His baptism is in a few weeks. Well the English class went well! There were only 4 people but I feel like I did okay. It´s hard though. English is a hard language. I don´t think I could teach someone it in English. Spanish is much harder. For now, my companion is helping me. In the future, she is going to teach a class on how to read in Spanish because a lot of people here can´t. On Monday we had a huge celebration at a member´s home to celebrate her daughter´s and an elder´s birthday. It was a feast! I´m counting it as my Thanksgiving. There was chicken, rice, salad, lasagna, pasta, cake, and lemon bars. Haha. Wow I was so stuffed afterward. But it was so fun! Oh so today I got the package from Aunt Sarah! Thank you for the mosquito net! That will be so nice. I keep hearing of people getting dengae and I am kinda scared I will get it. But she also sent an advent calendar for December. There is a card for each day for me to open. It is so cute! I´m excited to open them! We played paintball today as a zone!! My first time! It was really fun! And then I got to go to this store called PriceSmart which is exactly like costco or sams. Not that I need anything in a huge amount... but it was still fun. So we are singing on Sunday in church with our choir. It is not so good... but all that matters is that it brings the Spirit. I do not have a good voice. But compared to everyone else here... I am like Cristina Agulera. Haha. Seriously though. They aren´t so good at singing. But they try really hard. Did I tell you we sing a hymn before every lesson we teach? It is so great. On Friday my companion and I and the 2 elders in our branch are going to sing I can go the distance from Hercules in English and then in Spanish. It will be fun! So right now we have a goal as our zone that each companionship will activate 3 families before Christmas. It is going to be very hard, but we have one coming every week right now. We just need two more. But you´ll never guess how many inactives are in our branch... 350!!!! I can´t believe it myself. There is so much work to do. Okay enough about me. Wow it has been a long week. Haha. So only 8 trick or treaters? Wow. Our neighborhood is getting old. lol. But your pumpkin looked awesome!!! Good job!! That´s great you´re putting together 24 hour kits. Everyone should have one. So, no, the weather is not getting cooler. It is sooo hot everyday. But I am getting a really nice tan! So every other Wednesday we get 3600 pesos or about $90. It´s plenty to live off of. We spend a lot of it just traveling to and from Santiago for meetings. But I always have extra. The homes here are not great. They are usually made of cement blocks but are very, very small. And the power goes out a lot. We are so lucky to live where we live. So my eating schedule is not the best... I eat cereal for breakfast, for lunch usually a sandwich or pasta and I don´t really eat dinner that often. We get fed a couple days a week usually for dinner but usually I´ll just eat some crackers or something. We get home so late. I go straight to bed after we plan so I´m not even hungry. But anyways... I´ve lost about 40 pounds so far! I´m excited about that! My clothes are getting kinda loose though. Haha. But once I lose a little more, I´ll get them taken in. Okay so I´m sorry I haven´t sent pictures yet! I really want to but every week we are so late to emailing and have like no time. If we go earlier next week I promise to send you some! I love you all so much! You are my favorite people in the world! I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Service in Tamboril
Wednesday, October 30 - Week 10

Hey family! How are you? Are you excited for Halloween? It´s weird because it doesn´t feel like Halloween for me. No one decorates or anything. Just a bunch of Christmas decorations everywhere. Well it´s been a great week! Ruben and Esther got the money to get married!!! Thanks for your prayers! They will be getting married on the 8th and Esther will be baptized on the 9th! I am so excited for them! We have several others that still need to be married but I hope one day they can. I´m not sure you can pay for their marriages dad. That is super sweet though! I think it is somewhere around 5,000 pesos so thats like a little over 100 dollars I think. Haha I don´t know. I can´t do the math in my head. But yeah that´s the hard thing. When people want to be baptized and can´t. But we will keep teaching them and hope for miracles. We contacted this couple a couple days ago and the man, Julio, is a member but inactive. I guess he really wants to go to church and has a huge testimony, but he doesn´t want to go without his wife. So he was basically pleading us to teach her and baptize her so they can go together. It was so cute! I will love teaching them. So I got your package!! Thank you so much!! You didn´t have to send me another one! I am so grateful though! It has been so nice to have a pillow and a fitted sheet! And all those green things because I am a greenie! That was so cute!! Thank you so much!!! You guys are the best!! So yeah I teach my first English class on Saturday! It´s actually not for the members. Well the members can come, but we are mostly inviting our investigators. I think it will help them a lot and our relationship with them will be much better. I hope a lot of people come. Unfortunately it is during our proselyting time, but I think we can get new contacts out of it if people bring their friends. My talk went super well! I had to read most of it, but it was good. I used part of my farewell talk and changed a few things to better meet the needs of my branch. Then I had Elder Sotelo fix the things that I didn´t translate correctly. Everyone was coming up to me after sacrament meeting and telling me I did a great job. It was awesome. Also we had a ton of investigators at church! It was the best feeling ever! Last week it broke my heart that not many came after they said they would. A lot of people don´t follow through with their commitments. But this week we got 3 investigators, an inactive, and a recent convert to come! It was awesome! So I´m not sure about the package from Sarah´s friend.. I need to ask about that. It may be possible. Thanks for the recipe! I think I´ll make that a lot! Haha. That´s exciting about Drama Daze! I´m sure you´ll be glad when it´s over! That´s cool about the missionaries meeting with the youth! We only have like 4 or 5 youth in our branch I think. Haha. It´s super small. But we are getting references from them to teach their friends. That is great that you guys took that marriage class! It sounds like it was very helpful. You guys have such a great relationship. I´m not sure you needed it. But maybe you needed to be there to remind everyone else how it should be. So our area is HUGE! We barely even cover a tiny bit of it. There are just so many people. So we walked to the farthest part of our area the other day to see what it was like. It took us like an hour and a half to walk there. Maybe we will spend a day out there and try to contact new people. Oh Mom can you go on my facebook and accept Maria Guadalupe Mendez? She is a member in my ward and I want her to tag me in a photo that was taken of me and my zone doing service in my area. So last week we got to have a new missionaries meeting so I got to see all of my friends in the Santiago Mission! It was great! We have another one in 2 weeks! Anyways... Things are just great! I love to hear from you each week! I love you all so much! You are amazing! Talk to you next week!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - Week 9

Hey there family! How are things going? This week has been so much better! Its still hard, but getting easier every day. Sorry I was such a downer last week. I wasnt having a great day so it came out in my email. But things are great! So we had a baptism planned for this week (her name is esther), but it fell through. She and Ruben were going to get married this week before the baptism but they dont have the money like they thought they would. But they should in the next few weeks so im crossing my fingers that it still happens. They are so great though! They come to church every week and are such a wonderful family. Since Im new it is my responsibility to invite people to baptism. I have invited a few people and they have said yes so I hope it works out! There are so many people that accept the gospel here, but so many baptisms fall through too. We really have to work hard to make them happen. So I have been asked to do a ton of things... I am giving a 12 min talk on missionary work on Sunday... in spanish... yeah that is going to be rough. And Ive been asked to participate in the choir which is us 4 missionaries in tamboril and the branch president and his wife. Haha. We will sing every week and it will be christmas songs. They love Christmas! Then Ive also been asked to start and teach an english class. Everyone here wants to learn english so they can get better jobs but there isnt anyone to teach them. So this will be good practice for being a teacher! Theyve also asked me to teach an english class in my district meetings. Haha. There is so much to do but I love to serve as much as i can. Although my district leader asked me to play O Holy Night in church next week and thats where I drew the line. Haha. I need way more than a week to learn a song especially since I havent played in forever. And Im a missionary... there is just no time to practice. So remember how I told you about Elder Hamilton going home? Well hes back and in my district!!! I am so excited! We get to see each other more than once a week! So we had 2 weeks interviews with the mission president this week! It was great. He is a wonderful mission president. I also had intercombios this week! Oh sorry thats splits. It was with the leaders of the sisters so I got to be with an english speaker for a day which was great! So everyone here LOVES platanos. They look like bananas but they arent. I really dont like that but I have to eat them a ton with the members. I hope I learn to love them soon! Haha. So the transportation here is called gua guas. They are small little buses but they pack everyone in those things! We fit 27 people in it once and it should have only fit 15 people. It is crazy! I am getting closer to people than I ever wanted to be. :) Oh and someone asked me if I was 14 this week. That was fun. Haha. Anyways... so I tried making pizza but it didnt work out so great. Can you send me our recipe? Or maybe the one for pan bread if its easier to make? I have like flour, yeast, salt, water... idk what else i need but im sure i could find it somewhere. So we cant go out until 3 because well first of all I am in training so the mornings need to be spent studying. And then 12 to 3 is siesta so its like disrespectful to go out during that time. But we work hard to get a lot of appointments in during our short time. Things are good with my comp. We have a few differences but just because we are from different cultures. We are working through them. She is very patient with me. That is so cool about the lady Aunt Sarah knows. If its too big of a hassle she doesnt need to send me anything!! But that is so nice. I guess a mosquito net would be nice, if not for now, im sure i will need it later. I currently have over 30 mosquito bites. Haha. Jamie, you are already quitting your job? I guess thats for the best with how busy you are! Do you still work at CIMA though? Im jealous I cant watch biggest loser with you! I hope i can catch up on that when I get home. Thank you for all the prayers! Wow that is a ton of prayers every day for me! I really really appreciate it! And thank you for your kind words Dad. I dont think I have all of those qualities but Im trying to develop them more to be a better missionary. I cant believe you are doing so much repair to the house! You have squirrels again? What happened? And wow so many other things too! Could you pray for Esther and Ruben, Jose and Miriam, and Anthony and Miriam? All 3 couples are trying to get married before they can be baptized but need to get the money first. Thank you so much! I love you all soooooo much! And I miss you!
Hermana Woolf

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - Week 8
Hey family!! It is so good to hear from you every week! It is the thing I look forward to most about Wednesdays! Well this week has been super hard. Much harder than I thought it would be. I am struggling a lot with the language barrier between my companion and I. Half the time I dont know what shes saying so I dont know what we are doing or where we are going. She doesnt understand much english at all and she cant speak it except a few words. Its very frustrating for me. But Im trying to have patience and keep reminding myself that this is only a temporary challenge. But its pretty lonely. I cant talk to anyone. Ive been feeling pretty homesick this week. But we’ve had some pretty awesome things happen too. We are visiting this family where the father is an inactive and the mother is not a member. She cant get baptized until they get married so they are getting married on October 25 and she is getting baptized on October 26! It is super exciting. We also have another man named Ricardo that will be baptized in a few weeks and a family that will be baptized next month. The success is amazing! Im not even exaggerating, every single person lets  us in their home. They all are so humble. So every appointment we have, we ask our investigator who they would like to say the prayer and guess who they pick? Me. Every. Single. Time. Haha. They love to have me say the prayers because they dont think I can speak Spanish and they think its funny. But I love to prove them wrong. :) Also everyone calls me rubia (which means blondie) because Im American. It doesnt even matter that Im not blonde. Im white and thats all that matters. It must be rare to see an american because I have yet to see one in my area. I saw a couple today when I was in the city but not in Tamboril. There is so much to tell you about! There is no way I can say everything but I will try. Sorry if this is all over the place. So every sunday we eat lunch at a members home. Well they eat a ton. Like A TON. They serve your food for you and they mound it SO high. We had rice and chicken and this dominican thing for lunch and I couldnt believe my companion could eat it all. Like it was more than I could eat in an entire day. Well the people here are very offended if you dont eat everything on your plate. So I feel really bad because I didnt even come close to eating all of it. It looked like I hadnt even touched it and I thought I would throw up if I had another bite. And I had even been fasting before then. Its so crazy. So I dont know what Im supposed to do. I guess learn to put it down. So its not super hot here. Like probably 90 every day. But it rains every single day so that cools it down. But even when it isnt hot, it is super humid. I sweat so much. I only feel clean for about 15 minutes a day- when Im in the shower. Haha. We walk a lot here. We are by the mountains so a lot of the people live up in the mountains. Plus our area is super big so we go everywhere. Probably 5 or 6 miles a day at least. Okay so here is our schedule: wake up 6:30. Exercise outside (walk and run) for 30 minutes. Eat breakfast and shower. Personal study. Companionship study. Language study. Lunch. 12 weeks (my training). Then we go out to teach. Its a rule here that we cant go out until 3 pm! Its so weird! But we dont come back for dinner so we stay out from 3 to 9 and then plan, eat dinner, and go to bed. Its good though. Oh and there are dogs EVERYWHERE. Like sometimes I will pass a pack of 9 or 10 of them together. But they are all very calm. None of them would ever bite me. Haha. So on Monday we had a zone meeting so I got to see a few of my friends from the CCM! It was so good to speak english! And then today for pday we got to meet up with our zone again to play soccer. It was really fun. My area doesnt have a ward, just a branch so not a ton of people. And Tamboril only has 4 missionaries, us and 2 elders. I love the elders in our district though! One is from Mexico and one is from Argentina- Dad he wanted me to ask you if you ever had mata. I tried it. It is pretty different but good. They both know a little english so it has been good to talk to them sometimes. We see them at least once a day. Okay now to answer your questions: it is super beautiful here. Everything is really green. But the houses are not nice. Everyone is very poor. We do have light and electricity which Im so greatful for! But I do wish I had brought a fitted sheet and a pillow. I thought they would have one there but they dont. I will have to try to find one. Im doing okay with the food. We got to go to a bigger store today in the city so I have a few more things. Im going to try to make pizza. I actually dont need a mosquito net because I guess dengae isnt a problem here. But i have a ton of mosquito bites even though I put on bug spray every day. They gave me a really nice fan that I keep on at night and I wake up cold. Its great! We get water from a store and they come in like a big jug that we can transport to our water bottles to take with us. Im not really sure about letters. I think send them to the mission address. Sounds like everyone is doing great and doing exciting things! Thanks for the pictures! And keep praying for me. I will need it this week. I love you all sooo much! and miss you every day! You are the world to me. Until next week.

Hermana Woolf

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - Week 7
Hola! How are you? It has been quite a week for me! I went on splits again on Friday in Santo Domingo which was good. There was one person we contacted though that was not the nicest. He spent the whole time yelling at us and saying God does not exist and stuff. It was not very fun. But the second person we talked to was an inactive who said she wanted to go to the temple for the first time and said she would set up an appointment with her bishop! It was so cool. And then of course we got to watch conference Saturday and Sunday which was so amazing! It was a different experience watching as a missionary. The talks on missionary work were actually directed toward me. There were so many that I loved, but a few were President Uchtdorf, Elder Oaks, and Elder Ballard. Being the last week of the CCM, we were all pretty emotional. We had a testimony meeting our last day on Monday with everyone we came in with. It was great, but one of the Elders in my District, Elder Hamilton, told us then that he had to go home because he got a really bad root canal. Everyone started bawling. I wish you knew this Elder. He is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He is so dedicated to the work. He studies his scriptures in every free moment he has, even during meals. And he is so kind. He would be the best missionary ever. We are hopeful that it is a minor problem and that he can return in a few weeks to start his mission, but there is a possibility that it will take longer and he will have to be reassigned to a new place. It is so sad. But things will all work out for the best. So Tuesday was a long day. The sisters who live next to us in the CCM had to leave at 3:30 in the morning for Jamaica and they came and woke us up to say goodbye. Then we had to get up at 5:30 to leave and we took a 2 hour bus ride to Santiago. We came to the mission home where the President and his wife live and had orientation for a while and then they sent us right into the field. We were told that we needed to give away a Book of Mormon before we could come back for dinner. Haha. It was no problem at all. I gave away both of the books we had. The people here are just so humble. It isn’t like the United States where it’s hard to give away a Book of Mormon.  We get into so many houses a day. I think we taught like 6 unplanned lessons in that 3 hours. Then we came back and had more orientation, had interviews with the mission president, and found out our companions and areas. I am in an area called Tamboril. It is in Santiago Este so pretty close to the capital. My new companion and trainer is Hermana Monegro. She is from the Dominican Republic. She is super nice and very patient which I am so grateful for, but I can tell it is going to be a long 12 weeks or longer. The language barrier will definitely be a challenge. It is very hard to communicate. But I see this as a blessing because I am going to know Spanish so fast! I am already learning so much just from being with her for one day. As I am sure you have guessed, Wednesday is our P-day. Oh and when I got to Santiago I got your package and 3 letters! 2 of the letters were from you Mom. One was a handwritten letter and one was a dearelder. I guess they were from the first week but were just sent to Santiago instead of the CCM. The third was one from Christina from the first week too. Thank you SOOOO much for all the mail and especially the package!! You were so sweet to send me all of my favorite things! I loved it! My apartment is way nicer than I thought it would be. We don’t have any light, but who needs it during the day anyways. We have plumbing and a shower and our own washing machine so I am super happy about that! So the food here is not quite what I expected. We nearest grocery store only has a very, very limited selection of food. We went today to buy food and this is what I left with: rice, beans, tortillas, bread, peanut butter, cereal, and milk. Not very healthy right? Well that is the best I could do. They have nothing there! We actually had to go to this other store for the bread because they didn’t even have it there. So I’m not sure I can even use the recipes you sent me. It’s going to be an interesting next few months... I’m pretty sure you just send any mail to the mission home address through the Miami address. Then they get it to us. I forgot that Halloween was coming up! They don’t celebrate that here. But you know what’s crazy? They celebrate Christmas during October and December! Haha. I’ve gone into so many houses that had Christmas trees up and decorations. It’s so funny. They just like to celebrate more. Anyways, let me know how you all are doing! I love you all so much! Until next week.

Hermana Woolf

Friday, October 4, 2013

Pics received October 3, 2013 while still in the MTC
            Sister Woolf and comps with mock investigators, the Despains

                                                 Found a coconut!

                                       Sister Woolf with her district

                                             Study room at the MTC

                                    View out bedroom window (temple)

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013 - Week 6

Hola Familia! Cómo Están? Things here are so great! I can't believe I'm leaving the CCM in just a few days! I'll be leaving on Tuesday at 6 AM. It seems like the time has flown by! I feel like the other missionaries here are my family now. I feel so close to them. Especially my District. I love them all so much. Luckily most of them will be going to Santiago with me so I'll get to see them every once in a while. So we went on splits on Friday! It was so good! It kinda feels like we're trapped in this little box and can't ever leave so it was fun to be able to walk around the area for a day. I went out with a sister that was super nice and tried to help me feel really comfortable. I was a little unlucky though just because our appointments she had set up were on opposite sides of the area so probably 3/4 of our day was walking. Which is totally fine because I need the exercise, but I just wish I could have spent more of the day teaching the people. Our first appointment was good. She had already been taught a few times so we just talked about the importance of prayer. I actually could understand most of what was being said and could contribute to the lesson! But our next appointment was super difficult. We were actually supposed to meet with the daughter of a woman that had just been baptized a month ago, but she wasn't available so we just met with the mother and shared our favorite scriptures and things. But this woman spoke SO FAST and it was not the spanish I've been learning. It was Dominican spanish. They drop so many of their letters. I didn't understand very much. But I could tell she loved the gospel already. Our last appointment fell through as well so we went contacting for a little bit. It was definitely an awesome experience. My companion for the day bought me some dulce de leche which was super good! I'll go out with her again tomorrow so hopefully I have even more stories to tell next week! Well today was my last day at the Temple for a year and a half. :( It was soo good today though. I love this temple here. It's so beautiful. So every week we get to watch 2 devotionals, one on Sunday and one on Tuesday. They are always by an apostle and directed to missionaries. On Sunday we got to watch one by Elder Ballard and guess who was the musical number? David Archuletta! Haha. It was from when he was in the MTC last year so he did a solo and it was amazing! You could tell he was happy to be serving a mission at this time in his life. On Tuesday we got to hear from your favorite mom, Elder Scott. It was super good and of course he talked about Jeanine a lot. It was so sweet. I can't wait for Conference this weekend! It will be really special for me this time being a missionary. I can't wait to be uplifted. So something really funny here, some of the Elders aren't quite sure what the rules are when it comes to the Sisters so they are totally afraid of us. Hahaha. They don't even think they can talk to us. If we're trying to get by them and say "excuse me", they jump out of the way. Literally. It is so funny. We try to explain that it's okay to talk to us but they are just so afraid of getting in trouble. :) Oh another funny thing. One of my companion's grandmas is kinda crazy and every time she has missionaries in Arizona over to her house, she makes them write letters to my companion even though they have no idea who they are. She got a package with 7 of them last week and we had so much fun reading them! People are funny when they are writing someone that they've never met. But anyways, things are pretty much the same here. It's our last time to teach our investigators today and tomorrow and we're challenging them both to baptism so I hope it goes well! OH I ALMOST FORGOT!!! THEY FOUND THE PACKAGE!! It was sent to Santiago instead of here! My CCM President worked really hard to find it. I am so thankful for him! And I'm so glad I'll be able to open it soon! I felt so bad when I thought it didn't make it. Thank you so much!! :)

That's so cool about Cameron's mission call! I'm jealous he gets to go to your same mission Dad! Sounds like things in the news are crazy! I heard some kind of natual disaster hit the Phillipines recently? I haven't heard much about it though. So yeah we aren't allowed to eat at members' homes in the field. They don't make things healthy to eat here so we'll just go home for every meal. We will be taught more about that on Monday and Tuesday. I would actually love if you sent me some recipes mom! Nothing too complicated though because I don't know how much of the food is the same or cheap and everything. Maybe some recipes with meat and rice? That is such a great idea of Kale, Riley and Brock for the monthly challenge! I'll try to participate some days. :) Thanks for sending some pics! I love to get pics! I'll send some to you today. Well people have been telling me that by Christmas my Spanish will be pretty good so I'm hopeful! It's going to take some getting used to to learn the Dominican spanish but I'm sure it will come fast when I'm out there every day. I've been to Patrizio's before Dad! It is super good! I'm glad you guys are going on dates! :) And don't feel bad about telling me about food! Haha. Our food has been pretty good! Except today... pretty sure they served us octopus... it was gross. And mystery soup day. That day is not fun. But other than that I've loved everything! Well I love you all soooo much!! I think about you every day! I hope everything is going great! You all are amazing! Love you!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thursday, September 26 - Week 5
Hey! So good to hear from you! I am sooo sorry about the package. I still haven't gotten it. The President is trying really hard to find it so I hope it gets to me eventually. They don't know who this person is that signed for it so it might be kind of tricky. I really really appreciate you sending it though! President Freestone is so great. There's only about 70 of us missionaries here so he gets to know all of us pretty well. And especially when there were only 4 sisters, we talked to him a lot. It's been a great week. Not much new to tell since our weeks are basically the same but I'll try to pick out a few things. We went contacting again last Friday and it was great! We talked to this one girl (who happened to know English) for like 40 minutes. She was so interested. And we saw that same guy again this week that we taught the week before! We asked if he had called the missionaries yet and he said he hadn't but was going to and he's been reading the book of mormon we gave to him. And I think he thought that our temple was a church building because he said he wanted to go to our church but was talking about the Temple. Haha. Hopefully the guards at the temple led him to the right place! I hope he gets a hold of the missionaries though! On Sunday me and the other 3 sisters did a musical number in church, I know that my reedemer lives, but in spanish of course. It was good. We received 18 new missionaries yesterday! They are all spanish speakers so will only be here for 2 weeks and go out with us. 3 of the sisters are english speaking though going to Jamaica and the West Indies. It's so funny because everyone tries to talk to them in spanish but they don't speak spanish at all and won't be learning spanish. Haha. But we love them! I'm trying to comunicate with the other sisters, but they just talk so fast! Lol. I try my best though. Right when I think I'm really starting to catch onto the language, I talk to them and realize I'm not even close. But I've definitely made great progress. If I were talking to them about the gospel, I would be awesome. :) So our investigator that didn't believe in God when we started, we're committing her to baptism tomorrow! She's told us that she's prayed and knows God is there and she knows the church is true. I can't wait until this is a real experience. We are going on splits tomorrow!! AH! I'm pretty nervous but so excited too! I probably won't have any idea what anyone is saying, but I'll just bear testimony and the Spirit will be there anyways. I heard from some of my friends this week that were with my in the CCM and just went out into the field 2 weeks ago and they say it's so different, but one of them has 3 baptisms this week and one next week! Crazy! All of the teachers here from Santiago say there is a ton of success. Sounds like everything is going great at home! I love hearing about what's going on in your lives. Any updates on news in the world or anything? I feel so out of the loop. LOL. I am SO excited for General Conference!! It will be before we leave the CCM so we'll get to hear it in English thankfully. I think I'll get much more out of it that way. :) We'll hear the general relief society broadcast along with conference so don't tell what is said! Haha. Is this your last year to do Drama Daze Mom? Sounds like a lot of hard work! Those kids love it though! Thanks for sending that picture of the piano. I bet Maureah loved that! Way to go Scott on getting the perfect present! That's great that they can go to Idaho for Christmas. I'm sure the Raymonds are missing them! Hopefully they can come for thanksgiving too. Thanks for sharing your lesson with me Dad! And thanks for sharing your interpretations too! :) I learned a lot from it. The work is progressing in so many parts of the world. Even though the world may be getting worse and worse, every day there are more and more people coming unto Christ. I love you all so much! I pray for you every day. I miss you so much! Thank you for all your love and support!
Hermana Woolf

Friday, September 20, 2013

Thursday, September 19, 2013 - Week 4
Hola familia! How are you all? I got a letter from everyone in our family this week!!! Thank you everyone! I love hearing from you! I got 11 emails and 3 dear elders today so I am feeling SUPER loved! :) Well this has been kind of a crazy week! Really good but crazy. I went contacting at the University last week! I can't tell you how scared I was going into it. The Spanish we learn and Dominican Spanish are way different. They talk so fast and drop all their S's and slur all their words together so it's very difficult to understand. But it was SO GOOD! I loved it! We talked to 7 people, handed out 3 Book of Mormons (That's all we were given) and 7 pamphlets with the missionaries' phone numbers on them. I couldn't believe I knew what they were saying and especially that I could speak so much! It was incredible. There was this one guy that we talked to that already knew about Joseph Smith and Christ coming to the Americas. We taught him a little about the Book of Mormon and he asked us for the number of the missionaries so he could contact them. It was so neat! We're going out again tomorrow for contacting! So we got all of our new missionaries here now. There were 38 elders and 2 sisters. We are slowly getting to know them. We're teaching this investigator (fake) right now that didn't believe in God or think anyone loved her. She even tried to take her life before. We are really getting through to her though. We testify and testify of what we know about God and how much he loves us and constantly ask how she's feeling about what we're teaching and she always feels the spirit. It is so cool. It feels so real. So my companions and I were asked to be the leaders over the sisters while we're here! It basically means we look after the sisters and go to the leadership meetings with the President, District Leaders, and APs every week. It's a cool responsibility. I feel so much closer to the other sisters because I'm trying to look out for them. So on Sunday I was randomly selected to give a talk on the Restoration in Spanish. Haha. It was pretty scary. I got to prepare it beforehand though and luckily all the new missionaries didn't even know what I was saying. Lol. Then I gave our district meeting Sunday School lesson the next hour on having patience and diligence in our missions. And with only 5 sisters, I participated a lot in Relief Society too. I think I've participated more in Sunday this week than the whole last month of church before I left. Haha. It's so good though. I'm learning really fast. So one of the sisters that came, Hermana Ali, has been really sick the past year and a couple days ago she passed out in our room. She passed out like 20 times over the last couple days. It was really scary. We've been taking good care of her though. It was the sweetest thing. The first time she passed out, when she came back to conscienceness she said, "Yo se que Jesucristo es el Salvador". She had no idea she said that but it was so cool. She didn't even know Spanish. Anyways, she was sent home this morning because there is no way she can serve in this condition. She felt really bad to leave just after a week but I think she came here just to meet us and touch our lives. She is amazing.

So I still haven't gotten your package. I know it said it was delivered, but the mail is really bad here. There are missionaries that had parents send them letters before they even left home and they haven't gotten here yet. I'm sure it will come soon. And the letters haven't gotten here yet either. Really the best way to reach me is through Dear Elder. It comes every week, usually Wednesday or Thursday. Thanks for telling everyone my email address and giving me the addresses of everyone in the fam! So my shoes are really fine. I'm not too worried about it. I've heard they let us wear sandles in Santiago so maybe I'll just get some there later. My health is good. They feed us a lot here, but I only eat like 1/3 of what they give me usually. Mostly because the meat is mystery meat. Haha. But we have gym time every day that we usually go outside and play volleyball or something. And we have to climb 4 flights of stairs about 10 times a day so when I get back I'm gonna be able to climb more than Dad! Haha. I think I've actually lost a little weight. But everyone says when you get out in the field you lose like 20 pounds in 3 weeks. I'm not too worried about it. So spanish is coming very fast. I understand much more than I can speak but I still am amazed how much I know so far. Thanks for sending me that story Dad! I loved it! And thanks for the DearElder letter too! Well I'm sorry I couldn't write the rest of the fam this week! Hopefully I can write more next week! I love you all so much!! You are the world to me!

Hermana Woolf

Friday, September 13, 2013

Thursday, September 12, 2013 - Week 3
Hola! How is everyone?? Things sound great in Texas! I've had such a great week this week! Every day here is pretty similiar so the days start to blur together but I'll try to remember as much as I can. So we had been teaching this investigator, Cleira, for awhile and things were moving along great and we were going to commit her to baptism soon, but then she told us she was moving and so we had to end it. Even though it's just a teacher pretending to be an investigator, it still feels so real and you really get attached to this person so it was hard to end it. But we did a visualization in class the next day where we all closed our eyes and our teacher asked us to imagine Cleira being baptized and going into the water and coming out with a huge smile on her face and then coming up to us and giving us the biggest hug and thank you. It was such an incredible experience for me. It felt so real. I can't wait to have that experience with someone. We have 3 more investigators now. We teach one every morning and one every night and then we teach a couple on Mondays. It is awesome. I love it. Even though our spanish isn't amazing yet, when we get into that lesson, the Spirit is there and the words come to our mouths. I feel like I'm really helping them.

So every Sunday we have Sacrament meeting, district meeting, relief society, a doctrinal class from President Freestone, a missionary MTC devotional, and we get to watch a church movie. I love Sundays. On Tuesday we got to go to the store for the first time! It was the first time we were allowed to leave the gates of the MTC/Temple so that was really exciting! Things are definitely different here. The traffic is really scary. They don't enforce any speed limits so people just go as fast as they want, zipping around people. And there are a ton of people walking on the streets. It's pretty cool. It was good to get out for a little bit. We tried to find some American food at the store since all we eat is rice and meat, but there wasn't much. Pretty much just like oreos, m&ms and doritos. I'm kinda starting to miss eating a variety of food. But I got some notecards there cuz we definitely need those a lot for practicing Spanish. I've had a chance to go to the Temple twice now and it is so great! The first time I went last week there were a lot of people that couldn't speak English in our session so we all had to get headphones for translation. But today there were only a few of us so we did it in English.

When we first got here there were 78 missionaries, but 61 of them left on Tuesday so for 2 days there were only 17 of us. It was very strange. We made some really good friends our first 2 weeks so it was hard to see them go. But we just got 40 new missionaries today! Only 2 of them were sisters. So we have a total of 5 sisters and like 52 elders. Haha. We're a little out numbered. It's good though. Everyone seems to think that the elders and the sisters should have equal opportunities to pray, bear testimony, speak, etc. even though there are way more elders than sisters, so they call on us A LOT. haha. Luckily we love to participate though. :) Tomorrow we're going out contacting at the University here!! I'm pretty nervous, but excited too! Hopefully I can understand them. Everyone here speaks SO fast and they drop all of their S's.

I got a DearElder from Allie last week! That was so fun! I haven't gotten your package yet Mom. Like I said, the mail doesn't come very often. It may take a few weeks to get to me. Thanks in advance for it though! It's exciting to get mail! By the way, could you give my email address out to people? I know what you're thinking, you don't want to because I won't have time to write you, but I promise to write you first before I write anyone else. We get an hour for emailing and it only takes me about 30-40 minutes to write you. If I have to, I'll wait to write my friends until I have a P-day with more time. But especially because we don't get mail here, I won't be able to hear from anyone for awhile. Could you also post it as a status on my Facebook though as well and say I'd love to hear from everyone? Like I said though, you are my top priority and I will always write you first. :)

Anyways, to answer some of your questions: We actually don't even study Spanish that much during the day. Maybe an hour at most. They just speak to us in only Spanish all day long so we learn from what they say. And then we have to try to find time to study it on our own as well. We mostly learn how to teach and practice a lot and prepare for lessons with investigators. That is so cool that Scott is the 11 year old scout leader! haha. He will be great at that. And of course Maureah got called as a pianist. :) That is one talent she will never escape sharing. And counselor in the sunday school presidency sounds perfect for Ryan!

I'm glad Amy won SYTYCD. She deserved it. The craziest thing is that I don't even miss tv or movies at all. I bet you can't believe it. LOL. I'm glad Tanya's party went great! I wish I could have been there! That is so awesome that she could have so much family with her on that day.  

So I realized that I wrote down everyone's home addresses to write them, but I don't have anyone's email address. Like everyone in the family other than Mom and Dad. Could you send those to me? Actually I have Christina's because she wrote me, but I need everyone else's. Thanks! I love you all so much! And miss you tons! Thank you for all of your prayers! I can feel them from way over here. :) Love you!

Hermana Woolf