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