Thursday, July 24, 2014

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - Week 48

This has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week. Yes... I got the chikungunya... Man it was rough. I guess I spoke too soon in my last email because I got it that night (Wednesday). :( It started with a rash all over my body and a fever and pain in my feet and back. Thursday and Friday were the worst. I had a fever of 103.6 and I couldn`t sleep because of the pain. Then I got nausea bad. I couldn`t eat almost anything this whole week. On Monday I tried to get going and almost passed out so we went to the doctor but they didn`t do anything for me. Just told me to drink lots of liquids and rest. Today is the first day I`ve felt a little better and could leave my bed. My companion took good care of me though. And practically the whole branch came and visited me during the week. They were so sweet. Even random people in the street that I`ve never seen before are asking me if I`m better. It`s pretty funny. Everyone is talking about the rubia. I did lose like 8 lbs though! Haha yeah I know it`s not healthy, but just looking at the bright side. :) But that`s about all that`s gone on this week. Haha. Very interesting I know. So that`s really exciting about the investigator progressing. Every investigator has something that holds them back a little, but I`m sure the missionaries will help her through it. It`s good that you are going with them to the visits. It happens a lot that the people get attached to the missionaries and then when the missionaries leave, they stop coming to church so that`s why it`s so important that they have a friend to keep going no matter what missionaries are there. So what age group do you have mom for seminary? Did you get the freshman? I think they are probably the easiest to teach. It`s their first year and they are excited still to go to seminary and like to participate. Do you have anyone in your class that I would know? Wow that`s so crazy that Megan Dahl is off for her mission already! The time passes so fast! Wow Christina is going to run a half marathon!? I didn`t know she was training for that! That`s awesome! I love all the pics! I can`t believe how big Brock is! He looks just like Riley. Everyone looks so cute. You can`t even tell Melissa is pregnant in some of those pics! Haha. Well we have interviews with Pres Douglas tomorrow and we`ll find out if my comp is training. Next week I might be in a new area!! Crazy. Can`t believe I have 11 months already. Well I love you all! Have a great week!

Hermana Woolf

From Stephanie’s Mission President’s wife:
Chikungunya has hit epidemic proportions here.  Government estimates of those infected range from 400,000 to 1,00,000!  The dire prediction that one-third of the population will contract the disease has been changed to 40%-75% expected to contract the disease.  Imagine 75% of a population contracting a disease!  The absenteeism in businesses has had a huge negative impact on the economy, and it’s only expected to get worse. We’ve now had between 40-45 missionaries contract Chikungunya Fever.  As soon as they get sick, we encourage them to seek a Priesthood blessing. Fortunately, our missionaries seem to be in the sweet spot of age that recovers the quickest and with the fewest long-lasting side effects.  So far we’ve been very blessed.  As of now, even though we’ve had some very sick missionaries, we don’t have any missionaries experiencing long-term side effects.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - Week 47

Hey Fam! Glad to hear you all had a great reunion. It was kinda hard seeing all the photos, not being there, but I know I`m where I need to be. Sounds like you all had a ton of fun! The shirts look super cute. I like the idea about the gift of the heart. That will work out much better. It was always kinda hard to figure out what to give to a couple. Well it`s been a good week. It started with the strike, but it was more in the elders area, not in ours so we could still go out teaching. But unfortunately a couple people died. One of which was the sister of an inactive in our branch. He hasn`t come for a really long time and is an ex missionary and everything. Well he came this Sunday. It`s really sad, but also a big testimony builder. It just shows that in difficult times, it`s God that we really need. I think he`s figuring that out. I still haven`t gotten the chikengunya!! It seems like the whole world wants me to get it though.. Haha. They all say I`m next and keep asking me about it. I`m not gonna get it though. I`ve already decided. Lol. My companion and I went to Mao again this past Saturday for another baptism. We paid a member to drive us there and back so we didn`t have to stay the night again. It was good. We`ve had a ton of meetings this week. Ward council 2 times (because the first time hardly anyone showed us), a meeting with our branch president to plan the consecha this Saturday, and our meeting with the mission leader. The elders have been starting to play basketball at the church each Thursday because every teenage boy in the neighborhood comes so they are trying to befriend them to come to church. Well President wants us to start a volleyball team as well to help the teenage girls... We`ll see how it goes. The members have really been helping us this week! We`ve gone out with members like the last 4 days in a row for like 3 or 4 hours each! The lessions have been so much better. And guess what? I got to see Elizabett this week!! She was visiting here and so we got to teach her a lession! She has a baptismal date for next month. I hope it works out! So today has been an interesting day. We went and played baseball with our zone and another. Let me tell you. Playing baseball with Dominicans is a whole different ball game. Seriously every batter hits a home run. It was so crazy. We went and played at this baseball field in the middle of no where so when it was time to go, there were NO cars driving by to go to Santiago. And there were like 30 of us so we knew it would be hard. Well we decided to walk. I have no idea why because it would have taken us like 2 hours to get back I think. Well a huge construction truck passed by and said we could hitch a ride so we all jumped in the back! But it only took us a part of the way. So then we split up into groups. We were in a group of 8, continuing to walk. Finally a car came by so we all jumped in. All of us. My comp and I in the front seat and 6 elders in the back seat. It was so crazy! But he only charged us 200 pesos (50 cents each) to go all the way to Santiago. It worked out really well. Then we were eating at this place called Jumbo and an elder proposed to one of the sisters in the mission!!! Haha. I was like ¨what!?¨ But I guess they were dating before the mission for like 4 years and got called to the same mission and the sister is going home in 2 weeks and he doesn`t go home until December so he decided to propose now. Not gonna lie it was pretty uncomfortable because after proposing they couldn`t even touch each other. Not even a hug. Hahahaha.  It was pretty funny. But still. We`re missionaries! It just felt weird. Well transfers are in 2 weeks. I`m pretty positive I`m leaving. My comp only has 2 transfers left so she`ll either train or have another companion until she finishes. I hope I`m sent to a good area! I really have loved Villa Gonzalez, but it`s been a challenge. It`s hard not to see the fruits of your work. But in reality we have had lots of small miracles here, especially with the members. I feel like I can leave with a feeling of success even though I haven`t had any baptisms. Not gonna lie it`s been hard though. But, the Lord knows what`s best for me and all the people I`m teaching. Maybe someone will accept the gospel after I leave. Well I love you all so much! Glad you had a great week!

Hermana Woolf
Wednesday, July 9 - Week 46

Hey fam! It`s weird to think you`re all together right now. I hope you`re having fun! I want to hear all about the reunion next week! Ok first of all, I have the best parents in the whole world! I got the package today! It was PERFECT! Wow everything I wanted and more. I love the spurs shirt! And thanks for all the clothes (sorry that was such a hassle.) So thankful to have new garments! And an umbrella and bug spray! The little towelettes look like they will be great for taking on the go. Plus a cookie mix and candy and crystal light and not 1 not 2, but 4 different kinds of mints! Thank you! And wow the letters were so great! Not gonna lie, it felt pretty good to get like 40 letters! Everyone was so jealous. :) All the youth talked about Francisco? Haha. Which letter did you share with them? That was so sweet that they all wrote me. Several I don`t even know and they all said ¨can`t wait to meet you!¨ Haha. I wish I could write them all back, but I`m really grateful for them all. Jamie`s graduation card looks so cute! And thanks for sending Daniel`s invitation too! Wish I could have been there for the reception. Can you give me the email address of Sister Orme so I can thank her for bringing the package? Sounds like you guys had a great 4th of July. How I wish I could go swimming right now. It`s getting SO hot. I can`t imagine how August will be. Well it`s been a slow week. My companion got the chikengunya and was stuck in bed for 3 days... I`ve never been so bored in my life. Lol. Still standing strong! I think I will be the last one standing from the chikengunya. Literally everyone has gotten it. I guess I shouldn`t speak yet though... So we`re having ANOTHER strike here tomorrow. It`s actually all over the country this time. So we`re not going to be able to leave the house tomorrow. :( It might even last 2 days. Things are going really well with our missionary goal! The members are really getting into it! They are coming to US to ask to go out with us and give us references. It`s so awesome!! Everyone wants their diploma. :) Wendy (the excommunicated member that we visit) was really sad because she couldn`t get a diploma since she can`t be a visiting teacher or go on visits with us. But we told her if she did the other 3 things she could get one. So I`ve been asked to give a talk not this Sunday, but the next on service. If anyone has a good quote or any ideas, I would love to hear them! We`re finally going to have our consecha next Saturday. All the members have been notified to go out with us and the other misisonaries so I hope it all goes well. Somebody needs to send me a pic of Jaden`s missing tooth!!! And Kale at the piano!! Wow I can`t believe Sam Elmer is already done! That went SO fast! That`s so awesome Mom that you`re going out with the missionaries! It helps so much to have a member present. So in our lessons we use the Book of Mormon and Bible a lot but there are some really good scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants that I like to share. Here are a few...D&C 6:20, 36 ; D&C 8:2-3 ; D&C 9:7-9 ; D&C 14:7 ; D&C 19:16-19 ; D&C 20:37 ; D&C 58:42-43 ; D&C 59:9-15 ; D&C 90:24 ; D&C 97:8 ; D&C 100:5-8 (for the members) ; D&C 121:7-8 ; D&C 130:22 ; D&C 137:9. Well I love you all so much! Have a wonderful time in Virginia! I`ll be thinking of you!

Hermana Woolf

Friday, July 4, 2014

                   Mosquito net!

                     Got to see old teacher from the CCM.

                         A strike in Villa Gonzalez.

                      A visit to the temple in Santo Domingo.
Wednesday, July 2, 2014 - Week 45

Hey everyone! Happy 4th of July tomorrow!! It`s weird that I won`t be celebrating or anything. Maybe I`ll try to wear red white and blue. :) So what will you all be doing? Where are you going to see fireworks? Sorry I couldn´t write yesterday. There was a big strike going on here and we couldn`t leave our house. I won`t go into details for your sake. :) Haha but I`m fine and everything is back to normal now. Oh! The temple was SOOO great! I`m so glad I got to go! I forgot how wonderful and peaceful it is. After the temple we went back to the CCM where we would be staying the night and got permission from Pres. Freestone to go to family prayer with the new missionaries. They all only had 1 week in the CCM. Wow it brought back SO many memories of my time in the CCM. I remember my first week. It was so hard and I thought I would never learn Spanish. Pres. Freestone introduced us to them in the family prayer saying I was there almost a year ago. ALMOST A YEAR AGO. I just can`t believe it. I felt so old. They all looked at me like wow she`s been here so long. But it was pretty cool to give some advice to them. They´ll be here with us in just a month. So this disease going around, the chikungunya is CRAZY! Wow when you guys asked me about it a couple weeks ago I hadn`t even heard of it or anyone that had had it. 2 days later Pres. Douglas talked to us all about it and now there´s not a single house that´s not infected with it. Seriously. Every single house. I don`t know how I haven`t gotten it yet. I`ve always seemed to have lots of luck. But I guess I shouldn`t speak yet. Haha. It`s weird though. Everyone has some symptoms in common like headache, fever, pain in the bones, but now some are getting rashes all over their bodies. It`s weird. But everyone seems to be healing in like 5 or 6 days. I heard it has spread to the US now. Have you heard anything? Anyways other than all that, it`s been a good week. lol. In our district meeting this week I was asked to speak in English which was a little strange because no one could understand me. I had to translate everything into Spanish after every sentence in English. But I had them all read in English. :) We had a sister meeting this week too and we all brought desserts to share! I can`t remember the last time I`ve had a dessert. A couple weeks ago we got a reference to visit this man Mariano who is inactive. So we went and he was super great! He was active for like 15 years and has been inactive for like 3 or 4. Anyways he came to church this week! I was so happy! Ususally we find inactives and they don´t want to go to church (that`s the reason they`re inactive). Well he just needed someone to come motivate him. I hope he keeps coming. We started a missionary goal this week with our branch! I`m really excited. We`ve invited all the members to participate. There are 5 requirements for the month of July: go out with the missionaries 2 times, have FHE every Monday, give 2 references to the misisonaries, do their visiting or home teaching, and have 10 conversations about the gospel with nonmembers. If they complete all of these things we will give them a diploma and the last saturday of this month we will be having a potluck to give them out and everyone will bring their favorite food to share. I hope everyone participates! It will really help us as missionaries and them as members. Haha Sorry Mom about the shorts! I should have been more specific that I was talking about 2 different pairs! I`m glad you figured it out though! Thank you! Can`t wait to get the package! Dad, I did get the conference talks! Like about a month ago. I´ve already read them all again. They are so good! Sounds like Jamie is working hard! In her job and in the house! Lol. I love you all! I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

Hermana Woolf