Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Week 53

Hey! First of all... Congratulations Melissa and Ryan on your adorable new baby Finn! Can´t wait to meet him! And Happy Birthday Mom!! Hope it was a wonderful day! So... as you know, I didn´t write yesterday... Well it was because I was in Tamboril!! Pres Douglas gave my comp and I permission to go since we´re together and my comp will be finishing her mission next transfer. We went to visit Ruben and the kids, but Esther was working... but we got a call later on in the day that she came home early so we went back to visit her. They are doing great! Rwel is talking now! We asked if they were preparing to go to the temple to be sealed in November, and they are. A few months ago I sent them a poster with the Santo Domingo temple and wrote the date Novevmber 9 on it, since that is exactly a year after the baptism of Esther. Well I didn´t check the date or anything to know what day it fell on. It was so cute. Ruben and Esther were so concerned. They were like.. We don´t know what to do. Nov 9 falls on a Sunday! Haha. We told them to talk to the branch president and see if they can go a day earlier on the 8th. Ruben is already saving up all the money to go and everything. I can´t wait to see them sealed!! It will be such a special day. After that we went and visited a family in the ward The Morels. They are the ones that always fed us on Sundays. And of course they fed us yesterday too. :) Then we visited the Nunez family and after that the Rodriguez family. Abish still remembered me! They are all doing great! It was so good to go back and see people. I wish I had more time. But I was thinking.. I don´t know how you guys feel about it, but I´m thinking it would be fun if Mom and Dad came to get me at the end of the mission and I could show you around and be your translator. :) Haha. But.. we wouldn´t be able to go the beach or anything because I´ll still be a missionary. But once I get home I´ll start school and then have to work so it would be difficult to come back. I don´t know. It´s just an idea. Let me know what you think. But other than yesterday, it was a good week. We met a new guy named Daniel and he´s so awesome. His family lives in the US and he´s trying to get there too, but it will take a while. Anyways… we´re teaching him again today so we´ll see how it goes. On Friday we had the activity with Emily and Johan. We watched the Restoration with them and a few members. When we visited them on Monday to ask how it was, they said they didn´t have a single doubt about it anymore!! It was awesome! Emily is still nervous to be baptized, but in our next visit we´re going to set a date with their help so they can feel prepared with enough time. I think they´ll be baptized soon though. Saturday was the big branch activity! But…of course there was rain. When there is rain in this country, no one leaves their house. Not even to go to church. It´s really sad. But we still planned on having the activity with anyone that came. We had about 35 people. It was fun. We gave the certificates to the 2 sisters that earned them and played some games and everyone brought food to share. On Sunday, Emily and Johan came to church and Mariano the inactive we´ve been teaching. And his son who is also a member just moved back home to live with his dad so he came too. Eva and her family couldn´t come on Sunday because Chantel had the chickengunya and was in the hospital. But we visited them on Monday and she´s doing better. We talked about baptism with them. They had a lot of questions. We will put a baptismal date on Saturday. I finally got my notebook from Tamboril this week. It´s been going around to the people to write. But there are a few that haven´t written yet. But I have to get it going in Villa Gonzalez because I think I´ll be leaving in 2 weeks and my comp will only be here for 1 more transfer. But I asked the people that haven´t written to send me something to stick in it. Hopefully they do. Or I´ll have to send it back to Tamboril again. But that´s about it. I have to go because we have a training with Pres Douglas in an hour in Santiago. But I love you all!! Welcome to the fam Finn!

Hermana Woolf


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 - Week 52

Hey fam! How is everyone?? Wow I`ve been anxious all week to know if the baby had come, but this week for sure! And to hear about ANOTHER baby coming in the family! Congrats Scott and Maureah! And Laura engaged too! Wow so much exciting news! I wish I had something as exciting to share. Haha. It`s been a good week. Eva and her daughters Thamar and Chantel are still progressing very quickly. They all came to church on Sunday. The husband Martin still hasn`t been able to come for his work. He does the music for parties so the weekends are crazy. But we`re hoping one day he`ll be able to come. We were waiting a little to find out if he would progress as quickly as Eva but it doesn`t seem like it. So we`re just going to put a baptismal date and see what happens in the following weeks. A guy in the branch got home from his mission this week. 1 more priesthood holder in the branch! Yay! But our mission leader Nene just sent his papers in so we`ll be losing one too. :( We had a few great lessons this week. One with a lady in the ward about the Spirit. She`s super awesome and comes to church every week, but she had a baby out of wedlock recently and there hasn`t been any disciplinary action yet. She opened up to us completely and is scared to do everything necessary to be excommunicated, but we told her it was better to start the year now and not later. She really has a desire to change. She had an interview yesterday with the branch president. We also had a lesson with a lady and her husband about marriage. It`s hard to teach about something you know nothing about, but thanks to mom and dad I`ve had a great example so I could give some advice. We found out that they never say I love you to each other. Literally never. Her husband says he doesn`t like to say it. Like it doesn`t flow out in the right moment or something. lol. But we encouraged them to try to start doing it to have a better relationship. Really any marriage would have problems if no one showed affection. We also met a new guy this week named Alexis. He`s the cousin of Nene (mission leader). He`s super awesome and really interested. He was in a motorcycle accident over a year ago and couldn`t walk for 7 months. He still can`t walk barely at all. But he has the perfect attitude. He could say that God did that to him, but he thinks of it as God gave him a second chance and now he wants to serve him. But the only problem is that he has no way to get to church. He can`t go in motorcycle or bus. He would have to have someone come and get him in a car. Well... we have one single person in the church with a car... our branch president. But it`s a huge truck that`s used to haul stuff so to get in it would be super difficult. I don`t know what to do. But hopefully we think of something. He has a lot of potential. So we had quite an experience the other day. We were walking to an appointment and on the side of the road we found 10 brand new puppies abandoned!! It was so sad. We went and bought them milk, but we couldn`t just leave them there!! They were shivering and were so new they couldn`t even see yet. So we put them all in a box and found someone to take them to a vet. One nice woman that passed by, took one though. :) I hope they all find families! Well we planned the activity with Emily and Johan again for this Friday to watch the Restoration. And Saturday we have our big missionary activity! Sadly only 2 members will be getting certificates, but a lot of people participated. They just didn`t complete all the requirements. But it will be fun! Everyone is bringing a plate of their favorite food and we`ll have dominoes and volleyball. I`m excited. Hopefully lots of nonmembers come too! Well that`s about it. So excited to hear about my new nephew next week! And see pictures!! ;) I love you all!
Hermana Woolf

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday, August 13 - Week 51

Hey everyone! How was your week? I can`t wait to hear about and see pics of my new nephew! I hope he comes this week! Congratulations Christina on finishing your half marathon! What an accomplishment! That`s so crazy that Jamie is almost off to college! Time really flies. It`s been a pretty good week here. I am seriously dying of the heat, but we`re half way through August now. Well we`ve had to let go of a few people this week. It`s hard when you love someone and want them to progress, but they just don`t. But God has his time for everyone. Maybe they will have more of a desire later on. Our RS president went out with us this week to have a few visits with inactives that we`re teaching. Mariano and his family, and Maria and Santo and their family. We had really good lessions with both families and have a lot of hope for them. Both families have attended church since I got here. Mariano came on Sunday with his kids. We`re still working with his wife, she isn`t a member. Eva is still progressing very quickly. She couldn`t come to church on Sunday because she had a guy working on her bathroom and she had to stay in the house while he was there. But her daughters came! They really love the church! Melina also came! She has changed completely. I`ve been teaching her my whole time here and she`s always had a desire to come back, but wanted to come back with her husband. He has less of a desire though. So she recently decided that no one would take away her blessings and wants to come every Sunday. Hopefully her husband will start to come soon. We`ve also been working with a less active lady Estela. Her son has been on a mission in Mexico and gets back this week! So we`ve been trying to help her come back before he gets here. It will really help her to have him in the house again and motivate her to do the right things. On Monday we planned an activity for Emily and Johan to watch the Restoration video and invited several members that are friends with them, but I don`t know what happened. They didn`t show up. We called, they didn`t answer. We passed by their house, they weren`t there. So we`re going to have to plan it again. We`re going to visit them tonight to see what happened. But we watched another church movie with everyone that came and had popcorn. It was fun. Yesterday we found a great new family! I love finding families. They seemed really interested. We`re planning another activity with Ivelice for next week. We`re inviting lots of members and we`re going to eat and have an FHE with her and her daughter. She told us yesterday that she has plans to give up selling lottery numbers the beginning of next month (because she`s already paid for the month). Then she`ll finally be able to come to church again!! She seriously knows so much and is progressing a lot. She just needs to go to church. Anyways, that`s about all that`s happened this week. Mom, so glad to hear you`re getting better. Hope the headaches go away soon. (I asked Stephanie about the money they receive for living expenses)…So with our money, we receive 3800 pesos (about $90) every 15 days. We use it for food, transportation, other things we need. It seems like so much but we all just barely make it to the next apoyo. Haha. I`m using the last of my money to write you guys. Apoyo comes tomorrow. :) We don`t pay for rent, but we share our water with our neighbors so we pay for that every other month, but we get reimbursements of course. Well I love you all. Have a great week!

Hermana Woolf

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - Week 50!

Hey Fam! First of all, Mom I can`t believe what happened to you!! You had to get staples in your head!? That`s so crazy! Does it hurt a lot?? It`s really weird because this week I`ve actually been thinking about the family and I felt like something bad was going to happen so I`ve been praying for everyone a lot. Maybe it`s just a coincidence. When do they take the staples out? I hope you heal quickly! Wow 50 weeks. So crazy. I can`t believe I`ll have a year this month. My time is slipping away. I feel like I`ve learned a lot though. This week has been super great and packed full of experiences. So it started off kinda interesting. On Thursday we visited one of our inactives Jorge that has come to church a couple times. He said he`s been praying to know what to do and had a dream that he should go back to the Catholic church and took that as revelation. We tried the best we could to help him understand that the dreams we have aren`t always revelations and to keep praying, but I think he`s made up his mind. Sounds like he never really had a testimony, but got baptized to please the missionaries. I hope he can receive a true answer still. On Friday we visited one of our investigators, Sonya with a member that lives close and knows her a little. She lost her daughter a couple years ago and still has a hard time getting over it. Another religion taught her when it happened that she could see her daughter again after this life and she wanted to take her life in that moment to be able to see her. It`s really sad. She`s better now, but she still feels alone. So we taught that we are never alone and the member with us gave her her number and told her to call her at any moment that she feels alone and she`ll come over to talk with her. It was a really great lession. When we left, we headed over to Nefeti and Jesus, other investigators. Well there was a couple there from another religion coming to preach just like us. I really really hate these circumstances. It`s very awkward. They aren`t going to change their beliefs and we aren`t either so basically we`re just going back and forth teaching doctrine and sharing scriptures in front of our investigators. They we`re trying to prove that Christ was the last prophet and that there can`t be another prophet ever again. So we explained about revelation and that God still talks to his children and loves us so we need guidance. It was uncomfortable, but I feel like we did the best we could. I hope our investigators understood what we taught. We invited them to pray about it. In reality, we`re the only church that invites people to pray to know the truth because we know that God will respond truthfully. On Saturday we were fasting (here we fast from lunch to lunch not dinner to dinner. It`s SO much easier). But anyways, we went the whole week with no one offering us food or a drink or anything, but of course this always happens. The one day we are fasting, everyone offers us stuff. We got offered soda, crackers, juice, more food that I don`t know how to explain what it is. Anyways, it was hard because the people don`t understand and I feel like they are offened, but the fast means so much more when you do have to give up stuff because you remember better what you`re fasting for. We visited a couple of the recent converts and invited them to bear their testimonies in Sunday. So on Sunday we had a ton of people in church. Claudia, and inactive and her daughters, Emily and Johan, a girl we met and invited to church on Saturday that`s friends with one of the recent converts, and Eva and her daughters. When we did the consecha a couple weeks ago, my companion and another missionary and our RS president contacted her house. She`s the one I said that works for the branch president in Tamboril. So we`ve been visiting her and her family and she came to church on Sunday for the first time. It was so incredible: She got up and bore her testimony!!! It was awesome!! Everyone was so impressed! Then our RS president got up and she was so happy to see the fruits of going out with the missionaries. She got to feel for the first time, what we get to feel when we see people progress. It was a great testimony builder for her. Eva participated in all the classes and asked to have one of the principles of the gospel books that we use to teach the investigator class so she can study it. We have really high hopes for her! On Monday we visited Emily and Johan. Emily has had doubts about getting baptized so we decided to read the interview questions to them so they know what they will be asked if they decide to get baptized and so we could know what doubts they have. They have doubts about the gospel being restored to the earth and Thomas S. Monson because they`ve never heard him speak. Not because they don`t believe in modern day prophets, they just don`t have enough information about him. So we`re going to have an activity in a members house to watch the Restoration movie. Hopefully that will help them. But they believe in everything else. It was Awilda`s birthday (the daughter of Wendy) that day too so we went over and celebrated with them. She turned 6. We brought a cake and soda and I gave her my last glow up ring that you sent me Mom. She LOVED it. And all the other girls asked if I would give them one for their birthdays. Haha. But I don`t think I`ll be here for any more of their birthdays. We`ve been reading the BOM with a lot of our investigators to help them gain a testimony of it and they all seem to be in the Isaiah chapters right now. It is super hard to explain, but God has helped me understand things I wouldn`t normally understand. We had a ward council yesterday. The church wants to help members provide for themselves so it will help a few to start their own buisnesses in their homes. A lot of members are excited about it. Today for pday we went to the church with the elders and our mission leader and another YSA guy in the branch and played volleyball! It was really fun (maybe because my team won) :) And we got permission to watch a movie so we attempted to watch Frozen on YouTube. We couldn`t find one of good quality and it skipped all the songs, but I really liked it! It was really cute! But that`s about it. Finally! Haha. Super busy week. Oh and thanks for all the letters you all wrote when you were at the reunion! I loved them! But I`m running out of time so I gotta go. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week!!

Hermana Woolf

Friday, August 1, 2014

Wednesday, July 31, 2014 - Week 49

Hey everyone! Thanks for all your emails this week! Things are good. We had transfers today, but I´m staying in Villa Gonzalez with my companion another transfer. We found out on Friday that she wouldn`t be training, but I was so sure I would be leaving still since she only has 2 transfers left. I thought President would send someone new to start learning the area, but I guess there`s still more for me to do here... It`s pretty funny though. I told everyone I was leaving and took pictures and everything. It`s gonna be kinda awkward now going back to visit them all. Haha. Oh well. So I`ve recovered really well from the chikungunya. I still have a little pain in one of my feet (just like if I step on a rock wrong) but other than that I feel completely back to normal. It`s lucky really. There are a lot of people here that have had effects for a month or more now. Especially the older people. Their feet have gotten super swollen and no matter what they try, it won`t go down. So they have trouble walking. It`s so sad. But that`s crazy the percentage of people that will receive it here! The president of the country promised some big prize or something for whoever doesn`t get it. Haha. How will he know though? So when I was sick, all the missionaries in my zone still came and did the consecha in our area so this week we`ve been trying to contact a lot of them. One lady works for the branch president in Tamboril so that was cool to find out! So I couldn`t give my talk last week since I was sick so the branch president called me Thursday night to speak this past Sunday. I`m glad I still got the chance. I spoke on covenants. It went really well. This lady that`s inactive that we`ve been teaching my whole time here finally came to church for the first time! We went and visited her that afternoon and she said she loved it and wants to go to church every week. We always knew she had a lot of potential, that`s why we`ve stuck with her. She was just scared to go back after so long. But she remembered almost everyone and everyone was so welcoming. Now we just have to help her husband come back too. Also a few weeks ago I said there was a couple that came with their kids for the first time. Well the parents had to go to the hospital on Sunday, but the kids came on their own. We visited her yesterday and I don`t know what happened but she has changed completely. She left the church because she wanted to go to another church, but yesterday she was saying that she wants to come back to this church and wants to serve the Lord in any way she can, etc. I think it`s because on Sunday when she went to the hospital, she was there with her mom who has problems in her feet. They are totally black and the doctors keep cutting more and more back of her skin or something. It`s been going on for a long time. Well, on Sunday she felt something that her mom would be healed and since Sunday the blackness has disappeared and her feet are healing. She was crying telling us the story. I think it was a testimony builder for her to have that feeling before it happened. I hope she really does come back. Also, our investigator that married the guy from Spain told us this week that she finally wants to give up selling lottery numbers and come to church. I seriously forget she isn`t a member sometimes. She talks like she is. She was telling us yesterday that she wants to be sealed in the Temple and have a Mormon family, etc. It was really cool. I think she just needs time though. We`ve been reading the Book of Mormon with her and we`re finishing 1 Nephi. So we didn`t have our missionary activity last Saturday because there was a stake activity for the men for Father`s Day (which was Sunday). But we`re going to try to find another day to do it. Maybe next week. Not many will receive diplomas, but there are a few that worked really hard to get it and did everything they needed to. But that`s about everything for this week. Mom sounds like you have a ton of great kids in your seminary class! That`s great that you`re visiting each of them. And it`s so exciting about Chelsea and Bryce having a boy! Him and the little boy Squire will be best friends! Can`t wait to hear about my new nephew! Just 3 more weeks! Good luck with everything Melissa! (in case he comes early). And Happy Birthday Ryan! Have a great week everyone! I love you!

Hermana Woolf