Thursday, February 19, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 - Week 78
Wow where do I even begin!? It´s unreal that this is my last email home of my mission. I´m overwhelmed with emotions. It´s been an indescribably amazing experience over the last year and a half. There have been hard times but so many happy moments that I couldn´t trade for anything. My whole life has been changed for going on a mission. It has been the best decision of my life. I´m already seeing the blessings that were promised me in my patriarchal blessing for going. And though I wish it didn´t have an end, God has more in store for me. I know I´ll have more opportunities to share the gospel when I get home. Plus I´ll get to see ALL of my family which I´m SO excited about. It will be an adjustment, but I´m ready to take on a new challenge and start my life as a new and improved disciple of Christ. Thank you all for your love and support during this journey. I couldn´t have made it to where I am now without you all. This week has been really great. Geresly is still doing great and guess what? We´ve moved NiƱo´s baptism to the same Saturday! It was going to be this Saturday but we decided it would just be better to baptize them both together. Mayor is doing SOOOOOO great. Wow he´s for sure getting baptized in March. He´s one of the best investigators I´ve had. He does everything we ask him to do. He´s reading the book of mormon on his own, plus all the pamphlets and chapters we leave him, he came to church again on Sunday and he has so many amazing questions. He´s already told us he wants to be baptized and is preparing himself. All that´s missing is some lessions, but once he gets them, he´s all set. Can´t wait to see the pics! Well we had an interesting experience this week. We started getting a whole ton of calls from our branch president, and the assistants and the mission office asking if we had lost some important documents. We started freaking out thinking we had been robbed, but we contacted a guy who had found the stuff and it turned out being another american´s passport and credit cards and everything that someone had stolen. Well we got the mission office on it and were able to track them down to return their stuff. I´m really glad we could or that could have been a horrible experience for them. It was pretty scary for us for a second too. Haha. Saturday we had a Valentine´s Day Karaoke night in the branch which was fun. And we FINALLY got a new mission leader on Sunday. It´s a new guy that just moved here and he´s awesome! Just talking with him, I wanted to extend to be able to work with him. haha. He´s super organized and he was like ¨you better take advantage of me now while you can, before the stake steals me¨ hahaha and we were like.... yeah he´s right. At least I´ll have a week to work with him. On Sunday we have an invitation day again! We´re shooting for over 100 this time! We´re inviting EVERYONE. I think a lot will come. Can´t wait to see the results! We had a zone conference yesterday! It was super great. It was all about D&C 4. And Hna Douglas gave a super great capacitacion (how do you say that in english??) about teaching and baptizing families. They did a study once. With 180 normal baptisms there was only 20% activity but with 150 family baptisms there was an 80% activity. So awesome! They´ve asked each companionship to baptize 1 family in their 3 transfers that they have left as mission president and wife. I´m excited to hear how it goes! But anyways, everything is great. Gonna work super hard for my last week so I can say I gave it all I got at the end. I love you all soooo much and I´ll see you in a week!! :)

Hermana Woolf
                        Emily and Johan

               Helping Ivelice's mom shell pigeon peas
          Looks like so little, but took so long.
        A girl did matching braids for us
           How did these get in the church?
           Squished in a ruta
        Valentine's Day brownies

      The dinner and decorations Yubi, Anny, and Oscar did for my birthday.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

            Got a package from Tina!
         Scripture cases from Hermana Harden
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 - Week 77

Hey everyone! First so happy for Scott and Maureah and baby Addilyn! Can´t wait to meet her! Thanks for all your sweet letters this week everyone! I´m so excited that it´s all worked out to be able to see everyone before going back to school!! It will be such a fun month home! Things have been great here! We´ve been working hard. We got a surprise miracle that Thamar and Chantel the daughters of Eva want to be baptized right away! I dont know still if it will be possible before I leave, but either way I´m really happy for them. The man needing an operation won't have it until the 20th now. It´s like a wait in the hospital until it´s your turn kinda thing in this country so he´s been there for like 2 weeks already. I hope I get to see him before I leave though. I gave my last testimony in the Villa Gonzalez branch this past Sunday. I lost it. It´s finally starting to hit me that I´m leaving. Everyone is so great and inviting me to their homes for dinners and stuff. I do have to give one last talk though. Hahaha. I thought I was done. All 4 of us missionaries have to talk though my last sunday. We´re doing an invitation day again and Pres Steven wants it to be special and hear from us. It will be good. I´m starting to get my things organized. I have so much stuff. I´m giving a lot to my comp and throwing a lot away too. But can you guys come with some extra space just in case to stick some books in or something? Thanks for getting the watch for Oscar. Anny LOVES the movie Frozen so any little thing related to that she´d love! You guys are great! That Cave restaurant sounds great! Let´s go! That´s so exciting about Janet! I can´t wait to meet her! Let me know when you know about when I´ll get released and what my topic for my homecoming talk is too! Yay I´m so happy I´ll be home to see Jamie get her call! What´s the news on the temple? Have you guys gone yet? Or are you waiting? I´m sorry Jamie has been sick! Hope she gets better quick! I don´t think you have to wear church clothes when you´re here but I just asked Pres Douglas in an email to check so I´ll tell you next week. So just to let you guys know... I´m feeling kinda nervous to come home and be back in the real world and not a missionary anymore. I guess it´s just to warn you for any future awkwardness. Ha. I don´t know. Hopefully it won´t be as bad as I think. :) Sorry it´s a short email this week. Don´t have much time. But I love you all! See you SUPER soon!
Hermana Woolf

Friday, February 6, 2015

Wednesday, February 4, 2015 - Week 76

Hey! Thanks everyone so much for the birthday wishes! They made my day! I´ve had a really great birthday so far! I got a call from our elders at 6:37 AM singing me happy birthday.... still had my morning voice... haha. My awesome companion gave me really awesome scripture cases from Guatemala for my English scriptures. I love them!! Our zone all went and ate pizza and ice cream and did a little shopping. It was fun. And tonight I´m visiting one of my favorite families that is making me my fav dominican dish! Yuca, salami, and egg. :) It will be great! Still can´t believe I´m 23 though! Pretty sure I don´t act it. Haha. But I got your package too! It was so perfect! Last night my comp and I decorated the house with all the decorations you sent! (not that I opened the package early.........) I´m sorry! Getting packages as a missionary is the best and I can´t wait to open them! But I woke up with all of them hanging on the ceiling above my head. It was great! And that was perfect to send socks! I needed just a couple more. And the pens... wow I LOVE them. Look at me going crazy over pens... but they are awesome! My planner is so colorful now! :) And the do it yourself bracelet thing was perfect too, those have been really popular here so I´m gonna have my neighbor make me one! And thanks for the stickers and letters and snacks. It was so fun to open it all! Well... other than today, it´s been another great week! A man we’ve been teaching has been progressing but we haven´t been able to visit him a ton in the past weeks. We had put a date for the 21st but still have a lot to teach him. But this week we visited him and he had read all we had left him and he said he knows he needs to be baptized! So we are going to start visiting him twice a week and see what happens. He´s really great. Nino and Geresly are both progressing very well for their dates this month. So on Sunday we got to hear from a Seventy, the YW general president, Elder Holland, and Pres Packer at the Carribean conference. It was amazing! They had super great messages that the Domincan members really needed to hear. Like paying tithing, and having spiritual homes, etc. And guess what!? Elder Holland did a lot of his talk in spanish! It was AWESOME! His accent is kinda like a brand new missionary, but he knows a lot. He even started crying during his spanish testimony. It was so cool. Pres Packer started his talk with a little spanish too. So Ivelice is getting a calling to be a counselor in the YW! So she´ll be with her daughter! It´s so great! She´ll do awesome! We went to interviews... my last one until the last day! Pres Douglas had us come with some of the questions from Alma 5 in mind... (Do you have the image of God in your countanence, have you been spiritually born of God, have you had a mighty change of heart?) So when I went in for my interview he asked me, ¨so what do you think? Have you had a mighty change of heart?¨ And I replied that I thought I had and he agreed that he had seen a lot of progress over my mission and had seen that change of heart in me. Then he asked if my family had mentioned anything to me about my progress. So I wanted to ask you guys if you´ve seen a change in me. I guess it´s kinda hard to say just from emails, but have you seen a change of heart in me? I really feel like I have in myself. I´m a new person. I feel really good about my mission experience and all I´ve been able to accomplish and become. He said I can go on a boat, but maybe it´s just better to do a couple simple things like go to calle del sol and in Puerto Plata there´s a cable car that you can go above the city to see all of the DR. I´ve heard it´s cool. Or there´s a place in Santo Domingo that is all the history of the country and Christopher Colombus and everything. We can decide later. I´m not sure what you could bring to people here???? I don´t know what they would like. I´m sure anything you decide on though! But I´ve been asked to request something for my 9 year old neighbor that we visit twice a week. He really wants a watch. Just like a little one that maybe has some superheros or something. Only if it´s not too much trouble. Him and his sister are so excited to meet you guys! They are having me translate some things into English so they can talk to you. Hahaha. It will be really cute. Maybe for Geresly a HLJ ring?? That was great for Emely and Johan when they got baptized. Well the days are counting down... only 3 weeks left. It´s so unreal. I can´t wait to see you all! I love you!!

Hermana Woolf

Friday, January 30, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - Week 75
Heeyyy!! How are you guys?? This week has gone faster than any other week in the mission! Only 1 month left now! We´ve had a great week. We have a few people really progressing. Ivelice came again with Geresly to church on Sunday and they stayed all 3 hours!! They just made the decision to leave their business for that time because church is more important. Geresly went to a YW activity yesterday and had a lot of fun. She´s definitely ready to be baptized. I´m glad you guys will be here to see it! That will be great! Ivelice has an interview this week to get a calling! :) And she´s going to have her temple recommend interview too. I CONVINCED THE VILLA GONZALEZ BRANCH TO GO TO THE TEMPLE ON THE SAME DAY AS THE TAMBORIL BRANCH AND US!!! IT´S GONNA BE THE BEST DAY OF MY LIFE!!!! I´m super excited! A man we've been teaching ended up getting all the money he needed and was supposed to have his surgery sometime this week. We´re going to call him tomorrow to see how it went. We´re really hoping for a quick recovery so he can still get baptized in February. Our inactive friend said he´s going to bring him every single week to church and we´re going to baptize his young son too hopefully! He came with his entire family this week! I´m really excited for his progress. Another man we are teaching is progressing a lot too. When we put the date last week with him he was super excited and asked if we would start coming twice a week to help him prepare. I´m really hopeful. On Sunday we get to go watch a broadcast from SLC by Elder Holland specifically for the carribean. I´m sooooo excited! We´re trying to get our investigators to go too. Wow you REALLY shouldn´t have sent me anything for my birthday! I´m gonna be home so soon. But thank you!! I´m excited to get it! And Dad thanks for the souvenir invitation! Maybe we can go to this place called calle de sol. It´s a huge tourist shopping place. I can´t WAIT to see you guys!!! See ya in a month!! Love you!!
Hermana Woolf

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015 - Week 74

Hey! Thanks for all the pics! I really enjoyed the rug one. Haha. And yay I´m in the top plaque spot! :) Well it´s been a great week... flew by super fast. We´re working really hard with a few people. We´re putting dates with everyone. We´re also working hard with lots of future priesthood holders so I hope they progress! We did some fun stuff this week. We went out to celebrate an elder´s birthday here with ice cream and we´re about to go celebrate the other elder´s birthday after writing. We also got to do some service this week cleaning up the streets in our zone. We got all the missionaries in Santiago to come help us. It was actually really fun and we got to help out the community a little. We were playing a game to see who could find the coolest thing. There were sunglasses, I found a little shovel, but the winner was the chicken foot. Haha. I gave a talk last Sunday on how to prepare for a more effective prayer. It went good. Hopefully that´s my last talk before my homecoming. Lol. I got my dead letter and plaque this week. :( So yesterday I got to go to Tamboril again! It worked out perfect because it was holiday and no one had to work. We went to see the Rodriguez family and the Nunez family, Ruben and Esther, and Katherine. It was really great. I hope I could give some encouragement to my converts. I have soooo much to do in these last few weeks! I hope I can get it all done. I currently have a stack of 8 people´s journals to write in at home.... Haha. So much work!! But I just hope to finish strong and try to meet my goals! That´s great news about sign ups for classes! That will makes things way easier! And thanks for signing up for all the doctor and dentist appointments. I´ll need those. Well that´s about it for this week. Just 4 more emails left. :O Love you guys!!
Hermana Woolf

Friday, January 16, 2015

             Ivelice's Baptism - Jan 10, 2015

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - Week 73

Hey everyone! Wow today starts my last transfer in the field. Unbelievable. I know these last 6 weeks are going to fly. I´m still with Hermana Harden so it will be a great way to finish! I just ordered my plaques with all my comps and areas on the back to bring home with me! I should be getting my dead letter soon. :/ We have some fun plans for our pdays this transfer. Maybe Tamboril and maybe the temple, a fun zone activity for my bday which luckily falls on a wednesday, and a trip to monte cristi (really pretty areas with beaches). I´m excited. We had a very long week with lots of trips to Santiago, but it was great. On Friday we had a sister conference with all the sisters in the mission. They spoiled us so much. We had a huge breakfast, drew ourselves on paper, played some games (including one where me and 17 other girls had to hold pipes and have other sisters walk over them. I was super sore the next day. Haha. Hope they send you pics of that), then I gave a talk on how embracing the differences in my companions has made me a stronger person (the theme of the conference) and 29 other girls spoke, we had a super good lunch, watched the errand of angels, had dessert, and then Pres and Sister Douglas gave us all real pearls from the phillipines! It was awesome! After the meeting we had to rush straight over to one of the elder´s areas in our zone to do a consecha (help them contact new people because they white washed it). It was fun, but I was exhausted by the end of the day! Then on Saturday we had to go to ANOTHER sister meeting in the morning and when we got back, we were soooo tired. Luckily the elders were very nice and filled up the baptismal font for us. :) That night was so great! So many people came to support Ivelice. My daughter (sister I trained) got permission to come too. We sang more holiness give me and the spirit was super strong (mostly cuz my comp is a killer singer). Ivelice shared her testimony at the end and she did so good. It is really strong already because she finally made the decision for her,  not for anyone else. She already has plans for her sealing next year. (really wanna go! but probably not possible. Ha.). Geresly her daughter came! It was sooo great! She came to church for the first time too on Sunday! We´re really hoping to baptize her next month! We took Ivelice to a fireside by Pres and Sister Douglas about temples on Sunday in Santiago. I think it was really great for her. Thanks for sending me Grammie´s obituary. I hope the funeral went well. I´ve been thinking about her all week. My companion was so sweet and left me a flower and note on my pillow Thursday. So excited to see you!! The time will be here before we know it! I love you all!!!

Hermana Woolf
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 - Week 72
Hey. Wow I´m kinda overwhelmed right now with the news about Grammie. When I left for the mission I thought maybe it was possible that I wouldn´t see her again, but just recently I was thinking that I´m almost done and I would get to see her when I get back. It was a complete shock to hear of her death. I know you were always telling me she was sick, but she´s always gotten over everything. I really wish I could have said goodbye. She has had such a big impact in my life. She was such a wonderful person and loved everyone. I´m gonna miss her a lot. I wish I could be there for the funeral. Pass along my love for everyone. Well other than that, it´s been a good week. Ivelice is so amazing! We taught her last week about temples and she really wants to go. The branch is going in a couple weeks and she´s gonna try to go! How awesome is that?? I´m gonna ask President if maybe he´ll make an exception and let me go too since I´ll be in my last transfer and it´s on a Wednesday so I wouldn´t miss proselyting time. Maybe he´ll say yes. She´s already talking about her temple sealing in spain in a year! I´m so happy for her. Just 3 days until her baptism! We talked to her yesterday about getting her daughter to go now to church with her. It´s hard with the colmado, but her mom offered to give up selling food in the morning to stay and help so she can go too!! I hope it works out! She wants to be baptized too, she just needs to start going to church. If it works out, we talked about having her baptized Feb 28, 2 days after Gabriel comes and I´ll still be here! I´m hoping for a miracle! We finally found a man we've been teaching in his house after a couple weeks without seeing him. We had a super amazing lession about the word of wisdom and he agreed to live it. He was kinda ify about going to church for a couple weeks while he´s figuring out some stuff, but we shared with him a passage of scripture when Christ is speaking the nephites and tells them to put the kingdom of god first and not worry about the morrow. The spirit was really strong and at the end of the lession he decided he wants to go in Sunday. He is such a great person and I know he´ll be blessed if he goes. Sunday was a really great day. We had lots in church and then ALL of our plans went exactly how we had planned them which is very difficult to make happen. Monday was a holiday here so we went to Yuvi´s house and made tacos with a bunch of people. It was really fun. I felt an earthquake this week! First one of my life! It wasn´t very big though. We´re having another sister conference with all the sisters in the mission on Friday. I have to speak! Welp. I hope it goes good. Transfers are next week. I hope there aren´t changes, which I don´t think there will be. Hermana Harden is so great! I´m having so much fun! Thanks for finding out the info about classes. I have an interview with Pres Douglas this month so I´ll have him do the ecclesiastical endorsement. I hope it works out to sign up when I get home. That would be great. Well I gotta go. I´ll be praying for everyone. I love you all so much!!

Hermana Woolf

Friday, January 2, 2015

  Toys we sent Hermana Woolf to give to children. She said they loved them and even cornered her in the janitor's closet at church when they found out she had toys.

   Went out with 8 necklaces, now has 24...people keep giving them to me.
                       Oscar loves his cars
                          Branch Christmas party
                      The girls in the runway show
                      Making sugar cookies
                    Christmas Eve zone activity
       My gift from our gift exchange...candy and a DR bracelet
                 Christmas Eve feast
 Had a fever...neighbor cared for me including giving me cactus to put on my feet...cold and slimey!
            With new comp...Hermana Harden...from Denton, Texas!

January 2, 2015 - Week 71 (no email on week 70 due to Christmas)

Happy New Year family! 2015!!!! It was so great to talk to you all on Christmas! Everyone looks great! I think that was and is the first time I´ve felt trunky in the mission. But not too long from now I´ll get to see you all! My companion and I got a special transfer. They called us on Sunday to tell us my companion would be leaving the next day. But anyways, I´m with an American now!!!! Her name is Hermana Harden. I actually met her on FB before we left on the mission cuz we found out we were going to the same place. She just has a transfer less than me. And she´s from Denton! Her family moved though since she´s been on the mission. But we get along SOOO well. We both worked in movie theaters, her mom worked at GTE/Verizon, from the same city, like all the same stuff, both served in Tamboril, etc. This is the most fun I´ve had in the mission up until now. I´m so happy to be with her. But everything else is going great too. Ivelice has her baptism next Saturday! She´s so ready. She finished reading all the conference talks and is in Alma in the BOM. We did a practice interview with all the baptismal questions and she passed everything. I´m really excited! Hermana Harden and I are gonna do a special musical number and Ivelice is going to bring her daughter! I hope it´s a really special day. We just have 3 more visits before then. Another man we are teaching is really progressing too! He came again to church on Sunday. He has a date for the end of the month, but we haven´t been able to visit him for a couple weeks so I don´t know what will happen. We´re gonna try though. But maybe it will end up being in February. New Years Eve was really fun! We had a zone activity and ate and watched movies and played sports and then we went to a members house for dinner and at midnight there were fireworks SUPER close to our house that we went out to watch. Yesterday was pretty crazy still in the streets. Lots of partying and drinking. Our numbers kinda stink this week, but that´s how it goes during the holidays. I just ordered a special plaque with all my companions and areas on the back for when I go home. First time it´s hit me how close I am to finishing. 1 transfer goes by super fast. But I´m getting ready (still not ready, but getting there). haha. I wanna work hard until the very end. No regrets. Well looks like you all had a ton of fun together from all the pics. Wish I could have been there! Looking forward to lots of fun times together when I get home. But, I love you all!! I hope you had a wonderful new years.

Hermana Woolf