Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Devore, California -May 27, 2013

Hey family,

I hope you enjoyed my long email last week.  They won't all be like that, but I figured for the first one, mom definitely would want to know EVERYTHING, so I included it all :)

Well since I live with a member, we have permission to use her computer, so we can email today even though it is a holiday.  We are about the only ones in our mission that get to though.  Everyone else just has to wait til next week, or find some where that is open.  So be glad that I am here where I can email you today :)

Sister Morgan told me her mom said something about her calling you guys in her email.  I cracked up.  It made both of us laugh just a little.  So funny that she did that.  It is way fun having a companion from Cache Valley.  I love being about to tell stories, and she knows where I am talking about.  And sometimes she even knows that people.  And it will be so easy to see her when we are both home as well.  I love it.

This week...well where do I start.  The Lord is definitely testing us and forcing us to learn to be effective missionaries quickly.  We started the week with it being really open.  We set a really high contacting goal since we had no lessons and we are still working really hard on finding so we can reach our mission goal.  Normally you might get 1 or 2 referrals in a week.  We got 8 last week.  So all of a sudden, our super open week, become busy.  On top of all the referrals, we got about 4 less active families that people wanted us to visit.  

We were also still teaching Sam and Nicole.  They now both have baptismal dates.  Sam for the 8th and Nicole for the 15th.  We met with Sam twice and Nicole only once this week.  They are both progressing very well.  I am excited for both of them.  They both came  to church on Sunday again.  That was really fun!    

Since we are working on finding for our goal, we have been trying to get ahold of former investigators.  That was hard this week.  So many of them, we couldn't even find their addresses.  It was like their house didn't exist.  The ones we could find, weren't interested and never really were.  They just thought the missionaries were nice and wanted to visit and for just informative reasons find out more about the church.  So we didn't get any new investigators that way this week.  

We had 3 lessons fall through this week.  1 was a less active lady.  She has been super flaky recently.  Yesterday we were supposed to meet with a 14 year old boy name Malik, and when we got there, he said it wasn't a good time.  A few minutes later, as we were driving somewhere else, we same him crossing a road going to Ralphs I think.  The other lesson was a couple who the Spanish Elders have been meeting with.  They want to come to the English ward though.  The couple speak both English and Spanish.  We went just to meet them, with the Spanish Elders and do a trade of, and they weren't home.  

We do have some good leads from all of our referrals though.  There is a boy about 14 named Geo.  He was being taught by some other elders and was super golden, and then he moved into our area.  The problem is, we can't find him.  He just disappeared and nobody knows where they moved to or how to get a hold of him.  There is a girl about 20 named Desirae.  She was about to get baptized in January and about 2 days before, her baby died so she didn't.  We finally found out where she moved to, and went to her house, but she wasn't home.  We will keep trying though.  There is a lady named Dawn as well.  She met with the missionaries about 8 years ago.  She has three kids.  She ran into them again and wants to be baptized.  She has a date for June 22 I think.  The only problem is that she moves out of our mission on the 31st of this month though.  We will have to make sure the missionaries know to go find her.  I think that about covers any potentials we have.

There is also kennedy that I kinda mentioned last week.  She is 16 and has had quite a rough life.  Our ward mission leader had us for dinner on Saturday.  We invited kennedy to come with us.  She told us more about her life and what she is going through and has gone through and we were like, "Holy cow."  we had no idea it had been so rough for her.  I won't really go into details, but she has had a hard hard life.  and She is only 16.  She really wants to change and become better, but because of her living situation, it is going to be hard for her to do that right now.  And she can't get away from it because she is a minor.  We are going to keep working with her, but it will be a process.  I just want to help her out and get her to a place where she is more happy with her life.  She is not happy at all.  

Even if she doesn't get baptized now, I hope we can plant a seed and get some good habits going, like prayer.  Maybe down the road, when she is away from her mom, she will be able to get baptized.  I just want to give her some hope and let her know that everything will eventually work out for her.  

We had a super great lesson last night.  The family that had us over for dinner invited a non member family as well.  Part of them spoke english and the other part spoke spanish.  So both us and the spanish elders were there.  We taught the first half of the restoration in english and they taught the second half in Spanish.  It was so cool.  I couldn't understand a word they were saying, but right when the first vision started, I knew it.  The spirit in the room was so strong.  You could just feel it right at the first vision.  It was amazing.  We gave the family a couple book of mormons.  There was a mom and dad and three sons.  The dad and the oldest son were really interested.  The dad was even almost tearing up.  I have high hopes for them.  I hope we will be able to continue to meet with them in the future.  It was a really good lessons.  And for having four missionaries there, it just flowed so well.  The spirit really helped.  I can just tell you that I know that God's hand was in that lesson.  It should not have gone as well as it it.  It was amazing.  

So since today is memorial day, my companion and I are celebrating it well :)  We are going to a bbq with a family in the ward.  (the mom has a super strong english accent) and then we are going to a.....pet cemetery!! haha how awesome is that.  Who knew they even existed.  We are so excited.  There are headstones and everything!! I am so excited!! It will be great.  I will take some good pictures and hopefully get them to you guys.

Also, we have the creepiest ice cream trucks in the world here.  They seriously look like something from a murder show.  They have bars on the windows and everything.  I will have to send you a picture.  I feel like if I ever went up to one, I would be kidnapped! It is crazy.  And they are every where.  We see at least 3 or 4 every single day!!  It cracks us up. 

The other day, we were sitting at a park during our companion study and in the background you could hear the sirens going on, and the creepy ice cream truck music.  It made us laugh.  I seriously felt like it was the scene from a scary movie.

Here are some funny quotes from the people we meet contacting every day.  These ones were all from the same day.  This is just so you have an idea of the people we get to work with:
"Are you guys twins? You look exactly alike.  Wow thats weird"
"When I was younger, I wanted to be a mormon"
"You guys are like the model sisters.  I am serious.  You look like the sisters they would put in a pamphlet.  Are you sure they aren't recording this right now.  You look too cute to be normal missionaries."
and the best one, from a black kid who was probably about 16 or 17.  First he asked if we were in high school then said, "not to be racist, but is your pastor white?"  "I hear you guys going to that building with the gold statue of the guy playing the trump and you guys are always praying so loud. Whats up with that"  He said some other super funny things, but I can't remember.  All of these things just cracked us up.  We are constantly laughing at our experiences.  They are so funny.

So it has been a crazy week.  We have stayed pretty busy.  We had our goals, and our plans, but the Lord decided to throw us a curve ball.  Hopefully we adjusted well enough to it.  Missions are crazy things.  There are some funny stories we have heard from other missionaries down here as well.  it will be an interesting year and a half,  let me tell ya.

Well stay safe.  Be happy. I can't wait to hear from you next week.  I love your letters.  I hope you are enjoying mine.  I hope they are enough detailed for you mom.  I keep all my other emails super short and un detailed so this one to you, can get everything.  You better feel super special.  

Love ya all lots
Sister Woodward

P.S. and this is crazy.  Get this.  So we were talking to our ZLs the other day about the white handbook and how there was so much about it that needed to be changed and updated.  And they said that its going to be happening soon, as well as Preach My Gospel.  They said that one of the general authorities, I don't remember which one, said that missionary work is about to change.  In the next few months, (which was said a few months ago) things are going to be very different with missionary work, and this is just the warm up for what is about to come!! 

Crazy right.  And it is all happening the same time as the mission split and new presidents and everything.  It is going to be crazy.  We can just feel good things coming.  We know this work is going to shoot up so quickly and miracles will be happening like crazy.  Good things are coming.  This is such an exciting time to be a missionary!  I can't believe how lucky I am to be out here while this is all happening.  It is an exciting time.

I was reading a quote from Pres Hinckley the other day about why they age for girl missionaries was higher.  He said that they held it higher to keep the amount going small.  And all of a sudden, they changed it and it is the same time that all these other changes are happening for missionary work. He wants as many missionaries as he can get right now.  He needs us all to help Him prepare the world for the second coming. It is coming soon and this missionary work is a big indicator of that.  This is like the final battle.  The last big push to get as many people on His side as He can.  I don't even know what else to say.  I don't know if you guys will think this is as big of a deal as I do, but it is just blowing me away.  

Crazy cool.  I am so excited to see what is going to take place with in the next few months.  These are truly the last days.  This is the 4th quarter of the final game and God is pulling out his best plays and players.  So exciting.  I am so excited to be a missionary right now and to be in God's army and fighting for him.  We are truly moving swiftly across the land, and there is nothing that is going to stop or even hinder it for a moment.

Well just thought I would let you all know my feelings on that.  I am out of time...well 5 minutes over so I gotta go.

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