Tuesday, August 25, 2015

"I just want to be a Latter-Day Saint SO badly!"

Another week gone by and SO much has happened! On Tuesday we had interviews with our mission President and the first thing after we said a prayer he looks at me and says, "Sister Woolley I'm going to ask you a question" "Okay, President" "I'm going to ask you to train." WOAH. Hello. So, sadly Sister Fairbanks will be transferring and I'll be getting my baby tomorrow! Crazy. 

Last P-day we spent with our district at the church eating pizza and grapes and played Telestrastions. If you don't know what it is, figure it out and play it because it's the best! Especially with missionaries hahaha. We got "when pigs fly" which turned into "Dinosaur on the fourth of july". In total it was hilarious but I guess you had to be there too. Oh, also, one of the greenie elders took a picture for us sisters with Sister Berry (President's wife) and said "gorgeous!" ..."Oh, I guess I'm not supposed to say that" lol. I love mission life.

On to more official news:
We finally had a legit lesson with our gator Seaford, a cool Jamaican guy, and he is so awesome! He also came to Book of Mormon class Wednesdaynight and we went early to do a church tour with him which he LOVED. The Spirit was so strong as we sat in the chapel and talked about the sacrament :) he wants to be baptized but it may take him a while because he has a lot in his life that he needs to figure out before he wants to commit to a baptismal date.

We got a media referral this week and most of the time it was a friend who referred the person so they aren't all that interested but THIS was amazing. We went by to bring her a Bible (which she had requested) and at first her husband answered and said she probably wouldn't want to talk because her daughter passed away last month :( but we told him we had her bible so then she came to the door. Poor lady. But she was so wonderful. We asked how she ended up on Mormon.org and she doesn't know! But she's been on it a ton looking for answers to where he daughter is now. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she just about cried and hugged us. She said to come back at the end of the month. Prayers for her please!

Okay so Jimmy. Jimmy is LEGIT. I've never seen anyone like him! We met him a couple weeks back through another investigator and told him to watch the Restoration video which we gave to his friend, not thinking a ton about it. Followed up a couple of times and he hadn't watched it. Said he'd come to church last week and he didn't. Sooo as a final thing we stopped by after church last Sunday and he was really apologetic and said he'd watch it and come to FHE tomorrow. YOU GUYS. He watched it THREE TIMES. He loved it. He loved FHE. We taught him and he wants to change. He asked US for a Book of Mormon. He remembers everything he reads, and he reads EVERYDAY from the Book of Mormon. He came to Stake Conference this last weekend and LOVED it. The Spirit is so strong whenever we teach him. And he prayed yesterday to know if he should just go back to his other church and he said he received a "no". He knows this is where God wants him. On the phone with him last night he says, "I just want to be a Latter-Day Saint SO badly!" He's amazing. He's excited for baptism, and we know he can get there this next month!!! :) please pray for him as well. 
Fun quote from him on the phone mid-sentence: "wow! that's so pretty! I'm sitting outside and just saw lightning across the sky!"

I think it was Wednesday last week, but we spent a couple hours tracting in such bad heat it was miserable. But, as one of my favorite scriptures directs (Ether 12:6) you receive the witness AFTER your faith is tested and lo and behold we found three new investigators that day and three different people gave us water :) yay nice people. One of the new gators is from Puerto Rico and is SO sweet. Her and her sister met with us and feel like it's from God :) 

Sorry for the eternally long descriptions, but I'm SO EXCITED. We have worked so hard this last transfer, almost starting from scratch and doing all we could. Heavenly Father is so sweet and has blessed us so much. We're just trying to work hard and he makes everything work out.

We had stake conference this last weekend and Elder Nielsen from the 70s came to speak to us. Also, the members are fantastic and have helped out us and our 'gators SO much this week. yay Belleview :) One experience with a member, Sister Brown, the gps took us off roading oops. Annnd another day we accidentally went on a huge dirt road in the pouring rain and almost got stuck. That would have been fun. The house we were going to had 5 pitbulls that freaked out when we walked up and if they hadn't been chained up probably would have hospitalized us. yep. thanks for the protection Heavenly Father!

I know this is long, I wish you all could just be here and see what I see! I am SO happy and SO thankful to be on a mission. Thank you to everyone who has helped me get here and strengthened my testimony of the years. There's no place I'd rather be :) I've already changed so much and I only pray that I can continue to become more like my Savior everyday. 

Have a wonderful week!!!

Sister Woolley


The district after telestrations. 
Sister Fairbanks and I <3

the district after telestrations
Sister Woolley + Sister Fairbanks
 how the Elders give them Book of Mormons
 Olga + Josh! one of her favorite families in the ward, the Barretos! Josh is a recent convert and his mom, Olga is a returning member. 
 district + zone leaders after interviews
one of our members :) 

Monday, August 17, 2015

Boiled peanuts, kittens, and my Savior

Hey cool cats!

 For starters: shoutout to my cousin Landon who turned 19 on Friday!! Happy birthday, I miss and love you! Also, my beautiful sister and her husband celebrate their one year anniversary this Sunday! Woot woot! Can't believe it's been a year, wow.

So this week has been great :)

Monday night we went in exchanges and I got to go to Apopka! They just reopened the area for sisters so that's where the STLs (sister training leaders) are. We had a good time! All of the plans for the day fell through haha so we did lots of knocking and talked to some sweet people. Got to have dinner with some members at a mansion! (They own a nursery) and they were such an adorable family. And there's a returning member they're working with who we went over with two men from the ward who gave the mom a blessing and it was so sweet :) also almost ran over a raccoon when we were driving out there, woo! So it was great and while I was gone the sisters had so many miracles back in Belleview!!

We taught Onelio again with the Spanish translation... It was crazy off topic until Nidia testified of the Book of Mormon and her conversion and boom! The spirit was SO strong. It was awesome. He didn't come to church on Sunday, it'll take time, but he committed to reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it.

Saturday we had the BEST service project EVER! I think I've mentioned her before, but Briana is a returning member with two kiddos and their dad, such a cute little family. They have a little place out in Ocklawaha and the land they're on is so overgrown, the landlord was going to fine them if it didn't get cleaned up. Plus their lawn mower broke so they were so stressed. Last Sunday we told the ward council about it and INSTANTLY one of the men said he'd take it on and invited everyone in third hour and it was such a great turnout and they were so happy and I'm so happy. Plus, the yard work was SO fun to do. We were there about 2 and a half hours chopping down branches and cutting vines with so many bugs everywhere I ended up with a cockroach on my shoulder, welcome to Florida. Just so fun! And Briana and Jesse were so grateful it was the sweetest thing to see :) 

On the way home from the service project the couple who drove us pulled over on the side of the road where a guy was selling boiled peanuts. I had them once in Utah and thought they were gross. But you GUYS. Cajun boiled peanuts made the right way are SO GOOD. So we were sweaty and dirty and ate boiled peanuts in the car and I was practically in heaven. Fun fact.

A returning member moved into the ward and she was just married to a non member who is interested in learning about the gospel! Sweeet. 

Stopped by to see an investigator we haven't been able to meet with lately and thank goodness she was home! Her cat just had 6 kittens and they are ADORABLE. Once again, SO happy to play with 'em. She's really awesome too and said she'll most likely be at church next week :)

Sunday late afternoon we went to an area we don't go to very often and knocked some doors around a referral. Can you say miracles? We were about to leave and said one more house and at that house there was a mom and her 16 year old sitting outside. They said they're going through family trials right now. We asked if we could say a prayer with them and how grateful they were! Then we gave them a Book of Mormon, testifying of the peace that it will bring to their lives. The look in her eyes was so sweet. She thanked us over and over again and gave us a hug. We're going back next week, prayers for this family please! 

This week the focus for me was on coming closer to the Savior. We're trying to teach the Atonement in EVERY lesson as well, and when we do it's really neat how the spirit just comes in. I love my Savior!!! He is so sweet and so loving. I was reading a General Conference talk "Latter Day Saints Keep on Trying" from this last conference. Oh so sweet and true! He says about repentance, " 'twas I, but 'tis not I", quoting Shakespear. The gospel changes us if we allow it to, and how sweet that we can come closer to our Savior every single day of our lives. 

I love you all! Thank you for the continued support and love! Never forget the price the Savior paid so that you and I can become clean and live with Him again. <3  Have a fantastic week!!

Sister Woolley

Service project- I love these people SO MUCH
one of the kitties :D It moved so it's blurry, but so cute

Monday, August 10, 2015

Updates from the sunshine state

Hey ya'll!

Time for a couple of shoutouts!
Happy Birthday and one year anniversary to my brother, Trevor and his wife Cora! Love you guys <3 
Happy Birthday to Grandma Nielsen! 
And CONGRATS to Mom, Dave, and Dylan for getting sealed in the temple on Saturday :) I am all smiles just thinking of it. Love you all! Families are forever <3

 Thanks for all the emails and the prayers and love, I miss each of you and am so thankful for you all!

Not really sure where to start this week. It was a pretty successful week though with tons of lessons and 6 new investigators (of which we dropped a couple but we have a few very promising people). We're excited to start working with these new ones and get them progressing towards baptism! 

Last week I talked all about the Spanish and Portuguese people ha. This week we threw in some Chinese! Used a bit of google translate (thank goodness for technology) but she understood most of our English. She only has an English Bible so she was so happy to get a Chinese Book of Mormon :) 

There's a woman in our ward who is returning to the church with her 3 year old and 6 month old. She is the sweetest thing and has had a rough last few years. But we got to have dinner with her and a member in the ward who lives near her and that was a huge success! Also, we got some members to sign up to go out there on Saturday to have a huge service project for her, we'll be cleaning up her yard! yay, I love service

Inspired choice of food!!
On Thursday we had a Zone Training Meeting (once a month usually). It was awesome and President Berry came and I saw Sister Guynn (mtc comp) and Sister Lokotui :) All of us sisters (there's only three companionships of us in the whole zone now :( we need more sisters!!) sang Nearer My God to Thee, so fun! 
After the Meeting we decided to have lunch at Firehouse Subs. GUESS WHO WAS THERE! The Murray family from Leesburg! AH. I was SO happy, I literally jumped out of my chair and ran up to them. If ya'll don't remember, they are returning to activity and little Kaylie and Cody got baptized last month after I left :) 

Things are going well. Not much is new! Time keeps on flying. I know this one is short, but I hope you all know how much I love you and the Lord. The work of God will continue to go forth, regardless of what happens. How grateful I am to be a part of it! Try to find some way this week to come closer to the Savior :) Keep on being amazing and keep the letters and prayers coming!

Love you all, 
Sister Woolley

P.S. To give you a hint of what Florida is like, there's a weird bug chilling by the keyboard as I type. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

"I looked and saw four angels...gracias"

 August? What. I'm convinced time isn't even a real thing. ("time is only measured to man") yeah, it flies.

So this week was seriously miracle packed. We decided to drop one of our 'gators, sadly, but we know it's for the best. Since that decision, SO much good happened. We found new 'gators who are super awesome and we're so excited about them! And we've actually been getting quite a few referrals which is rare! yay members! This ward is so great, I love them. 

On Wednesday we got to go to a service project that the youth were doing, so fun! We went up to a lake, Lake Weir, and painted a dock and the bathrooms. The Young Men's president introduced us to the manager of the place and we got to teach him about the Book of Mormon. And eat peach cobbler. It was pretty great. 

We completely ran out of miles for our car so we had a fun time tracting/visiting former investigators in the pouring rain. I love the rain, so all was well. But, we called up an AMAZING recent convert and she came with us to visit some Less Active members. What a success! One of them we stopped by (husband is a member, wife is not) and they pulled up as we knocked on their door. She stayed in the car (not so happy to see us) and he came out to meet us. Quickly invited him to the pioneer Day activity on Saturday and left. To be continued...

Then we got to finally see another AWESOME part member couple :) the less active husband basically taught his wife the whole restoration with us there and his testimony is so strong. I have high hopes about them! 

Saturday was our Pioneer Day party! yay. Such a good turnout! Remember that less active man and his not-so-happy wife? THEY SHOWED UP. We, and his home teacher, were SHOCKED. and she was so nice! They had a great time :) Also, some of our 'gators came and it was just so fun. 

Last thing, last night we called up our Spanish Returning Members, the Barretos, to ask if they could come with us to a lesson before going to their house. Lesson fell through so we popped by a former investigator, Alberone. He speaks mainly Portugese but Spanish pretty well and a bit of English. We got to meet with him and he said he needs God in his life. He said that when we knocked he didn't hear it because the TV was on, but something told him he needed to check the front door. He looked out the window and saw "four angels". He had been praying before and then we showed up. We testified of God's love for him and that we were sent to him. This is just a testimony to me that because we're working hard and striving to follow the Spirit, Heavenly Father really will work through us. 

Funny quote from that night: 
"Yo dego, hambre! nooo hombre!" (I said hungry, not man!) Spanish gone wrong

Things are great! God is good and Florida is amazing. I love this place and these people. Thank you everyone for the support and emails and prayers and love. It means the world to me. Never forget how much God loves each of you. <3

Sister Woolley 

pretty place in Oxford :) 
lunch with Betty
pioneer day!
one of the members has a pig!