Monday, September 28, 2015

Missionary Joy :)

Hello everybody!!
I want to thank everyone for the emails and support, ya'll are the best. I know I say it all the time, but this week just flew. Correction, this MONTH just flew by. woah.
Don't have a ton of time, so I'll try my best to keep it simple!
Monday night we had exchanged woo! Sister Rytting's very first exchange :) I stayed here with Sister Weston (we went on exchanges to Apopka last transfer). IT WAS GREAT. I learned a ton from her and we had a fun time with lots of miracles :) One being, that our part member couple is doing awesome! Gary, the nonmember, said yes to baptism because he wants so badly to do everything he can do be with Sharen for eternity. So cute. She's doing really well too. They watched the Women's Broadcast on Saturday with us and loved it! And both came to sacrament meeting, happy day :)
Also on exchanges, we decided to contact people in the cars next to us as we were driving (I've loved this my whole mission). The very first car I asked the man if he had read the Book of Mormon and when he said no I asked if he'd like to. He said yes (I was slightly shocked) and so Sister Weston reached in the back to grab one and I reached as far out the window as I could to give it to him! He barely grabbed it. SO COOL. We laughed about it all day :)

Seaford is swell! We got to take him on a temple tour on Friday and it was the SO great. We ended up being the only one's there for the tour but Seaford loved it. When we went over to the temple he knelt down and prayed that he could go inside one day. The next day we took him to the elders' baptism and he loved that as well. He wants to be baptized, it just might be a long process. Prayers for him please :)
We've been trying to find some more Less Active members to work with so on Thursday we popped by a part member couple who let us right in, gave us aprons to help her with dinner, and fed us that night! What a sweet elderly couple :) And way fun cooking a bit with her haha.
That night we went to meet with one of our new investigators and his whole family. We showed up and they were eating outside with some friends and the biggest pot of noodles you can imagine! So we sat with them and ate a bit while teaching.. pretty cool. Well turns out their friends had met with missionaries in 1997 so we gave them a spanish Book of Mormon and hope to teach them more!
We saw our lovely German 'gator this week and had a really great time teaching her the Plan of Salvation. She's already so much happier than the first time we met her and she's been listening to the Book of Mormon on yay <3 Also, she had made Leibkoochen, or German cookies, and they were so yummy.
Super pumped for what this week has in store! In the words of one of my favorite members here this is missionay JOY not missionary work. I love every minute of it here. Time has certainly been flying and I'm so grateful for all I've learned. I've got a long way to go to be who I want to be but, as President Uchtdorf explained so lovely on Saturday, we can all choose to be happy and skip down the path of life signing. The Lord loves you all <33
Hope ya'll have a wonderful week!!
Sister Woolley

 sister Weston :)
Our district #onlysisters. Two of 'em go home next week!
 tracting--giraffes! made my heart smile.
temple tour with Seaford!!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

"If you've not read the Book of it!" -President Monson

Howdy ya'll! How are these amazing people today? Hope ya'll had a wonderful week!

It was quite the week, but I feel like I grew a lot this week. Let me start with the bad...

Jimmy disappeared. We had an awesome lesson Thursday and filled out his baptismal record and he was all set to be interviewed the next day at the temple after the tour. He was excited! Then an hour before the tour on Friday he texted us telling us he wouldn't come. We tried calling and tried to get the concern out of him but he wouldn't budge. Said he'd be at dinner the next day with our member... bailed. Said he'd be at Sacrament meeting... didn't show. UGH. So, we haven't heard from him and we're just going to give him a break until he calms down or something. So, to make a long story short, we were pretty down. 

But! Applying President Berry's 10 second rule--- "what could I have done better?" Okay then move on! And boy oh boy did Heavenly Father bless us some :) 

We went Less Active finding on Tuesday and found this glorious street out in the boonies of Ocklawaha where we found an ADORABLE German lady! Such a cute house too. Another one of those "let's knock one more then we'll go" instances. She just lost her husband a month ago and was very distraught. We showed her Because of Him and she loved it and cried and told us to come back. She doesn't feel like she has much purpose here anymore. When we came again and gave her a Book of Mormon she was determined to read it and when we told her about General Conference (especially about our German general authority) she got so excited, haha :)

On Friday, as a backup to our cancelled temple tour, we went to our Burmese family's house and when they opened their door they had a table set out with some interesting looking food for two. Not sure what the Burmese etiquette is... they didn't eat though. The food was interesting but not bad! They had green tea set out and their reactions when we turned it down was quite hilarious. Then they offered us coke which we also had to turn down.. the poor wife. 

Saturday was wonderful! In the morning we got to go to Leesburg (YAY) to do a community cleanup project with a few other missionaries (my dear Sister Guynn) and the community. We picked up little for an hour and a half and it was great. I got to wear one of those neon yellow vests!!! Has been on my bucket list :)
Right afterwards we headed home to shower and then up to Belleview for the Fall Festival which we had a booth set up at with the elders in our ward and a senior couple :) we didn't get to stay long but I'm so thankful we came when we did! Because a family was walking by and I noticed the boy turned to his mom and pointed to the sign and picture of Christ. I walked up to them and turns out they were baptized 7 years ago, have been inactive for 3 years, and moved down here a year ago, we didn't receive any records! She said they had mentioned once about how they were going to find the church and didn't really know how. They had just been driving by the festival and decided to go and boom we met them and they all showed up at church yesterday!!!! It was the sweetest thing to see :) The Lord has His was of working. The two youngest kids were never baptized, so the elders will be working with them :) 

After the festival we had a funny lesson with a new investigator. She asked why we were there and told us she'd never convert. At first, slight disappointment. Then we taught them the Restoration and she softened up a ton and prayed at the end saying she'd have an open heart as she reads and prays about it :) 

Okay almost done! Yesterday was amazing :) We received 4 member referrals woo!
Right after church we snagged a member for a lesson with another new investigator. She is so cool! She told us she's looking for change, she even wants to quit smoking. We're excited to start working with her! 

THEN we had this amazing event called the Why I Believe Fireside and HOLY COW if it didn't touch our investigator's lives it touched mine. Seaford and Leroy came as well as our lovely returning members, the Barretos :) ALSO a family in the ward brought their new friend, Maria, who wants to start learning! #referral we're so pumped!!!
The Spirit was seriously SO strong at this fireside. Our zone got to sing a gorgeous arrangement of I Know That My Redeemer Lives and I can't even begin to describe how strong the spirit was as we sang. Eek! I needed that :) 

So basically this week I learned a ton about humility (I've said that before) and about patience in the Lord's timing. I'm ready to work even harder this week to help these wonderful people improve their lives and come unto Christ. I'm so thankful for this gospel. I know that it's true. I know that the Book of Mormon literally is the word of God and that it was translated by Joseph Smith, a true prophet of God. I'm grateful for this knowledge and how it's blessed my life. I want everyone to feel the Spirit testify that it's true. Please please please read the Book of Mormon EVERYDAY. It is a habit that has to be made and it is SO simple. It will change your life. It's changed mine. And it will change others' lives. I love you all. Until next time <3

Sister Woolley

Monday, September 14, 2015

Find Your Holy Place

Hello lovelies! 

How has everyone's week been? 

This week was FULL of meetings! Woo! Despite almost all of Tuesday and Thursday being in Orlando, God sure blessed us with success and lots of new 'gators! such sweet people :) 

Tuesday was our Zone Conference (meaning half of the mission meets together for a big 'ole spiritual/training meeting that is wonderfully filled with inspiration/chastisement/fun and we all go home spiritually exhausted but pumped, juiced, and jazzed for the week!) (Sorry for that rant haha). And so I got to see the famous Sister Guynn (my MTC comp) and Sister Hannah Rowley (from BYU) and Sister Lindy Ludlow (from HOME!) so all in all it was a party, yay :) 
The meeting was basically on obedience and it was GREAT. One of my favorites talked about our attitude of obedience and I just loved that. If you have a bad attitude, what is obedience even doing? Hello, be HAPPY because God is going to bless you SO much for being obedient to His commandments! It's awesome!

Also, a quote I loved," Don't put the keys to your happiness into the pockets of someone else" :) (enough said)

Next meeting, Thursday, was trainer follow up. Woah, we're already on the fourth week on my baby's training! It was great and there were some funny comments I found humorous, you may not... One elder told us of his trainee who said "Elder, I want to talk more in lessons." to which the trainer thought "Well, that's because you don't know Spanish!" But was kind and they worked through it. Learning charity! 

Anyways, onto the actual work. 

Monday nights we go to FHE in the Villages with a lot of the older couples and our 'gators. so fun! But before we went we stopped by a Potential Investigator who is from Brazil. She hardly speaks English but she let us in and we sat down at her table. Then her husband (who is friends with one of our Former Investigators!!!!) came in as well as their 12 year old daughter and 4 year old son. Okay, cute. We showed them a pamphlet in Portuguese and communicated what we could and gave them a Portuguese Book of Mormon and they were so happy :))

On Wednesday nights we have Book of Mormon class at the church. Both Seaford and Jimmy came this time and they had the coolest insights! We were reading in 2 Nephi where the latter-days are prophesied of and they loved it. Also, Seaford made a comment about having to ask questions and learning about the gospel and then looked at Jimmy and they fist-bumped. I about died laughing. 

Seaford is doing really well! We taught him various commandments this last week and he just says "I know sisters. It's right." and then commits to living them. Cool. 

We got the address of a Less Active woman in the ward. Popped by to see her and she is the sweetest thing. She completely opened up to us and wants to start coming back. It'll be a process but we're excited to work with her. 

On Saturday a girl in the ward preparing to put in her mission papers came out with us for a couple of hours. Two of our lessons fell through but we had the coolest experiences finding new investigators! Very positive for her :) 

CHURCH! Seaford, Jimmy, Leroy (of course), and our new lovely Part Member couple came! Happy day. Also, Olga's (our returning member) records have FINALLY been found!! She's SO happy to finally get to the temple and it's the sweetest thing to see. 

Jimmy is excited for baptism but struggling quite a bit working up towards it. continued prayers for him! We had a sweet experience this weekend where he was feeling super low and down on himself. During the lesson he just dropped to his knees and prayed. When he finally sat back up he said "is that how it always feels when you ask for forgiveness?" He said he felt a dark cloud just leave. Trying to keep him going strong. 

Sorry this was an eternal email. I'm just SO excited about this area! I've already been here for what, 2 1/2 months now?? I just LOVE these people and the Belleview ward is AMAZING. 

D&C 46:32 --- Florida has become my holy place and I have learned so much in these past few months. I'm so grateful to be here serving a mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in the world. Thank you for all the continued support! I love you all.

Sister Woolley 

 Lindy Ludlow from back home! :)
I finally got my thumb print on the Florida Orlando Mission flag, yay! 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Power of the Priesthood

Howdy ya'll!!

First things first, we went shopping at Walmart today and there are Halloween decorations out. Can we just stop? It's still spring, I don't know what's going on.

Jimmy and Seaford came to church yesterday!!!!!!

Last Tuesday was TRANSFER DAY!!! Wooo! woke up at 4:30 in the mornin' and went to lovely training meeting for a couple of hours. What an honor to be a trainer! We got 20some new missionaries- 4 sisters and 17ish elders. THAT'S A LOT. But guys, we need more sisters, get out here! Anywho, fun fact, with the last two transfers, 25% of missionaries in the FOM are trainees. 25%!!! We better do a great job training! 

So, I got put with the wonderful Sister Rytting from Lindon, UT!!! She's so cute. And a BOSS missionary already! Pre-trained, what. She's awesome. Her first semester at BYU was actually my last one there! kinda cool. She is super musical and actually plays the flute as well! So if we ever get our hands on a couple we can do a musical number together :) Tuesday was basically all day in Orlando and terrible traffic coming back. We made it back for a lesson with two of our 'gators. Poor Sister Rytting, her very first lesson in the field--- they dropped us! moving forward

Our whole district at this point is training. Leesburg zone is what's up. The STLs once called it the Lego zone (where solid missionaries are built) so it makes sense they're all in training here! :)  Because half of them are brand new, district meeting was unusually rowdy... but still powerful. 

We went to meet with our 'gator, Wanda on Wednesday. She's been reading from the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true. Really neat, as we finished up the lesson her son was standing in the back and as we went to leave he thanked us for helping her so much. aw! He may be joining in next time.

#endofthemonth so what do you know, no miles. So, if I haven't mentioned it enough, the members in the Belleview ward are the BOMB. Three different members helped us out with driving on Thursday and it was awesome. 

We've been able to meet with Seaford often this week and he's doing great! Each time we've seen him he tells us how he really likes what's being taught and how he feels the Spirit so much with us and wants to keep learning. Members have been amazing with fellowship for him as well :) He was supposed to have prayed about being baptized last night so we'll see if he was able to. Prayers for him please! Funny, we went to have a lesson at the library with him and a member Friday night and the library was closed (so early!) so we sat on the concrete and taught the Plan of Salvation, it was so sweet :D

Jimmy came to church and loved it. Please pray for him, he's going to start going to a class Thursday nights at the Leesburg chapel for ARP and we're so happy! Last night he sent us a message saying he wants to be baptized right now hah. Soon enough. Please please pray for him! 

So, as mentioned above, we had two 'gators at church plus a returning member and her nonmember husband so I was quite stressed out making sure everything was fine and everyone was taken care of. I'm sometimes crazy. Funny enough, I was reading this morning in 3 Nephi 14 saying "consider the lilies of the field... they toil not". Thanks, Heavenly Father, I know I need to chill. God's got it :) Another thing, my wonderful brother Trevor sent me an email this week about really depending on God. It changed my whole week as I focused more on giving everything to Him and being more humble. I love how the mission changes us to become more like God would want us to become. I'm so so happy and I adore these people. I love each and every one of you and am SO grateful for the love and support you offer me. Keep on keeping on and never forget, God's got it. 

Have a great week!
Sister Woolley

my lovely trainee :)
Walmart fall decorations. Me freaking out inside.