Monday, November 30, 2015

Sam I am... I am Sam... I am Ortho

Hello hello!

How was everyone's Thanksgiving? It was a fantastic day as we got to ask everyone what they were grateful for and bear our testimonies of the Savior. When I really thought about it, the top of my gratitude list is my Savior, Jesus Christ, and my family. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and loves each one of you. He is so so sweet <3 I am SO stoked for the holiday season!!! The spirit is in the air and there is so much joy around :) ALSO the church JUST released the new Christmas Initiative--- A Savior Is Born!!!!!!!!!! Holy cow, if you haven't watched it yet, DO IT. I just love it and can't wait to share it :) 

Okayy so such a good week!
First off I just love having the temple in this are and to do temple service! We got to plant poinsettias around the temple grounds to add a festive spirit AND I got to see the Belleview ward bishop's wife and daughter there :)

This week I went on my first exchange with the sisters. It was awesome! On Wednesday I went to the Buena Vista YSA ward with two of the sisters and it was so neat! YSA is a lot different than regular missionary work ha and actually really cool to get to talk with most people our age. Something fun they do every Wednesday night is have "night games" where the YSA get together to play games and the missionaries join, with permission from the mission president :)  The day I was there happened to be volleyball (which I LOVE). But... I kind of chipped a bone in my finger, on my right hand. So I get to wear this cool brace for 4 weeks as it heals. Don't worry momma! It just makes it hard to eat and write haha. When talking to our mission doctor he said he could handle the situation, without an orthopedic. Hence, the subject title. what a hoot.

ANYWAY! We had an AMAZING miracle on sunday! A recently reactivated member told us he has a friend for us to teach! He brought her to the church sunday morning before church and we gave her a church tour. She's looking to change some things in her life and just loved and accepted the Restoration. It was legit! we got to set her a baptism date and she stayed for church and really enjoyed it. Prayers for her please! We are pumped :)

Last night we went to teach a new investigator and his daughter (his ex wife is a mormon by the way). In the beginning of the lesson we asked his 11-year old daughter if she had been to the church before with her mom and it turns out she's already been baptized! hahaha. so that was cool.

I am just so thankful to be a missionary. I love everything about it :) My companion is AMAZING and I'm so happy. The Lord really is so sweet. I have strengthened my relationship with Him so much since coming out and I strive to come closer to Him everyday. I know this church is true <3 I love you all!!!! 

Sister Woolley 

P.S. sorry for no pictures, the computer isn't working :/ 

Monday, November 23, 2015


Hello everyone!

It seriously feels like it's been a month since last week. A lot has happened this week for sure. First off, remember how I said I wasn't likely to be a Sister Training Leader this transfer. But, it happened. SO it's cool. But here I am now back in the Orlando South zone now (where I spent 4 weeks once haha). I'm in Olympia! The Temple is in our area and that just makes me SO happy. Just to see it brings peace :) I'm serving with the beautiful Sister Arsenault and she is AMAZING. She is practically my sister's twin. No joke. They look and talk the same. I showed her pictures of Heather (I love you sis!) and she even thinks they look alike. So basically we're getting along great and it's nonstop laughter with her I love it. Much needed. 

Also, it's finally cooling down and I can't believe it but Thanksgiving is this week! We found a Christmas tree in our apartment and decorated it this morning :) yay! It really is the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!! It rained everyday this week and it was glorious. Our first day together we tracted a bit in the rain and this man with a mobile dog grooming business gave us towels to dry off with haha. 

We saw quite a few miracles this week with Less Actives. We brought a member with us to see a Less Active, Brother Machado, and it was PERFECT. They spoke Portuguese together and the spirit was so strong. yay for members. Also we teach a few children here and I am NOT used to that haha. It's fun and their cute but basically my whole mission thus far has been teaching older people.. so needless to say I've got a learning curve. Also, since coming to Orlando we've received at least three phone calls in Spanish... sorry, no hablo Espanol! one day. 

Because of new area, new calling, new companion, new ward, new everything I have sought a lot of peace through prayer and the Book of Mormon. I can't even describe my love for the Book of Mormon! I have learned a lot about the way the Lord answers prayers this week. In the new Ensign there's an article that talks about just basking in the warmth of the spirit through prayer. I can't really explain it but it was comforting. ALSO! I'm learning a lot from Sister Arsenault about the JOY that the gospel brings. Read Mosiah 2 about verse 14 on and as it talks about the secret to finding happiness. I just love it. 

Well everyone, thanks for everything ya'll do! I love you all SO much. Have a happy Thanksgiving and remember what's most important. I am so thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ, my family, and the gospel. 

Sister Woolley

Monday, November 16, 2015

Blessings in Bellevue

Well folks, I received the news on Saturday that I will be transferred out of Belleview. I saw it coming but I was hoping it wouldn't happen. We have seen tremendous miracles these past two transfers. My baby is all grown up now and will be in a trio here in Belleview! I'll find out tomorrow where I'm headed. I can't even describe how much I love this area. Really. This ward is the BEST and the people here are so dear to my heart. 3 1/2 transfers here wasn't long enough. Through many struggles, joys, tears, exhaustion, and spiritual experiences here I can say this area has changed me. I just can't even describe it. I'm so grateful my Heavenly Father placed me here.
INGE BENSON GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! Hallelujah what a BEAUTIFUL day. She was so nervous she was going to drown. She wore socks in the font which made her feet slip out from under her but Brother Copeland was strong enough to keep her from slipping haha. She just kept telling everyone how she slipped :) She was confirmed yesterday in church and was just glowing with a huge smile on her face as she walked back to her seat. She just wanted the gift of the Holy Ghost to have peace in her life and she got it. Really puts it in perspective, I think sometimes we take that beautiful Gift for granted. It is a remarkable gift Heavenly Father gives us. The ward just LOVES Inge and welcomed her with open arms. She was shocked and sad when she found out I was leaving and I am heartbroken to leave her. But I know she'll be taken good care of here. 
Side note: She's a tracting miracle! The Lord knows where His chosen people are and we just have to follow :)
Okay so Tuesday I did that whole 20 minute training at Zone Conference and I was the LAST missionary to give a training so the whole day my stomach was in knots haha. But the time flew by and it was quite fun. Everyone keeps asking me if I'm an STL now but I haven't received a call so I'm safe from that!
A couple in the ward whom we just adore took us to Gator Joe's where I finally tried gator!!!!!!! Oh so happy. It was good, tastes like chicken ;)
Friday we got to attend the temple with Gary and Sharen so they could do baptisms for the dead. Oh my goodness it was AMAZING. We had a few other members with us. We don't participate in the baptisms but we watch and it was so sweet. I just love the temple and it's a spiritual boost to attend and feel so close to the Lord there. <3
Ready for another miracle? Remember Leroy and Cece? Cece was baptized back in May and the sisters have been teaching Leroy ever since. He hasn't budged so we just went mainly to teach Cece. Well, he's attended the last few baptisms and on Saturday night we had dinner with him and Cece and Brother D. Well, we started talking about the Spirit and how he felt at the baptism and before we knew it he set a baptismal date for himself in January! On his birthday! I'm sure our faces were priceless. He seemed excited and joked about buying a case of smelling salts for the ward because everyone will be so shocked. HA! Ain't that the truth. I'm so happy for him :)
Sunday night we had such a neat experience! Our Mission President set up a musical fireside for all the missionaries in our mission. It was with Marvin Goldstein and Jessica Joy, an AMAZING pianist and awesome singer. Gary and Sharen went with us and it was the greatest thing ever. I just felt so happy to be listening to them play and sing and testify of this great gospel. The Spirit was so strong. 
Another drum roll.... afterwards Sister Guynn (if ya'll remember we were in the same BYU ward my first semester) grabs me and pulls me over to where our BYU bishop, Bishop Sybrowsky, was there! I may have screamed a bit. Thanks for being there Bishop!!
Well everyone, I just want to leave you with my testimony that I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I am so honored to have my name next to His on my name tag everyday. I love this gospel and I have seen it change lives as it continues to change mine. Remember- continually improvement and progression! 
Thank you for everything. I love each of you!
Sister Woolley
P.S. Shout out to cousin Taylor Woolley and his 22nd birthday!

Bishop Sybrowsky :)
Inge's Baptism!

 reactivated Barreto family :)
 ate frog legs!
 gator joe's
Gary and Sharen got us all "Jesus is My Boss" hats haha

Monday, November 9, 2015

Isn't it wonderful

Hello Hello!

Another fantastic week in beautiful Belleview! Ah I'm just in love with this area and this mission and this life.

Okay so on Tuesday we had interviews with our Mission President which is one of my favorite things ever. He is probably one of the kindest, most Christ-like man ever. His wife too is amazing. :) 

Inge, our lovely German, is doing swell! She is on fire and just can't wait to get to the temple in the future. How grateful I am to have been raised in the gospel with the knowledge of the temple and the Plan of Salvation from such a young age. Inge lost her husband just three months ago. She is still very sad from all that's going on but compared to when we first met her, she is so much happier. The members of the ward have really reached out with love to her. 

Gary is doing GREAT. He received the Priesthood on sunday, how special! Sharen couldn't be happier to have the priesthood in her home :) yayy.

Ooh we had such a cool experience on Thursday! We had a few extra minutes before an appointment so we went to see a man we met a few weeks ago. He wasn't there but his dad and brother were who, when we said we believe we have a prophet on the earth he looked at us, then opened the door wider saying "come in! I want to talk about this!" Woah. So we talked for a while and he is super awesome and we're excited to teach him again. His little kids are adorable too. So that was fun

Saturday we got to go on exchanges woohoo! I got to go to Apopka with lovely Sister Bridgewater who finishes her mission in just one week yikes. We had a blast. They have some super great investigators out there we got to teach. I just love switching it up on exchanges and getting ideas from other missionaries of how to teach and contact. And our STLs (Sister Trainer Leader) are just super fun :) 

Sometimes I'm not really sure what else to write so I just want to say I love you all and I'm just so happy and giddy about all the good work that's going on here! We have been teaching SO much and it seems the Lord is continually placing people in our path who are open to learning about the gospel :) could one want more than that. NOPE. :)

Also, a couple days ago the Assistants called last minute to inform me that I will be giving a training at Zone Conference (huge missionary meeting with half of the missionaries from the mission) tomorrow. Well, I guess you could say I'm feeling quite inadequate yet very excited about the challenge. We don't grow inside our comfort zone and I can tell ya I've grown a lot on the mission so far. There's nothing like being a representative of our Savior, Jesus Christ. True happiness only comes through Him.
My ponderize verse this last week was Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."

I testify to that. Have a wonderful week!!

Sister Woolley

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween Baptism

Hello everyone!
Wow what a fantastic week!

Gary got baptized!!! The baptismal program was amazing and probably the most spiritual baptism I've attended. After he came up out of the water he was BEAMING and gave us all a thumbs up :) It was the sweetest thing. After being confirmed yesterday he bore his testimony in sacrament meeting and it was amazing. I'm so happy for him and his lovely wife Sharen! On to working towards the temple now!
Real quick about church yesterday- remember Jimmy? He showed up with his member buddy oh my goodness we were so shocked!!
Not sure if I mentioned it last week but we're working with another Part Member family and their 18 year old daughter is on date for baptism too. She's the sweetest thing! And her boyfriend Tygar is just awesome too. They've been loving the Book of Mormon and we have high hopes for them :)
Halloween night was interesting. We had a ward Halloween party which was great. They had a trunk-or-treat in which we had a basket of candy for the kids but quizzed them on scripture mastery, their favorite Book of Mormon characters, or held up a picture of Christ (for the littler ones) and asked if they knew who it was. SO cute.
I'm just so grateful for this ward and all the support they give us. I feel really at home with each of these members. :)
To kick of the Thanksgiving season I'd just like to share my testimony of this Restored gospel to which I'm so grateful to have the knowledge of. 
I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. He came to this earth to live a perfect life and to sacrifice Himself for each of us. I know He loves us. I know this gospel can and will change lives if we let it. The Atonement is what makes it possible for us to receive forgiveness and gain strength. I have seen that in my own life and in the lives of others. There's no way I could do this work without my Savior. He is my strength and my source of joy. When times get hard we just need to remember- Christ is on our side. He is reaching for each of us just waiting for us to reach out for Him. Turn to Him.
Moroni 7:41
I love you all and I'm so thankful for each of you!
Sister Woolley

Gary's baptism :)
Florida's gator signs!
Gary + Sharen's light up Jesus sign :)
pumpkin carving last week!