Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 22 - Aruba

Wowwww What a crazy week. I remember NOTHING. Buuuut first off today is sweet little Linley's Birthday!!!!! Wowwww! Stop growing up!!! As well, one week left of the BoM challenge! time to wrap it up! Love that book and whoever made it to the end of this challenge is just so blessed. :)

I hit my 5 monthaversary this last week! No puedo creer lo!!!!! Haha I cant believe it! A mi no por kere! Wednesday was so crazy my family and friends! We had nine lessons and 13 really amazing contacts. That is nuts. seriously. Especially for the Caribbean/Aruba!! That was a day of miracles honestly. This last week we have really felt the guidance of the spirit. We were always in the right place at the right time. It was amazing. We have also had the opportunity to teach the restoration a lot and man, these last few lessons have been powerful. The people have been completely understanding it. Completely. it has been such a cool experience and I am so grateful that I get to be here first hand experiencing it!! With a series of really inspired questions we have been able to watch the spirit teach these incredible people. The most powerful ones this week were definitely with the following people: Henry, Edwardo, and Fernando (some of our investigators) and it was just so amazing.

Also we contacted some AMAZING PEOPLE this week. One of the amazing contacts that we made was with this lady named Gloria. It was so cool. I could just feel that God sent us to her, so I told her that and she said that that exact thing popped into her mind as well. She lives in a hidden little part of the main road and we never would have gone by her house if it wasn't for divine guidance!! We have also been teaching this sweet little Arubian (Hatian) girl named Besh! She is amazing! Her mom doesn't want her to get baptized but she really wants to! She is incredible. There is also this young girl named Monchi that we have been teaching from a less active family and she is set to be baptized on the 26th! So amazing! She is really cute! I will include a picture of her with the BoM that she made haha!  She really is so cute and sweet and she is going to be a great example to her family.

Okay. We also found this guy named Jose Luis. HE IS SO AMAZING. So prepared for the gospel. I swear. We have been stopping by where he works for like 5 minutes but his boss stopped letting him do that so we are finally starting to get to teach him at his house and have actual lessons with him! We have been leaving him chapters to read, but we just found out last night that when he finishes the chapters he just starts reading from the beginning!!! He LOVES that book! He is all the way in 1 Nephi 18!!!!! Seriously he is the best. We get to teach him about the restoration tonight and i am so excited :))))!!!!! We also had a really cool experience this week with this lady named Mirella! She has been going to church for like 3 months with a really awesome member (I thought she was a member) but she would NOT let the missionaries visit with her. Then she finally told us we could meet with her last Sunday at the Members house, so we left her a chapter to read in the Book of Mormon (even though she was already reading it on her own). We had a lesson with her and then through a series of questions and when the spirit was there she told us she wanted to tell us something. She said she prayed to know if she should be baptized into this church and then she opened up the BoM to a verse in Alma five that told her to repent and be baptized and she took that as her answer. She also went online last week and antimormon stuff popped up on her computer but she just closed it all because she new it was all just there to make her lose her testimony. She is amazing. She has such a testimony that these things are true! She wants to get baptized on her birthday, September 12!

So excited!! That is about all I can think of this week! So sorry this email is kind of rambly! I will try to be better! Our week was just so crazy and busy and I just cant think straight right now hahaha! I love you all and miss you SO much! Big Hugs!!!

Hermana Woodbury

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 21 - Aruba

Hello everyone!!!!! 
Welp, Sister Petersen is home (in Utah) and I have been with Sister Taylor and Sister Garcia this past week! It has been fun! Honestly not too much happened this week so this is going to be a short email, but the biggest thing that happened was........SEBASTIAN RECEIVED THE PRIESTHOOD!!!! He is so awesome. Sebastian and Marlien were at church yesterday and i just felt sooooo happy. Marlien leaned over to me during one of the classes and just whispered, "thank you for coming to me house". My heart melted. I love her so much people!!!

Also I just realized that this will probably be my last transfer (6 weeks) in Aruba because we can only legally stay on each island for 6 months every year, and I am coming up to 6 months! I will definitely miss this place SO much but i am also excited for the adventures that are ahead!

We have been contacting (knocking doors or meeting people on the street) a lottttt recently and we have actually been contacting a lot of really cool and prepared people!! We contacted this young man named Immanuel. It was a really cool contact because he just let the spirit into his heart and we taught totally by the spirit! We basically taught the entire restoration and he just connected all the dots! It was sooooo cooooool!!!!!!! Just getting to witness the spirit was such an amazing experience. We were totally guided to him as well, because we were supposed to have a lesson with someone else at that time but it got pushed back, so we had a small amount of time to contact. Then, we were guided to him! It really strengthened my testimony that the Lord will guide us to those who He is preparing and that those who are prepared will be able to be taught by the spirit and understand! It was really quite amazing.   
Other than that, not much else happened this week! It has been really fun though and both of my companions are really sweet!!! We are working hard and diligently! :)

Also.... Happy Birthday Felicia!!! I love youuuuu!!!!! And 2 more weeks left of the BoM challenge!!!! Even if you havent started it yet, I know you can finish it because I have read it in two weeks before!!! And i can promise that if life has been tough, this book will help you more than anything else. Read it!!!!!I love and miss you all sooooo much and I hope you all have a great week!

Hermana Woodbury

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 20 - Aruba

Halloooo con baiiiii? (Hello!  How are you doing?)
Okayyyy soooooooo things have changed with Marlien since my last email.....She pulled the worlds biggest 180 in the universe. SHE GOT BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY!!!! I honestly am still in shock because of the crazy roller coaster leading up to this point. We had no idea what we could do to help her.. The Egberts (mission president) were in Aruba and we got to go teaching with Sister Egbert! While we were out with her we asked her what her thoughts about Marlien were because we honestly had no idea what to do. She recommended to show Marien the short Restoration video, which is exactly what we ended up doing. After watching the video, we asked Marlien if she believed Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said "yes". We about fell over in our seats. Honestly!  She told us that she still wants to be baptized. This all happened on Monday! We extended her original date (last Saturday) and she said yes! Then we just made it happen! Her baptism was amazing. We also taught her temples last week and that lesson was soooo beautiful. She loved it. She said it was the most beautiful lesson we had ever taught her. It was so amazing!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY BROOKS!!!! Love you!!!  Also 3 weeks left of the BoM challenge!!! I hope you are doing it!! It is sooo important that you do so!
Transfer calls were this last Saturday...and I am staying in Aruba! When Sister Petersen goes home I'll transfer to the Oranjestad area and will be in a threesome with Sister Taylor and Sister Garcia! This will be sister Taylor's last transfer before she goes home, and it's only sister Garcia's second!  Crazy!

Also this week we found out that Belkis isn't legally married and she has no way of getting married for a long time.  Darn. She loves the Church though and she will be baptized as soon is she gets married :)
Things are calming down in the Santa Cruz area because the Elders who work in Paradera are going to take our area/recent converts!  We haven't really been looking for new people to teach because the elders wont really be going to Santa Cruz except to visit our recent converts! I'm excited for next transfer though!  The area I will be in is mostly Latinos so it will be fun :)

I hope you are all doing well! I love and miss you all so much!!!!  Have a great week!
-Sister Woodbury

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 19 - Aruba


Such a fantastic week oh my goodness!!!!
Family and friends Sebastian got baptized and confirmed!!! That was BY FAR the most spiritual baptism and confirmation that i have ever been able to witness. Everyone who was there kept on talking about how spiritual it was and we were all just absolutely BEAMING. The closing song was "There is Sunshine in My Soul Today" and MAN was that soooo fitting. I just cannot put it into words. That baptism was amazing and I am soooo grateful for the opportunity I had to attend. So the story behind Sebastian is that his mom's cousin and her husband are SUCH strong members of the Church here in Aruba. They are the best. So when we contacted him we didn't know that, but we made that connection a little bit later on. So Sebastian's mom's cousin (Michell Parra- I love her to absolute pieces) and her husband (Jose Parra) have been SUCH a major help. If it weren't for them i really don't think he would have been able to be baptized. Michell told us (before we received permission from Sebastian's mom) that we would never be able to receive permission... well all she really said was that she would pray for him because his mom usually doesn't like this kind of stuff... But he asked her and she was TOTALLY okay with it!!  The Lord has prepared him so much and everything is just lined up so perfectly for him. He is preparing to receive the priesthood next Sunday :) We love this kid.

Also 1 month left for the BOM Challenge!!!! I just wanted to include the talk given by Prophet Thomas S. Monson because this incredible man receives direct revelation from the Lord for every person on this earth. He is really really old and weak now, but he had the energy to give us a three minute message back in April. He could have talked to us about anything, but all he really talked about was the Book of Mormon, and the importance of reading it every single day. Please hearken unto his word, because his word is the Lord's word!!! READ THE BOM EVERY DAY!!!
Here's the talk...

The Power of the Book of Mormon

By President Thomas S. Monson

I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day.

My dear brothers and sisters, I greet you most warmly as we are met again in a great general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before I begin my formal message today, I would like to announce five new temples which will be built in the following locations: Brasília, Brazil; greater Manila, Philippines, area; Nairobi, Kenya; Pocatello, Idaho, USA; and Saratoga Springs, Utah, USA.

This morning I speak about the power of the Book of Mormon and the critical need we have as members of this Church to study, ponder, and apply its teachings in our lives. The importance of having a firm and sure testimony of the Book of Mormon cannot be overstated.

We live in a time of great trouble and wickedness. What will protect us from the sin and evil so prevalent in the world today? I maintain that a strong testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and of His gospel will help see us through to safety. If you are not reading the Book of Mormon each day, please do so. If you will read it prayerfully and with a sincere desire to know the truth, the Holy Ghost will manifest its truth to you. If it is true—and I solemnly testify that it is—then Joseph Smith was a prophet who saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Because the Book of Mormon is true, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s Church on the earth, and the holy priesthood of God has been restored for the benefit and blessing of His children.

If you do not have a firm testimony of these things, do that which is necessary to obtain one. It is essential for you to have your own testimony in these difficult times, for the testimonies of others will carry you only so far. However, once obtained, a testimony needs to be kept vital and alive through continued obedience to the commandments of God and through daily prayer and scripture study.

My dear associates in the work of the Lord, I implore each of us to prayerfully study and ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven’s help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I LOVE THIS TALK!!! Please read it and let it touch your heart!! I implore you, and so does the prophet, to read the Book of Mormon every single day, member or non member!
Buuuut so anyway hahaha....
This week we went to zone conference in Curacao!! It was such a great zone conference and I felt the spirit sooo strong there as well. I learned a lot and it was just a really really good conference. My companion, Sister Petersen gave her departing testimony and that was sad! She will be HOME next Thursday night! Ahhhh! 

Okay soooo Marlyn still is not doing great... She googled Joseph Smith which is a great thing to do if you are looking for information that is either completely false, partly true, or true but has a skewed perspective. Honestly I don't know what is going to happen with her but we are praying for the best :/

Also Belkis! She knows that this Church is true and she wants to get baptized and originally she wanted to get baptized fast, but after talking with her husband she wants to go "poco a poco" (little by little/ take it slow) so we are working with her now! It has been a little bit challenging because she keeps telling us she wants to be baptized but not anytime soon. Aghhh.
Other than all of that craziness, this week we also did a ton of senior couple stuff! Sooooo fun! We did a ton of senior couple stuff every single day for like half the day. I hardly have a Chaco tan line anymore from being in the car.  haha! Fun stuff! I love you and miss you all so much! Have a great week!!


Sister Woodbury

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 18 - Aruba

I don't actually have too much time to write today so this might be on the shorter side buuuuut here we go! Crazy week. Honestly this week didn't really go as planned but it was still good! We did a LOT of senior couple stuff (taking care of things that a senior couple normally would take care of) among teaching and being taught haha! 

So update on our investigators:

Darryl: we haven't been able to meet with him, don't know if we ever will honestly... So sad but We still pray for him every day!

Marlyn: She took a dramatic turn. We had a pretty rough lesson with her. She just cant feel God's love for her at all and she is questioning everything. She said she was going to pray about whether or not we were actually sent from God and then said she will let us know tonight if she still wants to be baptized. Please pray for her!! There were a lot of tears in our last lesson with her. So sad. We are honestly pretty Heartbroken.
On a lighter note.... Sebastian is doing awesome!!!!!!!!! He had his baptismal interview this last week and he is all good to go! His mom signed the form so we are just anxiously anticipating Saturday :)

Belkis: Not sure how much I have talked about her before but she is doing awesome as well! She doesn't know how long she is going to be in Aruba (from Venezuela and REALLY misses home) but we are all hoping she will be around long enough to be baptized on the 22nd! She is really awesome and has SO much faith! She is incredible. She really wanted to know the commandments so we taught all 3 of the biggest ones before we even taught her the Plan of Salvation. She just hopped right on board! She can't read very well but she loves the BoM and said she wouldn't leave it for anything. She is incredible!
That is about it this week about our investigators! How are you all doing on your BOM challenge????? ONE MONTH AND ONE WEEK LEFT!!!! You can do it, I promise!!!! If you are reading, I promise you will be blessed and you will come to know our Heavenly Father soooo much better!!

Also CONGRATS CARTER HANSEN ON YOUR MISSION CALL (Hanoi Vietnam) !!!!   WOW!!!!!!! You are going to be incredible! :)
Thank you all so much for your love and support, I couldn't do this without each and every one of you! I hope you all have a fantastic week and I love and miss you all so much!
Sister Woodbury


Monday, July 3, 2017

4 Month-aversary!

Bon Dia Rumanan!
Wow this week was full of fun and some minor bummers but overall joy haha! First off, EUCARY GOT BAPTIZED AND CONFIRMED!!! Wooohooooo!!! One of the elders who started teaching her over a year ago was able to attend and it was just really awesome! She is doing amazing and she is a great example
to me!

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Update on the rest of our investigators:
Darryl no longer has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and whatever his dad said to him really didn't help. He didn't attend church last week for the first time in over a month and we have a lesson with him tomorrow but we just kind of expect it to be a last little super sad lesson. It has been really sad to see his heart harden and he has just changed a lot :( Keep him in your prayers! God loves him and so do I and we are praying that he gets baptized one day because he has already had a spiritual witness that it is true. 

We have been teaching this little 12 year old nugget named Sebastian! Wow he is awesome and really really prepared. We met him because he was always at the house of one of our other investigators from a while ago who never progressed. We gave him a Book of Mormon a while ago and didn't think much of it and then we didn't go back to that house for a while and the we stopped by just to check up on our non-progressing investigator and he came out and said he'd already read through MOSIAH.  We.Died. So then we started teaching him and he is doing so awesome! He came to church yesterday and is getting baptized on the 15th of this month!! He has prayed about everything and he knows it is true and he is just an incredibly prepared little child of God haha!

Then we have Marlyn who is doing so incredible, family! I love her! She is soooo awesome! She is progressing really well and even though she has the craziest life on the planet she always makes time for us and for the Lord! She is really really awesome and we are really excited for her baptism on the 22nd!

We have also been teaching this Venezuelan woman named Belquis that we contacted a little while ago and she is doing awesome as well! She isn't super educated so it has been kind of hard because we have to keep it super duper simple and we have to take it really slow but she is definitely progressing! She is awesome and really sweet and she told us she hates when we have to leave haha! So sweet! We love her!  That is everyone I can think of today... But we are working really hard and we are finding some really amazing people!

Alsooooo 1 MONTH AND 2 WEEKS LEFT OF THE BOM CHALLENGE!!! Keep it up if you're doing it and start if you're not!! I promise that if you take the time out of your busy life to read that book, that the Lord WILL bless you! I know that without a shadow of a doubt! Also, when you read the Isaiah chapters READ THEM WITH THE FOOTNOTES FROM THE BIBLE AND WITH THE BOM STUDY GUIDE! trust me! I actually understand all of those chapters now haha!

I love and miss you all soooo much and I hope you all have an incredible week! 
-Sister Woodbury

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 16 - Aruba


Wow. Crazy week. Like always.... Okay soooo where do i even begin??? First an update on our investigators:
Okay soooo about Darryl... Apparently he got permission from his dad on Sunday but he also got quite a talking to...and now he's having second thoughts... doesn't know whether he should be baptized. We have done everything we can think of and he is really doing his part so I am leaving it up to Heavenly Father. He has seriously been breaking our hearts!! We are really hoping for the best and we are already planning for his lesson on Friday so that should be a really good lesson! Pray for him please!! He really is super awesome but he is having a really hard time. He is going to church, praying a ton, fasting, and reading out of the BOM and so are we so we are just leaving it up to the Lord now!
Marlyn is doing AWESOME (picture on the blog). She was really sick for a while so we couldn't see her for a long time!!! We were kind of nervous about that but when we had our lesson with her early this week we decided to take a member with us that we have taken before named Sister Aalsae. We usually have a pretty hard time actually teaching when we bring her because she talks A LOT, buuuut we wanted to bring her because they are super great friends. As soon as we said the opening prayer sister Aalsae just kind of started going off on a super long story and right when i was about to try to say something I Looked over at Marlyn and she was just bawling. At that point I kinda just sat back and let sister Aalsae continue and follow the promptings of the spirit! As soon as sister Aalsae was finished, Marlyn said "I don't know why, but I feel to baptize" in her sweet little broken English. She is SO cute and WE DIED. she has been waiting for an answer about whether or not she should be baptized and then boom. the spirit told her she should. That experience was incredible and it really showeld me how important member lessons are even though they are often a major struggle! She keeps saying she still hasn't changed her mind and she knows she needs to be baptized now! Also, later in the week, we taught her the first part of the Plan of Happiness and we went in knowing that she had concerns about Adam. We really prepared for that part of the lesson more than we usually do and after we explained it you could practically see her brain working. She was able to understand and she kept saying that we taught her something new and now she has a different perspective! That was so cool. We asked her a lot of questions during the lesson in a way that she was kind of able to teach herself through the spirit so that was an awesome experience! She is doing AWESOME though! We loveeee her! Her baptismal date is July 22nd!
Next we have this sweet little Venezuelan named Eaucary that we have been teaching for the past month whose baptism is this Saturday! I haven't mentioned anything about her yet because I thought that we weren't going to get to teach her! We taught he while were working in the other area and when we moved back to our area i thought that we weren't going to get to teach her but We found out that we could! We were soooo happy! She is a little bit shy but she is awesome and she has taken the lessons twice before so she already knew everything. She is doing awesome and we are super excited for her!
Up next is the BOM challenge! You have 1 month and 3 weeks left!!!! Keep reading! I promise that it will bless your life and help you have a better relationship with our Heavenly Father! I PROMISE! :)
Okay so today was awesome and crazy! Sister Petersen and I biked from lighthouse to lighthouse which are located on both ends of the island! It was soooo fun and it rained a lot which was weird because it never rains here. We got SOAKED and i got sooooooooo dirty. Then we ate at a really nice restaurant at the end of our journey and we were exhausted. It was soooo fun though! Seriously so fun!   The storm that passed through was not bad at all. It hardly rained and nothing was flooded or anything! It has been wayyyy more windy than usual though so that has been really hard with the bikes and the lovely hills in Santa Cruz, but all is well! :) 

That is about it this week! It was a crazyyyy week but it was super duper fun and life is soooo gooooood! I love you all and miss you all so much and i hope you have a fantabulous week!

Sister Woodbury